Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 10.1 Louisiana John Dimitry,
The campaign of 1860 the political clubs Hurrah for the Confederacy result of the election sentiment is Unified Governor Moore's proclamation meeting of the legislature.
The National Democratic convention met at Charleston, April 29, 1860—the Louisiana Constitutional convention, January 23, 1861. Between these conventions Secession, as the inevitable result, of acute dissension in the old camps, was already standing with stalwart sponsors at the baptismal font of nations. Its time for action was not ripe. It stood on guard, awaiting the summons with brave eyes sweeping the front.
The answer of Louisiana to the conflict of convention nominations was prompt. This promptness was specially marked in her chief city in the sharpened activity of politicians and in the enthusiasm of rank and file. From its older days the native population of New Orleans, inspired by its French and Spanish blood, instinct in imagination, has lent itself readily to the picturesque angle in its public spectacles. A presidential campaign in New Orleans largely exhibits, along with Southern heartiness, an élan rarely found among the men of other cities. Enthusiasm here assumes a poetic guise. The processions, marching with joyous abandon, carry within themselves an air of the carnival; the ranks, far from quiet be it said, fill the streets with racy cries; and around and about the transparencies shines a gleam of color which seen, is as inspiring as the mottoes.
Strangely enough—yet not so odd, considering the respectable and wealthy party back of it—the first response came through a call, published in the papers, for a Bell and Everett ratification meeting to be held on May 30th. This call was signed by an imposing number of citizens, prominent in every branch of the public interest. Among the names subscribed were found those of Randell Hunt and Christian Roselius, eminent members of the bar; Moses Greenwood, banker; John R. Conway, afterward mayor; W. H. C. King, journalist; I. G. Seymour, editor of the Bulletin; Thomas Sloo, merchant; F. A. Lumsden, editor of the Picayune; W. O. Denegre, lawyer; E. T. Parker, sheriff of Orleans parish; and, to conclude with a war name, J. B. Walton, to be veteran major of the Washington Artillery when the bugle should sound for battle, and the gallant colonel of that superb battalion on fields not less hard-fought than glorious.
At this meeting, with all their voices for Bell and Everett, appeared for the first time the Young Bell Ringers. These were a gallant band of marchers; young men, stepping jauntily and jesting while they stepped; evidently musically inclined, since in their bands, with a pleasantly conceived jeu d'esprit on their principal candidate's name, each bore and zealously rang a bell, great or small, with note sharp or mellow, as the need was. The Young Bell Ringers presented the picturesque element in the presidential campaign of 1860. Opposed to them in the canvass, equally light in step, equally witty in tongue, equally proud in their candidates, came, sweeping along in their processions in pride of hopeful youth, the Young Men's Breckinridge and Lane Club. Less wealthy than their rivals, they did not spring from darkness into sudden light. Their growth from a small beginning had been slow—from darkness into half tone. At first the Young Men's Breckinridge and Lane Club showed twelve members, as aggressive in speeches as they were sturdy in spirit Though small in numbers, this club had, from its first gathering, with a purpose boldly proclaimed at the meetings and fearlessly shouted in the streets, impressed itself upon the imaginations of unattached Democrats of the town. From it sprang, in different parts of the city, clubs like the Young Guards, Breckinridge Guards, Chalmette Guards, Southern Guards, as from a mother organization.
It was not long before it became noticed by keen eyes on the banquette that the small group following the main parade was like an island on fire in a quiet sea. Among those sharp eyes were others belonging to young men, still unplaced in the campaign because dubious. In this estuary the first parade of the club turned the tide to fulness. As it marched along it was flanked by two stalwart scouts who kept the crowd moving either side of the procession. There are many veterans, old men now, young then, who still remember those scouts of 1860 and how well they kept the ways free. The ethics of the clubs of both parties leaned to mercy. No crowns were cracked; but order—as the primal law of parades—was rigidly maintained.
In this first procession the club made converts as it marched. It attracted them by a debonair step; and won and retained them by cheers full of fire and already aggressive with Dixie. The tide rose swift and high in one night, as that of the bay of Fundy. At the next procession of clubs, now increased in number, the Young Men's Breckinridge and Lane club, with Ernest Lagarde, first president, and his successor in office, Fred Ogden, paraded two thousand strong. No longer a faction of the Democratic host, it had become the procession, since, wherever placed, its banners were first sought and its gay and ringing shouts were eagerly listened for.
As the growth of the club developed, the Young Bell Ringers began gradually to haunt the banquette. They were there to watch the swing and to pass comments on the campaign music of their rivals. Friendship allied many in either rank; kinship, not a few; yet loyalty was for a space intense enough to divide them by a party-hedge of the thickest. One night, when the campaign was still young, a new shout, with a strange rhythm about the words, startled the Bell men. This cry came from two thousand lungs, filling the air with its proud defiance and stirring the Bell Ringers to many a satiric retort. Not yet heeding, they were soon to heed the solemn voice of their mother State. These gibes came from those whose credo was all for the Union and the Enforcement of the Laws.
The cry of that night prefigured the future: Hurrah for the Confederacy. A subtone of youth's thoughtlessness might have been in it. For the first time injected into a Louisiana campaign, it was the key to that far mightier voice, yet unlocked, which, springing from heroism, was, in a muster of armies, to ring through the valleys and echo from the hills of an embattled South.
In New Orleans there was in that day a large body of citizens faithful to their section, but of conservative tone and suspicious of overhaste. These heard this new cry of the young Democrats and thought it imprudent. Some of them, indeed, reported the incident to the leaders of the party, then to be found in the rooms of the State central committee. Strong with experience, the elders shook their heads gravely, but—like Tennyson's wise old chamberlain—said nothing. Occasion was promptly found, however, to see the young children. Don't go too fast, boys, said one, hiding behind grave glasses a smiling eye. Now, you must really be more cautious, echoed another, beaming on the offenders.
The counsel was fatherly, the rebuke mild. The Young Men's Breckinridge and Lane club received this warning from their leaders with respect, shrugged their shoulders on leaving the room, and continued to shout, with scarcely bated voices, for a Confederacy then mistily arising amid the shadows. It would have been far from prudent leadership in the closing months of 1860 to crush the high temper of youths who might, within a half year, be carrying a musket or riding double on a caisson. In this gallant temper of her young men, New Orleans recalls with pride that of all her sons, marching under what banners soever or shouting what party names in the canvass of 1860, none able to go was found lacking when Louisiana needed his services on the field.
With the progress of the campaign, bad news came to render the timid anxious and to make the brave heady. The news felt like a breath of war from the Hudson. Arrangements were making, it was said, on a given date before the election, to parade all the Black Republican Wide-awake clubs in New York and Brooklyn. Instant was the antagonism to this veiled threat. Wide awake to what? asked men of all parties on the Mississippi. To this question, but one answer could be truthful. This bit of news came to be a triumph for the Young Men's Breckinridge and Lane club. Their enthusiasm had been wiser, had looked more clearly into the future than the prudence of their elders; had seen, to use a strong French expression, the movement coming. Meantime the election went apace with its shouts, its bands and transparencies. At the end of September a Breckinridge and Lane mass-meeting was held. The club not only led the van of a monster parade, but marched proudly under the folds of a beautiful banner presented to it on September 24th. A notable feature in this procession was the appearance of the Lane Dragoons—a new club of horsemen, recently organized. On their horses the dragoons, ninety strong, presented a military aspect. Many, by the way, considered this a fair Roland for the Wide-awake Oliver. They wore black coats buttoned up, with a white belt bearing the club name, and a cap decorated with a gold band. Of this parade, with politics in a ferment, the Picayune said: A grand affair and remarkable for its composition.
The campaign moved swiftly. October came and found the Young Bell Ringers full of purpose, strengthening their party by mass-meetings in different parts of the city. They affected the public squares, holding their assemblies on
in the First district, and
in the Third. At each meeting the Bell and Everett men were surrounded by crowds. Their meetings under the trees became a marked feature of the canvass—nay, they undoubtedly aided the large vote that came with election day. In a measure, Breckinridge men were more domestic. They had held their first meeting in Armory hall. As the fight went on, they clung to its white-washed walls. It was soon known that at Armory hall were to be found eloquent speakers, strong speeches, bright lights, enlivening cries, stirring campaign songs, along with an enthusiasm which, springing from the club, rose to fill all visitors with political ozone. These chance meetings gathered night after night The public meetings were merely an ordinary night's meeting, enlarged and improved and ozoned.
On October 29th the Breckinridge club swung into a new path. On that day they went, carrying their new banner, down to the Pontchartrain depot on Elysian Fields to welcome Hon. William Lowndes Yancey, of Alabama, the magnetic orator of disunion. Some time previous they had invited this famous firer of Cotton States into rebellion to address the Democracy. New Orleans was ablaze with excitement. A vast crowd of all parties assembled on
to hear Mr. Yancey. A brilliant speech from the orator was followed by a torchlight procession which filled the streets with Southern airs and cries. Mr. Yancey must have been pleased. He had more than kept his word. He had fired the Sugar State into rebellion.
A week after this, on November 7th, the telegraph flashed to the Union of divided minds the result of the election held on the 6th. In Louisiana the election of Mr. Lincoln, the candidate of the Republican party and the first of that party to snatch victory from the vote of a united country, fell like a shock of icicles upon citizens of all parties. Some received the news with amazement, others with apprehension, others with indignation; all with disappointment During the campaign, thus adversely ended, John C. Breckinridge had said: In the Southern States of the Union a few are, perhaps, per se disunionists—though I doubt if they are. For Louisiana, the eternal truth of history justifies Mr. Breckinridge's doubt.
Lincoln's election did more than divide the Union. It consolidated the South. After the result was known, politics turned into a game of partners. The Young Bell Ringers maintained their organization for a while. Their organization, in changing the current of its partisanship, soon amalgamated with their Democratic rivals. All the young voters of 1860 melted into one party. It was the party of the South; a party with one cry and one purpose. It gave out an insistent note, swelling from day to day into larger volume—the cry for an independent Confederacy. Over all these—whether Young Bell Ringers or Breckinridge and Lane men, or Douglas and Johnson clubs-hovered a glorified radiance from the Confederacy that was to be!
I leave here the workers in the political campaign of 1860. In May that campaign had divided upon party interests. In January it was to unite in one controlling, dominating interest of State and section.
Union of marching clubs-governor Moore's proclamation election Returns Poverty in war material question of method of secession the time for action has come-oratory, drill and holiday Festivities.
A marked change was observed among the more conservative men when Mr. Lincoln's election be-. came certain. The divisions of politics were forgotten in the common peril. In their clubs the elders spoke gravely of the change and of the events which had produced it. In theirs, the young men found a raison d'etre for shouting with more insistence for the Southern Confederacy.
The club rooms of the canvass just closed became practically the nurseries of volunteers. The muster-roll of each club, originally subscribed in the jealousies of parties, was readily signed once again for a more martial brotherhood. Club headquarters, large enough for transient occupation for street parades, sometimes proved too cramped for the drill of members inspired by the beat of drum and the voice of command. In the new club were those who had marched in the Breckinridge ranks, and those who had kept step to the Union and the Constitution in the Bell and Everett processions. The Young Bell Ringers—disgusted at the defeat of their respectable Candidate—soon came to join heart and hand with their old-time rivals. With the Bell Ringers, rivalry in a peace camp was counted to be a small matter indeed compared with unity in a campaign which might prove to be close kin with the signs of war.
The patriotic citizens were, as a rule, known to be in favor of concurrent action with other Southern States on the general question of secession. It was understood that Governor Moore himself advocated this course. Such an understanding strengthened the hands of conservative citizens who believed, with him, that union of action among the seceding States would go far to secure, through co-operation, the full success of the movement. Gov. T. O. Moore, as one of the most important factors of 1860-61, merits a good word. He proved a safe and careful pilot of the State through the troubled waters of secession. During his term, he was never quite out of sight of his people; nor was he ever too far off to hearken to their appeals.
Louisiana's response, through her executive, to the vote of her citizens, November 6th-7th, was uncompromising. Governor Moore's proclamation convening the general assembly was the first authentic protest of the State to Mr. Lincoln's election; the first voice of the civil war spoken within her borders; the first beat of her war drum; the first blare of her trumpet, sounding its defiance with no uncertain note. As a material paper—material both from position of the writer and the gravity of the situation—the proclamation gains a place here.
Executive Office, Baton Rouge.
Whereas, the Constitution of the State of Louisiana authorizes the Executive to convene the General Assembly thereof on extraordinary occasions; and Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln to the office of President of the United States, by a sectional and aggressive antislavery party, whose hostility to the people and the institutions of the South has been evinced by repeated and long continued violations of Constitutional obligations and fraternal amity—now consummated by the last insult and outrage perpetrated at and through the ballot-box, does in my opinion, as also that of a large number of citizens of all parties and pursuits throughout the State, furnish an occasion such as was contemplated by the Constitution; and
Whereas, some of our sister States, aggressive like ours, are preparing measures for the future security and for the safety of their institutions and their people, and both patriotism and self preservation require us to deliberate upon our own course of action;
Now, therefore, I, Thomas Overton Moore, governor of the State of Louisiana, do hereby convene the Legislature of the State in extra and special session, and do appoint Monday, the 10th day of December next, at 12 o'clock m., the day and hour for the meeting of both houses of the Legislature at the Capitol in Baton Rouge.
In testimony whereof, I have herewith set my hand and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed at the city of Baton Rouge, the seat of government of the State, on the 19th day of November, A. D. 1860, and of the independence of the United States of America the eighty-fifth.
By the Governor, T. O. Moore. J. Hamilton hardy, Secretary of State.
The legislature met at Baton Rouge December 10th. Congress had preceded its assembling—having already met December 3, 1860. It was another time in which precedents were missing. Never before, since its admission as a State, had Louisiana found its legislature in discord as to principle and fact with the Congress of the United States.
The governor's message was on the lines of his proclamation calling that body in special session. Upon the subject of a convention to decide upon secession he had already said: If I am not mistaken in public opinion a convention will decide that Louisiana will not submit to the presidency of Mr. Lincoln. In his message, Governor Moore made haste to recommend provision for the election of members of the convention as soon as may be passed with due regard to time, to whom shall be communicated the responsibility of determining that position and shaping that policy, so far as affects the relations of Louisiana to the Federal government.
Before the legislature met there had come, filtering through, the totals of the Louisiana election. A mere mention suffices here. Breckinridge and Lane had received 22,681 votes; Bell and Everett 20,204; Douglas and Johnson 7,625; Lincoln and Hamlin were voteless. Like Gallio, the supporters of the different candidates now cared for none of these things. The Lincoln election had wiped out, as by an all-spreading sponge, any solicitude for the votes in the various States of the South.
With the meeting of the legislature the adjutantgen-eral of the State submitted his report. He looked at the matter gloomily, holding that the sum absolutely needed to organize and arm the militia of the State will reach $1,000,000. Accompanying this discouraging report of the adjutant-general came others from the generals of division of the city of New Orleans. Suppose we transport ourselves, for an instant, back to December, 1860, and judge for ourselves what were the materials possessed by the First brigade of Louisiana as a preparation for war, then so imminent. The list is valuable, as compared with the reports of a military army later on; the latter became in time so much weightier in metal.
State.Company.Total. Muskets belonging to260101361 Rifles belonging to138138 Sabers belonging to7575 6-pr. brass guns belonging to246 Knapsacks belonging to7575 Powder, lbs., belonging to300300 Round shot belonging to149149 Grape and canister belonging to
From the adjutant-general's office came another report, exhibiting the actual condition of Louisiana in regard to arms and ammunition: Cavalry pistols 6,000, sabers 3,000, muskets for cavalry 3,000, artillery 500, muskets and rifles 15,000, guns 48, ammunition to amount of $35,000. Combined, these reports make an official confession of a State's weakness.
The convention, which was to decide whether Louisiana would go out of the Union or remain in it, was to meet in Baton Rouge on January 23, 1861. Secession was a burning question before it became the absorbing topic. Among those who addressed the senate, of which he was a distinguished member, was Hon. Randell Hunt. His text was the convention soon to meet, on which he spoke in able warning against precipitate action. After Mr. Hunt's address the senate, with the house of representatives, adjourned on December 12th sine die. The two houses had done the work for which the crisis needed them. Before the adjournment they had passed the convention bill, without amendment, appropriating for the purpose $500,000.
With the passage of the bill began the struggle for delegates. The city vote was clearly in favor of immediate secession. United action with other Southern States, however, had a large following among the more prominent citizens. A paper headed The Platform of the Friends of United Southern Action, was numerously signed by representative citizens who loved Louisiana but dreaded discordant action. The executive committee of the Friends comprised, among others, the names of such men as E. Salomon, T. W. Collens, B. F. Jonas, A. Sambola, Thos. E. Adams, John Laidlaw, Riviere Gardere and Adolphe Mazureau. Among the Friends most respected in the city was Mr. Samuel Sumner, who for his courage in expressing his convictions was afterward sent to prison by General Butler. Opposed to these were the young men, whose voice clamored for the secession of Louisiana so soon as it could be legally effected. These youths held the reins with a firm, almost insolent grip in their confident hands. They left the trained and wary charioteers of the cause trailing far in the wake.
While this struggle was going on, some of the artillerists of the city woke up on St. Barbe's day. They resolved to do special honor to his festival. The Orleans battalion of artillery attended high mass at the Cathedral; marched afterward through the streets and sat down, as a finish, to the anniversary dinner. Major Theard, commanding the battalion, said amid hurrahs and clinking of glasses: Gentlemen, the time for talking has passed; the time for action has come. Let one word be sufficient. The Orleans artillery is ready. This was the spirit of the militia of 1860—a spirit which, since November 6th, had become changed into resolve touched with gaiete de coeur. With this gayety they had read that in fifteen Southern States the entire Lincoln ticket had received only 27,175 votes. Laughingly, they had noted that a Republican vote had been found in some numbers in five border States; while, with faces growing stern, they had made sure that not one abolition vote had soiled the ballot-boxes of Louisiana.
Thus cheerily and with strengthened resolve did the preparations of the State militia go on. It was no passing enthusiasm for the drill. It was less an idle caprice for a kepi and brass buttons. It was a steadfast purpose, showing itself in a systematic organization of independent companies and battalions. To the progress of this work the news of December 21st, which bore with it the secession of South Carolina, proved neither an impetus nor a check. No words were quite so commonly heard on the streets as drilling, organizing, election of officers, the convention, secession!
Apropos, on the score of separate action, some of the parishes were at odds. Among others, the parishes of Claiborne, St. Helena and Jackson declared in favor of united Southern action. On the other hand, Plaquemine pronounced in favor of separate secession. It looked as though, on the score of State action, Louisiana had, by its preliminary announcement, decided against going out alone.
Meanwhile the drill and organization of commands went on with Southern ardor. In the First district—beside the Orleans Cadets and the Louisiana Guards, our old campaign friends of the Breckinridge and Lane club, under a war name—a new corps had been formed under the name of the First regiment of light infantry. Ten days before the first company had completed its organization, under Capt. J. A. Jacquess, the second company was forming. In a short time the entire battalion was on the street with full ranks. With suddenness which amazed all beholders New Orleans had turned into a garrison town.
In the Second district appeared the Orleans Guards,
The Orleans Guards may boast that, among its privates in 1861, one was G. T. Beauregard.
organized by the old members of the company bearing that name, once famous among that militia of which New Orleans has always been deservedly proud. With this new call upon the name, with the hope of active service in the near future, the lists were rapidly filled. Three companies were ready together. The battalion was composed, as always, of the élite of the old Creole population, thus officered:
First company, Capt. O. Labatut.
Second company, Capt. Chas. Roman.
Third company, Capt. Gustav Cruzat.
Fourth company, still organizing.
In the Fourth district two companies had been formed —still without officers—Numa Augustin; battalion major.
A future, lost in clouds, cannot abate the composure of men entirely firm. Christmas came, and with it that good humor which belongs to the season. Every one, whether at home or on the street, seemed to put a jovial face on the ugly mask of doubt.
With the beginning of 1861 those citizens in favor of united Southern action seemed suddenly to have all the noise to themselves. A mass meeting, called by them for January 2d, was addressed by a great orator of national fame, United States Senator Pierre Soule. Irad Ferry Fire Co., No. 12, hastened to hold among its members a special meeting at their hall in the same cause. Beside these, nightly meetings—the surest makers of clamor—met for co-operation at the corner of
and Natchez alley. Day work was there, too, less for enthusiasm than labor. In all this flood of oratory, the opposition organized companies. The tramp, tramp of the marching men answered the speakers at every point that the State was marching with them. About this time an incident occurred which shows chivalry. The steamer Henry Lewis, on her trip to Mobile, delivering New Orleans papers to the United States troops in Fort Morgan, saluted on leaving the fort. So might a chevalier of Fontenoy have, with his sword, saluted his adversary about to die.
No casual visitor from a Northern State could have supposed for an instant that the pros and cons of a vital question were agitating the city. On one side, full meetings; on the other, the calling of roster-rolls. The city, between its orators thundering hasty action and its youngsters wearing the kepi, had reached that kind of decision which makes a man's nerves of steel. Already, before the selection of delegates for the convention, the majority had settled upon secession with immediate attached to it.
Between whiles New Orleans is not without varied entertainment of the best to be had. Young Adelina Patti, with a throat full of unmatchable notes, is singing at the French Opera on
. Prof. Von La Hache is bringing out at Odd Fellows hall, with full choir of male and female voices, Mozart's Twelfth Mass. Carrollton, near by, is laughing over Dan Rice, greatest of Yankee clowns. Prof. Vegas, still pleasantly remembered among middle-aged people, then juniors, is issuing in deference to the anxieties of the times invitation cards for a Children's Plain Dress Party. These children's mothers are dressing as splendidly as ever; their fathers affect races, drive crack horses, and drink champagne. The city is far from dull, and strange to add, within its courts a remarkably small percentage of criminal arrests. Merchants and tradesmen, too old to stumble out with the springy youths, have philosophically made up their minds to attend to their business and make the best of it. Real estate owners are not frightened, nor are they disposed to sacrifice their choice lots. Owners of slaves, not yet a hazardous kind of property, are without fears. With the negroes selling at advanced prices, and with Col. J. B. Walton, city auctioneer, crying improved and vacant real estate at a sale of $165,937—with the exception of last season a better sum for property than for many years past—business men generally show no misgivings. Everywhere the joyous spirit of the Joyous City is making itself felt. Most alert through all these careless days is the war spirit —indifferent to coming tragedy. The two brigades under Generals Tracy and Palfrey are daily increasing their number. School for officers is actively attended; battalion drill has its fixed days. The Louisiana Legion —with a past behind it—has returned to its old system of Sunday marches in order to make sure a full attendance. Among the new companies was one whose numbers were drawn from the greenroom. This company of twenty-four privates called itself the Varieties Volunteers. Actors of repute were the officers—John E. Owens, comedian of renown, being the captain, and George Jordan, handsomest of walking men, first-lieutenant. Nor shall Labor hold back for the convention. The Screwmen's benevolent association—sturdy workers along the levee, still populous with boats bringing cotton, rice and sugar—enjoys its annual parade.
Business and confidence touch elbows. The 8th of January, representing that battle which has so strongly inspired the spirit of the soldier of Louisiana, is to be celebrated with a muster of the city's militia. Every historic city, like Saragossa, Carthagena, Moscow, whose sons have from their native soil beaten back the invader, has a military day—a day wholly and gloriously its own. New Orleans is happy in her day. The world honors it It is hers by a double right: that of the invader's defeat and of her defender's valor. The day and the memories connected with it have given her sons a peculiar quality of courage, combining with the inspiration of their French lineage that courage, steady like Plymouth Rock, of their American ancestors. That day—that one day of Chalmette—fixed for all time the special dash of the Louisiana troops, which was to be so signally displayed in those heroic armies which sustained unstained until the end the honor of the Confederate States.
Stirring events of the New year occupation of the Baton Rouge arsenal forts Jackson, St. Philip and Pike a State army Created the convention Meets ordinance of secession the Pelican flag Washington's birthday.
Before the convention met, promise came of sterner work. On the afternoon of January 9th Brig.-Gen. E. L. Tracy, commanding the First brigade, called his captains together. At 8 p. m. Captains Walton, Dreux, and Meilleur, answering to the call, assembled their troops fully equipped. The men were excited; what was it? The news was soon everybody's. The Federal posts in Louisiana were to be captured. Of these, there were the arsenal at Baton Rouge; the forts below the city; Fort Pike at the Rigolets. Here was the first whisper of war. The convention, with secession in its mind, remained yet in the background. The young soldiers were exhilarated. All through the commands ran a joy to be about something.
Between ten and twelve o'clock the following companies under the command of Colonel Walton, of the Washington artillery, marched on board the steamer Natchez, already chartered for the expedition by Maj.-Gen. J. L. Lewis. This force, intended for Baton Rouge, was composed of the following commands: The Crescent Rifles, Lieut. N. A. Metcalf, 49 men; Washington Artillery, Lieut.-Col. Voorhees, 56 men; Second company Chasseurs-a-pied, Maj. Bernard Avegno, 36 men; Orleans Cadets, Capt. Chas. D. Dreux, 39 men; Louisiana Guards, Capt. S. M. Todd, 41 men, Lieutenant Girardey commanding; Sarsfield Guards, Captain O'Hara, 16 men; Louisiana Grays, Capt W. C. Deane, 13 men. Total, 250.
January 10th, the following companies, joking at their confined limits, left on board the towboat Yantic, the forts below the city being the objective point: Orleans battalion artillery (two companies), Captains Hebrard and Gomez, 57 men; First company Chasseurs-a-pied, Captain St. Paul, 44 men; Chasseurs d'orleans, Captain Hendolve, 15 men; the Jaegers (German), Captain Peter, 23 men; Lafayette Guards, 27 men. Total, 166; Maj. Paul E. Theard, Battalion d'artillerie, commanding.
A third expedition, comprising members of that old and picturesque organization, the Continental Guards, Lieutenant Merriam commanding, stepped on board the Mobile mail boat, to stop short at Fort Pike at the Rigolets. No defense was offered against these triple movements. Each was backed by ample force. At each call, the arsenal at Baton Rouge, Forts Jackson, St. Philip and Pike surrendered in turn to the State troops without a blow.
Transfer of relieving troops was soon called into use The Continental Guards—gentlemen associated with many pleasant functions, present and past—grown weary of Fort Pike's endless waste of sedge and wave, were soon relieved by Company C, First regiment Louisiana regulars, Capt. H. A. Church. The forts below the city, their assailants also growing tired of the mud and reeds of the Mississippi, appealed to the regulars. The first company of the First regiment of infantry, Capt. Chas. N. Bradford, the newest heroes at Baton Rouge, returned to the city, on reaching which the command was armed with minie rifles. Service, necessary but tedious, awaited the company. Over 100 picked men, they were sent to relieve the troops at the forts below the city.
The events of January 9th and 10th were necessary as proof of sovereignty, but only important as such. They are drawn here en silhouette. Beyond doubt the movements themselves quickened to patriotic heat the military spirit already awakened in the city and State. Apropos of the equipment of the various forts in Louisiana, Colonel Totten's last report to Congress, for 1860, emphasized more their deficiencies than their equipment: Fort St. Philip, below the city, 600 men, 124 guns; Fort Jackson, 600 men, 150 guns; Fort Pike, Rigolets, 300 men, 49 guns; Fort McComb, Chef Menteur, 300 men, 49 guns; Fort Livingston, Barataria bay, 300 men, 52 guns; totals, 2,000 men and 424 guns.
With the departure of so many home companies a movement began for home defense. With the exception of the Esplanade Guards, native residents of
who organized themselves as special patrolmen, it was the foreign-born who met, according to their national proclivities, for the protection of their homes. The Germans formed a corps of riflemen; the British a company of infantry; the French started a zouave battalion; the Italians, already 270 strong, organized a Garibaldi brigade, with speedy prospects of full ranks. The commands were to prove useful on more than one occasion. The fact that they existed and were immediately available was a constant menace to disorder. A year later they were to hold in check the mob of a city which dreaded riots more than she did the foe.
The drummers were tightening up their drums for salute. The governor had appointed as an aide-de-camp Col. Braxton Bragg, a name for battle. The board of military commissioners, appointed by the last special session of the legislature, was busy providing for a small army, both regular and volunteer. It had authorized the enrollment of 500 regular troops for four months, with pay and rations equal to those in the United States army. It had also struck out of its regulations the clause requiring volunteers to serve six months before procuring arms and equipment. The latter was an improvement on old peace legislation.
The convention, instructed by a popular vote of 4,258 for separate State action against 3,978 for united Southern action, presented an according majority of 280. The vote had been light on both sides; but the feeling for immediate secession was not to be mistaken.
With ex-Governor Alexander Mouton president, the convention met in the hall of representatives, Baton Rouge, January 23, 1861. Events thronged. The next day, the 24th, Hon. John Perkins, Jr., of Madison, on behalf of the committee of fifteen of which he was the chairman, reported to the convention the following ordinance. It was the solitary voice which Louisiana, as the mother of her children, addressed to them from her crisis of 861.
To dissolve the union between the State of Louisiana and other States united with her under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States:
We, the people of the State of Louisiana, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the Ordinance passed by us in Convention on 22d of November, A. D. 1811, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America and the amendments of said Constitution were adopted, and all laws and ordinances by which the State of Louisiana became a member of the Federal union, be, and the same are hereby, repealed and abrogated; and that the Union now subsisting between Louisiana and other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.
We do further declare and ordain, that the State of Louisiana hereby resumes all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the government of the United States of America; that her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said government; and that she is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which appertain to an Independent State.
We do further declare and ordain, that all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States or any act of Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.
The following resolution was also reported, supplementary to the ordinance. It was at once a tribute to the great river which swept a free wave past the hall in which the convention acted, and a warning to unfriendly States bordering thereon: Resolved, That we, the people of the State of Louisiana, recognize the right of the free navigation of the Mississippi river and its tributaries by all friendly States bordering thereon.
The secession measure was not to pass unchallenged. A certain result does not insure an unquestioned passage. Already, on January 15th, Senators Slidell and Benjamin and Representatives Landrum and Davidson, favoring immediate secession, had left for Washington. Twenty-five hundred copies of the ordinance bill were ordered to be printed. Then the opposition to immediate secession gave voice. Changing the countersign without mercy, Rozier of Orleans and Fuqua of East Feliciana could not have been more courteous or freer from prejudice. Against immediate secession the opposition moved for delay—a weak device. Mr. Rozier, true son of Louisiana through all of his deep love for the Union, offered an ordinance as a substitute for that reported by the committee of fifteen. No difference of opinion, he argued, existed as to the great question before the convention—only one as to the mode and means of redress. We, the people of the State, should be the language addressed to the North. He moved, as a safe remedy, that a convention be held at Nashville, Tenn., on February 25th, to take into consideration the relations the slaveholding States are to occupy hereafter toward the general government. Mr. Fuqua, of East Feliciana, followed with another substitute providing for concert of action. His plan was also for delay, ending in a general convention to be held at Montgomery, Ala., in co-operation with other Southern States.
After Rozier and Fuqua had ceased, the voice of a profound jurist was heard. This was a voice never listened to without respect—the voice of Christian Roselius, a shining member of that bar of New Orleans so full of great names. Mr. Roselius declared frankly that, though opposed to precipitate action, he should, if the ordinance of secession be passed, attach his destiny to it, and sustain his State with his life, his honor and his property—words fit to place, as coming from a foreigner by birth, upon his tomb in Louisiana!
On the 26th of January the convention proceeded to action. No time was lost. A vast majority stood back of the committee of fifteen. The ordinance of secession was passed by a decisive vote of I 13 ayes to 17 nays. The Rozier substitute was rejected by 24 ayes to 106 nays; the Fuqua substitute by 47 ayes to 68 nays. The ceremonies attending the signing of the ordinance were simple. The president signed first; the others, having been provided each with a gold pen to inscribe his name, followed. The vote had no sooner been announced than President Mouton declared the connection of Louisiana with the United States dissolved, and the Federal authority therein null and void.
Before adjourning to meet on January 29th, in Lyceum hall, New Orleans, John Perkins, Jr., of the committee on Confederation, had reported an ordinance for the appointment of a delegation to a convention to form a Southern Confederacy, to be held at Montgomery, February 4, 1861. This ordinance was carried unanimously, with the following delegation: Perkins of Madison; Declouet of St. Martin; Sparrow of Carroll; Marshall of De Soto. This was the signal for the unfurling of a beautiful Pelican flag above the president's stand, amid intense enthusiasm. After this, Rev. D. Linfield offered in English a fervent prayer for a blessing on the work of the convention. Father Darius Hubert, the good Samaritan of the armies of the Confederacy, followed with a prayer in French. Thus the two languages of the native population were heard pleading for that convention which had answered sectionalism with secession.
The announcement of the passage of the ordinance of secession was received in New Orleans by the withdrawal of the Federal officers. Hon. Theodore H. McCaleb resigned his commission as judge of the eastern district of the State; R. M. Lusher that of United States commissioner.
Baton Rouge had already saluted a new flag of Louisiana, with fifteen stars in its field. This flag had floated over the State house. New Orleans, with men and powder enough to do it, was later to honor it. It was not until February 13th that, pursuant to orders issued by Major-General Lewis, commanding First division, the militia assembled in force on
for the purpose of saluting Louisiana's flag; present: the Third brigade, General Tracy; battalion of Washington artillery, Major Walton; Louisiana Guards; Montgomery Guards; Sarsfield Guards; Louisiana Legion, General Palfrey, represented by first and second companies of Louisiana Foot Rifles.
The occasion was made an outlet for enthusiasm. The convention left the Lyceum hall to fraternize with the troops. Its members, preceded by its president, Hon. Alexander Mouton, walking arm in arm with Lieutenant-Governor Hyams, marched into the square and formed in line to the left of the commands. Meanwhile Mayor Monroe and Colonels Labuzan and De Choiseul had ascended to the top of the city hall. Once there, they took their stand at the foot of the flag-staff. At the first stroke of eleven o'clock, given from the belfry of the First Presbyterian church near by, a report was heard. It was the first gun of the salutation, followed by twenty others. With the last gun the Pelican flag ascended, eagerly to be unfurled to the Southern breeze. Major Walton invited three cheers, which the troops gave in ringing measure—bravuras answered by the multitudes crowded in the street, thronging every balcony and looking out from every window around the square.
Honor had been shown for the standard. Now, honor was to be shown to the memory of Washington. It had been decided, in this year of the secession of the State, to prove that in leaving the Union Louisiana had not turned her queenly back upon its greatest man. Secession had solidified into fact. By way of contrast, it demanded the celebration of a national holiday. The celebration was to be on February 22, 1861, which the authorities had resolved to make by day as imposing in numbers as, in the details, it should suggest war. Of the muster of the militia there is space only to say that the military display was the largest that had been seen in New Orleans since the day Andrew Jackson, victor, rode in from Chalmette. The parade brought ease of mind to the average citizen and convinced the line of marchers of their own certainty of resistance to oppression. The 22d was made an occasion for the presentation of flags. Hon. Chas. M. Conrad, ex-United States secretary of war, gave, in the name of the ladies, a flag to the Crescent Rifles. Hon. J. P. Benjamin, of the silver tongue, left his place in the Senate to become the sponsor of other ladies for a magnificent flag to the Washington Artillery.
As the night fell the illumination—made a special feature by merchants and citizens alike—shot into the air golden rays. Every variety of transparency, every ingenuity of device, every trick of radiance was caught at to emphasize the main thought. Washington standing —seated—Washington in uniform—in perruque and court dress-Washington everywhere honored, with strong lights enhancing the majesty of his figure.
A band of musicians—good, since they were the orchestra of the French Opera on
—preceded a group of men, young when the century had fourteen years to its credit. On the banners of this group were inscribed the words, Veterans of 1814-15.
The veterans came before the battalion of Orleans Guards, who bore their 417 muskets as if in protection of those old men, who marched with a soldierly swing in vogue forty-five years before. At their head appeared three men on whom the crowd looked with reverence. The people knew by intuition that the three were Maunsel White, the only surviving captain of that guard so famous in the past, and on either hand of Maunsel White Anthony Fernandez and M. M. Barnett, Sr., two of the oldest fighters of 1814-15, still hale and hearty. In front of the veterans could be noted their flag which Chalmette saw—or rather what remained of it—a bare pole with stripes of tattered silk.
The white veterans were followed by their brethrenin-arms, the colored veterans of Chalmette. Jordan Noble, once drummer-boy at Chalmette—in 1861 old Jordan for the city and State—is among them. Upon these last the spectators gaze in that silence which, accorded to the worthy, is respect. They raise their hats as the latter pass.
The parade of the troops on Washington's birthday was a triumph in the appearance and in the number of the men. The Picayune of the 23d placed the number at 8,000, observing in connection with the day: May the custom, now revived, of paying honor to the birthday of Washington, be one of everlasting observance.
Louisiana Answers Sumter troops sent to the front Louisianians at Pensacola the Louisiana battalion death of Colonel Dreux life at the Confederate capital.
Fort Sumter surrendered on April 13, 1861. Quick as the report that follows a flash was heard New Orleans' response. On the 14th the news was received in the city. On the 15th the Crescent Rifles, Capt. S. W. Fisk, left for Pensacola, Fla., followed by the Louisiana Guards, Capt. S. M. Todd. On the 16th the Louisiana Guards, with the Shreveport Grays, the Grivot Grays and the Terrebonne Rifles, formed a battalion under the command of Lieut.-Col. Chas. D. Dreux. This officer was the first Louisianian of note to fill a soldier's grave.
Louisiana lost no time in meeting the call of the Confederate government. From the departure of these troops, in April, New Orleans was kept in a quiver of excitement. Trains were crowded with uniformed men. Whether out-going volunteers or regulars, the new soldiers left full of eagerness for the inevitable fray. At the first, whole battalions and regiments went rolling away. As the war began to rage outside, with news of battles from Virginia and Kentucky, fresh recruits from city and country departed to stop gaps in the ranks from death by wounds or from disease. Louisiana's quota was to be filled on all the fields where her men were already doing duty for their State's greater honor,
The Louisiana Guard battalion proceeded to Pensacola. Besides having a fortification of unusual strength, Pensacola possessed an excellent harbor for vessels of war. The new government was still without a navy. Having captured the town, it had decided not to let it leave its hands for lack of efficient defense. When reaching the port, the Louisianians, seeing the stars and stripes floating defiantly in mid-harbor, had eagerly hoped to be the advance guard to tempt a salutation of the hostile guns. In this, fate worked center. They remained until the post was reinforced by other troops; doing little but casting longing eyes to that wave-like line of battle which eluded them at Fort Pickens. Fighting was to be done later on in the form of fierce cannonading between Fort Pickens in the harbor and Confederate Barrancas on shore, in which fighting the pioneers from Louisiana were to have no share.
At Pensacola was organized the First Louisiana infantry, under Col. A. H. Gladden, soon promoted brigadier-general, and succeeded in regimental command by Col. D. W. Adams Three companies of Louisiana troops participated in the affair on Santa Rosa island, and during the bombardment of Fort McRee and Barrancas the Louisiana contingent won honors. Lieutenant Manston, of Louisiana, commanded the gunboat Nelms, of the little navy. Three companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Jaquess served as many batteries throughout the action most efficiently and gallantly, said General Bragg. These batteries were commanded by Capt. J. T. Wheat, Capt. S. S. Batchelor, and Lieut. G. W. Mader.
Even before the first troops had left New Orleans, two telegrams had flashed between the war secretary at Montgomery and G. T. Beauregard, illustrious type of the Creole, at Charleston. The telegram we give merely because it is a question of who, in the civil war, was first counted to have won his spurs. Montgomery, April 13, 1861. General Beauregard:
Accept my congratulations. You have won your spurs. How many guns can you spare for Pensacola?
L. P. Walker.
To which General Beauregard, now watching the fleet instead of Fort Sumter, responded: Charleston, April 14, 1861. Hon. L. P. Walker:
Fleet still outside. Can spare no guns yet, but hope to do so soon.
G. T. Beauregard.
This correspondence makes it certain that the first spurs had been conceded to a Louisianian.
The Louisiana battalion next saw service in Virginia It was in the summer of 1861 that the command became a part of that wonderful campaign so long conducted with inadequate forces by Gen. John B. Magruder. High praise is due to this campaign, by which that eccentric officer, through marvelous marches up and down, mystified the enemy for nearly a year and kept the peninsula's ways free until mighty armies fought for mastery at Williamsburg. The engagement at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, seemed to open a prospect of fight. If a fiasco of Butler, it was also a disillusion of the battalion. Magruder coldly reports that the Louisiana regiment arrived after the battle was over, having made a most extraordinary march.
It was not quite a month later when the battalion was engaged at Young's Mills, Va. While an affair of no importance in itself, it was disastrous in the loss of one whom Louisiana had lately learned to value. Capt. S. W. Fisk, of the Crescent Rifles, in his report, addressed to Maj. N. M. Rightor, of the Louisiana battalion, thus speaks of the skirmish:
Young's Mills, Va., July 5, 1861.
Sir: A detachment of men, consisting of 100 infantry, one howitzer and about 15 or 20 cavalry, left last night, about midnight, under the command of LieutenantCol-onel Dreux We advanced in the direction of Newport News, and took post in the woods. * * * We were ordered to lie in ambush. The videttes soon after came in and announced the approach of a body of cavalry, 100 strong. Colonel Dreux's orders were that his men should closely conceal their persons and weapons and permit the enemy to cross the road on our left and somewhat beyond the left of our line, and that no one should fire before he himself should give the order. * * * In a few moments, after sending out the scouts, Colonel Dreux said, they are coming —addressing me. Notwithstanding Colonel Dreux's positive order not to fire, one or two shots having been exchanged between the scouts and the enemy several men on the left began also to fire. Very soon after I was informed that Colonel Dreux was wounded. This was about an hour after daybreak. * * *
I regret deeply to report the death of our gallant and able commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Dreux, and of Private Stephen Hackett, of the Shreveport Grays. * * *
S. W. Fisk, Captain, commanding Crescent Rifles.
Charles D. Dreux, so early killed in the war, was mourned in the city which knew him best as a loss both as a citizen and soldier. In New Orleans and Shreveport, Confederate crape was first displayed in Louisiana.
The battalion had enlisted for a year. The enlistment was made at the time when Hon. W. H. Seward, of New York, was proclaiming that the war would not last three months. The command had received from General Magruder, in consideration of their being the pioneer volunteers from their State, an assurance that at the expiration of the time of enlistment the battalion would be permitted, as its members should prefer, either to re-enlist or to return to New Orleans. In April, 1862, the Confederate Congress had already legislated the conscript law. At the crossing of the ways the battalion was divided in mind. A few of them left. The vast majority, with their faces looking to the misty front, enlisted for the war. Their martial character, so triumphantly displayed under all the monotony of a tedious and foot-weary service, went with them from Yorktown to the fields to be made memorable by the Louisiana contingent in the armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee. The whole military land was before them where to choose, and wherever he chose to plant himself, the reports of his superior officer showed that each man of the Louisiana battalion did his duty in camp and on the field.
Most of the Louisiana regiments were ordered direct from New Orleans to Richmond. There, the voice of a great State's appeal was heard; not uttered plaintively, but with a right, well understood throughout the South, and responded to with men and guns and lives. Virginia, like a threatened queen, stretched forth her royal hand to her defenders, as Maria Theresa stretched hers to her devoted Magyars.
The war spirit in the historic city by the James was intense. With hostile armies threatening Richmond, it watched fearlessly the path between them and itself. This insured for the soldiers of the entire Confederacy a pledge of brotherly esteem. Not alone was the welcome one from the municipality. The citizens, and with the citizens their wives and daughters, rose to give the strangers a greeting more grateful, because less formal, than the city's official welcome. Camping at the fair ground, the Louisianians were at once made to feel that they were at home. Extended by the authorities, it was a reception such as the government accords to the soldiers who defend it. Offered by the ladies of Richmond, it became such as sisters might give to brothers who return home after many years. Something, indeed, might have been due to the special interest with which, before the war and since, North and South have wrapped Louisiana and the Creoles with a mantle of romance. Visits to the Louisiana camps grew into a habit all days when the sun shone. The fair Virginians made no distinction between the showy uniforms of the lately-arrived Washington artillery and the ragged coats of Magruder's weary trampers. No matter—in a few months battle was to make them all of one color. The tents, from being resting places from drill, were made pleasant with the dulcet tones of the girls of Virginia who came to bring sunshine into that shady place. For our soldiers, this welcome, so charmingly given, seemed to make Richmond in 1861– 65, from a city clad in armor—imperiously, by reason of her stress, demanding lives—turn into a Capua, in festive robes, claiming only social pleasures.
Some of the Louisiana regiments found their way from Richmond and its delights to the Peninsula. There Magruder and his foot-cavalry still kept the wretched roads free from the tread of foemen. Among the number may be named the Tenth Louisiana volunteers which, in July, 1861, camped under Lee's Mills, on Warwick river. This regiment's first commander was Col. Mandeville Marigny, who was a Creole by birth, the son of a man who had at New Orleans placed under obligations a fugitive prince, afterward king of the French. Marigny was, by the gratitude of the same monarch, educated at St. Cyr, serving afterward in the French army. It was regretted in the Tenth that this accomplished officer should have remained but a few months with the regiment. The Confederate government had recognized, however, his high military fitness, and assigned him South to organize a force of cavalry among the planters of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Marigny was succeeded in the command by Eugene Waggaman, major of the Tenth. Though bred a planter, Waggaman must have been born a soldier. He survived, with great reputation as a fighter, to lead the Tenth at Appomattox. Careless of danger, he oddly carried before his men, whether on the march or charging in a forlorn hope, a cane instead of a sword. The Tenth used to laugh at Waggaman's conceit, and yet they followed Waggaman's cane into some of the deadliest fights in the war.
A bruit of peril to the city preparation of defenses Farragut at the Passes the bombardment of the forts passage of the Federal fleet mutiny and capitulation fate of the ram Louisiana the fleet at the city.
On October 7, 1861, Mansfield Lovell, relieving Maj.-Gen. D. E. Twiggs, and commissioned as major-general, was assigned to command of Department No. 1, which included the defenses of New Orleans and the Mississippi river. As early as December, 186, word reached New Orleans that a Federal force had taken possession of Ship Island, Mississippi sound. In the beginning of April, 1862, another bruit came from Washington, that a powerful naval expedition against Louisiana had already sailed for the river. New Orleans heard these rumors calmly. All was alarming; and nobody was alarmed. Cradled in war, that city had stood un. daunted while the British at Chalmette were filling her suburbs with near thunder. With such a baptism of fire as hers she was not easily moved by war a hundred miles away. An effective army of her sons had left her when Beauregard's voice called loudly from Corinth. Major-General Lovell had found, after filling Beauregard's appeal for volunteers, that he was left for the protection of the city, if attacked, with less than 3,000 ninety-days militia, of whom 1,200 alone had muskets. He had already established two lines of defense: one, an exterior line, passing through the forts and earthworks, under the command of Brigadier-General Duncan; the second, an interior line, embracing the city and Algiers, the command of which was assigned to Gen.. M. L. Smith. Anxious to strengthen the forts on the river, he had applied to Beauregard for the ram Manassas, which was sent down the river in time, and took a part in the bombardment of April 24th, to be referred to presently.
In connection with the defense of the forts, a raft of logs and chains—popularly supposed to be invincible—had been placed across the river between Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
Fort Jackson is on the western bank, thirty miles from the mouth of the river. Fort St. Philip is on the eastern bank, a few hundred yards above. These forts were well-constructed permanent works of an old pattern, containing all the available stores both of guns and ammunition.
In the latter part of February the invincible raft was stormed by the invincible Mississippi, which first broke it and finally scattered its logs, a wreck of flotsam on its waters. Through the public spirit of the citizens of New Orleans another raft, consisting of a line of schooners, strongly chained amidships, was anchored by Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins in position between the two forts. A windstorm struck this raft and scattered the schooners.
On March 27th Farragut was crossing the bar. As though in sympathy, the river, swollen and turgid, hurled that day a yellow flood into the forts, causing continual pumping, with careful isolation of the magazines. In the first week of April seven to thirteen sloops of war were constantly at the head of the Passes, or at the Jump, nine miles below the forts. In the river above were Confederate steamers, reconnoitering and spying them out. With these watched, also, four steamers of the river fleet. To a certain extent they had been made shot-proof with cotton bulkheads, and provided with iron prows to act as rams; but vain was the hope that with such auxiliaries the exploits of the Merrimac in Hampton Roads could be duplicated in the lower Mississippi. In command of the Confederate naval forces was Capt. John K. Mitchell.
As mention has been made here of the vessels of our fleet it may be said, once for all—so valueless did they prove to be—that the unwarlike river steamers bore such martial names as the Warrior, Stonewall Jackson, Defiance, and Resolute. These sponsors for success were belied by the facts of their brief and inglorious existence—the Defiance being the only vessel saved out of the whole fleet. Besides these, there were three Confederate rams, two of these with names of States and one of a Confederate victory. More unfortunate than criminal, they have left their fame with us. Two formed the co-operative naval force; the third, more powerful than either, did not even see the enemy. She is remembered as the Confederate States steamer-ram Mississippi. Still on the ways at New Orleans, on April 24th, without guns or men, she was hastily taken up the river to avoid capture by the enemy, where she was burned before she had begun to act. Of the other two—the Manassas and the Louisiana, built for mischief—the Manassas was lying just above Fort Jackson for service. On the opposite bank the Louisiana was hugging the stream just above the water battery. Good record had been looked for from both of them, and the Manassas perished in trying to give it. Ill-starred as she was, her captain, Warley, was neither careless nor remiss. After gallantly attacking the Richmond and pushing a fire-raft upon the Hartford, Farragut's own vessel, she rushed in the darkness of that historic night upon the Federal sloop-of-war Mississippi. She had but one gun, while the Mississippi's guns were many and of the heaviest caliber. One of her broadsides knocked away a smokestack from the Manassas. Thus rendered useless for offense, the ram was riddled and abandoned. The kindly night refused to witness her discomfiture. Shortly after daylight, writes General Duncan, the Manassas was observed drifting down by the forts. She was evidently in a sinking condition. This tells the heroic story of effort and failure, but of right her flag should float about the Passes so long as the Mississippi has memories! Later on it will be seen that the end of the Louisiana was less glorious but more dramatic.
In the command of Fort St. Philip Colonel Higgins was ably assisted by Capt. M. T. Squires, of the Louisiana artillery, on duty in the fleet. In Fort Jackson was Brigadier-General Duncan, commanding coast defenses. Every effort had been made by General Lovell to provide heavy guns for the forts. He had secured three 10-inch guns and three 8-inch columbiads; the rifled 42-pounder and the five 10-inch seacoast mortars recently obtained from Pensacola, together with the two 7-inch guns temporarily borrowed from the naval authorities in New Orleans. Some of these guns had been placed on the old water-battery to the west of and below Fort Jackson. This battery had never been completed. After great exertions cheerfully rendered by officers and men—the garrison working by reliefs night and day—the work of building the platforms and mounting the guns was completed by April 13th. Then a hitch, inseparable from a newly organized government, occurred. No sooner had the two rifled 7-inch navy guns been placed in position, than urgent orders arrived to dismount one of them and send it at once to the city to be placed on the ironclad steamer Louisiana.
Besides these measures for defense, Captain Mullen's company of sharpshooters was stationed on the point of the woods below Fort Jackson. At the quarantine battery was Colonel Szymanski's Chalmette regiment.
To the credit of Szymanski's Chalmette regiment, it may be recorded that, in its brief service of 55 days, the quarantine battery was attacked April 24, 1862. by the Federal fleet. The Chalmettes made a spirited but unsuccessful defense against numbers and trained gunners. Its loss in the engagement was 5 men killed and 26 wounded.
Between the two forts was a force of 1,500 men. Thus protected, manned, gunned, defended, the Confederate colors floated defiantly from April 16th to April 27th.
The enemy's force consisted of twenty-one mortar schooners under Commander David Porter, and a fleet of twenty-six armed vessels, of which eight were powerful sloops-of-war and eighteen steam gunboats. This formidable fleet, under Captain Farragut, the foremost officer of the United States navy, carried more than two hundred guns of heaviest caliber.
On Friday, at 9 a. m., the entire mortar fleet, aided by rifled guns from the gunboats, opened upon Fort Jackson. Our fire speedily disabled one gunboat and one mortar schooner. At 7 p. m. the mortars ceased firing, after an expenditure of 2,996 shells. Early in the fiery hail the quarters in the bastion, as well as the quarters immediately outside of the forts, were in flames. The citadel, burning, endangered the magazines. First failure to drive our fire-barges down on the enemy. The next day the mortars opened at 6 a. m., to continue the battering throughout the day until the night. When darkness came, the terrible rain fell more heavily and more surely on the forts. Great damage was inflicted on our heavy guns. Second failure of the fire-barges to appear.
Day and night the terrible shelling grew heavier and harder to bear with each renewal of the storm, until Thursday, April 24th, on which day before dawn a sinister silence fell for a moment upon the river. At 3:30 a. m. it was broken by a portentous warning coming into the forts from the mortars. Something was going on in the fleet below. Darkness prevented sight, and a silence unbroken save by the swirl of the swollen waters. In the darkness such an exploit as was never before recorded in naval warfare is about to begin. Heretofore, the mortars have been vicious; now they become virulent. They are masking the movements of the fleet which has been advancing quietly under their paralyzing din. A war vessel steams up at full speed—rushes by—is gone! It is Farragut on the Hartford, in a desperate hurry to open the path to the city. Even while hurrying past he delivers broadside after broadside of shot, shell, grape, canister and spherical case. Watchful eyes at the Confederate batteries are open now to note that behind the bold Hartford are still to pass its companions. Thirteen of these follow, each of which in turn rushes by, making no stay, pouring in broadside after broadside.
Some of the fleet must have been injured by the Confederate batteries. Although no record at the time was kept in Confederate report, one of the sloops-of-war, the Varuna, hoping to strike was badly struck in return by Southern gunners. The enemy had the advantage of the night, the smoke and the rush. For the Confederates, the batteries, with many guns disabled, hurled now and then a shot that through the storm found a target. Had there been ready obedience to the orders of the authorities, the fire-barges would have made the river as bright as day. With such assistance the war vessels would have been seen, and being seen would have been halted with shell and shot. The fight on our side showed a double face—one for the bank, another for the river. In both forts a manly defense was made through days and nights of fire. On the water, a pervading inefficiency was suggested in the naval defense, upon which so many hopes had been built only to break like glass. In this general statement—proved by one brilliant exception—I quote General Duncan: To the heroic and gallant manner in which Captain Huger handled and fought the McRae, we can all bear witness. The passage of the fleet was brief in time, as minutes are counted, but long in tension as human hearts beat Between 3:30 a. m. and the daylight at 5:20 it had fulfilled its work for the Union, under a heavy pressure of steam which filled the black night with blacker smoke. Having passed, the vessels anchored below the quarantine, six miles above the forts. Here they remained until 10 a. m., when they steamed slowly up the river. To observers on the levee, their stately motion might have looked like a triumphal procession. In truth, it was one, destined to end only before the great city which was to recognize it, as it had done O'Reilly's fleet nearly ninety-three years before, as a public enemy.
While the bombardment was going on two men, directly connected with New Orleans, were watching it. One of them was her returning commander; the other her coming dictator. One had come down on a steamboat, on official business, and had seen with foreboding the fiery passage; the other, surrounded by transports, from a point about 800 yards from Fort Jackson, had witnessed with joy the fearful transit of broadsides. One, on his steamboat, believing that New Orleans could not, with her interior line of defense, resist the fleet which had so victoriously swept through her exterior line, hastened sadly back to the city to see what more could be done for her. The battle between New Orleans and the fleet, having been fought once at the forts, was already over. None was surer of this than Mansfield Lovell.
Shortly after the fleet had steamed up the river, on the 24th, a gunboat from below, with a flag of truce, appeared with a verbal demand for the surrender of the forts. The demand was made in the name of Commander D. D. Porter, U. S. N. Porter, present on a gunboat, accompanied the verbal demand with a threat to re-open the bombardment in case of refusal. The demand was rejected, and with the rejection the bombardment reopened. It began about mid-day and continued until near sundown, when it ceased altogether. Meanwhile Butler was transferring his troops by way of Sable Island to the rear of the forts, preparing to occupy both sides of the river above the forts.
On April 25th no attack was made by the enemy. The forts still prepared for a successful resistance. On April 26th the forts heard the news that the city had surrendered; also that the Confederate steam ram Mississippi had been burned above the city. About 4 p.m. its wreck in sorrowful testimony drifted by the forts. Vague promise to cheer came that the Louisiana—a formidable ironclad steamer, with a powerful battery—would be placed on the 27th at the bight above Fort Jackson.
Permission had been granted by the enemy to the steamer McRae to proceed, under a flag of truce, with the wounded.
The following is the list of the killed and wounded in each fort: Fort Jackson, 9 killed, 35 wounded; Fort St Philip, killed, 4 wounded; total 11 killed, 39 wounded.
Accepting the offer of Captain Mitchell, commanding the naval forces, the seriously wounded of both forts were sent on the McRae. Receiving these late April 26th, she left the next morning. After her errand the McRae did not return again to the forts. Her last act of mercy was worthy of her courage in the bombardment. On April 27th, about 12 m., a gunboat, under flag of truce, brought a written demand for the surrender of the forts. This formal demand was signed by Commander Porter of the mortar flotilla. The forts, still defiant, again refused to surrender.
About 4 p. m. the French man-of-war, Milan, having asked permission of the forts, steamed up the river to the city. This was an exercise of authority which both forts were then fully able to enforce at need. A little later troops were seen landing at the quarantine, six miles above. The position of the Louisiana remained unchanged.
There were presages enough of coming disaster; but still above the forts floated the Confederate flag, inspiring valor. Unhappily, however, the colors, while inspiring courage, could not confirm loyalty. Over the officers of the forts a small cloud, first visible on the day they had heard the rumor of the city's surrender, filled them with concern. In a ship at sea, or in an army in the face of an enemy, no cloud is so black as mutiny. In an instant, taking advantage of midnight, the cloud darkened the whole sky above the forts. This is not a pleasant incident to interject into a story of Louisiana and her gallant soldiers; yet, for the truth's sake, it must be touched upon. It is more fitting, in every respect, that an official pen should rehearse the incident which blurred the first page of the war in Louisiana. I quote, therefore, first from Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins, commanding Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on the mutiny itself; and second, from General Duncan, giving desertion to the enemy in the city as the closing scene in this ill-conceived and too well-played two-act drama of Disloyalty and Treason.
Perhaps here best may be emphasized a consolation for State pride. No native Louisianian was among the mutineers at the forts. The St. Mary's Cannoneers—all natives—by their steady valor at the guns, by their soldierly bearing against disaffection, by their stern fidelity to their State under temptation and threats, received, as they deserved, the commendation of both Duncan and Higgins. Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins thus reports the mutiny:
Our fort was still strong; our damage had been to some extent repaired; our men had behaved well, and all was hope and confidence with the officers; when suddenly at midnight I was aroused by the report that the garrison had revolted, had seized the guard, and were spiking the guns. Word was sent us through the sergeants of companies that the men would fight no longer. The company officers were immediately dispatched to their commands, but were driven back. Officers were fired upon when they appeared in sight upon the parapet. Signals were exchanged by the mutineers with Fort St. Philip. The mutiny was complete, and a general massacre of the officers and disgraceful surrender of the fort appeared inevitable. By great exertions we succeeded in preventing this disgraceful blot upon our country, and were fortunate in keeping the passions of the men in check until we could effect an honorable surrender of the forts, which was done by us jointly on the morning of the 28th inst. I wish to place on record here the noble conduct of Capt F. O. Cornay's company, the St. Mary's Cannoneers, which alone stood as true as steel when every other company in Fort Jackson basely dishonored its country. The St. Mary Cannoneers, Capt. F. O. Cornay, have my warmest gratitude and admiration for their whole conduct, both in face of the enemy and in the severe and arduous fatigue duties, which they displayed always and at all times, day and night, with alacrity and energy. They are an honor to the country, and well may their friends and relatives be proud of them.—Higgins' report, April 27, 1862. The troops engaged in the defense enlisted in the city, except the cannoneers. Capt. J. B. Anderson, of Company E, Louisiana artillery, although wounded early in the conflict, continued to render the most gallant service to the end. Of the same company, Lieutenant Baylor, of the 42-pounder barbette battery, and Lieutenant Agar deserve mention. Among those who acted coolly during the six days, were Lieutenants Ogden, Kennedy and Mumford, of the Louisiana artillery; Lieutenant Gaines, in command of the 32-pounder on the river front; Captain Jones, Company I, Twenty-third regiment Louisiana volunteers; Captain Peter, Company I, Twenty-second regiment volunteers; Lieut. Thomas K. Pierson, Twentythird regiment, who was killed while gallantly fighting his guns; Capt. M. T. Squires, senior officer at Fort St. Philip; and Lieut. Thomas B. Huger, of the McRae, who was seriously wounded.
Speaking of the deserters, General Duncan, three weeks later, said: Scores of them have been daily going over to the enemy and enlisting since, until now there are but a very few left from either fort not in the ranks of the enemy. Although I really did think at the time of the surrender that some few of the men were loyal, the facts which have since come to light have perfectly satisfied me that nearly every man in both forts was thoroughly implicated and concerned in the revolt on the night of April 27th, with the exception of the company of St. Mary's Cannoneers, composed mostly of planters.
Under these circumstances but one course was open to the officers. To fight .the enemy with mutineers was equivalent to continuing to float the flag after spiking the guns. With the first appearance of dawn on April 28th, a flag of truce went down to the enemy, bearing a written offer of surrender under the terms previously offered on the 27th. In reply, the Harriet Lane and three other gunboats came opposite the forts, with white flags at the fore. In the forts, white flags were displayed from the yards of the flag-masts, while the Confederate flag floated at the mast-head. Negotiations were proceeding amicably on the Harriet Lane, when on the Mississippi—of late so rich in stately spectacles—appeared a portent as awful as it was mysterious, floating by to interrupt the proceedings on board.
It was the Louisiana, once a powerful ironclad, but at this moment a helpless wreck, drifting and discharging her guns at random. Butler on April 29th said, apparently with a covert smile, that Farragut in the hurry and darkness had overlooked the Louisiana, at anchor under the walls of the fort. And now how worse than useless! The fleet, which she had been specially armed to resist and to terrify, was lying at victorious peace in the river in front of New Orleans. The mortar schooners which she might, if properly handled, have gripped hard and sunk with her powerful battery, were near the head of the Passes, warily watching her and the forts. Hopeless to save her from the superior power bearing down on her from every side, her officers set her on fire, and sent her, with all her guns protruding, down the river. Thus abandoned to her own terrible self, the luckless ironclad finally ended her career by blowing up—floating down in the presence of the guns and of the mortar fleet. The clumsy mortars, as she drifted past, struggled to escape the blazing wreck, even in its ruin a menace. In spite of the plans which had been wasted on the Louisiana, and the hopes in her which went up like a sacrifice in the smoke of her unaimed guns, she scattered, in her blowing up near Fort St. Philip, fragments everywhere within and around the fortifications.
It looked like the grimmest irony or a hostile fate that the only casualties from the Louisiana's formidable battery—working at will on the third day after the passage of the forts—should have comprised one of our own men killed in the fort, and three or four wounded. Among the latter was Captain McIntosh, C. S. navy, who, having been severely wounded on the night of the enemy's passage, was then trying to get well in a tent.
The terms of capitulation were most honorable to the defenders of the forts. In addition to the written articles, Commander Porter verbally agreed not to haul down the Confederate flag or hoist the stars and stripes until the officers should get away from the forts. These terms of consideration were due to the brave officers who, standing true amid treason, had kept their faith unstained until the end. These officers, with the St. Mary's Cannoneers, the only loyal Confederates remaining on the ramparts of the two forts, left for the city about 4 p. m. on the 28th, on the United States gunboat Kennebec. Duncan and Higgins were among the passengers.
On the morning of April 25th Farragut was near Chalmette. Having exchanged compliments with M. L. Smith's guns at the interior line at 1 a. m., his fleet, the Hartford leading, passed the last objecting batteries. The fleet would soon be in front of the city, which was only waiting to see it turn Algiers Point. Inside the city the Confederate troops were busy evacuating—everywhere smothered excitement, galloping horses, drays loading, torches ready. On the levee were people fixing their eyes down the river. No sooner was the Hartford seen coming up than a pale, thin, hesitant flame was seen wriggling on shore, which showed that the work of the torch had begun. The levee, stretching up and down for five miles, at once offered up to the sky lurid columns of smoke. The dimmed sun withdrew now and then from sight, although noon had clanged from the belfry of the cathedral. New Orleans, writhing under the presence of an invincible fleet, seemed to have lost her head. Great ships, fired, floated down stream, terrifying the fleet which unterrified had so lately defied our batteries. Large steamboats at her wharves; a dozen ships, cotton-laden, for foreign ports; one or two gunboats, unhappily incomplete; to sum up all, the marvelous ram, in which she had taken a mother's pride—all these, fired by no one knows whom, New Orleans offered up in one supreme sacrifice. Incendiarism was for once protected. A cloak of official authority was thrown over the whole proceeding. The secretary of war that day had sent this dispatch to order it: It has been determined to burn all the cotton and tobacco, whether foreign or our own, to prevent it from falling into the hands of our enemy.
On the 28th, Benjamin F. Butler, major-general, was taking mock possession of the forts which had already surrendered to Porter's mortar flotilla.
General Lovell was in the city at the time of the arrival of the fleet abreast the wharves. Subsequent to its appearance he had ordered the troops in the town, together with the stores, to be sent off rapidly toward Jackson, Miss. Being unwilling to subject to bombardment a city filled with the wives and children of absent soldiers, he proposed, after turning the city over to the mayor, to evacuate. With his command his objective point was Jackson, where he hoped to prevent the enemy from get. ting in the rear of Beauregard at Corinth, via Vicksburg & Jackson railroad.
Report of General Lovell, April 26, 1862.
At 5 p. m. General Lovell left the city in the last train of cars that moved under Confederate auspices. At Camp Moore, on the Jackson railroad, he formed a rendezvous of observation and in. struction. Its value was seen when in August General Breckinridge marched from the camp with his division for Baton Rouge, fully fitted to meet a superior force with courage and success.
As a man, Mansfield Lovell was both clever and brilliant. Upon his shoulders rested a heavy responsibility—a responsibility probably too heavy for any commander at that period, placed in the same circumstances. With inadequate means, he was intrusted with the defense of a department calling for unlimited resources. With the fighting men of the city drawn off to other fields, he was expected, out of untried material, to improvise an army to defend her against superior numbers on land and water. He had striven to utilize all the resources at his command; he had, against obstacles, attempted to get heavy guns for the forts. All his success had turned to naught. When the day of trial came, Farragut's fleet, passing the batteries in the night, made light of his columbiads.
Unhappily a prejudice, directly connected with his duty as commander, combined to injure him. While unremitting in his efforts to administer to the greatest advantage the various functions of his department, Lovell was continually hampered by lack of public confidence—a lack privately felt, if not always outwardly exhibited.
The State flag on city hall Farragut's demand for surrender the negotiations hoisting of the United States flag on city hall the Advent of the man of two orders military rule under Butler execution of William B. Mumford Butler's Deepest depth.
The echoes of the fight at Chalmette had become silent. Smith, at the interior line as already known, had done his duty in making a last stand at the works intrusted to him. The fleet was steaming from Chalmette to the city. At that moment, when the guns grew still and the fleet came in sight, Marion A. Baker
Marion A. Baker was at that time a rising young journalist of the city. He discharged with zeal and ability the duties of a post then of peculiar difficulty. Being Mayor Monroe's representative, he was in fact the real agent of New Orleans throughout all the negotiations leading to the surrender. Mr. Baker is, as he has been for several years, the brilliant literary editor of the Times-Democrat of that city.
was standing on the roof of the city hall. It was a supreme moment in the history of New Orleans. Under orders from the mayor, Baker had gone upon the roof to hoist the flag of Louisiana on the city's flagstaff. He was to hoist it the moment the fleet was seen coming up from Chalmette. It was a crisis, unlike any known to the city, in its broad experience of dramatic interplay—a crisis in which the mayor had prudently sought counsel from Hon. Pierre Soule, former senator and minister, and from Durant da Ponte, editor of the New Orleans Delta. By this time the fleet had already anchored in front of the city. The mob was still on the levee, proclaiming its unlicensed law higher than the fleet's loaded guns.
At 1:30 p. m. two officers came as bearers of a triple demand from Flag-officer Farragut. This included a demand for the surrender of the city; for the lowering of the State flag from the city hall; for the hoisting of the flag of the United States over the postoffice, the custom house and the mint. In the interview which followed, General Lovell was called in. That officer resolutely refused to surrender the city, himself or his troops. Recognizing the futility of resistance, however, he declared that he would retire with his forces, leaving the city authorities full discretion to represent the citizens in the crisis. In this, Lovell acted with judgment. The mayor's action, in replying to the demand, was firmly negative. To the first clause, he gave General Lovell as the proper person for the surrender; to the second, an unqualified refusal; to the third, a polite declination.
On the morning of April 26th, Mr. Baker, at Mayor Monroe's request, went to the Hartford to explain to Captain Farragut that the council would meet at ten that day, and that a written reply would be made to his demand. On board, Baker found in the flag-officer one who had known him intimately from boyhood. Conversation on the ship took a pleasant turn, and Farragut grew eloquent telling of the passage of the fleet. I seemed to be breathing flame, he said.
The council met at the appointed hour to consider the mayor's reply. In this, the mayor had strongly said: We yield to physical force alone and maintain allegiance to the Confederate States; beyond this, a due respect for our dignity, our rights and the flag of our country does not, I think, permit us to go. The council, having first accepted the message, did not long remain in its compliant mood. The mayor soon received from that body a request to substitute for his reply a letter written by Mr. Soule. Mayor Monroe, a thoroughly decided man, respected, as all the city did, Mr. Soule's high reputation. Accordingly he yielded to the council's substitution. Before Mr. Soule‘s letter could be copied, Lieutenant Kautz and Midshipman Read came on shore with a peremptory written demand for the unqualified surrender of the city and the hoisting of the emblem of the sovereignty of the United States over the city hall, the custom house and the mint. The day was Saturday, April 26th, and the hour was by meridian of that day. Farragut's Demand for the Surrender of New Orleans.— Baker, in Century Magazine, April, 1886.
Baker delivered the mayor's reply to Captain Farragut. With Mr. Soule‘s letter, now properly copied, went one paragraph added by the mayor himself, promising a reply to the official demand. Meanwhile a question had been creeping up, destined to assume a tragic prominence a few days later. The private secretary felt its sinister presence when he first saw Captain Farragut. As a matter of fact, Mr. Baker says, the United States flag had already been raised on the mint, and I called the attention of the Federal commander to the fact that a flag had been raised while negotiations were still pending. Captain Farragut replied that the flag had been placed there without his knowledge, but he could not order it down. His men, he said, were flushed with victory, and much excited by the taunts and gibes of the crowd on the levee. Pointing to the tops where a number of them were stationed, some armed with muskets, others nervously clutching the strings of the howitzers, he remarked that it was as much as he could do to restrain them from firing on the crowd; and, should he attempt to haul the flag down, it would be impossible to keep them within bounds.
The ways of a broken peace are as cracked as a shattered piece of pottery. The flag-officer, as seen in his reply to Baker, stated that the flag had been placed on the mint without his knowledge. It follows clearly—he being, as flag-officer of the victorious fleet, the chief Federal authority in the city—that the flag, the tightened folds of which were, within forty-two days, to hang W. B. Mumford, had been placed without the authority which alone could legalize the act of hoisting. On Saturday, April 26th, even in the then political intermission, no authority of the United States was as high as that of D. G. Farragut, Flag-officer western Gulf blockading squadron. In Farragut, and in Farragut alone, was power, and with power the warlike means to impress it upon all contestants.
Sunday passed without communication with the fleet. Monday brought a letter from the flag-officer under which was veiled a threat. Reciting all the city's misdoings, Farragut admonished the mayor that the fire of the fleet might be drawn upon the city at any moment.. The election is with you, but it becomes my duty to notify you to remove the women and children within forty-eight hours, if I have rightly understood your determination.
Brave Mayor Monroe showed coolness, along with the dignity worthy of the chief magistrate of a city threatened. To Commander Henry H. Bell, the bearer of the letter, Mayor Monroe remarked: As I consider this a threat to bombard the city, and as this is a matter about which the notice should be clear and specific, I desire to know when the forty-eight hours begin to run. It begins from the time you receive this notice, replied the captain. Then, said the mayor, taking out his watch, and showing it to the captain, you see it is fifteen minutes past twelve o'clock. The mayor's reply to the flag-officer's letter was also drafted by Mr. Soule. In it the mayor simply re-asserted his refusal to lower the flag of Louisiana. This satisfaction you cannot obtain at our hands. We will stand your bombardment, unarmed and undefended, as we are. Accompanied by Mr. Soule, Baker took this reply to the Hartford early on the morning of April 29th. On the ship Mr. Soule favored the flag-officer with a learned discussion of international law. That same evening, General Lovell had come down to the mayor's residence from Camp Moore with a plan for making a combined night attack upon the fleet. Lovell's plan contemplated, as the attacking machine, a flotilla of ferryboats. Ammunition of the fleet was supposed to have been exhausted through the fierce broadsides of April 24th. Lovell was eager to try this plan; but discussion on the details was postponed until next day. Early next morning word came from Captain Farragut notifying the mayor that the forts had surrendered, adding that he was about to raise the United States flag on the mint and custom house. He was for making the lowering of the State flag over the city hall the work of those who had hoisted it Before Baker had left the Hartford, however, he had prevailed upon Farragut to yield that point. In his proclamation, requesting all citizens to retire to their houses during these acts of authority which it would be folly to resist, Mayor Monroe threw a passing triumph in his assurance that the flag was not to be removed by their authorities, but by those who had the power and the will to exercise it.
The people had gathered, a compact mass, about the city hall. They were silent, but looked angry and threatening. Suddenly a body of men appeared, marching through the Camp street gate, drawing two howitzers after them. It was a strictly naval demonstration, comprising officers, marines, and sailors. The marines lined the St. Charles street side of the banquette opposite the hall. Standing in the street in front of those shining bayonets, the crowd, always silent and angry, waited for what was to come.
Upon Captain Bell, Farragut's chief-of-staff, fell the burden of hoisting the flag. To his notification the mayor, strongly moved, replied, very well, sir, you can do it; but I wish to say that there is not one in my entire constituency so wretchedly renegade as would be willing to exchange places with you. Upon receiving, well or ill, these words of the mayor, Captain Bell, accompanied by Lieutenant Kautz, proceeded to the roof. The crowd below, sullen and indignant, looked up from
St. Charles street
to watch the transfer of flags. A silence of intense sympathy greeted the hauling down of the flag of Louisiana. Silence, deeper because a silence of scorn, followed the sight of the Stars and Stripes rising in the air.
While this was going on, Mayor Monroe walked down into the street, where he placed himself immediately in front of the howitzer pointing down
St. Charles street
. Here he continued, unmoving, until Lieutenant Kautz and Captain Bell had reappeared.
The sailors, at a word from their officers, drew their howitzers back into the square; after them marched the marines. With a rattle of steel, glitter of bayonets and rumble of wheels, the Northern pageant passed through the Southern crowd. As the last rifles were disappearing through the Camp-street gate, the crowd—so long silent in accordance with their mayor's request, threatened no longer. Instead, as Mayor Monroe turned toward the hall, they broke into cheers, which followed the retiring soldiers like a defiance. In her high fever, New Orleans had swayed to and fro with the symptoms. At times, her crowds, quivering with unrest of body and mind, showed the madness of a mob in delirium. Its excitement was of the fruitage of revolution. While matters remained undecided the mob spirit had been growing ugly. When, by the final act of surrender, formal authority had once been tardily accepted by the civil functionaries, in lieu of the Confederate status quo, the crowd found itself compelled to learn a new lesson of order under a fresh political dispensation.
On May 1, 1862, General Butler took formal possession of New Orleans. He at once ordered the disembarkation of his troops. One regiment, the Twenty-first Indiana, was stationed at Algiers. On entering the city, Butler prudently carried with him the remainder of his army. This consisted of six regiments of infantry from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan and Connecticut. With these came the Fifth and Sixth Massachusetts batteries and Second Vermont battery, with two companies of cavalry. It was a force fully adequate, in the absence of their sons and brothers in Virginia and Tennessee, to overawe a population of women and children. The city, however, was turbulent and its mob unruly. In every sense, armed troops had become an early necessity of the occupation. Butler himself posted and quartered his army of all branches at the custom house, city hall, mint, and on
. These were all admirably designed as coigns of vantage to meet and check surprises, bursting from a passion-tossed mob. With armed men around him he was, by his own admission, angered on landing at hearing cheers for Jeff Davis and Beauregard. Physical force is a potent factor for a quiet mind. This has been checked, he adds, and the last man that was heard to call for cheers for the rebel chief has been sentenced by the provost judge to three months hard labor at Fort Jackson.
Up to his rule in New Orleans, the civil war was still young. It was unlearned in the meaning of outrages based upon malignity. New Orleans was the first large city in the Confederacy which had been placed at the mercy of a military dictator surrounded by his guards. It had, before that officer had been put over it, borne the terrors of warfare with equal firmness and lightness of heart. Its people, as brave as they were frank, had not lost a reputation for possessing the courage of their convictions. The city and its people had, consequently, become the earliest objects of official despotism. Butler had entered New Orleans as though he alone had conquered it, and maltreated its citizens as though they had been the captives of his spear. A city is like a man—it resents tyranny and is conciliated by kindness. New Orleans chafed under the malice of the ruler set over her. Her citizens could not fail to see it, nor could they once forget it. It made itself as evident as a file of soldiers commanded by a corporal With these, the general made arrests the comedy of his local administration. Figaro's mouth and Pasquin's pillar were never far away from the office of the major-general.
General Butler, in the administration of the city, busied himself in writing military orders, general and special. He began by issuing a detailed proclamation, covering a variety of threatening orders to the city and its people. This was speedily followed by General Orders No. 19, 21, 22, and 23, each treating of interests as varied as the needs of a large city. General Order No. 25 was a trifle more carefully prepared. In the name of sympathy with the mechanics and working classes of the city in their deplorable state of destitution and hunger, Order No. 25 was a specious appeal to them to cease to be the serfs of the wealthy classes, whom he styled the leaders of the rebellion. A strong bid to attract the needy was a quantity of beef and sugar, captured from the Confederates and now ready for distribution among the deserving poor of the city. In these papers, the hand of the politician was far more manifest than that which held the sword.
These orders were, indeed, the special medium through which General Butler strove insiduously to array class against class. They were fairly in the line of duty of a general commanding a surrendered city. Most of them represented such care of its interests as might lawfully spring from an honest desire to fulfill the obligations of his position. In none of them, except in General Order No. 25, concerning certain manifest needs of a section of the population, did he seem to understand the temper of the people. He was wholly blind to it when he signed Special Order No. 70, in the case of Wm. B. Mumford. The military commission in finding verdict took no account of the excited state of public opinion existing on April 27th. Nor did it consider that the city had not then surrendered; that the authority of the United States had not been acknowledged by the citizens; and that, technically, no crime had been committed against the power which, in a city in rebellion, had as yet no official existence. Flag-officer Farragut's fleet was abreast the city. It was fully capable of enforcing, at a moment's notice, its surrender. That the city was still Confederate, even with the Union fleet in sight, and that it remained as such from April 27th (inclusive) to April 29th, are made as clear as the fact that the surrender had not absolutely been accomplished. Mumford was still a citizen of a Confederate city, in which Confederates, having evacuated the city with their army, had not yet abdicated their civil authority. On April 28th Mayor Monroe had no intimation that it was by your (Farragut's) orders, that the United States flag was attempted to be hoisted upon certain of our public edifices. On April 29th, two days after Mumford's act, Flag-officer Farragut addressed the following communication to Mayor Monroe. It was delivered to the mayor by two naval officers from the fleet:
U. S. Flag-ship Hartford, At anchor off the city of New Orleans, April 29, 1862. His Honor, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans,
Sir: The forts, Saint Philip and Jackson, having surrendered and all the military defenses of the city being either captured or abandoned, you are required, as the sole representative of any supposed authority in the city, to haul down and repress every ensign and symbol of government, whether State or Confederate, except that of the United States., I am about to raise the flag of the United States upon the custom house, and you will see that it is respected with all the civil power of the city. I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
D. G. Farragut, Flag-officer Western Gulf Blockading Squadron.
A flag is the symbol of authority. In the final demand of surrender of all authority on the part of the authorities of New Orleans, Farragut made a formal request that the flag of the United States, which he was about to raise upon the custom house, be respected with all the civil power of the city.
It appears from this note that on April 29, 1862, the city had for the first time formally surrendered to Flag-officer Farragut. Before this date, not after it, Mumford had torn the flag down from a public building. The city, until the surrender had been accomplished, was still under the authority of its own municipal officers. The State, of which the city was a part, was still a State of secession, a State not yet brought into a Union of which she had declared herself independent. Before the surrender was effected, on April 27, 1862, the flag of the United States was a foreign flag. As such, that flag possessed no more authority as a symbol than that of France or Spain, two governments that, like the United States, had at one time wielded authority in Louisiana. An insult to the flag constituted, under such circumstances, an act of war; in no sense an overt act of treason. It could not under those circumstances deserve the penalty of death. Before the military commission had decided against Mumford, however, there is official testimony that his death had already been determined upon. On April 29th, the day of the city's surrender, General Butler, being at the time in the city, showed vindictiveness along with the faculty of observation:
I find the city under the dominion of the mob. They have insulted our flag—torn it down with indignity. This outrage will be punished in such manner as, in my judgment, will caution both the perpetrators and abettors of the act, so that they shall fear the stripes, if they do not reverence the stars, of our banner.
If words convey purposes, William B. Mumford was by them prejudged. When they were written he was deprived of all chance of mercy at the hands of the commanding general. The following is a copy of the finding in the case of the rash young man:
Special orders, no. 70. Headquarters Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, 5th June, 1862.
William B. Mumford, a citizen of New Orleans, having been convicted before the Military Commission of treason and an overt act thereof, in tearing down a United States flag from a public building of the United States, for the purpose of inciting other evil-minded persons to further resistance to the laws and arms of the United States, after said flag was placed there by Commodore Farragut, of the United States navy—
It is ordered that he be executed according to the sentence of the said Military Commission, on Saturday, June 7th inst., between the hours of 8 a. m. and 12 m., under the direction of the provost marshal of the district of New Orleans; and for so doing, this shall be his sufficient warrant.
By command of Major-General Butler, Commanding Department.
One universal thrill of indignation swept through the city being stronger in proportion to the rigor of the iron rule which had made its manifestation treason to the authority of the United States. After Mumford's death, General Butler's usefulness in New Orleans—long, indeed, before General Banks superseded him—was practically at an end. He had not at that time displayed his full unfitness to be the representative of a hostile government in a city lately restored to its power. Apart from the legitimate functions appertaining to his official positon, however, his future in New Orleans oscillated like a pendulum between the horror with which the conviction and death of Mumford surrounded him, to the mingled scorn and contempt which—resenting the outrages committed by him upon virtuous womanhood through Order No. 28— scourged him like a whip of scorpions, not only from the respect of all true men, but from the office from which his brutality was, within eight months, to drive him. In a history of Louisiana and her soldiers it would be out of perspective to do more than suggest the absolute failure, beyond his sanitary precautions, of General Butler in his capacity of commander in the Department of the Gulf. His acts, which being first despotic became shortly afterward crimes against men and women —contributed largely to his lack of successful administration. In the annals of our civil war General Butler will be known as the Man of Two Orders. Not such blazing orders as those conferred by royalty upon merit; nor those which, attested by a jewel and a ribbon, distinguishes a man in the presence of his fellows. His Orders, flecked with blood and stained with malice, are of more sinister character than those. Twenty-eight and Seventy are the numbers which they bear for posterity. Had General Butler contented himself with issuing No. 70, he might have been called, with the harshness of Draco, pitiless. Had he to No. 70 joined the order prescribing the ironclad oath and classifying the registered enemies to the United States, he might have been classed with the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries. It was reserved for him, however, by his own act, born of insatiate spite, to fall into a deeper depth than any tyrannical viceroy recorded in the history of courts. That depth is found in the following Order No. 28.
With some hesitation I have given here, as being the only proper place for it, General Order No. 28. While ,giving it, attention is called to the fact that it is a General Order, not a Special Order, showing that its designed application was as general as the sex in New Orleans.
Its issuance was an offense against decency; a crime against the womanhood of a city which is foremost in the land in rendering knightly reverence to the sex. Without it, the story of the Butler regime would be left like the tale of bold Cambustes, only half-told.
General orders, no. 28. Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, May 15, 1862.
As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans in return for the most scrupulous non-interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall by word, gesture or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.
By command of Major-General Butler.
The universal condemnation produced by this order spread like an ever-widening flood. From the city in which the order was born, and in which it was put into execution, it enlarged to the State, from the State to the Confederacy, from the Confederacy to the North, from the North to Europe. Thus, in human story, a bad deed from a man in high place is told throughout the broad earth; like in the telling, yet in itself most unlike the dust of that John Huss which in honor is borne, floating from river unto river, through all the waters of the globe.
Vicksburg to Baton Rouge Raid on Brashear city-other expeditions the First attack on Vicksburg battle of Baton Rouge-loss of the Arkansas Breckinridge occupies Baton Rouge.
General Butler was a politician whose strongest ambition was, oddly enough, to become a successful commander. Without previous experience as such he was sufficiently wise to lean on servants trained in military affairs. He thought highly of Gen. Thomas Williams, a graduate of West Point and a veteran of the Mexican war. He leaned also upon the knowledge and scientific skill of Godfrey Weitzel, promoting him to brigadier-general of volunteers. Once safely seated in his office, and with troops in easy call, General Butler's martial ardor began to ferment. He was fond of surrounding himself with an air of military activity. His first work was practical
At Algiers, on the river opposite the city, was the terminus of the New Orleans & Opelousas railroad. Promptly confiscating its rolling stock, he employed the road to bring in provisions to the city. On May 5th he ordered the Twenty-first Indiana to Brashear City at the other end of the line. The movement was wholly unexpected. The troops found the citizens quietly pursuing their business, unconscious of the enemy on their side of the river. After dispersing a military organization forming there the expedition captured two brass 6-pounder field guns, with their ammunition. Besides this success, the Twenty-first seized and brought off two citizens of loose tongue, who were doubtless indignant at the sight of a uniform not quite in fashion in the State since January 26, 1861. Butler, with the provostmarshal spirit strong in him, spoke of them as two citizens who persisted in insulting our troops.
He also proceeded to confiscate the whole Jackson rail. road as far as Manchac Pass. By making sure of the Opelousas railroad he had cut off from the Confederates the valuable supply of cattle coming from Texas. Besides this advantage he had gained possession of 6,000 barrels of coal, of great value to Farragut's fleet. An example of his smaller expeditions, undertaken for plunder, may suffice: One day the U. S. gunboat Essex was, as it was wont, merrily shelling woods and fields along the Mississippi A transport was busy seizing sugar and cotton on the levee, waiting to be carried to Bayou Sara. Of course the Essex, being there only to protect the confiscating transport, shelled Bayou Sara.
As it was a rule with a bayou, so it was a law with a railway. With Butler, it was always Point Danger to be situated on either. Pontchatoula had the ill luck of being situated on the Jackson railroad. During 1862 the town was attacked no less than three times. After awhile it turned into a game of see-saw. On the days following the various attacks, the Confederates generally visited to the full upon the pillagers of the days previous. Sometimes they took the first step in a skirmish, one of which, in December, is in point. A scouting party of 25 men, under command of Lieutenant Evans, attacked the Federal steamboat Brown. The Brown, counting two guns, was going up Bayou Boufouca, two miles from Fort Pike and sixty miles from Pontchatoula. The Brown was more timid than daring. After delivering one fire she backed down the bayou. Being true to the newest tradition in Louisiana, the Brown shelled the woods as she steamed past to a safer place.
The easy success of his Brashear City expedition stimulated Butler to more important movements. He dispatched from the city a force of 4,500 men under General Williams to act in conjunction with a naval movement against Baton Rouge. This was the key-note to the expedition—a note already enforced at the forts below New Orleans. No Confederate troops being in the little capital, the combined expedition, conducted in the interest of an open river, vied with the capture of Brashear in the bloodlessness of the triumph achieved. One effect, however, soon became apparent. In the hearts of the Confederates this easy triumph aroused a strong desire for revenge. This was aggravated by the fact that, since the 28th of May, the picturesque little city had been garrisoned by the Federals.
In the meantime the gunboats, satisfied that Baton Rouge was in the care of their army, continued up the river to Vicksburg. Here was the Third Louisiana brigade under the command of that General Smith whom we know in connection with the special defense of the interior line at Chalmette. The bombardment by the clamorous mortars lasted for sixty-seven days. This was a heavy ordeal for troops not only new to service, but specially unused to so severe a tax upon their strength as well as their energy. Among the men manning batteries were three companies of the First regiment of Louisiana artillery; two companies Twentysec-ond and two companies Twenty-third, Major Clinch; three companies Eighth Louisiana battalion, Major Ogden; and Lieut.-Col. Charles Pinkney, of the Eighth. The picketing imposed upon the command was especially burdensome. The nearer to a citadel the more hazardous always the call of duty. This duty was performed with equal patience and care by the Twenty-sixth, Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Louisiana volunteers, under Colonels DeClouet, Marks and Allen Thomas; the Fourth, Col. Henry Watkins Allen, and the Seventeenth Louisiana, Colonel Richardson. With these Louisianians, certified to by the general commanding as having performed their full duty, all reference to the first long but indecisive bombardment of Vicksburg may be dropped here. Stirring events were preparing to culminate in July, 1863, when a leader, less fortunate than Gen. M. L. Smith, commanded troops not less heroic than those who stood victoriously behind the batteries of June, 1862.
On June 28, 1862, Maj-Gen. Earl Van Dorn, having relieved Major-General Lovell from the command of the department, assumed command of the forces at Vicksburg. To keep up his thin line, General Smith had hailed the arrival of the advance of Major-General Breckinridge's Second corps. Within a month Breckinridge was to be attacking the Federals at Baton Rouge. On July 15th the Arkansas made her first and only appearance, as a ram, to the terror of the enemy's fleet. Her coming out of the Yazoo river was a signal for mingled joy and anxiety on the part of our troops. She bravely stood alone against a fleet ribbed with iron and bristling with guns. .For a space, she remained motionless, inviting attack, but the fleet declined the invitation. The Arkansas still delayed, as if planning to ram. Then, on a signal, quickly her guns began their work, delivering broadside for broadside. The fleet still did not approach too near. Then the Arkansas rushed upon the enemy ahead of her, ran the gantlet of the upper fleet of twelve vessels, destroying one of the enemy's vessels in the path and forcing two of his boats to strike their colors. Satisfied with this formidable exhibition of power, such as the great river had not before seen, the Arkansas, after running the ordeal, found herself, still a menace, in safety under the Vicksburg guns.
It was in August, 1862, that the lesson of Confederate reprisals was to be enforced at Baton Rouge. The city was about 130 miles above New Orleans. In the early part of the war it occupied a position of importance at once strategic and political. As the capital of Louisiana, its possession gave a direct political advantage to the army actually holding to it. Being 40 miles down the stream from the mouth of Red river, its occupation by either army would impartially form a strong factor in keeping the Mississippi open or closed. At this time, such a power would necessarily prove of signal service. Red river country was still Confederate. Large droves of cattle still continued to roam its fields—cattle which the Federals from the lower Mississippi were already coveting, but which the Confederates were equally anxious to control. For the Confederates, more especially the Louisianians, the continued possession of Baton Rouge would have excited far more interest than that of any town outside the limits of New Orleans. It concentrated in a marked degree that subtle love for the State of one's birth and rearing, which is never so strong as when it beats in the heart of the American who hazards his life for its defense. The continued Federal occupation of Baton Rouge was a long, very long step toward their open navigation of the river. Vicksburg was one protesting point; Baton Rouge added, a long gap would be made in the line of armed occupation. It was General Breckinridge's special hope to create this gap.
On August 14, 1862, Breckinridge's division had come as far as the Comite river, under orders from Major-General Van Dorn, commanding the district, to move upon Baton Rouge. The division had suffered severely from exposure and sickness at Vicksburg in June and July, and Breckinridge now found himself with less than 3,000 effective men. During the march he learned that the force of the enemy was not less than 4,500 men, and that the fighting ground around the town was commanded by three gunboats, lying in the river. This determined him not to make the attempt unless he could be relieved from an enfilading fire from the fleet. He felt implicit reliance on the Arkansas, which was based on the fact that he had seen her brilliant work against the Federal fleet before Vicksburg. Could she be sent down to clear the river? Or, failing that, could he look for her to divert the fire of the gunboats? These queries, telegraphed to Van Dorn, brought an immediate answer. The Arkansas will be ready to co-operate at daylight on Tuesday, August 5th.
With this assurance, Breckinridge marched his division at once. Leaving the Comite at 1 p. m., he reached the vicinity of Baton Rouge, ten miles off, a while before daybreak on the morning of the 5th. The three gunboats were on the river. Before the day would be out, the Arkansas would be there among them! With this hope strong in him, Breckinridge waited for the dawn. While waiting in the darkness, an independent sortie of the Louisiana partisan rangers provoked an exchange of shots between the pickets. Galloping back, the rangers caused some disorder and were followed by a storm of bullets from the enemy in the town. Brigadier-General Helm was dangerously wounded by the fall of his horse; A. H. Todd, his aide-de-camp, was killed, and Captain Roberts, Fourth Kentucky, wounded. Several enlisted men were killed or wounded. Two of Captain Cobb's three guns were rendered, for the time, useless. But order was soon brought out of disorder. The force was placed in position on the right and left of the Greenwell Springs road. Breckinridge, with a single line of battle, a small regiment of infantry and one piece of artillery to each division as a reserve, now faced the enemy, already awaiting him in a compact line, made very strong with heavy reserves distributed at intervals.
It was a little after daylight. A thick fog darkened the morning, but despite its prevalence the order to advance was given. General Ruggles, commanding the left, brought on the engagement with his second division. The Fourth and Thirtieth Louisiana, Boyd's Louisiana battalion, and Semmes' battery were under the command of Colonel Henry Watkins Allen. With Ruggles, also, was a brigade of regiments from Kentucky and Alabama under Colonel Thompson. Allen's fame was already crescent. The Louisiana leader combined the dash of d'artagnan with the thirst for battle of Anthony Wayne. Before an enemy he was a Pennsylvanian engrafted upon a Creole. An odd compound, but one first-class for war.
The line had proceeded but a few hundred yards when it was met by a brisk fire from the enemy's skirmishers, strongly posted on the right. Simultaneously, Semmes, battery was ordered forward to drive off the skirmishers. Fired by their leader's example the Louisianians dashed to the front, with ringing cheers, charging a battery stationed at the head of a street on the outskirts of Baton Rouge. Ruggles' order had been peremptory—March straight to the front until you hear Stop! and Allen was not the man to question an order while the battle was on. To the front, straight as he could go, he swept, carrying the colors in his hand and pressing up to the very muzzles of the guns. At that point, there came a scattering discharge of canister which struck him down. shattering both of his legs.
From this wound Henry Watkins Allen never entirely recovered. He came out from his illness strong in spirit but weak in health. He came out the idol of his Fourth Louisiana, the pride of his State, the future choice of her people for their war-governor to succeed Thomas O. Moore. In that office, it is safe to say that never was there a more devoted administrator of the interests of Louisiana, in peace or in war, than Henry Watkins Allen. He stood at her dying; and, heart-torn at the sight, he took refuge in Mexico where In 1886, he passed away, an alien on a foreign soil.
Lieut.-Col. Samuel Boyd was also severely wounded in the same charge. The vigilant enemy, seeing signs of trouble in their front, threw in strong reinforcements, which forced the brigade back in some confusion. Rallied by the efforts of Colonel Breaux, of the Thirteenth, and LieutenantCol-onel Hunter, Fourth, the Louisiana brigade, although it did not further participate in the assault, bravely maintained a new and hazardous position under fire from the gunboats and from the land-batteries of the enemy. Throughout this movement, Semmes' battery served efficiently.
The First division, under Gen. Charles Clark, brigades of Colonel Hunt and Colonel Smith, advancing to the right of the Greenwell Springs road, made a gallant charge, constantly pressing the enemy back until, after several hours of fighting, he was driven to his last encampment. This was in a large grove just in rear of the penitentiary. It was here the division suffered the greatest loss. The fight had turned hot and stubborn. Colonel Hunt, commanding the Kentucky brigade, was shot down. At this juncture the attack was pressed with great vigor until General Clark received a wound, supposed at the time to be mortal. Through some misapprehension Hunt's brigade began to fall back down the slope, but still preserving order and obeying commands. Captain Buckner, of General Breckinridge's staff, had been placed at its head. Breckinridge notified Buckner that he did not yet desire to make a retrograde movement. He was still expecting to hear the guns of the Arkansas in victorious thunder. Captain Buckner, therefore, about-faced his brigade and renewed vigorously the attack, aided by Smith. Thompson's brigade was discovered by Breckinridge to be without ammunition, and he at once ordered it to advance to the support of Buckner with fixed bayonets. During this movement the fire from the gunboats, growing fast and furious, was causing considerable suffering to our men, which fortunately did not last long. By this time the opposing lines were approaching each other closely in the heat of the assault and defense, and a regard for their comrades obliged the gunboats to suspend their fire. For a space bloodiest battle surged around the last Federal camp. Breckinridge here directed a charge, which drove the enemy in confusion through his last regimental encampment to the river, under the protection of his gunboats. A part of our men pursued and fired at the Federals for some distance down the street, as they fled in front of the arsenal and barracks. They did not reappear during the day. The battle of Baton Rouge, which had been going on since daybreak, was over. General Breckinridge's corps had scored a brilliant victory, won by hard fighting and resolute pluck. Our men had constantly advanced with steadiness, driving the enemy from encampment to encampment. The third and last camp reached, victory had closed the battle. It was still early in the day.
A small battle may easily resemble a great battle in partial outlines. Thus it happened that Breckinridge's attack on Williams, at Baton Rouge, was marked by features resembling somewhat Albert Sidney Johnston's surprise of Grant at Shiloh. It was about 4:30 a. m. when each of the Confederate armies burst into attack. At Shiloh the Federals were driven pell-mell by our troops from camp to camp, as at Baton Rouge they were forced back by us from encampment to encampment. At Shiloh the camps were mostly in the woods; at Baton Rouge they were mostly in the suburbs of the town. At Shiloh the nearest camp to the Tennessee was that in which Prentiss and his fighting brigade were captured; at Baton Rouge the last encampment through which the enemy was driven was near to the Mississippi. It was a mere difference of entourage. From both rivers, danger, before the fight was on, had vaguely threatened. In the Tennessee had been gunboats, waiting to bite; in the Mississippi were other gunboats, now biting hard!
It was now 10 a. m. Beauregard, at Corinth, had satirically asked Lovell, regarding Vicksburg: Will the Arkansas also be just one week too late, like the Mississippi? Breckinridge, never ceasing to vex, was hard at work putting the same query to himself. He knew that the Arkansas had failed at the heroic rendezvous. Why had she failed? It was a new and perplexing variant of the old theme. Not until 4 p. m. did he learn, by express, the grim truth. Before daylight, and within four miles of Baton Rouge, the machinery of the Arkansas had become disabled and she lay helpless on the right bank of the river. Machinery too easily disabled, as in the Arkansas; motive power insufficient, as in the Louisiana! War vessels built in the ship-yards of the Confederacy were strong as iron could make them; yet structural defects—the fruit of inexperience and want of facilities in naval construction—often proved them, on trial, weak like cockle-shells. Some of these vessels, whose glory will not be forgotten, made history singly against fleets—the Virginia, on Hampton Roads; the Manassas, at Fort Jackson; the Arkansas, at Vicksburg; the Tennessee, in Mobile bay.
Breckinridge regretted only the failure of the Arkansas as an ally. He said: It was now ten o'clock; we had listened in vain for the guns of the Arkansas. I saw around me not more than 1,000 exhausted men, who had been unable to procure water since we left the Comite river. The enemy had several batteries commanding the approaches to the arsenal and barracks and the gunboats had already reopened upon us with a direct fire. Under these circumstances, although the troops showed the utmost indifference to danger and death, were even reluctant to return, I did not deem it prudent to pursue the victory further. Having scarcely any transportation I ordered all the camps and stores of the enemy to be destroyed, and directing Captain Buckner to place one section of Semmes' battery, supported by the Seventh Kentucky, in a certain position on the field, withdrew the rest of the troops about one mile, to Ward's creek, with the hope of obtaining water. Finding none there fit for man or beast, I moved the command back to the field of battle, and procured a very imperfect supply from some cisterns in the suburbs of the town. This position we occupied for the rest of the day.
The Confederate loss at Baton Rouge was 446 killed, wounded and missing. The contest had been stubborn and had involved much close fighting, in which both armies suffered considerably. The loss of the enemy, partially given, was believed to be about the same. Had it been infinitely smaller, the death of Brig.-Gen. Thomas Williams alone, put against heaviest statistics of casualties, would have weighed the balance down. The death of that excellent soldier proved a serious loss to their army. The enemy was superior both in numbers and artillery, and the battle was marked by other sharp disproportions—4,500 Federals
By Federal reports 2,500 actually engaged, of which the loss in battle was 383 killed and wounded.
(Butler's estimate June 1st) against 2,600 Confederates—no less than 18 pieces of field artillery, exclusive of the guns of the fleet, against 11 pieces—Federals fresh and well-clothed, against Confederates foot-sore with marching from the Comite, many of them weak from sickness, in rags and on indifferent food. Although the Federals held the city, their occupation of it told the tale of defeat. On the 20th of August, Confederate scouts drove in their pickets. On the 21st the Federals evacuated Baton Rouge.
Both armies had claimed the battle of Baton Rouge on August 5th. The evacuation by the enemy, two weeks after the battle, justified the Confederate claim. This withdrawal from Baton Rouge was the result of certain skillful operations by that dashing tactician, Major-General Van Dorn. He had already clearly seen the importance to the Confederacy of the occupation of Port Hudson. With that in view, he had ordered an immediate movement toward the place. He had selected that point specially for its eligibility for defense, and for its capacity for offensive annoyance to the enemy. Baton Rouge would, in the meanwhile, be held in menace. The event justified Van Dorn's military foresight. The enemy disappeared from the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg. The navigation of the Mississippi from the mouth of Red river to Vicksburg was at once opened. Communication between the district of Mississippi and the Trans-Mississippi department was established. More than 200 miles of the river were thus closed to the Federal fleet.
Not for long, however, was this repose to last. After August, 1862, projected the mighty shadow of July, 1863, when, with Vicksburg fallen, Port Hudson after a gallant fight was also to fall, and the Mississippi was to run unvexed to the sea. In accordance with Van Dorn's plan Breckinridge, a few days after the battle of Baton Rouge, occupied Port Hudson with a part of his troops, under the command of Ruggles. The next day he received orders to move his entire force to the same point. Apparently, he himself was not yet wearied with Baton Rouge. He left General Bowen, who had just arrived with his command on the Comite river, to observe the city from that quarter. He remained long enough at Port Hudson to advise with General Ruggles as to the selection of eligible positions for heavy batteries. He had previously ordered Captain Nocquet, chief engineer, to report to him temporarily for this duty. Nocquet had acted with notable promptness. Some of the works were already waiting to receive the guns, which ought to command the river more completely than at Vicksburg. This was the opinion of Breckinridge, who now moved from Port Hudson to Jackson, Miss., leaving Ruggles in command.
General Butler's rural Enterprises Richard Taylor in West Louisiana campaign on the Lafourche battle of Labadieville operations about Berwick bay exploits of the gunboat Cotton.
The outlying country from Algiers on the Mississippi to Franklin on the Teche is peculiarly fitted for military operations. Like all lower Louisiana it presents a vast network of rivers, or bayous as large as many rivers, suitable for the movements of large vessels. Irrigating generously the fields lying level upon their banks, they reward them with rich harvests of sugarcane and cotton.
It was for the wealth in these fields that General Butler kept his forces a constant menace upon the territory. For this purpose, and as an aid to success, he developed a system of light-draft steamers, previously prepared for the service by mounting them with light guns and protecting their boilers and engines with iron armor. In this manner did he strive to utilize the water courses, threading the land here and there under the sun like glistening ribbons. In addition to his ceaseless desire to hold the country for its rich possibilities of profit—to hold it as fast as it could be occupied—Butler was anxious to give the loyal planters an opportunity to forward their sugar and cotton to New Orleans. I can, he wrote, easily hold this portion of Louisiana, by far the richest.
For the rest, he was in his usual vein of over-confidence. His plan was to push forward a column from Algiers, dispatching it along the Opelousas railroad to Thibodeaux and Brashear City. He rejoiced to hear that the Teche country was being rapidly drained of her able-bodied whites by conscription. He was not quite so pleased to hear that the Confederates could keep troops in the country, apart from its home people. However, he was far advanced in organizing a strong expedition to move through western Louisiana for the purpose of dispersing the force assembled there under Gen. Richard Taylor. He had already resolved upon placing the command under Weitzel.
On May 26, 1862, Department No. 2 had been extended to embrace east Louisiana, and the Trans-Mississippi department had been constituted, including west Louisiana Gen. Paul O. Hebert, two days later, was assigned to the command of the district of West Louisiana and Texas, and on June 25th East Louisiana came under the department command of Gen. Braxton Bragg. On August 20th Maj.-Gen. Richard Taylor, already distinguished in the Virginia campaigns, was ordered to the command of the district of West Louisiana. Taylor was an unknown quantity for Butler. Banks was to learn him thoroughly, and to his painful cost before another year. Another Arminius, Taylor loved to fight on his State's soil against his State's foes.
This territory of western Louisiana was destined to become a Belgium for both forces. Each, in turn, was to occupy, to lose, to regain it. None of the early battles was to be distinguished for large armies, or for heavy lists of killed or wounded. There were many skirmishes, some large; the most, however, both small and unimportant. Throughout them all the controlling design of General Butler was, in bringing the people back into the Union, to retain possession of the profits from the cultivation of its fertile, alluvial fields. Weitzel with a compact army was then operating about the Lafourche. With him on the lookout, his superior felt reasonably easy in mind.
If General Butler employed most of his time in addressing orders to the people under his authority, or finding subjects therefor, he spent the rest largely planning small campaigns, worth only a bragging report from himself or his agent. At ease in his office in New Orleans, he sent forth regiments to support his plans, howsoever insignificant they might be. He was careful, where he could be so, to see that with the troops there should always be a gunboat or two to keep them company. He had begun by pinning his fate to the fleet; but it was to the fleet commanded by Farragut, which he had seen from a gunboat victoriously passing the fire of the forts. In Farragut's fleet he continued to believe until Banks superseded him on the 8th of November, 1862. It is useless to follow his troops in their marauding expeditions which penetrated into the interior of the State within easy distance of New Orleans. The history of the war in Louisiana is full of skirmishes, the occasional result of such expeditions. Some have already been mentioned.
Arrayed against him, Weitzel heard that in the Lafourche district Brig.—Gen. Alfred Mouton, an able soldier, would be pitted. On October 24th the Federal general left Carrollton with his command. With him moved the inevitable parade of gunboats. Going up the river he entered Donaldsonville without opposition on the 25th. A reconnoissance drove in our pickets, and reported the Confederates in force on both sides of the Lafourche. He purposed to start the next day with his train and caissons, with Thibodeaux as his objective point. Leaving Donaldsonville, he marched on the left bank until he was near Napoleonville, where he bivouacked in line of battle. Weitzel was fox-like. With a view to preventing the Confederates from making use of their flatboat ferries, he summarily took in tow a flatboat bridge, meanwhile destroying every boat he passed. He continued deliberately his march down the Lafourche to within ten miles above Labadieville. There he heard that the Confederates were in force about one mile ahead. The Lafourche is not over-broad here. Both of its steep banks were made use of in Weitzel's coming fight.
General Taylor had had his hands full with his new command of western Louisiana. With New Orleans near, and Brashear City a still nearer Federal headquarters, the department seemed likely to impose a tax upon vigilance. Gunboats could move up the Atchafalaya and through it into the adjacent network of waters. Taylor knew himself to be weak both in guns and men, but worse than weak in gunboats. With Mouton, who was a host in himself, were the Eighteenth Louisiana—his own regiment, and the Crescent regiment of New Orleans. Both of these organizations were veterans of Shiloh. The army of Tennessee had sent them to help their native State on the Lafourche.
As constituted, the Federal strength on the Lafourche was nearly double that of the Confederates. They had 2,500 infantry, 250 cavalry, and two batteries of field artillery. The Confederate cavalry, about the same number, was under the command of that gallant soldier, Col. W. G. Vincent. Vincent had with him only 600 infantry, with Semmes' field battery, to oppose the superior numbers of the enemy. Vincent, who on the arrival of Weitzel was in Donaldsonville, had fallen back to the Raccourci (cut-off) in Assumption parish. There Mouton had met him and learned the war news. Hearing of the disparity of force, Mouton had receded still more while waiting for reinforcements, previously ordered up from Berwick bay and Bayou Boeuf, where they had been stationed. Reaching, in falling back, the Winn plantation, two miles above Labadieville, he found the Eighteenth and Crescent regiments, with Ralston's battery, just come in from the bay. With them came the Terrebonne militia.
On October 25th the enemy were marching both sides of the bayou. To oppose the double advance, Mouton made a careful distribution of his small force. On the right bank he placed the Eighteenth regiment, 240 men; Crescent regiment, 135; Ralston's battery, 64; detachment of cavalry, 100; total, 539 men; and on the left bank, Thirty-third regiment (Clack's and Fournet's battalions), 594 men; Terrebonne regiment, 34; Semmes' battery, 75; Second Louisiana cavalry, 150 men; total, 853 men.
It was a peculiar fight which was made at Labadieville, October 27th. Fought on both sides of the Lafourche, the enemy numbered equally strong on the two banks, massing 1,500 to 1,800 on each side. The column on the right bank, pressing forward with greater eagerness, had outstripped that on the left. About 9 a. m. it approached our line of battle. Mouton, fighting resolutely, here succeeded in checking their forward movement. All this time a duel was going on between the batteries. Unfortunately, at the outset Ralston's battery was severely injured by the enemy's shells. To make it worse, ammunition giving out, it was compelled to fall back. Owing to the loss of its commander this was done in some confusion. Confusion in a small force cuts with a wider swath than in an army.
The trouble with Ralston's battery led to a retrograde movement on our part, to a position about a mile and a half below at Labadieville, about 4 p. m., and here the Confederates made a new stand. Mouton had the commander's eye—the eye which in the battle sees every angle of the field. He had noticed that the enemy, having crossed troops on his pontoon bridge to the right bank, was massing his forces there. This was a challenge to which Mouton at once responded by throwing across to the same bank part of his infantry stationed on the left. Mouton says in his report: At the close of the day the force of the enemy numbered about 2,000 infantry, 100 cavalry and a battery, while my own barely reached 1,000, including the infantry, cavalry and artillery.
No fighting was done by the forces thus unexpectedly facing each other in battle line. Labadieville, although gallantly contested, proved to be a Confederate reverse. The odds, through heavy reinforcements coming in toward the end, proved too much for our thin line. Our loss at Labadieville was in killed, 5; wounded, 8; missing, 186. Mouton refers to the regretted death of Col. G. P. McPheeters, commanding the Crescent regiment. McPheeters, a distinguished lawyer in peace, had in war won his stars On that field of Mars, Where the glorious Johnston fell.
At mid-day on the 27th, Mouton had given orders to Major Sanders, assistant-quartermaster, to send over the train to get Col. T. E. Vick's command, consisting of the Lafourche militia, about 500 strong, and a detachment from the Thirty-third, with instructions to save everything he could and to destroy everything he could not save. This was a matter of precaution. Simultaneous movements, he had learned, would be made by the enemy via Donaldsonville, Des Allemands and Berwick bay. With a force sufficient to oppose the enemy at all points, he foresaw the necessity of abandoning Des Allemands, in order better to concentrate his forces at Berwick bay.
Vick, after destroying the Des Allemands station and burning the bridge, marched to join the main army. A roadbed is wearisome walking. Vick's militia found it so hard that they did not rejoin Mouton until 3 p. m. on the 28th. Vick's men, it must be added, were principally conscripts. Speaking of them, General Mouton says: On the retreat, I am sorry to say, many of the conscripts attached to Colonel Vick's command lagged behind. My object, Mouton continued, could I have united my force, was to make a desperate resistance and to drive the enemy back, if possible; but when my reinforcements failed to come on, no alternative was left me but to maneuver with the enemy and save my force. In consequence I issued orders for the removal of the sick to Berwick bay and made all needful preparations for the removal of the stores.
Mouton, still retiring slowly, faced the enemy like a lion at bay, until he was ready to withdraw. At 4 p. m. on the 28th, he sent forward all the troops which could be collected. Then, as proof that he was still able to damage the enemy, he ordered the destruction by fire of the Thibodeaux bridge, the Lafourche crossing bridge, and the Terrebonne station. After which, riding with his cavalry, he reached Berwick bay on the 29th. By the 30th, everything worth preserving had been crossed over the Atchafalaya. Mouton did not long hold Berwick. Barely resting in that post, he was informed of the presence of four of the enemy's gunboats. He learned, moreover, that those boats were lying outside of obstructions which had been placed in the passes. Evidently the enemy was preparing for a war-raid up the bayou. Knowing that he could not offer resistance to gunboats, if once in the bay, Mouton, selecting a defensible position on the Teche, hastened to intrench and fortify about half a mile up the bayou. To provide for every contingency he placed obstructions in the bayou at Cornay's bridge. What was to be done needed swiftness. Not many miles separated the passes and the Teche. It would not be long before the gunboats would be pushing their black prows up to Cornay's. His only hope was that a low tide might prevent them from removing his obstructions, or from finding the channel, always somewhat uncertain. This hope was destined to speedy disappointment. Captain E. W. Fuller, commanding the Confederate gunboat, J. A. Cotton, which with two small steamers and a launch composed the flotilla in Berwick bay, was sharply watching the Federal squadron under Lieut. T. McK. Buchanan.
On November 1st he notified General Mouton that one was within his obstructions, with the others steaming past—a serious blow, which Mouton met by falling back two miles above the obstructions, at Mrs. Meade's. New intrenchments were begun, with a view to establishing heavy guns. The same day four gunboats were seen cautiously moving up the bayou. He had already ordered Captain Fuller with the Cotton to delay them as long as possible. Intrenchments were to be strengthened; and the Cotton was to keep the gunboats busy while Mouton was using mattock and spade. The Cotton showed no fear of the enemy. Several shots were exchanged between steamer and gunboats, without injury to either. On the night of November 2d it became a small game of hide and seek. The gunboats had dropped back to the bay. With them out of the way the Cotton, capable of being of great service to Mouton, was lost for a time, being backed up the Teche a little above the intrenchments. Service was soon demanded, however, of the Cotton, even in the Teche. It was to be ready to engage the gunboats should they come up again.
On November 3d the enemy moved up, as expected. At 2 p. m. his whole force engaged the Cotton. Behind the Cotton was an uncovered land battery of rifled pieces, stationed there for co-operation and support. The fight of artillery lasted from 2 p. m. to 3:30 p. m. The gunboats were made strong by their numbers. Coming up to close range, the enemy's fire grew so heavy that both the Cotton and the battery were compelled to retire. Thus freed from all danger of reprisal, the gunboats moved boldly up to the very obstructions. Their shells, skillfully guided, compelled the Confederates to get out of range. The squadron continued the shelling at intervals for three days, until Wednesday, November 5th, on which day victory clearly remained with the Cotton. The enemy, wearied with the long contest and conscious of having inflicted but little injury upon their plucky foe, turned and steamed back to Berwick bay. On his side, Mouton completed at his ease the mounting of such guns as he had. At 4 a. m. on the 4th, he had resumed his position on the Teche.
The casualties of the engagement, on the Cotton, were 1 private killed and 2 wounded; and though slightly damaged the gunboat was soon in trim for another exchange of shells and spherical cases. The conduct of Capt. E. W. Fuller, commanding, in successfully repulsing, with an artillery company on a small gunboat, with 4 guns, a squadron of four gunboats carrying 27 guns, was highly complimented by General Taylor. This series of affairs was, in every respect, creditable alike to our young State navy and to its able and skillful commander. The gunboat Cotton continued for three months to steam up and down Bayou Teche, faithfully guarding its shining waters and fertile banks from hostile vessels. With each day that it appeared upon the Teche, or in the Atchafalaya, its formidable reputation and resolute aspect sent fear before it. The repulsed squadron, on its return, had scattered far and wide reports of the deadly skill with which her guns had been served. The rumor, canvassed here and there along the bayou, soon came to Weitzel's ears.
Weitzel claimed to be in undisputed possession of the entire country between Boutte Station and Brashear City. The news of the Cotton's intentions, after increasing its armament both in caliber and in number, to join in an attack upon his forces at Berwick bay, naturally decided him, always in co-operation with the fleet, to organize an expedition for the capture or destruction of the dauntless rover of the bayous. The expedition, a large one for so simple a duty, comprised seven regiments of infantry, four full batteries of artillery, and six extra pieces, and two companies of cavalry. Nothing could have more clearly showed Weitzel's awe of the victorious Cotton than this disproportionate force to be hurled against her.
At 3 a. m. of January 14, 1863, the gunboats began crossing the troops from Brashear City to Berwick. At 10:30 a. m. infantry, cavalry and artillery were on board. The whole force was disembarked and formed in line of battle at Pattersonville, subsequently advancing to Lynch's Point. There Weitzel bivouacked for the night. A report ran that the Cotton was very near the army's bivouac. It might have been only a Confederate fancy. That night, however, the army slept under guard of the squadron.
The Cotton, indeed, was just in sight. She was only a short distance up the Teche, which Captain Fuller had been commissioned to defend with his guns. So great was the terror inspired by her name that Weitzel's first order, at day-break, was to call for 60 volunteers from each of two regiments, one detachment to move up the east bank of the Teche, the other the west bank. Both were to run right up to the Cotton and shoot down her gunners. Evidently there was no hope for the defender of the Teche, for the vessel was so cordially detested that volunteers responded with the alacrity of hatred. The first movement was made by the gunboats, going ahead to engage their old foe. After the squadron, the army advanced steadily up the bank. The hour of vengeance was drawing near, and all on the bayou and on the shore were waiting to hear the stroke! What danger soever might come from the heroic vessel at bay would fall solely upon the squadron. The army might aid in its destruction—the army itself could not be harmed.
The two regiments out of whose ranks the volunteers had stepped, had marched up on either bank within supporting distance of the doomed boat. That on the west bank threw out its skirmishers in force. With these the volunteers, every man of them a sharpshooter, attacked the Cotton, shooting down every one in sight, and so, one by one, silencing her guns. The east bank was equally busy wreaking vengeance. From the main road on that side, back of the high bank, burst an enfilading fire; from plantation roads, farther back and running parallel to the main road, batteries en echelon were pouring shell into her broadside. All this time the air was filled with shrieking canister. As fast as possible the gunners in the gunboats were doing their share of punishing, at a safe distance, the plucky little vessel which, in more equal days, had faced four of them alone and unsupported. In history often runs a thread of cynicism.
With these varied odds against her, the Cotton had become almost incapable of retreat. Fortunately a champion appeared on the bank. The left section (two 12-pounder bronze field howitzers) of Capt. T. A. Faries' artillery had got into battery just in time to protect the Cotton, whose gunners and pilots had already left, owing to the hot fire of the sharpshooters. The Cotton had in fact become unmanageable, and was able to retreat only through the efforts of the battery in dispersing the Federals. She retreated slowly, proudly, avoiding haste. After getting out of range the boat staggered back, as though blinded, but resolved again to defy shell and spherical case. The next morning Nemesis had prepared a dramatic end for the Cotton—such as she had prepared for each of the Confederate guards of the interior waters of our State. Before daybreak; even before the eager forces could begin to remove obstructions in the bayou, a cry was heard forward. It passed clearly from man to man. The Cotton is on fire! The report was well founded. The gunboat had; in some blind way, swung across the bayou. There, as though faithful beyond her life, the Teche's heroic defender had placed herself as a still more difficult obstruction to the enemy's entrance into those lovely waters, so rich in natural beauties and so idolized by the genius of our sweetest American poet. The expedition having accomplished its object, Weitzel ordered an immediate return to Brashear City.
In his exultation on the result of the expedition, Weitzel poetically telegraphed on January 14th, The Confederate States gunboat Cotton is one of the things that were.
Thirty-five years have passed since the J. A. Cotton perished gloriously between the banks which she had so gallantly guarded. The deeds of this champion of our imperiled bayous will not soon be forgotten in the war traditions of our Louisiana waterways.
Banks Relieves Butler Operates on the Atchafalaya First expedition toward Red river battle of Camp Bisland.
On September 14, 1862, Halleck, general-in-chief at Washington, wrote to General Butler at New Orleans: The rumor in regard to your removal from the command is a mere newspaper story without foundation. A change must have then come over the war department, or, perhaps, Butler's skirts had not been fairly clean since his Order No. 28. On December 17, 1862, Maj.-Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks formally assumed command of the department of the Gulf. December 14th he had delivered to General Butler Halleck's order relieving him from command.
Butler left degraded before the eyes of the entire country. Opposition existed to him in the North, and contempt for him in the South. In some respects, the man was better than his reputation. He had displayed, as the holder of a captured city, administrative faculties of a high order. He had, in the discharge of his important duties as such, with one exception, shown capacity with prudence. In the field he was always faithful to the government which he served with far more zeal than ability. It is probable that a statement in one of General Grant's reports
Referring to his having been forced back into the intrenchments between the forks of the James and the Appomattox rivers, General Grant said: His army, therefore, though in a position of great security, was as completely shut off from further operations directly against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle strongly corked.
has done more to shape popular opinion as to the military capacity of General Butler than all the success which he strove to win, either in the field or as the director of a strong city captured but never subjugated.
Benjamin F. Butler passes forever from the stage of Louisiana. He knew those entrances and those exits which an ordinary actor might learn with ease; but that he never quite reached the lofty stature of him who plays the king is more than a verdict of the coulisses. Massachusetts, the great State that mothered him, was to place him later in her chair of honor; while learned Harvard, keener sighted than the populace, was to refuse him her degree.
Banks did not permit his army leisure for rest. Washington having expected certain results from his activity, he needed be quick. Reaching New Orleans on December 14, 1862, he announced on the 18th to Halleck that he had on the 16th ordered, without transhipping troops or stores, 10,000 men, with a battery of artillery, to proceed to Baton Rouge under command of Gen. Cuvier Grover. He knew that Baton Rouge was the first Confederate position on the lower Mississippi, and that eighteen miles above Baton Rouge was Port Hudson, strongly fortified and held by a force of 10,000 or 15,000 men. Being a civilian soldier, Banks wore rose-colored glasses. He already was hoping, himself, to move against Port Hudson as soon as the troops in the city could be consolidated with the fleet. At this early stage Banks was clearly a convert to the power of floating batteries.
About the time that Banks was sailing from New York to New Orleans there had been considerable Confederate activity in the shifting about of commanders in Louisiana. Maj.-Gen. Franklin Gardner was ordered to make Port Hudson impregnable; General Ruggles was charged with the duty of pushing-forward its new works, these being by all accounts already formidable. Earl Van Dorn was still at Vicksburg although Pemberton, at Jackson, Miss., was soon to be within its walls. Sibley had already come down from Opelousas, with his newest headquarters for the time at New Iberia; Lieut.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith's command had been broadened to embrace the TransMis-sissippi department, and heroic Richard Taylor had flitted to Opelousas where, however, he was not to stay many days. Taylor had been a much-traveled man over the battlefields of the Confederacy.
Banks had left New York with 20,000 men. In New Orleans he found about 10,000, with eight batteries of artillery. These combined gave him 30,000 men—not a small force considering the limited ranks of the Confederates scattered here and there in Louisiana. Banks' troops were promptly consolidated into the Nineteenth army corps. Already his eyes were fixed upon the Red river valley. The conquest and occupation of that country was, in his dreams, to prove the crowning achievement of his military career in the State. But this movement was delayed, partly by the need of settling matters in New Orleans, and partly by expeditions operating along with gunboats in the bayous of the neighborhood of the city.
The first months of 1863 saw marked activity among the Federals in southwest Louisiana. Banks, with feverish anxiety, was sending but expeditions to the old fighting grounds about the Atchafalaya and Berwick bay. It was the first buzz of the Red river bee which was to sting him a year later. Weitzel, commanding the Fourth brigade, reached Brashear City on February 12th. This expedition was intended to be in co-operation with the principal movement under General Emory by Bayou Plaquemine and the Atchafalaya to the Red river country. Banks, thus early, was aiming to perfect his knowledge of the narrow and crooked water system of lower Louisiana, preliminary to his master stroke against Shreveport. As Confederate partisan rangers, all natives, were patrolling the country roads, an invading force in its marauding trips was reasonably sure to meet with some of these bold riders.
Weitzel's orders were to open communication between Indian Village and Lake Chicot. Indian Village was a settlement on Bayou Plaquemine, occupied by troops under command of General Emory. Calling in the aid of the gunboat Diana, making a reconnoissance from Berwick, it was found that all the routes from the village to Chicot were choked with drift for a distance of five miles. Not long did the gunboat Diana breast the waters of the Atchafalaya. On March 28, 1863, Dick Taylor was watching her somewhere from the bank near Berwick bay. He says: I have the honor to report the capture of the Federal gunboat Diana at this point to-day. She mounted five heavy guns. Boat not severely injured, and will be immediately put in service. Emory's loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, 150.
On January 28th there had been a cavalry skirmish with the Confederates temporarily around Indian Village. These Confederates were driven from their hastily raised fortifications on the west bank of the Grosse Tete. The enemy, having thus occupied Indian Village, attempted, through Weitzel, unsuccessfully to utilize the water route to Lake Chicot. High water was over the land. That flood which in the early spring brings overflow, as it swells robs the low banks of logs and trees, great and small, and so piles up drift. Drift, rising higher and choking deeper, prevented Weitzel's junction with Emory on the Plaquemine. Assuredly the Mississippi, for once true to Louisiana, was busy largessing the bayous in her favor.
Meanwhile Butte-à--la-Rose was made a new objective under Banks' plan of campaign. The Butte was a fortified mound rising high at the junction of the Atchafalaya and Cow bayou. This post was advantageously situated for the Confederates, being near the terminus of the road from St. Martinsville. Its garrison was estimated by the Federals at about 400 men, with four pieces of artillery. Banks, in his effort to make easy his Red river route by the bayou, had hoped from Weitzel's zeal to hear of the prompt capture of Butte-à--la-Rose. The high water, flooding the land and swelling the bayous, rendered this expedition impossible. It was reserved for the fleet, on April 20th, in conjunction with companies of infantry, to take the Butte. Again the fleet had, under a strong leader, shown the army how to take a fortified work. For both fleet and army, the capture of the Butte was an inviting object.
Banks had ordered Grover, commanding at Baton Rouge and already waiting for the order, to proceed by water to Donaldsonville and thence to Thibodeaux. Behind an open Atchafalaya, he could see the Red river country free to his troops. These two expeditions, therefore, were an advance in force of a powerful army. Dick Taylor was on the Teche awaiting him with 4,000 men all told. For the Confederate leader, the larger the enemy's column, the more he enjoyed the shock of battle. Banks had been building up rainbows during March, 1863. Every expedition sent out by him was, directly or indirectly, connected with the expedition up Red river. Weitzel had previously been despatched to move up the Teche, and having heard of the arrival of the Confederate vessels Queen of the West and Webb at Butte-à--la-Rose, he naturally wanted some gunboats for himself. Without a superior force of these at Berwick bay he could not longer hold his position on the Atchafalaya.
On April 8th, Banks left New Orleans on a new expedition. He reached Brashear City, where Weitzel's brigade was stationed, and immediately ordered Weitzel to cross the bay, followed closely by Emory. Grover, from Bayou Boeuf, reached him about 1 p. m. On April 10th, Banks' general plan was to move upon Bayou Teche, with a probable attack upon our force at Pattersonville. After this he purposed proceeding to New Iberia to destroy the salt works near that town. Banks was crossing on the 9th, 10th and 11th. The transportation of his large army was necessarily slow.
It was not until April 11th that the enemy commenced his advance upon Camp Bisland. This was soon seen by us to be a serious movement. His advance guard was larger than the entire Confederate force within the camp. Fort Bisland was a collection of earthworks, hastily constructed and too low for effective defense, on the east bank of Bayou Teche. The Confederate line of defense included also the west bank. On the east bank of the bayou, under Gen. Alfred Mouton, were posted Fournet's Yellow Jacket Louisiana battalion; the famous Crescent regiment, Colonel Bosworth; next to it the equally famous Eighteenth Louisiana, Colonel Armant; with the guns of Faries' fighting Pelican battery posted along the line, and Bagby's Texas volunteers on the skirmish line. Colonel Vincent's Second Louisiana cavalry, held in reserve during the morning of the 12th, was ordered by General Taylor to proceed to Verdun's landing to prevent a gunboat of the enemy, with several transports containing troops, from making a landing at that point, and next day he was reinforced by Reily's Texas regiment.
On the left bank the remainder of our little army was waiting. On the extreme right were Tom Green's Texas cavalry and Walker's battalion, both dismounted. On the left of Green's command was the Valverde battery; Colonel Gray's Louisiana regiment held the center, with a section of Cornay's St. Mary's Cannoneers and Semmes' battery. A 24-pounder siege gun, worked by Cornay's battery, was in position, commanding the approach by the west bank.
In the upper Teche the Diana was waiting to be made useful in supporting her new masters by steaming down the bayou along the west bank. It was Taylor's idea that, by moving on a line with an attacking column, the vessel could drive the enemy back, throw him into confusion and so force him into withdrawal of the troops he was essaying to land in our rear to the assistance of his army in our front. This was a daring plan to be essayed on the next day.
Mouton's line was long and sparsely defended. Knowing the character of the ground, and believing that the enemy's attack would be mainly directed against his left flank, Mouton ordered Bagby to take position in front of his intrenchments about 500 yards, so as to check the enemy's advance. On April 12th, about 10 a. m., the enemy came in force, covered by his gunboats lying in the Teche. He landed troops at Lynch's Point on the east bank. Bagby fought every inch of the advance. It was a long line to guard from the Teche to the redoubt on the east bank—a line about 900 yards in length and showing a painfully sparse rank of brave defenders. Mouton, in order to make his small force cover these intrenchments, had skillfully distributed the remainder of his troops, numbering about 1,000. He had placed Fournet's battalion on the right the Crescent regiment in the center and the Eighteenth on the left. Faries' Pelican battery was planted here and there, by sections, on the main road. Clearly, not a single man could be held in reserve. Every man stood as needed to cover the main line on the east bank.
On the 13th the enemy threw forward their skirmishers. At 10 a. m. a movement commenced as if intended to assault the whole line. This was a feint, for it was soon evident to Taylor that his left flank was the serious point of assault. A struggle occurred here, showing calm and devoted courage on our part. Against our left flank five regiments were successively hurled. Here was Bagby's opportunity to obey orders. He effectively resisted each assault in the open field in front of our intrenchments, with not more than 500 men. Not until night did the gallant band yield ground. It was a slight yield, compelled under the masses concentrated against us. So fierce were the successive assaults, so overwhelming the mere pressure of men against our weakened line, that Mouton, looking at the unequal fight from the redoubt where he had stationed himself, ordered to Bagby's support Captain Beraud and his company of Fournet's battalion. The remainder of the battalion he directed to the right of the main line, where a severe demonstration, still more formidable in numbers, came up with three regiments. This seemed to be simultaneous with a strong movement on the west bank.
The conflict with Bagby progressing more viciously, Mouton ordered forward the entire left wing of the Eighteenth regiment. The enemy still stubbornly pressed his masses forward. This was met with another reinforcement of 60 men of Waller's battalion, under Major Boone. These advanced steadily into the hottest of the engagement. It was a crucial hour, crowded with valorous minutes and devoted seconds. With two regiments in the center, flanked by three regiments on the right, the enemy pushed forward until the night, when they were checked within 800 yards of the parapet. On both sides of Bayou Teche, batteries were now spitting fire and shells. This fire was made the more harassing by the enemy's skirmishers and sharpshooters, who vexed Faries with a continuous shower of minie balls. Sharpshooters, getting within 400 yards of the Southern line, had detected the hastily thrown up breastworks. These were so low as to protect neither the Pelicans nor their horses. One of Faries' guns was lost at this point. The defenders, looking before them, saw in the twilight a movement, and passed the word: They are going to storm our line. Then each man fixed his bayonet, testing it to make sure that there was no weakness in the steel, and thus the whole line prepared to defend, in hand-to-hand conflict, the possession of the intrenchments. Superiority of numbers, crowding on the line, would have borne the brave defenders down by mere weight of men, but the attempt to storm was not made! Nothing proved more conclusively the enemy's sense of the valor with which a small force against an army had resisted that army's advance for two days.
At midnight on April 13th Mouton received orders to evacuate his position. This retrograde movement was executed with all the promptness possible, especially when it was considered that Captain Faries had lost a large number of his horses. Mouton, after mentioning the gallantry of Colonel Bagby, his regiment and the reinforcements sent him during the action, pays a tribute to Faries' Pelicans: The Pelican battery covered itself with glory. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Faries, Lieutenants F. Winchester, R. B. Winchester, Garrett and Gaudet. This battery may be equaled, but cannot be surpassed in the Confederate service.
Mouton, in his retreat reaching Franklin 10 miles distant on Tuesday, April 14th, reported to General Taylor; and Taylor, with an eye to brave and loyal service, placed him in command of the troops holding the enemy in check in our rear. A most important duty this, in a small army, which, falling back before overwhelming forces, needs a man to command men! Napoleon, a keen judge of his marshals, chose Ney to steady the retreat from Borodino of that huge army, overwhelmed by Generals Snow and Ice. Mouton, to perish gloriously at Mansfield, has this to say for Richard Taylor: It is due to the truth of history that I shall here record the fact that the salvation of our retiring army was entirely owing to the bold and determined attack of our troops under the immediate command of Major-General Taylor, he leading the van upon the enemy, at early dawn—thoroughly arresting the advance of the whole force of the enemy, 8,000-to 10,000 strong, with not over 1,200 men, until our retreating forces had gotten far on the road leading to the Cypremort and beyond the reach of pursuit. In reverse, this is like Napoleon at Elba praising Lannes!
Mouton's retreat was not effected without some checks. Hearing that the enemy were not only already in Frank- lin, but that they were in position to cut off his retreat, Mouton succeeded by means of a by-path well known to him, a Creole of the Attakapas, in extricating his command from a perilous position.
Taylor's withdrawal from Bisland engagement at Franklin a successful retreat Banks Abandons the expedition Taylor's victory at Berwick bay fighting about Donaldsonville on the Fordoche and Bayou Bourbeau.
Judging by the signs of retreat, the battle at Camp Bisland was a Confederate defeat. But the inditia of combat, the rush of assaulting forces against intrenchments and the valor of the men behind those intrenchments, contesting and making perilous every step, the result was a drawn battle. Our retreat, though rendered necessary by overwhelming odds, was a Federal repulse. Taken at our own time in the night, our little army escaped close pursuit. Above all, our line of hastily built intrenchments was not once mounted by a foe. Behind that line another fact stands out triumphantly. The successful saving of our material and stores showed no haste in the slow retreat from Bisland, and stamped General Taylor as a commander in whom a good quartermaster was saved. The retreat, with all its saving of quartermaster, commissary, medical and ordnance stores, was a striking proof that Taylor was not only a power before an enemy, but a cautious guardian of an army's essentials.
General Taylor's first plan had been to conduct his retreat by way of New Iberia. But on Monday night he learned that the enemy had landed a heavy force at Higgins' Point; this left the foe in possession of the only road by which a retreat toward New Iberia could be effected. No time was allowed for hesitation. At least 14,000 men were already crowding into our new front. This movement of the enemy, in heavy masses, multiplied the peril for a force of less than 4,000 men. He saw that the only way of extrication was by evacuating his earthworks, no longer useful, and by cutting his way through the impeding force on the New Iberia road above Franklin. This plan, to be successful, must be immediately attempted. Orders were accordingly issued to march on Franklin as soon as possible.
Immediately after daylight, the enemy's skirmishers appearing first were followed by a force consisting of five regiments of infantry, a battalion of cavalry and a battery of artillery in line of battle. The Confederates opened upon them with artillery and musketry and checked their advance. Evidently they were trying to keep Taylor's forces at that point until the whole army could come up and hem them in. Gray's Twenty-eighth Louisiana, having just reached Franklin, was at once posted on the left of the new line. A charge was made, driving the enemy back in confusion. Behind his visible line was masked a still larger force, which also was held in check. In this charge Colonel Vincent, of the Second Louisiana cavalry, with two other officers of the command, were wounded.
This was the battle of Franklin; not a great fight, but favorable to the Confederates, and insuring them a successful retreat with all their stores. Having thus repulsed the enemy, Taylor ordered the gunboat Diana to move above Franklin and take position so that her guns would sweep the fields and roads which the enemy had held. Placing General Mouton in command of the troops assembled in line at McKerall's field, Taylor repaired to Franklin, where he urged forward the train and troops, just then coming on the cut-off road from Franklin to New Iberia. The employment of the Diana in shelling the roads and sweeping the fields was to be merely temporary. Taylor had given, as a military aside, orders to Captain Semmes, who was in command of the Diana, to abandon her after setting her on fire; this sacrifice to be made after General Mouton had fallen back. Thus again was it done to another Confederate vessel. It mattered nothing that the Diana had but lately joined the Confederate sisterhood. Another vessel, the Confederate gunboat Stevens, was to be sunk by its commander—unfinished condition — the enemy near—unfit for action—absence of guns—so ran the Stevens' report. This law of destruction was inexorable on the Mississippi and all its outlying bayous, between 1861 and 1865.
The retreat continued undisturbed. The rear guard, under Colonel Green, varied occasional skirmishes with the enemy with frequent dashes upon the pursuers, and thus arrived at Vermilion bayou. As soon as his whole train and forces had safely crossed the bayou, Taylor had the bridge burned. Then, having planted artillery on the heights and sharpshooters on the right of his line, along the upper banks, he allowed the troops and teams to rest from Thursday afternoon to midday on Friday. Nothing further occurred but skirmishes at the bridge, repelling the enemy from treading on our rear guard. Still retreating slowly, Taylor burned the bridges across bayous Boeuf and Cocodrie. When near the town of Opelousas he moved, through Green's efficient cover of his rear, across the Boeuf and beyond all danger of capture an extensive train.
Thus without strain, in no hurry, and ever keeping the enemy in awe of the mystery lying in their peppery rear guard, taking easy stages, often allowed to rest—once, after burning Vermilion bridge, for a whole day—and saving all their stores, did the Louisianians, who had fought so gallantly at Bisland, led by Mouton and guarded by Green, retreat before their enemy. Never before had a retreat of an inferior force from a large army been so free from haste or confusion. Taylor fell back toward Natchitoches. Mouton was ordered to the westward of Opelousas. A double purpose in this was to harass the enemy on his flank and rear, which, if not successful in preventing his further advance into the interior, would render it both slow and cautious.
On May 4, 1863, Banks and his army moved from Opelousas toward Alexandria. Banks, on the road to Alexandria, was anxious to make sure of Farragut's fleet. He inquired, Can the admiral meet me at Alexandria on Red river in the last week in April? Reaching that city he was joined by four ironclads under Admiral Porter, but the fleet lost its immediate importance with relation to the army's advance. Banks, in regard to his Red river campaign, had himself veered around. My advance is sixty miles above Alexandria, he said. We shall fight the enemy if we can find him, but cannot pursue him farther unless we have a chance to overtake him or meet him.
While Banks was in possession of Alexandria he was, for a time of doubt, mightily disturbed about what he could do in aid of Grant. On May 12th, he showed anxiety about his inability to join Grant against Vicksburg, lamenting that he was left to move against Port Hudson alone. On the 13th, having reconsidered matters, he was sure that he could add 2,000 men to Grant's column. In consequence of this change of mind, Banks resolved to forego his cherished expedition against Shreveport, in favor of aiding in the reduction of Port Hudson. His Red river scheme being a flash in the pan, the government's plan to force an open Mississippi had quickly become his own. The safe enjoyment of the Red river valley, according to him, might be postponed until 1864. Well it was for General Banks that the future does not lift up its mystic curtain—as impenetrable to the eyes of man as that veil, rimmed with light, of the temple of Isis seen by Alciphron.
He at once moved his entire army, via Opelousas and New Iberia, back to Brashear City. For the moment, southwestern Louisiana lay at his feet. Subject to the vicissitudes of the war, this much harassed Belgium of the State will again, within three months, see the battleflag of the Confederacy guiding the charge, with General Taylor and his men marching valorously under its folds. In the meantime, Banks had come down to the lower Mississippi, with a view of keeping his agreement with General Grant.
On June 23d, Taylor, with his usual activity, succeeded in capturing Brashear City with a small and picked command. Light marching was his word of order. With this capture was joined a large quantity of ordnance, ordnance stores, quartermaster and commissary supplies, and about 1,500 prisoners. The stores made a capture peculiarly valuable to our little ill-fed army of Louisianians. With this small success, Taylor, having spoiled the enemy, looked around for other gaps in his hedges. Brashear City was one gap; Berwick was to be another.
Taylor had needed a slight breeze of success. Before coming down to the Atchafalaya, under orders to operate in the relief of Vicksburg, he had planned attacks on Milliken's Bend and Young's Point. Without his usual caution, he had left to others the details of the movements. Taylor's fiery activity was not always shared in by his subordinates. On the wing from west Louisiana to the Teche, Taylor had ascribed the meager results of the expedition to the lack of vigorous activity on the part of the leaders, and that the officers and men were possessed of a dread of gunboats, such as foolishly pervaded our people at the commencement of the war.
All this was in June, 1863—the year of Vicksburg's capture. Taylor had been hoping to make some diversion in north Louisiana to help Pemberton. Vicksburg falling, Taylor had then thought of Port Hudson, and of that Southern section which, needing him, had raised her mailed hand for help. Like himself, he had left unproductive valor in north Louisiana to tempt new and certain success in the well-threshed fields of the Atchafalaya and the Lafourche. Apropos of the charge of unproductiveness he had mentioned by name throughout this time of languor Harrison's Louisiana cavalry as having rendered invaluable service.
Just from balking Banks in 1863, Taylor was for strengthening the Red river country against him for 1864. When New Orleans fell, ten guns (32-pounders and 24-pounders) were thrown into Barataria and Berwick bay. These had been fished out of the water at odd times. Taylor, returning from that section, thought constantly about its defense. Seeing the guns, he ordered some on Red river below Alexandria; others (two) were to be mounted at Harrisonburg, on a high hill on the west bank of the Ouachita; two 24-pounders were to go to Butte-àla-Rose.
Having done this much, and Banks temporarily out of the way in front of Port Hudson, Taylor was much cheered at receiving Walker's Texas division from Arkansas (4,000 men). With Walker's men, he had begun to hope that Berwick bay could be captured, the Lafourche country overrun, and Banks' communication with New Orleans cut off. At Berwick was a number of sick men convalescing. With the invalids was an effective force of about 400.
Berwick's works were formidable; but for them Taylor cared little. Meanwhile, a concerted movement against Banks might make real the brilliant dream of seizing New Orleans by a coup de main; setting free that Confederate feeling held captive in devoted hearts; and finding recruits to fill gaps in fighting regiments, now turning to skeletons. Reports had crept through, too, that the force at the city did not exceed , 1000 men. Never was this hope, during 1862-64, other than an illusion.
Covering the main attack on Berwick, Taylor had organized an expedition via Plaquemine and Bayou Lafourche to Bayou Boeuf, under Col. James P. Major, commanding a Texas cavalry brigade. On the west Mouton, under orders, had collected 53 small craft near the mouth of the Teche, capable of transporting 300 troops across the Atchafalaya. Detachments for these boats were drawn from Vincent's Louisianians, under Major Blair, and from Green's Texans, all under Maj. Sherod Hunter. With such resources the attack on Berwick was made a success. Major was ordered to reach the Boeuf punctually on the morning of June 23d, as Taylor himself would be attacking Berwick at dawn. A gunboat lay in the bay protecting Berwick. During the night Green had, in absolute silence, stationed a battery opposite the gunboat and the railroad station.
At dawn, the battery awoke the gunboat, speedily driving her off. The sound of the firing was a veritable surprise to the men behind the earthworks, whence they attempted in nervous haste to serve the heavy guns against the Confederates. Just then, a shot rang out in the rear. Hunter was on time, coming with his 300. Smoke was rising at the station. Taylor saw at once that a train of three engines with many cars was escaping in the dim dawn to carry news to Boeuf. A nod, and Green was on the road, galloping after the runaway. He soon came up with the train, finding it stopped by Major—also on time—in possession of both train and bridge. An excellent type of success, built on punctuality, had been the attack, main and rear. Green and Major, starting from points more than 100 miles apart, had converged to meet at Boeuf. Taylor, trying both, had been aided by both. The ride of the one and the march of the other had been through a region largely in possession of the enemy, who had heard nothing of either. Berwick bay fell into Taylor's hands, with a large amount of stores of vast importance—twelve guns, 32 S and 24 S, among which were our old friends from Bisland; 1,300 prisoners; over 5,000 new rifles and accouterments; and great quantities of quartermaster and commissary wealth, with ordnance and medical stores.
Gallant Green, once out for adventures, was for multiplying them. In the vicinity of Donaldsonville, at the junction of the Lafourche and the Mississippi, was an earthwork called Fort Butler. Green, after some correspondence with Mouton, decided to assault the place. In the night of June 27th, Green attacked, with the support of Colonel Major's brigade, in all 800 men. Neither Green nor Major knew the ground—a fatal mistake in a night movement. An error in thinking the levee above the fort to be its parapet cost Colonel Phillips' life, as he was killed on reaching the ditch. By that time the expedition had become a failure. Major Ridley, of Phillips' regiment, calling to his men, gallantly leaped upon the parapet. Seeing Ridley there, the enemy fled, but finding Ridley alone, they returned and made him prisoner. Green dropped a laurel or two at Fort Butler.
Taylor was kept busy for some days hurrying and forwarding artillery, and arranging for moving these new and most valuable stores into the interior. He succeeded in placing twelve guns on the river below Donaldsonville. The new battery did good work. Green's men,, dismounted, were ready to affright all inquisitive strangers. One transport was destroyed; several turned back; gunboats driven off; the river closed for three days to transports; and mounted scouts rode with free rein to a point opposite Kenner's. A few hours more and New Orleans might have been Confederate for one delicious space. But in the first week of July, 1863, events were clubbing counter to Taylor's plans for the city. Vicksburg had fallen. On the night of July 10th news came that the blue-coats were in Port Hudson.
At times, history chooses agents of unequal power for its triumphs. On July 13th, Generals Weitzel, Grover and Dwight, with 6,000 of the victors of Port Hudson, came down the river, disembarked at Donaldsonville and advanced down the Lafourche. Taylor had been waiting for them. Joining Green, he found him with an excellent plan of battle. Green, gallant soul, much disturbed with qualms about Fort Butler, was in line with a force of 1,400 dismounted men, including a battery. The enemy appeared and Green, remembering his dropped laurel, charged with irresistible fury, driving them into Donaldsonville, capturing 200 prisoners, many small arms and two guns—one of which was the field gun lost by Faries at Bisland.
Taylor took care of all stores from Berwick—not only these, but a large drove of cattle on the hoof. Quartermaster and commissary thus satisfied, prudence called for racing the engines and carriages into the bay and throwing the heavy guns after them. On July 20th Taylor moved up the Teche, leaving pickets opposite Berwick. Twenty-four hours afterward the enemy's scouts appeared. The Teche had again become Belgium!
Early in September, 1863, General Banks sent an expedition against Sabine Pass, Tex., which proved to be a fiasco, the entire armada withdrawing, with a heavy loss in mules, from a Texas battery. Determined to do something, Banks transferred the troops of the expedition mainly to Berwick bay. Observing the concentration of forces there, Alfred Mouton, commanding in southwest Louisiana, surmised a march for Niblett's Bluff. Should they do this, he said, I hope it will produce a disaster; at any rate, I can make them very unhappy.
During this period General Taylor kept a force of artillery and mounted men in the neighborhood of Morganza, seriously interfering with the Federal use of the Mississippi river. To put a stop to this, Dana's division of the Thirteenth army corps, two brigades, was sent to Morganza. Two regiments were sent out to feel the enemy, and were felt vigorously on the 29th at the Fordoche bridge by Gen. Tom Green with his Texans. Nearly all the Federals were captured, and there was a heavy loss in killed and wounded.
The Federal forces at Berwick advanced to Vermilion bayou on October 8th, and were at Carrion Crow bayou three days later. The expedition was composed of eleven brigades of infantry, two of cavalry, and five battalions of artillery, all under Maj.-Gen. W. B. Franklin. On October 21st General Taylor was compelled to withdraw from Opelousas to Washington. A raiding party sent to the enemy's rear, under Col. W. G. Vincent, returned with prisoners and signal books containing important information. This information assured Taylor that Franklin's object was not Niblett's Bluff, but his army. An elaborate plan had been made, it appeared, to encompass him from Sabine Pass and Morganza, while attacked in front from Berwick. But knowing that the first two movements had been foiled, Taylor felt confident of defeating the third. On the 24th, when the enemy advanced five miles above Washington, Taylor drew up his forces in line of battle to meet him, but the Federals declined battle and fell back to Washington. A few days later it was discovered that Franklin was in full retreat, and Taylor's cavalry went in pursuit. General Washburn reported November 2d, We had a pretty lively time to-day. In a later report he stated that on the 3d he heard a rapid cannonading, and riding back, found that we were assailed by an overwhelming force in front and on both flanks. Many of the troops had been broken and were scattered over the field, and the utter destruction or capture of the whole force seemed imminent. ... Our losses are 26 killed, 124 wounded and 566 missing. This engagement, known as Bayou Bourbeau, was fought by Green's cavalry division, and victory gained with a loss of 22 killed and 103 wounded. On the 4th General Mouton reported the enemy at New Iberia. Colonel Vincent ambuscaded them at Nelson's bridge, and their advance was driven in, leaving the road full of dead and wounded. Thus ended in disaster the second Federal campaign toward Red river.
The river Strongholds famous naval exploit capture of the Indianola Port Hudson Invested Farragut runs the batteries Taylor's operations.
In the fall of 1862 all the military talk had come from a plan proposed by General Ruggles, commanding the district of the Mississippi. This was nothing less than to organize an expedition for the recapture of New Orleans. As is well known, nothing came of it except, first, to alarm Butler; and next, to render Banks nervous about his defenses. Later, two armies dealt largely in gossip. Was Port Hudson to be, or not to be fortified? Still higher up the river, Confederate Vicksburg—not quite ready for her supreme trial—was wondering what Confederate Port Hudson was doing for herself. So rumors, thick and fast, began to creep up and down the lower Mississippi. Fifteen thousand men were said to be at Port Hudson with 29 heavy pieces of field artillery bearing on the river.
In a report of Maj.-Gen. Frank Gardner, dated April 27, 1863, to General Pemberton, he puts his force, effective infantry 8,600 artillery 1,700, and cavalry 1,400—including Ponchatoula forces.
One day in February, 1863, a great stir arose in the river between Vicksburg and Port Hudson. It came from the presence of a giant among dwarfs. The giant was cool; the dwarfs alone excited. General Taylor, feeling rusty on land, heard a proposition from Maj. J. L. Brent, his aide-de-camp, to destroy the Indianola, at the time lording it over that quiet stretch of the river, before then free to Confederate boats, and the gateway between the East and West. The Indianola, which had run the batteries of Vicksburg from the upper river, was a strongly built ironclad with her 1-inch guns forward and two 8-inch aft, all in iron casemates. As a hawk in the barnyard, she swooped down upon our little river boats.
It was now that Dick Taylor caught Major Brent's idea. Quickly seizing the outline, he filled up the details. Among our river boats we had a small but very sturdy gunboat, which had been converted out of a tugboat near New Orleans. To her equipment we had added a ram, and called her the Webb. From the day New Orleans fell, the Webb had been hidden away in Red river. There Taylor had seen her, and her transfer to this debatable ground was the result. Up to that day of transfer the Webb had been unplated. Major Brent commanded the Webb and Captain McCloskey, another aide-de-camp, the Queen of the West, which had been captured by the land battery at Fort De Russy. The Queen had, four or five days before, been strengthened with an improvised ram. It was a service of danger. Volunteers were called to form the crews. More offered than were needed. Two steamers protected by cotton bales were added. These boats, with the Webb and the Queen, formed the expedition.
The Indianola was enjoying her pre-eminence on these waters. Nothing could be more lordly than her way of stopping here and there. One day she halted before Grand Bluff and gave its defenders a touch of her 11-inch guns. On February 24th the expedition was approaching its prey. Major Brent heard, when ascending the Mississippi some sixty miles below Vicksburg, that the Indianola was a short way ahead, with a coal barge lashed on either side. Brent decided to wait until the night, being certain that, if struck by her guns, either of his vessels would be destroyed. The little fleet found the Indianola about 9:30 p. m. lying quartering down with head toward the Louisiana shore. McCloskey, testing the improvised ram of the Queen, attempted to run her down, aiming at her wheel-house. The Indianola was no true hawk, only a kestrel. On seeing the Confederate ram approach, she began hastily backing her engines to escape the shock. The Queen necessarily struck her coal barge, cutting entirely through it and into her side, disabling her engines. After the blow, the Queen backed out. The Webb was close behind and, dashing up at full speed, struck the Indianola on the bow. This tore away her other barge, injuring her severely. The Indianola fired her forward guns at the Webb, which the Webb escaped. Twice did the Queen, coming up again to ram her, crush her paddle-box. The kestrel, in her peril, had gained desperation. She poured her heavy shot into the Queen from her rear casemates, killing six men and disabling three guns. The Webb, coming up again, rammed also, striking the paddle-box, displacing the iron plates and crushing the timbers. Fighting in the night was a dramatic touch too common in the war. The Queen and the Webb were preparing for another blow. Nothing could be seen through the night—only voices heard calling out from the Indianola that she was sinking. Major Brent, after the surrender, carried his prize to the east side of the river, where she sank on a bar. As a memento of the battle, the gun deck of the Indianola remained above water. Another fight between Confederate river boats and Federal gunboats, in which victory remained with the Confederate makeshifts:
Maj.-Gen. Frank Gardner, in command of the works at Port Hudson, was a thoroughly earnest man. He was untiring in his efforts to prepare the works for the conflict which had become inevitable after New Orleans had been captured and Vicksburg menaced. Port Hudson is situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi. Baton Rouge is 22 miles below it. Its heavy batteries at the time of the war were located along the bluff at points commanding extended ranges above and below them. The elevation above the water line was 85 feet at the highest point. The water battery was about 45 feet above the water line of the Mississippi and was pierced for three guns. In 1862-63, but one, a rifled 32-pounder, had been mounted. It had other batteries, all of which fronted the river, making Port Hudson a place of remarkable strength. Indeed, it was generally thought, by reason of its situation and compactness, that as a work of defense it was capable of better resistance than the stronger but more scattered fortifications of Vicksburg. Guns, depressed, formed a formidable barrier to assault from the river front. Of light batteries there were four; one of them, Captain Fenner's Louisiana battery, being complimented by the chief of ordnance as being the most efficient battery of the Port. As a rule, all the batteries needed horses. With both armies in Louisiana and outside the city, horses were valuable from their scarceness.
Considerable correspondence passed between Pemberton at Vicksburg and Gardner at Port Hudson. Gardner needed reinforcements to be ready for his ordeal. Pemberton, always man greedy, retorted by borrowing 4,000 troops for the defense of Vicksburg.
In response to one of Pemberton's calls for reinforcements Buford's brigade was sent from Port Hudson, including the Twelfth Louisiana, Col. T. M. Scott, and Companies A and C, Pointe Coupee artillery, Capt. Alcide Bouanchaud. This was the nucleus of the brigade subsequently distinguished as Scott's brigade, from Resaca to Franklin. They served under Loring in Mississippi, participated in the battle of Baker's Creek, and had crossed that stream to follow Pemberton into Vicksburg when recalled by Loring to accompany him in a night march that ended in junction with J. E. Johnston at Jackson. At Baker's Creek the Twelfth was distinguished in repelling the assaults of the enemy which threatened the capture of the artillery, losing 5 killed and 34 wounded.
Awhile after he admitted that the odds were largely against Gardner, frankly adding, I am too much pressed on all sides to spare you troops. In the meantime, a trial was preparing for the batteries of Port Hudson which would test both them and the men behind them.
Banks was always active in pushing forward the claims of his department to close alliance with the fleet. Butler had profited by Farragut's courage in dashing past the batteries of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Why should not Banks link his name with the victorious passage of a fleet under the batteries of Port Hudson? On March 7th Banks, in pursuance of an agreement with the rearad-miral, had moved to Baton Rouge with his army. It was his design to make a strong diversion, by land, against Port Hudson, while Farragut would be running the gauntlet of fire from its batteries. Neither Banks nor Farragut had any doubt of the issue. Farragut believed in himself, Banks believed in Farragut. Thus, on March 14th, the attempt was made with the vessels. Flagship Hartford and the Albatross swept through the fiery welcome. After them came the Monongahela, to reach only the center batteries. There, disabled by an accident to her machinery, she turned and slowly withdrew from the race. The Mississippi,
On the bridge of the Mississippi, by the side of its commander, stood the executive officer of the ship, a man who has risen since March, 1863, from the bridge of the Mississippi to the rank of admiral, United States navy, and is known to the world as George Dewey.
a powerful war steamer, was not so fortunate. She had already passed the center when she got aground just under the guns. Our gunners were not merciful to their naval visitors. For half an hour they pounded her with shells. Her crew, after having suffered severely, finally set her on fire and abandoned her. The Hartford and the Albatross were already in the peaceful upper river between Port Hudson and Vicksburg. Others of the fleet had met with varying mishaps, and were content to retire. It seemed fit that, bearing the name she did, the Mississippi should end as our Louisiana and our Arkansas had ended—set on fire—burning down to her engines—blowing up—scattering her debris upon the waters. It was the old story on the great river, told over again in flame.
Banks had been far from serious in creating a diversion in the rear of the works on the Port Hudson road. Without intention of making a real assault, he was preparing, on the night of March 14th, to bring up a battery on that road. Nothing came either of that battery or of Banks' diversion. The battle clock was clearly at fault. An error had crept in between 8 p. m., when Banks thought that the batteries were to be passed that night, and 11:30 p. m. when the fleet, belching forth flame and broadsides, was actually rushing past. At that hour Banks was out on the Bayou Sara road, idly reconnoitering when fleet and batteries clashed together, and his hope lay in ruins. The broadsides could not have been very appalling. The Confederates in the batteries received each broadside with laughter.
With Farragut an open Mississippi had always been the paramount object. The fleet, guided and directed by his courage, was his main factor in the duty which had been confided to him by the government. In fronting Forts Jackson and St. Philip the first step had been taken. It had settled forever the possibility of a fiery transit of war-steamers rushing past a given point, behind which might be heavy guns, manned by skillful gunners. Farragut liked the exhilaration of the trial, as he enjoyed a storm at sea. He regretted the disabled steamers of his second venture, but with the Hartford and the Albatross, one-fifth of his venturous fleet, the admiral found himself abundantly able to blockade Red river. With these two sisters he could control the Confederate trade down that stream. No supplies could come down to victual the gunners of Port Hudson or those behind the batteries of Vicksburg. One more trial; one more triumphant gathering together of his fleet; one more order to rush in concert, would tell the story of an open stretch from Itasca to the Gulf.
Vicksburg, in March, 1863, was still seated upon her hills, conscious that by land and water foes were gathering around her, but still in her armor invincible. One result was assured to Banks. What had been done before Port Hudson was in favor of his hopes, at some future day, of effecting a consolidation with the victorious fleet up Red river. As early as April he had been consulting with Grant, commanding at the farther gates of Vicksburg. Would Grant help him with Port Hudson? Could he, or could he not, give Grant a quid pro quo with Vicksburg?
On April 10th Grant sent the following message to Banks: Am concentrating my forces at Grand Gulf. Will send an army corps to Bayou Sara by the 25th to cooperate with you. In this Grant was not wholly unselfish. Friends were gathering in force around Pemberton—the more need he should meet them with his friends. If he granted Banks a favor, he had equally a favor to ask of Banks. Can you aid me, and send me troops after the reduction of Port Hudson to assist me at Vicksburg? Grant did not seem at this time to have conjectured that Vicksburg was to surrender to him before, not after Port Hudson was to surrender to Banks.
Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, writing from Camp near Vernon, Miss., on May 19, 1863, informed Gardner at Port Hudson that Lieutenant-General Pemberton had been unfortunate. Suffering severely near Edwards depot on the 16th of May; on the 17th, abandoning Haynes' Bluff, he was compelled to fall back to Vicksburg. It is not as a historian, jealous for truth, that Johnston thus addresses Gardner. While displaying certain attributes rather suggestive of Bildad the Shumite, he is frankly peremptory with the commander at Port Hudson. Under the circumstances of Pemberton's abandoning his outposts, he adds: Your position is no longer valuable. It is important also that all the troops in the department shall be concentrated as soon as possible. Evacuate Port Hudson forthwith and move with your troops toward Jackson to join other troops which I am uniting.
With the news from Pemberton thus icily given it was impossible for Gardner to doubt the perilous import of his instructions. The defenses of Port Hudson had been confided to him by the adjutant-general at Richmond, Va. Since December 20, 1862, he had been constant in his endeavors to render the place impregnable. The conduct of his men on March 14th, in meeting the passage of the fleets, had greatly pleased him as a commander. Their increased hopefulness since that event had augmented his own confidence that he would be able to hold Port Hudson against the combined attack, which had been canvassed so loudly between Grant and Banks that he had not failed to hear some of the whispers.
During May and June, he had joined in a plan of receiving mail from Vicksburg. The Mississippi—half friend, half foe to the Confederates—had consented to become a medium of news to the commander of Port Hudson. Communication by land being unsafe and exposed to constant danger, Pemberton, at Vicksburg, had hit upon the plan of sending his military mail down the river. In the darkness—in the silence of death, hugging the shore farther, still farther from the Hartford and Albatross, and always floating by shaded places, his messengers passed from point to point, finally to deliver their dispatches under the guns of Port Hudson. Generally these brought questions from Pemberton to Gardner, frankly put, but not always sure of a reply. The latter, much concerned in his own charge, had been utterly unprepared for Johnston's ultimatum.
Two telegrams of Gen. J. E. Johnston from Jackson, Miss., may be cited here. No. 1, to Pemberton at Vicksburg, January 1, 1863: General Gardner is full of confidence. No. 2, to Gardner, January 2, 1863, I am told you are confident with your present force. I hope that is so, for we cannot afford more men than you want Gardner retained this confidence until May 10th, when a letter from General Johnston instructed him that his duty lay in evacuation rather than heroism.
The more sudden seemed this order of evacuation by reason of a hope which had, in the last days of June, sprung up from the known presence of Richard Taylor, back on his old fighting ground in lower Lousiana. Taylor, in this campaign, had a variety of reasons. One of these was the gathering of beef cattle for the relief of the starving garrison of the Port. In a campaign, Dick Taylor always seemed to deal in surprises, even to his friends. His instant grasp of a situation; his power of quick concentration; his sudden appearances, with that other gift of masking his designs in the face of an enemy, made him an enigma among the commanders of Louisiana. On July 4th, reporting his success in southern Louisiana, he said, I have used every exertion to relieve Port Hudson and shall continue to the last. But on that very day Vicksburg was surrendered. He then clearly saw that the loss of Vicksburg was sure to bring with it that of Port Hudson. Taylor's plan of relief had thus received an immediate quietus. Even a sudden dash upon New Orleans, a surprise never long couchant in his mind—was unwillingly deferred under advice of Gen. Kirby Smith. Returning to the Atchafalaya country, Taylor resolved to fight the enemy on his first advance—a resolve brilliantly put in execution on the Lafourche, as narrated in the previous chapter.
Taylor himself was absolutely without illusions. He felt assured that if Banks meant to overrun Louisiana it was within his power to do so. He saw in the rise of the Mississippi, Red, and Atchafalaya rivers an added proof that he could send his gunboats and transports into the very heart of western Louisiana. On his side, Kirby Smith, writing from Shreveport on July 12th, had ex-pressed his satisfaction with Taylor's operations up to that date. Smith rather took the sugar-coating from his praise, adding that Taylor's only course was to proceed with his troops to Niblett's Bluff on the Sabine. An admirable point was this bluff to threaten the enemy's communication with Texas; but in Taylor's eye, single to his State's interest, one acre of the soil of west Louisiana looked larger than the whole State of Texas, vastest of the Confederacy. The campaign of 1863 on the Mississippi had then already been ended. Vicksburg and Port Hudson had protectingly stood above a closed Mississippi, but after the surrender they ceased to be useful to the Confederacy. In a forest a mighty tree, girdled by the ax of the woodman, sways in its lordly top branches, totters, and plunges to the earth. As it falls, it crushes smaller trees which rested under its proud shade. Such was the fall of Vicksburg which, like that mighty tree, carried with it the fall of Port Hudson.
A chapter of sieges assault Repelled at Port Hudson the heroic defense the capitulation Louisianians at Vicksburg.
While Vicksburg was hurling shells upon her besiegers, Port Hudson had offered a long and brave resistance to hers. On May 27th, General Banks, strong in the presence of Farragut's fleet, and resting upon Grant's promises, threw his infantry forward within a mile of the breastworks. Col. W. R. Miles, Louisiana legion, commanded in the center; Gen. W. N. R. Beall watched over the right; Col. I. G. W. Steedman defended the left. The main assault by the enemy's line was hurled against the Confederate left. The repulse of the assault upon the left was decisive for that day. Banks, still confiding in his fleet and still leaning upon Grant, continued to invest the works.
On June 13th he demanded the unconditional surrender of the Port. He lacked the potently convincing tone of U. S. Grant, and could not command that soldier's appositeness of initials. In lieu of sternness he posed as a Chesterfield-Talleyrand. As a Chesterfield in his courtesy he complimented the endurance of the garrison, while as a Talleyrand, in his diplomacy, he craftily suggested that his army outnumbered Gardner's five to one. On his side, Gardner, not finding this special form of surrender nominated in Johnston's bond, declined altogether to consider the demand.
On the next day, an hour before daylight, the curtain was lifted a little over Banks' plans. About daylight the fleet in the river and the land batteries, erected by the enemy within three hundred feet from the Confederate breastworks, gave fire at the same time. The air was so calm that a thick white smoke, belching from the guns, rested for a space motionless above them. After a short delay, the smoke, broadening, settled slowly and heavily upon river and land alike. Under cover of it the enemy, gallantly advancing along the whole line, came within ten yards of our works. The Southern troops were as awake as they, and opening upon them with our heavy guns, drove them back with severe loss. Some fell on the line of attack; others lay in the ditches, never to rise again; others reached the works only to be killed where they stood. The land assault was short, sharp and decisive. After two hours, repulsed everywhere, the troops scattered to their old lines of the night. The fleet, being of tougher material, continued to pound away through the darkness. Gardner was still saying to himself: I shall evacuate only after Vicksburg has fallen. I am here to defend Port Hudson until then.
Mortar boats with their deadly fire next came to rein. force the gunboats. All the month of June the gun and mortar boats were thundering. The siege lasted from May 27th to July 9th, inclusive. The garrison had by use grown callous to its hardships. In the river mortars by day and night, on the land skirmishing like the sting of mosquitoes, sharp, perplexing, drawing little blood. Gardner, still fiery and sternly defiant, began to be vexed. The ghostly mail from Vicksburg had ceased with Pemberton's fall. His men were as resolute as they had been on the night of Farragut's passage in front of the batteries. Three months had passed since that eventful trial. June had been in her first days when the garrison's rations became scanty; June was in her last days when the supply of meat was exhausted. No more meat! Gardner had not counted starvation among the possibilities of his command before surrender. He had heard with composure that the ammunition was giving out; and that the artillerists could not long load their guns. Given only time, these were mishaps likely to happen in any beleaguered fortress. But starvation! His heart was still strong within him; his men, living upon fast diminishing food, had not yet complained. He still had mules. An excel. lent thought Would the men consent to eat horse-flesh? Jokes passed from mouth to mouth at the new fare; but some agreed to try the gastronomic novelty. Decidedly, Port Hudson was not ready to surrender.
On July 7th, thunderous salutes of artillery came from the gunboats in the river. No shell had as usual, come shrieking over the works. What is that? asked each gunner of his neighbor, all peering riverward. Cheering broke forth from the gunboats. It was a chorus of war with the voices of the fleet and the armies supporting the batteries. Suddenly, the firing ceased as quickly as it had begun. Only mighty cheering had taken the place of shelling. Some report had come in from Vicksburg. What was it? A party of the enemy drew near within talking distance. Asked the news, they freely gave it—gave it with a subtone of triumph. Vicksburg had surrendered! Men fraternize easily under great news. The men of Port Hudson were largely native Americans. Most of them came from the extreme South. Louisianians, Mississippians and Alabamians contended, like the young Athenians, for the prize of courage. They were enthusiastic over the long and memorable defense which their valor and their constancy had maintained between May 27th and July 9th, 1863.
Thus Vicksburg had, in surrendering, confided her defense to history. Gardner heard it with indignation, not to add perplexity. Something, however, had to be done. Vicksburg was no longer about to fall, she had fallen! The conditions had changed for evacuation and looked toward surrender. The victorious fleet which had swept from the upper Mississippi past the batteries of Vicksburg would be coming down to Port Hudson within a day. For once his resolute nature could see no road of escape from his responsibility. That night he summoned a war council. To explain the situation was not needed. It lay like an open book before each soldier in the Port. Without a dissenting voice the council decided that he could not hold out longer.
Vicksburg on the Mississippi surrendered on July 4, 1863. General Lee began his retreat from Gettysburg on the same day. The coincidence was strange. By many south of the Potomac it had been thought tragical. Sometimes it happens, says Herodotus, speaking of the defeat of the Persians at the same time at Plataea and Mycale, that two mortal blows strike the unhappy on the same day. Did Stonewall Jackson inspire victory?—John Dimitry, Belford's magazine, September, 1863. The surrender of Port Hudson to General Banks (with the fleet) on July 9th, followed, as has been seen, the surrender of Vicksburg to General Grant on July 4, 1863.
History of Confederate States, Jefferson Davis.
The surrender of Port Hudson by General Gardner included about 6,000 persons all told, 51 pieces of artillery, and a quantity of ordnance stores. Our loss in killed and wounded in the assaults was small compared with that of the enemy. It is not too much to say that when surrendered the garrison of Port Hudson, which had resisted a vastly superior force, attacking by both land and water, for more than six weeks, was as dauntless in spirit as on the first day of the defense.
The parole rolls showed the following Louisiana commands at Port Hudson: Fourth Louisiana (detachment), Capt. James T. Whitman; Ninth infantry battalion, Capt. T. B. R. Chinn; Ninth battalion, partisan rangers, Lieut. Col. J. H. Wingfield, Maj. J. DeBaun: Twelfth heavy artillery battalion, Lieut-Col. P. F. DeGournay; Thirteenth regiment (detachment), Capt. T. K. Porter; Louisiana legion, Col. W. R. Miles; Boone's battery, Capt. S. M. Thomas; Watson's battery, Lieut. E. A. Toledano. Colonel DeGournay commanded the heavy batteries of the left wing. Lieut. L. A. Schirmer, of his command, on June 25th, seized the flag of Miles' legion, which had been shot down, fixed it to a light pole, and jumping on the parapet, planted the flagstaff amid a shower of bullets. Again and again the flag was shot down, and each time the gallant lieutenant raised it, waved it defiantly, and planted it firmly regardless of the volleys of the enemy's sharpshooters. He escaped unhurt after repeating thrice this gallant feat, which called forth the enthusiastic cheers of the brave men who lined our works. Colonel Wingfield's rangers won the praise in general orders of the general commanding by a repulse of the enemy's cavalry on the Plain's Store road, May 23d.
We turn now from Port Hudson to its partner in stress. Mighty was the spell which the peril of Vicksburg had cast on the people of the States bordering upon the great river and, far beyond its delta, upon those which looked toward Richmond, beleaguered by armies farther off than Vicksburg. Virginia, with that admiration which the brave can best show, had felt for the deadly danger into which the Confederacy's devoted guard of the West had fallen. In the latter part of December, 1862, Sherman with 30,000 men had landed north of Vicksburg. Behind Chickasaw bayou, with the fortified bluffs at his back, was Stephen D. Lee with his provisional division, a large part of which was the Seventeenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first Louisiana regiments. He had to defend a line thirteen miles in length north of the city, the north flank of which, Snyder's mill, was gallantly and successfully held by the Twenty-second Louisiana on the 27th. At the same time Colonel Thomas' Twenty-eighth defeated the attempt of the enemy to bridge the bayou with pontoons. The Seventeenth and Twenty-sixth Louisiana met the enemy beyond the bayou and held their ground during the 26th and 27th against a large force, and on the next day the Twenty-eighth took that position and fought throughout the day against Blair's entire brigade. This command being drawn across the bayou to the bluff Sherman ordered an assault next day, which was repulsed with great slaughter. As the enemy broke in confusion, the Twenty-sixth and part of the Seventeenth were marched on the field, and under their cover 332 prisoners and four stand of colors were taken. The services of Colonel Higgins, Colonel Thomas and Colonel Hall, Twenty-sixth Louisiana, were especially commended. The Thirty-first, Col. C. H. Morrison, was also actively engaged in the works.
It was not in length of days that that of Vicksburg, May to July, 1863, stands pre-eminent among the sieges of this land. In her own story, in 1862, she had already stood defiant against a bombarding fleet for sixty-seven days. But in 1863, while the siege lasted only forty-seven days, there came a sterner presence moved by a mightier power. Pemberton had no cause to complain of his little army, with which were seven regiments of Louisiana troops and several artillery organizations.
Below is a roll of death, which Louisiana, deprived of brave sons by wounds received during the siege, signed in tears with her blood on July 4, 1863.
Officers reported killed: Third Louisiana, Capt. J. E. Johnson, John Kinney, Lieut. A. S. Randolph; Twenty-first Louisiana, Capt. J. Ryan, Lieut. G. H. Mann; Twentysecond Louisiana, Capt. F. Gomez, Lieut. R. E. Lehman; Twenty-sixth Louisiana, Maj. W. W. Martin, Capt. Felix G. Winder, Lieuts. M. Arnaux, Peter Feriner; Twentysev-enth Louisiana, Lieut-Col. L. L. McLaurin, Lieut. Geo. Harris, Col. L. D. Marks, mortally wounded; Twentyeighth (Twenty-ninth) Louisiana, Capt. F. Newman, Lieuts. B. F. Millett, I. G. Sims; Thirty-first Louisiana, Col. S. H. Griffin; Seventeenth Louisiana, Lieut.-Col Madison Rogers.
For heavy and light artillery alike, it was of truth a martial education to have stood within the defenses of Vicksburg during her historic siege. Not a man from the State but had proved brave to fight, and strong to endure. Indeed, in all the epoch of Vicksburg's glory, no quality was so apparent in them as that of heroism which knew how to face peril—no transient guest this—with a smile as brave as the heart was steady. The Louisianians at Vicksburg did not laugh as their comrades at Port Hudson had done. Life for them was terribly unreal. Death alone was real because its dart alone was visible. Weary was the time, yet always calmly resolute were the heroes of Vicksburg. The sun burned them by day, and the night, instead of bringing rest, brought no relief from mines exploding and breaches opened. The first assault upon Vicksburg, May 18th, was met, said Gen. M. L. Smith, by the Twenty-seventh Louisiana, subsequently by the Seventeenth and Thirty-first Louisiana, and held at bay until night. The regiments were then withdrawn to the intrenched line, which was assailed on the 19th. The brunt of this attack on Smith's line was borne by the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Louisiana, who repulsed the attack with two volleys. The redan held by Colonel Marks was the main object of attack, and of him and his regiment it was recorded: To the brave Colonel Marks and his gallant regiment, Twenty-seventh Louisiana, belongs the distinction of taking the first colors, prisoners and arms lost by the enemy during the siege.
The heaviest and most dangerous attack, said General Smith, was on the extreme right, and nobly did the Twenty-sixth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first Louisiana repel and endure it. The casualties among the officers of these regiments indicate the nature of the defense required. In the Twenty-sixth, Maj. W. W. Martin, one captain and two lieutenants were killed; Col. W. Hall, severely wounded. In the Twenty-seventh, Lieut.-Col. L. L. McLaurin, one captain and one lieutenant killed, Col. L. D. Marks dangerously, Maj. A. S. Norwood, one captain and one lieutenant wounded. In the Twenty-eighth, one lieutenant killed and three wounded. In the Thirty-first Col. S. H. Griffin killed. Lieut.-Col. Madison Rogers, Seventeenth, was killed early in the siege. No field-officer of the Twenty-eighth was left at the surrender. The loss in killed and wounded in Shoup's brigade alone was 23 officers and 283 men. The Third Louisiana suffered a loss of 45 killed and 126 wounded, the heaviest casualties of Hebert's command.
On June 25th the enemy sprang his first mine. It happened to be under the redan of the Third Louisiana. A breach yawned above the hole. The Third, with a yell, swept upon the breach, trampling its wreck under their feet and repulsing the broachers. So it went from day to day; the men looking for new mines and eager to meet the workers. Not long after another mine exploded. This time the enemy feared to enter the breach. The Louisianians at the point of danger had emphasized the prime boast of impregnable Vicksburg. Its works could not be taken by assault.
In leaving forever the glorious trenches of Vicksburg we shall, while pressing the hand of Col. Edward Higgins, commander of the river batteries, meet with an old acquaintance. To locate him, the comrade's memory need only go back to Forts Jackson and St. Philip in April, 1861. The water batteries at Vicksburg were divided into three commands. Louisianians manned the center batteries, immediately in front of the city, under Maj. F. N. Ogden, Eighth Louisiana artillery battalion. Here was danger's picked station. In war, the point of danger is the point of glory—so said Murat, who never shirked it. Louisianians stood also behind the lower batteries, which were in charge of the First Louisiana artillery under Lieut.-Col. Beltzhoover. With Colonel Beltzhoover was a portion of the Twenty-third (Twenty-second) Louisiana volunteers. While still with Beltzhoover's Louisianians, it may be well to remember that, early in the siege, his men helped to sink the Cincinnati, mounting fourteen guns. It was May 27th when the Cincinnati, showing all her teeth, approached the upper batteries. Four sister gunboats, equally well guarded, threatened the lower batteries. It was a hot engagement while it lasted. Colonel Higgins summed up the result with this Lacedaemonian brevity: An engagement took place which resulted in the . . .sinking of the Cincinnati in front of our guns, after an action of thirty minutes. After this, gunboats were disposed to be shy in their dalliance with our batteries.
The following roll of honor was given by Colonel Higgins, commanding the water batteries, of those distinguished for their gallantry and unceasing vigilance: Maj. F. N. Ogden, Capts. T. N. McCrory and P. Grandpre, Eighth Louisiana battalion; Lieutenant-Colonel Beltzhoover, First Louisiana artillery; Capts. W. C. Capers, R. C. Bond and R. J. Bruce, Lieuts. R. Agar, E. D. Woodlief and C. A. Conrad, First artillery; Adjt. W. T. Mumford, Eighth battalion, Capt. Samuel Jones, Twenty-second regiment and Sergt. Thomas Lynch, of the First artillery, who, by his ceaseless energy in command of the picket-boats and his close attention as chief of the river police, made himself almost invaluable.
In truth, Vicksburg demanded from her defenders nothing less than ceaseless energy, and unceasing vigilance. For the rest, such are the mots d'ordre of all sieges which arrest the pen of history. At 5 p. m., July 3d, the last gun was fired by the river batteries in defense of Vicksburg. So says Colonel Higgins, under whose order the gun was fired.
One word more of detail, this time claimed by the Mississippi. About July 16, 1863, the steamer Imperial reached New Orleans from St. Louis. The Imperial had made the long passage without a stand and deliver. It had passed Vicksburg and Port Hudson unchallenged. The problem of the great river was practically solved in the free wave by which nature had joined the Mississippi to the Passes.
Taylor Prepares for defense the Red river threatened Porter Ascends the river Banks marches toward Shreveport fall of Fort De Russy Gen. Kirby Smith plans for Federal defeat Taylor Resolves to fight at Mansfield.
The winter of 1863-64 was without stirring events in Louisiana Banks was taking breath and stock in New Orleans. Taylor, too busy for leisure, was establishing depots, both labor and forage, between the Boeuf and Pleasant Hill—the country thereabout being utterly barren. Out of abounding caution, he left small detachments to guard these depots. Meanwhile; throughout the Teche country, Vincent's Second Louisiana cavalry rode everywhere, alert and watchful, keeping marauders in order.
Toward the end of February, 1864, Taylor had posted his army as follows: Harrison's mounted regiment (just organized), with a 4-gun battery, were ordered to Monroe. Mouton's brigade was encamped near Alexandria; Polignac had headquarters on the Ouachita; Walker's division lay at Marksville, with three companies of Vincent's cavalry. One day, Sherman came to New Orleans to confer with Banks. Friend and enemy were the wiser for this interview. Immense shifting in commands did, in truth, in both armies follow this secret de Polichinelle. Taylor, warned by it of the re-buzzing of Banks' bee, hastened Polignac, on March 7th, to Alexandria—thence with Mouton to the Boeuf, twenty-five miles south. Harrison was transferred to the Ouachita (west bank). Vincent was ordered to leave flying scouts on the Teche, next to hasten his regiment to Opelousas. Sherman's visit had stirred both camps to a fever of expectation. With Banks, the result was that he began to open his forces like a great fan, from New Orleans outward. With Taylor, it was to draw his army within closer lines, nearer Shreveport than Alexandria.
Polignac's brigade, and the Louisiana brigade under Colonel Gray, were soon united in a division, the command of which was given to General Mouton. We shall see the telling work of this new division later on in the campaign of 1864. On the 21st, Edgar's battery, four guns, was despatched to strengthen Vincent.
At his worst, Richard Taylor was not over-given to falling back. Before falling back he always looked to see where he could best jump from his new point. More than in war, there is profit in such caution. With the first days of March he was particularly on the alert for consequences of the Sherman visit. They were not long in coming.
On March 12th Admiral Porter had entered the mouth of the Red river with nineteen gunboats. The gunboats were followed by 10,000 men loaned by Sherman for the punishment of Louisiana. The news was no sooner given out than Alexandria was prudently evacuated by Taylor. A step backward at Alexandria was to stiffen his muscles for the triumphant leap to Mansfield. From Alexandria, Taylor for once turned to Pleasant Hill. Reinforcements, specially of horse, were slow in reaching him. Green's Texans, three companies of which came first, were ill provided with arms. To Taylor, impatiently waiting at Pleasant Hill, came Walker and Mouton; Green joined him the same day. Major, with the remainder of the Texans, had not come up. To give him time to reach the hill, Taylor halted two days. Thus far the enemy had made no serious advance; and on April 4th and 5th he marched to Mansfield. In the cavalry arm, the Texans were well represented by Debray's and Buchel's Buchel, who had served in the Prussian army, was an instructed soldier. Three days after he joined us he was mortally wounded in action, and survived but a few hours. The old Fatherland sent no bolder horseman to battle at Rosbach or Gravelotte.—Destruction and Reconstruction regiments. Before these Price had dispatched from his command in Arkansas two brigades of Missouri infantry, numbering together 4,400 muskets. These marched to Keachi
Three roads led from Mansfield to Shreveport—the Kingston, Middle and Keachi. The distance by the first is thirty-eight miles by the second, forty; by the third, forty-five.—Destruction and Reconstruction.
on the morning of April 6th, reporting to Taylor from that point, where, under orders, they remained during that day. Banks began his movement from Grand Ecore to Pleasant Hill on April 6th, with a force (estimated) of 25,000. Taylor, to meet this large army, had on the field only 8,800 men. Though given with apparent precision, this was a very full estimate.
During the early part of his administration of affairs, civil and military, General Banks had shown some substantial result in civic affairs. Results as substantial might be expected from his feverish energy in the field. Here, in New Orleans, his tarnished record against Stonewall Jackson in the valley of Virginia was not a pleasant reminder to himself. In March, 1864, his plans for a triumphant movement into the bowels of the land were revived. His previous expedition had been attended by no practical success. Alexandria had been occupied for a short time, but Shreveport still remained Confederate.
For the year 1864, operations began in North Louisiana as early as March 1st. On that day, Black river was the medium, through an attack made by a small Federal fleet consisting of an ironclad, the Osage, and five other boats (semi-gunboats).
U. S. vessels engaged in the expedition: The Conestoga., Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, and Ouachita.—Report of Com. Ramsay.
This fleet made its appearance at Beard's Point, on Black river, at 9:30 p. m. The objective point on the river was evidently Harrisonburg— the Confederate headquarters under Brig.-Gen. Camille J. Polignac.
Brigadier-General Polignac (Prince Camille de Polignac) was a gallant young Frenchman, as devoted to the cause of the Confederacy as he had been, nay, as he still is, to the Bourbon Lilies Polignac had lately joined Taylor's army and had been put in command of a brigade of Texas infantry.
The territory is one of numerous watercourses, treacherous rivers interspersed with more treacherous bayous. Recent rains had made the roads, already bad, impassable for the movement of troops. Polignac, with a small force of infantry, under Colonel Taylor and Lieutenant-Colonel Stone, cavalry under Captain Randle, and Faries' battery, had so skillfully handled his men that the expedition was made practically a useless exhibition of force. He was gallantly assisted by Capt. T. A. Faries, of the Pelican (Louisiana) battery, against the flotilla, whose main damage had been done by firing not less than 1,000 rounds out of 24 and 32-pounders, and by shelling, out of 12-pounder Parrott rifles, the banks between Trinity and Harrisonburg, as well as the two towns. It was a brief fight, at short distance, between Faries' battery of light guns and the heavier metal of protected boats. This amphibious duel between a battery on shore and an armed flotilla in the river, was still a novelty in warfare. Disappointed at the result of ten days shelling, the flotilla withdrew, on the 4th, up the Ouachita river. Casualties, 3 killed and 13 wounded, 3 of them mortally. The enemy were supposed to have buried 15 on the banks of the Ouachita.
On the 17th, Banks heard of the capture of Fort De Russy on the 14th, by A. J. Smith's forces. He was also cheered by the news of the capture of Alexandria on the 15th, by Admiral Porter's fleet; and on the 19th, by the report that General Franklin was coming from the Teche with 18,000 men. From General Steele, at Camden, Arkansas, he heard that he was on the march with 12,000 men to his aid. To a man of Banks' mercurial nature, all these reinforcements tending his way made propitious tidings. So lightened, indeed, was his heart, through these flashes connected with the expedition which was to twine his military column with laurel, that on the 13th he wrote to Halleck at Washington, leaving General Franklin to continue his march as expeditiously to Alexandria as possible, I shall proceed immediately to that point.
On April 2d he was reporting to the same official his arrival in Alexandria. He showed no anxiety about his rear, nor any fear that his garrisons in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Port Hudson would be much missed from his imposing advance. If numbers could win in this campaign in Louisiana, there were chances with odds for his success. Gen. A. J. Smith, he says loftily, with a column of 10,000 men is with us. Our troops occupy Natchitoches,
General Taylor says: The enemy's advance reached the river road by the 31st. . . I remained in the town until the enemy entered, then rode four miles to Grand Ecore, where, in the main channel of Red river, a steamer was awaiting me. Embarking, I went up the river to Blair's Landing, .. .whence was a road 16 miles to Pleasant Hill . . . During this long retreat, I had been in correspondence with Gen. Kirby Smith, and always exposed my intentions to fight as soon as reinforcements reach me.—Taylor's Destruction and Reconstruction.
and we hope to be in Shreveport by the 10th of April. I do not fear concentration of the enemy at that point. My fear is that they may not be willing to meet us there. I shall pursue the enemy into the interior of Texas for the sole purpose of destroying or dispersing his forces if it be in my power. . .. Taylor's forces are said to be on that line (Sabine town). This will not, he adds arrogantly, divert us from our movement.
Thus he wrote on April 2d, making much of A. J. Smith's 10,000 men, borrowed from General Sherman. A small string was attached, by the way, to this loan of Smith's division. Banks had agreed to return the men to Sherman within three months. He never once doubted that the pledge would be redeemed within the time. The great battle which was shortly to crown him with military success would surely bring the fulfillment of his pledge. He could see no danger on the Sabine Cross-roads, where Confederate Richard Taylor awaited him with hope equal to his. Thus do I trample upon the pride of Plato, snarled Diogenes to the philosopher. Yes, answered Plato, mildly, but with greater pride, Diogenes. For with Dick Taylor were the Louisianians of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill!
Banks, a man of much hope and many fears, was greatly troubled about the low stage of Red river, which made him anxious in regard to the co-operation of Porter's larger gunboats. The smaller gunboats of the fleet were already at Alexandria, but the larger boats, deterred by the impossibility of passing the rapids, were anchored expectantly at Grand Ecore. From the first, he had been jubilant of that success which, a few days later, was to avoid him and finally escape him altogether. He thought highly enough of two or three details of his imposing campaign to let the government at Washington know them. The net results were the capture of four guns and 250 prisoners. (Report of General Banks, April 3, 1864.) One achievement was the capture of Fort De Russy, a water battery in a strategic position below Alexandria. Taylor had been at the pains to gather considerable ordnance and ordnance stores at the fort, which surrendered after an hour's fight. The capture of these stores proved a serious loss to his army's scanty supply.
In the meantime Kirby Smith was at Shreveport, looking out for Banks' army. He was sure of checking, in due time, its advance. Already in the latter part of August, 1863, that sagacious officer had known that a formidable expedition was preparing, under the auspices of Grant and Banks, up the Red river valley. He had not been ignorant of the collapse of that expedition by reason of Rosecrans' defeat at Chickamauga, and by Grant's transfer to Tennessee. He had never lost the belief, during the ensuing months of inaction, that the frustrated expedition, grown riper for mischief and more dangerously equipped, would be renewed at some future day. This new movement of March, 1864, did not alarm him. What he had been doing in the interim had been to prepare his extensive department from Shreveport, on the shortest line of communication, to Camden, Ark. With permanent headquarters at Shreveport, General Smith knew that that city would be the meeting point of the two columns, advancing from Arkansas (Steele) and from New Orleans (Banks).
As showing the peculiar importance of Shreveport to the successful holding for the Confederacy of the Trans-Mississippi department, as the central point for west Louisiana, and to the inadequacy of his available forces, General Smith's report on the subject, June 11, 1864, is valuable as a summary of the situation. At that time, two months after Taylor's triumphant campaign, Shreveport was still a city of the Confederacy and the war capital of the (Confederate) State of Louisiana. The enemy was operating with a force of full 50,000 effective men. With the utmost powers of concentration not 25,000 men could be brought to meet their movements. Shreveport was made the point of concentration. With its fortifications covering the depot, arsenals and shops at Jefferson, Marshall and above, it was a strategic point of vital importance. All the infantry, not with Taylor, opposed to Banks, was directed to Shreveport. General Price, with his cavalry command, was instructed to delay the march of Steele's column while the concentration was effected.
While Kirby Smith was making ready for the vaunted expedition, so formidable in numbers, so thoroughly equipped in material, so confident of success, Banks himself was beginning to be dubious of seeing Steele's 12,000 men from Arkansas in time for his own advance. In the closing days of March Taylor had been impatiently expecting reinforcements of cavalry. Vincent's Second Louisiana cavalry, which had been watching the enemy on the Teche, had joined him on the 19th. On the night of the 30th, the Fifth (Texas) cavalry rode in, followed by the Seventh on the 31st. Taylor, having secured his much needed cavalry, began at once to plan a counter-campaign. In February, he had learned by secret information from the city of the probable Federal plan of campaign. A. J. Smith was to bring from Vicksburg his division of veterans, while Banks was to march up through that Teche country which Taylor knew so well. He at once notified Gen. Kirby Smith of his suspicions. It was then that Smith, to meet this movement, began to draw in his forces, which were much scattered throughout his vast department. In March, A. J. Smith came up Red river while Banks was marching triumphantly up the Teche. Army and navy had joined in this final campaign of invasion. In the array, whether on land or wave, the lightest heart was that of the generalissimo of the army.
The Federals, after having captured Fort De Russy, marched unhalted up the whole valley of the Red river. Taylor had been falling back steadily before the enemy's advance, a falling back as if the Confederate mot d'ordre was to skirmish each day, and by night weakly yield the road just ahead. This held good until Taylor found himself at Mansfield, almost at the door of Shreveport. Here his mock patience gave out. Like a skilled sabreur he had, in the retreat, felt his enemy and had learned his strong points. Now, with Mouton's Louisianians at his call, and relieved about his cavalry, Taylor was to make sure of his weak play. In Mouton's command were the following Louisiana forces: Eighteenth regiment (Armant's); Crescent regiment (Bosworth's); Twenty-eighth (Gray's); Beard's battalion; Fournet's battalion; Faries' battery.
Taylor did not count numbers. It mattered little to him that he was to hurl 9,000 men at that Federal wall of three times his number. He resolved to make a stand at Mansfield. With his battle already outlined in his mind, he sent a dispatch to Gen. Kirby Smith, stating his purpose. Fearing Taylor's impetuosity, Smith had the day before Mansfield sent a courier to him with this message: Not to fight, but to withdraw nearer Shreveport. Smith had also sent from headquarters another dispatch of general application to all Confederates of Christian faith in his department. He had appointed April 8, 1864, as a day of fasting and prayer. The women of west Louisiana were on their knees weeping before their altars. Its soldiers were in the field, exultantly driving the enemy before them, a disorganized mass.
The battle of Mansfield Taylor's Formation for battle Mouton's gallant charge rout of the Federal army battle renewed at Pleasant Hill Monett's Ferry death of General Green official reports.
In the road between Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, in early April, 1864, history was preparing a trophy of arms for the honor of Louisiana Leaving Green, of the cavalry, in command of the front, Taylor hastened to the village of Mansfield, three miles away, to perfect his plans for the next day.
On the morning of the 8th, the Thirteenth army corps Decidedly, on that particular April 7th, the hills of De Soto were echoing with the music of war. A strong showing of Confederate strength was made at Wilson's farm, three miles from Shreveport. The enemy attacked 3,000 of Green's mounted Texans, but, being unable to dislodge them, were forced to retire.
On the same day the martial strain reached even the bluffs of the Mississippi. A small body of our cavalry encountered a detachment of Federals sent out from Port Hudson. A little shelling with one piece of artillery was followed by some skirmishing after which the enemy broke and were pursued as far as Plains store. Near the Port, our cavalry again met them. This time we succeeded in capturing the gun, six horses and seven prisoners.
He was resolved to fight a general engagement on the 8th, if the enemy advanced in force. As a soldier, Taylor loved to meet large masses in battle, provided only his own force was well in hand. It was a phase of his military mind, an inheritance, doubtless, from his father, who made light of Santa Ana and his odds at Buena Vista. Disparity of force could not daunt the soul of Richard Taylor. It only made him plan a little more thoughtfully, weigh a little more carefully—above all, take fewer chances. With all his dash, no commander could be more prudent than he when the need was. was on this road, heaidng for Pleasant Hill. About the same hour, Taylor was making a careful disposition of his small army. The odds, which were an inspiration to him, were before him. His total force was 8,800 men— divided into 5,300 infantry, 3,000 mounted men and 500 artillery. Banks' force was estimated at 25,000 men, full. The battle-ground was three miles from Mansfield. The country in this neighborhood is hilly and heavily wooded. Over one of these hills the public road ran steeply. Evidently the enemy understood the value of heights. On the top of this high hill they had posted Nims' famous battery, that Henry Watkins Allen, colonel of the Fourth Louisiana, had hurled his men against, taken and lost, when wounded at Baton Rouge.
Taylor's line of battle reached along the road. In front of this line Taylor rode, scanning the men as he passed. As he breasted Polignac, occupying the center of Mouton's division, he called out cheerily: Little Frenchman, I am going to fight Banks if he has a million of men! Walker's division occupied the right of the road facing Pleasant Hill, with Buchel's and Terrell's cavalry, under Bee, on the right. On the left of the same road was Mouton's superb division of Louisianians, with Major's division of cavalry (dismounted) on Mouton's left. Each division of infantry was skillfully supported by artillery, Haldeman's and Daniel's batteries on the right, in position with Walker's division. With Mouton on the left were Cornay's St. Mary's Cannoneers and Nettles' battery. A little to the rear Debray's cavalry rested on their horses. Near them was McMahon's battery, just in from the front with the cavalry advance. Debray's cavalry formed with the reserve artillery. This holding of artillery in reserve was a proof of Taylor's careful attention to the smallest details of the battle, on which so much depended. The country, being at this time heavily timbered, offered no field for the employment of many guns. These were, therefore, held in reserve.
Taylor's line of battle, prudently veiled, was at the edge of a wood with cleared fields, stretching away on both sides of the Pleasant Hill road. The clearing, which was about 1,000 yards in extent, was a direct menace to an attacking force. Thus, having made ready, Taylor awaited with confidence the Federal advance. To Banks' pompous march he had opposed a skillful arrangement of his army. It would be hard to imagine a more effective disposition of his forces, at once cautious and bold. In the stand chosen for a waiting army, it gave assurance that every advantage in the ground had been taken by the Confederate leader. That the attack would be in force, he had hoped; that he would fight the harder against odds, none better than he knew.
Suddenly Taylor's army saw its cavalry rapidly driven back in its front. On the left a body of the enemy's cavalry, spurred by success and following incautiously, ran into a stone wall, made up of the line of the Eighteenth Louisiana. In another moment the wall became moving men, who advanced, and in one strong movement in force destroyed the pursuers.
While this was going on, in the wood beyond the clearing could be seen the enemy forming his line of battle. Some light skirmishing without result took place. Taylor speedily detected the Federal design. It was evident that they were weakening their left to mass on their right, to turn him. To meet the new peril he hastened Terrell's regiment of horse to reinforce Major's cavalry on the left. Nor did he neglect the imperiled infantry. He ordered Randal's brigade of Walker's division from the right to the left to strengthen Mouton. In these transfers the whole line gained ground from the right to the left, to meet the onset. The movements among the Confederates were masked by throwing forward skirmishers toward the enemy, and deploying Debray's cavalry in the open fields on both sides of the road.
It was 4 p. m. when the changes were perfected. In the wood, the enemy had shown no further signs of life. This silence made Taylor suspect that their arrangements were still incomplete. Under this impression, he decided to open the attack from the left. He had chosen his fighters well; Mouton's Louisianians, eager and watchful, were waiting for the call. At the word, Mouton led the charge of his infantry, sweeping through a murderous fire, which lasted twenty-five minutes of carnage. The charge carried the Louisianians at double-quick down a hill, through a ravine swept by the enemy's guns, over a fence, up another hill to look into the very muzzles of the guns which had been dealing out wounds and death. Here our greatest loss occurred. This attack deserves to be placed by the side of Pickett's charge against the guns on Cemetery ridge. The valor and heroism were the same, only numbers varied. It was the crucial moment of the battle. Here was the moment when victory, propitious, was to smile at one end of the line while it frowned at the other. So dramatic was this advance of Louisianians, so rich in its results to the Confederates, so sorrowful through the rank of its dead, that it may claim a distinctive place in the annals of military charges.
Taylor, at the moment of giving the order to attack, was sitting with his leg crossed over the pommel of his saddle, smoking a cigar. There he continued to sit, anxious, while the victory with its costly sacrifice of lives was winning. He was keenly alive to the slightest move connected with that awful charge into the valley over which Death's shadow hovered ominously. At this moment, Kirby Smith's courier galloped up with the commander's message, already cited. Taylor's eye flashed, and he seemed to rise in his stirrups. Too late, sir, he snapped to the courier, the battle is won! It is not the first time 1 have fought with a halter around my neck. And, turning around on his horse, he once more peered through the smoke to trace the final fortunes of the fight.
Almost every man in the direct attack of Mouton's division was struck with a bullet. Taylor had seen that, in the terrible fire, all the men in front would be shot down. He had at once dispatched a body of his troops to turn the enemy's flank by getting around them. This move, while it could not prevent the heavy slaughter, lessened it considerably by distracting the enemy's attention. A peculiarity of this battle was a general agreement among the field officers that, on account of the heat, they would fight on horseback. Here, on their horses, was not only the place of honor, but an invitation to Death, ever watchful in battle, to crown the brave. The severe loss of the officers of the Eighteenth and Crescent regiments, in this assault, was owing to the terrible fire in the ravine, between the woods and the hill, of the Federal batteries. Armant, of the Eighteenth, received three wounds, the last one killing him, while the sword of defiance still gleamed in his hand. Mouton, that peerless Bayard of our fighting Creoles, found death in a way wholly worthy of the name, Sans peur et sans reproche.
The Federal battery on the hill was pouring grape and canister into our ranks. It was a fearful struggle through that dark ravine, up that hill, up to those guns. The Louisianians swept on, gladly following, with Mouton always in the van. The guns were taken after a desperate struggle. Here the enemy broke and fled. Mouton, in passing a group of thirty-five soldiers, noticed that they had thrown down their arms in token of surrender. Upon that group, the Confederates, not seeing the sign of submission, were about to fire. Mouton, true to his creed, now placed on trial, holding it unsullied, lifted up a hand of mercy to stop the slaughter. Perhaps, out of that group, one did not see the hand of mercy. It may be that a sudden blindness struck five of the group. That moment, while the mad charge was still sweeping by in pursuit, five of the Federals, picking up their guns, aimed straight at the heroic figure which had, by a signal, given them back their own unworthy lives. Mouton, without one look or word or sign, fell from his saddle, dead. In the wild rush of battle some there were of his men who saw the dastard deed. With the yells of battle was mingled yet another yell; wilder, fiercer, more curdling, a yell for vengeance! Before their officers could check the savage impulse thirty guiltless Federals had paid with their lives for the cowardly act of five. As they lay around Mouton, one might have fancied them a guard of honor drawn from the foe to show him reverence.
In this charge through the ravine, to end the story, Mouton carried 2,200 men. Out of this number 762 died with him. He had said to Polignac just before the attack: Let us charge them right in the face and throw them into the valley. That valley was the ravine, in which Mouton's noble life was offered up in the sacred name of mercy. Sans peur had been his life. In his death his fame was to be rounded sans reproche. In the broad battle annals of our Confederacy I can think of no loftier exit from its bloody stage recorded of any of its actors than that of Alfred Mouton, of Louisiana.
Taylor's report gives the bald truth. It is told in an adjective qualifying the charge. A list of the dead among the officers who led the charge emphasizes the same thrilling story, a story in which mention deigns, in passing, to glorify the color-bearers of one of the attacking regiments. The charge made by Mouton across the open was magnificent. With his little division, consisting of his own and Polignac's brigade, the field was crossed under a murderous fire of artillery and musketry, the wood was reached and our little line sprang with a yell upon the foe. In this charge, General Mouton, commanding division, fell. Colonel Armant, of the Eighteenth Louisiana; Colonel Beard, of the Crescent (New Orleans) regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, commanding Twenty-eighth Louisiana; Lieutenant-Colonel Noble, Seventeenth Texas; Major Canfield of the Crescent regiment, were killed; and Lieutenant-Colonel Clark, Crescent regiment, dangerously wounded. Seven standard bearers fell, one after another, with the flag of the Crescent regiment. The consolidated Crescent regiment was the only Louisiana regiment that proved so unfortunate as to lose all its field officers in a single battle.—Report of Adjutant-General (Louisiana), 1892. Not once, in spite of these permanent losses, did this noble division halt for one instant, nor did it in face of the disaster fall into confusion. Polignac was there to step into the place of the fallen leader. With ringing voice, that gallant soldier whom France had given to her daughter, Louisiana, continued the movement forward. While Mouton still led, his division had advanced with the left protected by Vincent's and Terrell's cavalry (dismounted). These gallantly kept pace with the sweep of the infantry, forcing back and turning, as they went, the enemy's right. No support could have been more effective than this good work of the dismounted horse. It kept the enemy busy in repelling flankings, while the invincible rush of the division paralyzed each successive attempt at concentrated resistance.
Banks' movement to Shreveport via Pleasant Hill was in mortal peril. The charge of the Confederate left was growing like a race of the fox and the hounds. The Thirteenth army corps fought stubbornly, making a gallant stand, for a time, against the Confederate advance. But the flag of the victorious Louisianians, floating near and nearer in the smoke, grew more and more distinct through spring's green foliage. Their yells turned shriller and more disturbing. Not one of the Louisianians but felt that with his State's soil under his feet and Mouton to be avenged, he was invincible on that day which had seen his leader dead.
Taylor, seeing his left flank well developed, now paid attention to his right. Here Walker's division was pressing on the foe on hopeful feet. The attack, made equally effective from both our left and right, confused the Thirteenth army corps which had so steadily borne the day's brunt. Their soldier ranks began to shiver; their firm battle line swayed in weakness. In vain did the Thirteenth take advantage of the wooded ridges, so common in the country. As soon as formed, every line was swept away as by a flood. Every gun was captured as soon as placed for action. The slaughter of the men was keeping pace with the capture of the guns. The decisive moment that came to Wellington at Waterloo, when he shut up his field glasses; that certitude which came to Napoleon at Austerlitz, when he took snuff, had now come to Taylor at Mansfield. The Thirteenth army corps, breaking at last, fled wildly. For miles it was driven without intermission by a pressure that neither knew halt nor permitted rest. During the fight the Thirteenth army corps lost guns, prisoners, stands of colors. Four miles from the scene of the defeat of the Thirteenth, the Nineteenth army corps was found strongly posted. Change of corps did not bring change of fortune. Twenty-five hundred prisoners, 20 pieces of artillery, several stand of colors, many thousands of small-arms, and 250 wagons were taken. Here, said Taylor in his report, the Thirteenth corps gave way entirely, and was replaced by the Nineteenth, hurriedly brought up to support the fight. The Nineteenth, though fresh, shared the fate of the Thirteenth. Nothing could arrest the astonishing ardor and courage of our troops. Green, Polignac, Major, Bagby and Randal, on the left; Walker, Bee, Scurry and Waul, on the right, swept all before them.
Flight on the part of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth corps, dropping curses with the booty—on our part, pursuit, filling with triumphant yells the darkening hills. These continued until evening shadows began to obscure the path. Just as night was closing in, the enemy made a stand near a small creek of clear water. The water was an invitation to both armies. Half way between Mansfield and Pleasant Hill flowed this creek. Here occurred a sharply contested fight. This last effort of routed valor was brief. Taylor, needing nothing so much as water, ordered the foe to be driven from the creek. For a time he was disposed to be stubborn. Finally, he was forced back some 400 yards beyond. This done, the Confederates kept watch and ward over the water during the night, while the Federals kept their new position back from the creek.
Daylight on the 9th found every man at his post, and the pursuit was taken up with full ranks. This testimony is due to the army under my command. The village of Mansfield, only three miles from the fierce battle, was during the day and night the scene of order and quiet. ... Not a straggler was seen in the village on the 8th or 9th, and citizens assured me, but for the sounds of the guns, they might have supposed peace to reign in the land. (Report of General Taylor.) In proof of the admirable discipline of the victorious army of Mansfield, this official attestation is given. It admits of no dispute.
As had been expected, the enemy had retreated during the night. Taylor hastened back to Mansfield, pondering where he would deal his next stroke. Never for a moment, however, did he suppose that the expedition had been abandoned. He was of that order of commanders who suspect their foes making no sound. On the road to Natchitoches, leading in the opposite way to Shreveport, was Pleasant Hill. Returning to Mansfield, Taylor hurried forward Churchill's and Parsons' divisions, just arrived from Keachi, 22 miles away. With these reinforcements, his forces amounted to 12,500 men, against Banks' 18,000 men. At 2 a. m. these were on the march. At 3:30 a. m. Taylor, in person, had planted himself at the front There, finding the enemy retreated during the night, he sent forward his entire cavalry under Green. With the cavalry he ordered the infantry to follow in column along the Pleasant Hill road. In this line stepped impetuously Mouton's old division, now under Polignac. Taylor preferred to pass ahead with the horse. A retreating foe does not always mean a paralyzed army. Ample evidences of the rout of the previous day were met. Along the road between Mansfield and Pleasant Hill were stragglers, burning wagons, broken wheels, knapsacks, canteens, rent haversacks, scattered arms—an army's debris everywhere. For twelve miles not a shot came from the hills.
Halt men! came sharply from Taylor, riding at the head of the horsemen. A mile in front of Pleasant Hill, our cavalry found the retreating army once more dangerous, drawn up in a strong position. Pleasant Hill occupies a plateau a mile wide, west to east, along the road to Mansfield. Banks' line extended across this plateau. On the plateau were placed his batteries. With the infantry far in the rear, Taylor, for a moment, was nonplussed. He could no more than develop, by feints to the right and left of the enemy, their position and strength. By orders captured on the 8th, he had already learned that Banks fully expected to reach Shreveport on the 11th via Pleasant Hill and Mansfield.
To push Banks beyond Pleasant Hill, on the side nearer Natchitoches, had become of vital importance. Ripe fruit is ready for picking. For Taylor, pushing Banks back was the ripest fruit of yesterday's victory. Clearly Banks, being here in force, was aiming to get back to his chosen road. The strength developed showed that fresh troops had joined him during the night. To wait for the infantry seemed Taylor's only plan. After some time the infantry arrived, some regiments showing fatigue. Too exhausted for a forward movement, Taylor, who was as tender in bivouac as brave in action, ordered the men to rest for two hours.
From midday they rested until 3 p. m. At that hour the entire army was put in motion. With the renewed energy of the infantry, the cavalry and artillery awoke to action. The Louisianians had not yielded to fatigue. Polignac's new division, whose losses on the 8th had made it memorable, was now held in honorable reserve. On his side the enemy fought with renewed courage. Fighting behind temporary intrenchments and with heavy masses in reserve to replace losses, he was making a formidable resistance. With his infantry he skillfully occupied the wooded hill off the road. From this plateau, the key to his position, a strong battery was breeding mischief. On the left extended a range of broken hills densely clothed with young pines. Along these, up and down, the Federals were massed, protected by piles of logs, rails and some abatis, the usual accessories of a Louisiana wood. Taylor's batteries, on the alert, responded viciously. So eager were the artillerists that at one time they advanced unsupported within 200 yards of the enemy's guns, and concentrated the fire on the ridge which was threatening them. The results were quickly made apparent on the foe. We so disabled many of his guns that they were removed to the rear.
Far from asleep, however, were the Federals to whatsoever was going on. Specially awake were they to a Confederate movement set in motion across the fields and up the opposite slope. Without warning, from the thick woods on either side of the road hissed close by a deadly musketry fire, which caused loss and temporary disorder among the Southern men. At this point, an error in his attack threw Churchill's division into added disorder. On the right, through the efforts of the leaders, this was checked before disaster. On the left and center the fighting had become close, fierce, deadly. Apparently the enemy had gained a new lease of valor. Fresh troops were there, belonging to the Sixteenth and Seventeenth corps. Word had been passed along their line of battle that the Pleasant Hill road was essential to the plans, nay, to the very safety of the army. The dense woods preventing a clear view on our part of the field, the continuity of our line became somewhat impaired. However, Polignac and the other commanders rallied the men and led them again and again into action. Then, in addition to the denseness of the heights, there fell upon the field an added darkness. Both armies had been thrown by the darkness into some confusion. At the end Banks made no attempt to recover the ground from which his left and center had been driven. It was now observed, when the night fell, that both sides occupied their original fighting positions. When the night grew older, Banks retreated. The hour of retreat for his whole Federal army struck 3:30 a. m. on the 10th. He left 400 wounded in our hands. In further proof of the disaster which had fallen upon his arms, his dead remained on the field so lately abandoned by him.
While Pleasant Hill was still in the balance, Green, commanding the cavalry, was with his accustomed energy preparing under orders from Taylor to await the fleet at Blair's Landing, 16 miles from the Hill. In making this movement, Green found himself delayed by the lack of a pontoon. He finally succeeded in reaching the river near Blair's Landing. He had crossed only three guns and a part of his horse before the fleet on the 12th came hastily down the river. Taylor had felt well assured that the news of Banks' defeat would send the fleet hurrying down toward Grand Ecore, and so enable him to cut it off somewhere en route. Green, always prompt and fearless, at once engaged the fleet. As usual, it consisted of transports, crowded with troops, protected by gunboats. The loss inflicted by Green upon the transports was terrible. Several times, indeed, they raised the white flag. On their side, the gunboats, covered with plating, continued to keep up a steady fire. The transports suffered the more for this, Green being compelled to renew the fire on them by reason of the gunboats. Many times, however, the sharpshooters forced even the gunboats to close their portholes. The capture of the fleet seemed imminent. A heavy discharge of grape from one of the gunboats at that moment unfortunately killed the noble Green. Banks was at Grand Ecore near by. He made no demonstration, he had not even heard war's thunder, though so close at hand.
Singularly cool in danger, strong in attack, never flurried, Green was a commander whom his soldiers had learned to follow with confidence. It was fortunate that his death should take place at the close of the Red river campaign rather than before it had opened. At any time during the war, however, his death would have been a loss to the Confederate cause. General Taylor trusted much in his ability as a cavalry leader who with his sword cut his mark on every march and in every battle.
The Confederate reports have been mostly relied upon in regard to the battle of Pleasant Hill. It was, under the rules which govern war, a substantial victory. Touching the result of that battle which, although fought with close ranks and signal bravery by the enemy, ended in a general retreat of the Federals, I make way for an extract from the report of Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith, the soldier loaned to Banks by General Sherman: The opinion of Major-General Banks, as to the action of the command and its results, may be gathered from his own words to me on the field just after the final charge, when riding up to me he remarked, shaking me by the hand, God bless you, general, you have saved the army. In this further extract from Gen. A. J. Smith, we see the strange inconsistencies arising from the mercurial disposition of Banks and his inward appreciation that the army had met a disaster, leaving unwhispered the word rout. About 12 o'clock on the night of the 9th I received orders from General Banks to have my command in readiness to move at 2 o'clock in the morning, and at that hour to withdraw them silently from the field and follow the Nineteenth army corps back to Grand Ecore. ... I represented to him that the dead of my command were not buried, and that I had not the means of transporting my wounded, . . . and asked of him permission to remain until noon the next day to give me an opportunity to bury my dead .... The permission to remain, however, was refused, and the order to move made peremptory. We reached Grand Ecore on the night of the 11th.
Still another testimony is from President Davis in his History of the Confederate States: Our losses in the two actions of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill were 2,200. At Pleasant Hill, the loss was 426 prisoners. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was larger than ours. We captured, not including stragglers, 2,800 prisoners and 20 guns. Their campaign was defeated.
Pleasant Hill road
on the 9th had rapidly supplemented Mansfield on the 8th. I quote Taylor's report, written April 18th, but thought out ten days before, on the night of Pleasant Hill. With 12,000 men, we had attacked twenty odd thousand, many of them fresh troops, posted strongly on ground unknown to us. We had driven them at every point, and, but for the mistake and consequent confusion on our right, we would have captured most of his army. This was accomplished by hard, stern, stubborn fighting .... The noise of the wagons moving in the rear of the enemy's position, confirmed me in my opinion that he would retreat in the night. The morning of the 10th found us in possession of Pleasant Hill. The enemy had retreated stealthily in the night, leaving his dead unburied and some 400 wounded in our hands. Bee took up the pursuit and held it for 20 miles without receiving a check, capturing prisoners, and finding at every step the same evidences of rout as had marked the pursuit of the previous day.
The general result is historically recorded in the following general order:
Soldiers of the Army of West Louisiana: At last have your patience and your devotion been rewarded. Condemned for many days to retreat before an overwhelming force, as soon as your reinforcements reached you you turned upon the foe. No language but that of simple narrative should recount your deeds. On April 8th you fought the battle of Mansfield. Never in war was a more complete victory won. Attacking the enemy with the utmost alacrity when the order was given, the result was not for a moment doubtful. The enemy was driven from every position, his artillery captured, his men routed. In vain were fresh troops brought up. Your magnificent line, like a resistless wave, swept everything before it. Night alone stopped your advance. Twenty-one pieces of artillery, 2,500 prisoners, many stands of colors, 250 wagons, attest your success over the Thirteenth and Nineteenth army corps. On the 9th you took up the pursuit and pressed it with vigor. For 12 miles prisoners, scattered arms, burning wagons, proved how well the previous day's work had been done by the soldiers of Texas and Louisiana. * * * This was emphatically the soldiers' victory. In spite of the enemy's position, held by fresh troops of the Sixteenth corps, your valor and devotion triumphed over all. Darkness closed one of the hottest fights of the war. The morning of the 10th dawned upon a fleeing foe, with our cavalry in pursuit, capturing prisoners at every step.
R. Taylor, Major-General commanding.
The Confederate Congress added its tribute in the following:
Resolved, by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby most cordially tendered to Maj.-Gen. Richard Taylor and the officers and men of his command for the brilliant successes obtained by them over the enemy in Louisiana during the past year, and particularly for the victories at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill on the 8th and 9th of April last, and their subsequent operations against the retreating army of the Federal General Banks in the valley of the Red river.
Resolved, That the President communicate this resolution to Major-General Taylor and the officers and men of his command.
Approved June 10, 1864.
The retreat of Banks Taylor's force reduced Walker and Churchill sent against Steele Natchitoches and Cloutierville Yellow Bayou the last battle Louisianians at Mobile Gibson's Farewell address surrender of General Taylor.
Taylor had camped on the battle ground of Pleasant Hill. The same night Gen. Kirby Smith joined him for consultation. A jar of plan at once manifested itself between the two commanders. The question arose of borrowing some of Taylor's victorious troops. Smith was anxious to utilize such valuable material in his efforts to clear Arkansas of Steele. On his side Taylor was eager to keep on chasing Banks with his victorious army. Well acquainted with the peculiar features of the country, he had already planned to bag Banks somewhere between Cane river and Red river. He had hit upon a narrow road crossing a distance of about seven miles. This road skirted an impassable swamp. Smith's special design was to take from Taylor's little force Walker's and Churchill's divisions. Naturally Taylor demurred to the plan. This would leave him with but 6,000 men for the work he had in mind. He did not forget, however, that his small army was compact with fighting men, with valiant service behind them. At last, a compromise was effected. Smith promised to return at once the troops, if Steele retreated. At that, Taylor himself offered to lead the advance, thinking, after getting through with Steele, he would still have his trusty army to finish with Banks. To this Smith agreed, the more willingly because, between the two, Steele in Arkansas would be surely disposed of. As to west Louisiana, Smith was without fear. General Taylor, who had routed Banks, would take care of him.
Smith and Taylor went to Shreveport together, and with them marched Walker's and Churchill's divisions, but at Shreveport Smith changed his mind. He suddenly decided himself to go after Steele, on the expedition in Arkansas, which engaged him for some time. From Shreveport, therefore, Taylor set out to hunt up the fleeing column of Banks, which he struck first at Natchitoches on April 22d, defeated his enemy and pursued him with daily marching and fighting. Always trusting to catch up with the foe, his fighters, eager and hopeful, had never once halted during the day. Taylor's main movement generally followed the bends of Red river, to keep it from the enemy's boats; and his present attention was specially directed against the gunboats coming down, frightened at the news of Banks' defeat. A sorry ending to the dream of the joint triumph of army and navy—his army fleeing, and the fleet, that fleet so much trusted in, so hopefully associated with the proud beginnings of his wrecked campaign, scurrying down Red river, painfully eyeing the banks, and none too sure of saving itself from the dangerous union of low water and hostile batteries. On April 26th an event, brilliant in execution, aided in annihilating one gunboat and one transport. Lieutenant-Colonel Caudley, with 200 sharpshooters and Cornay's St. Mary's Cannoneers were posted at the junction of
rivers, sternly waiting for the gunboats known to be escaping from above as best they might At 6 p. m. one gunboat, with a transport, appeared in sight. The united fire of cannoneers and sharpshooters proved fatal to both, silencing and crippling the gunboat, which drifted helplessly out of sight. The transport fared worse, a shell shortly after having exploded its boiler with terrible effect. Over 100 bodies were brought on shore, and about 80 others will die from scalding steam. (Taylor's report, April 27, 1864.)
The death of Captain Cornay in this skirmish cast a gloom over the success. Like that of General Green, a few days before, Cornay's death was a clear misfortune to the army, occurring during its otherwise fortunate and victorious pursuit of Banks. Cornay had proved an officer of rare promise. Between him and his company existed a tie of brotherhood far more than usual from the association of camps. He was devoted to his battery, valuing its reputation, already acquired from its Spartan fidelity exhibited at Fort Jackson in April, 1862, a fidelity which the cannoneers sustained by an untarnished record of service during the campaign now striking the rivets from West Louisiana. Cornay, who had kept his cannoneers always in the van, had at last fallen where he preferred to fall, his face to the foe.
Louisiana, recalling his truth and their constancy, should slope her standard before the names of F. O. Cornay and his gallant cannoneers of St. Mary's. To her, when other men slunk from her side in peril and shame, he and they stood as true as dial to sun!
Taylor was true to his creed, told in words as simply strong as valor: I shall fight the enemy wherever I shall find him. At Cloutierville, not having force enough to impede the retreat with main strength, he fell back upon the trap which he had planned to set at Monett's ferry. He had, in the chase, chanced into that very road skirting the impassable swamp of which he had dreamed at Pleasant Hill. It was a veritable culde-sac from which an army, once in, could not easily escape. Into this trap the retreating army could not but enter. The small end of the bag was at the ferry. Taylor had ordered Bee, a valued lieutenant, to hold the ferry before the arrival of the enemy. Apparently, Bee misapprehended precisely why he was to be at the crossing. Before the Federals appeared, he had already withdrawn his troops from the gate.
General Bee, who reported that his 2,000 men were in line under seven hours continuous fire before giving up the ferry, said in his defense: That I was not successful was because success was impossible. ... I claim for my troops (Gould's, Wood's, Terrell's, Liken's, Yager's, Myer's and Vincent's cavalry) the highest praise for their gallantry, patient endurance of fatigue, and never-failing enthusiasm. Gen. John A. Wharton wrote to Bee, June 30th, From an examination of the ground, and from a full knowledge of your force and that of the enemy, I am satisfied that you could not have maintained yourself at Monett's ferry.
The enemy, seeing the door Wide open, did not hesitate to march through. This did not escape Taylor's eye. Noticing that the scrambling retreat of the Federals continued, Taylor, from the rear, knew that his cul-de-sac had been irretrievably spoiled. Banks, always looking for Steele, still belated, and never having studied military traps, had unconsciously slipped through Taylor's fingers.
It is always a defeated army which signalizes its departure by ravages upon the abandoned country. The Federals in fleeing, in 1864, emphasized this military truth beyond cavil. They destroyed the Red river valley, which they could only spoil, but could not hold. During May, the Confederates continued forcing a considerable part of Banks' army to confront it, meeting the part pluckily, sometimes inflicting loss upon it, at times suffering loss themselves, yet always steadily and irresistibly expediting the exodus of the invading columns. From May 14th to 18th, skirmishes were the rule around Avoyelles prairie. At Mansura and Moreauville, sharp encounters took place between the rear guard in force, and pursuers light in numbers, yet ardent in spirit. Our gunners handled their pieces with coolness and precision. By this time the rear guard was getting hurried.
Alexandria, in the retreat from Mansfield, had been burned. The burning of the town was stoutly ascribed by the Federals to accident. After doing this mischief the enemy attempted to leave the city by the Bayou Boeuf road. Here stood Polignac to check them. Foiled on that road they repeated the effort on the Red river road. On May 15th Wharton was at Marksville to fight them. At this point ensued a brilliant cannonade which resembled war. Polignac, still with Mouton's superb but now skeleton division, found it impossible to stop the retreat of four brigades supported by a detachment of the Thirteenth army corps. While he remained, however, he held his ground sturdily, withdrawing only when it suited him—true Frenchman that he was—with drums beating and fifes playing a fanfare of defiance.
From this on the Federals constantly retreated and constantly resisted, yet always fighting with numbers on their side. At Yellow bayou, May 18th, near the Atchafalaya, the haven where they would be, Wharton, like a wolf-dog, was at them again, attacking them fiercely. All the enemy had crossed except A. J. Smith's Vicksburg veterans. Unfortunately, Wharton forgot that his right wing was that resting on the bayou. In order to check Smith's crossing, he had only to mass on his right wing. Instead of doing this, he massed on his left wing. This left rested upon the interior line, away from the bayou. Wondering at his good fortune, Smith crossed the Atchafalaya on May 19, 1864, with haste. Thus, there where Banks' campaign had opened two months before in pride, it now closed in disaster. Bee's blunder cost Taylor Banks' army. Wharton's blunder cost him Smith's division. With the Federals on the thither side of the Atchafalaya, Taylor's chase of them ended. It had been a drawn-out chase, with 200 miles between its close and Mansfield. With that end, which was deliverance, Peace now folded her wings and brooded in quiet from War's alarms over rural Louisiana. Of this quiet, Taylor, who was there, wrote twelve years after the surrender of Louisiana, as of his own knowledge: From the action of Yellow Bayou to the close of the war not a gun was fired in the Trans-Mississippi department.
More even than her Beauregard, Taylor had fought for his native State on her own soil; had wrought with singleness of heart for her deliverance from her foes. Subjected like her to the crooked measures of Reconstruction, he still maintained his scorn for shams, his hate of hypocrisy. After a visit to Europe he wrote, in 1873, a book containing at once his share in the war and his place in that troubled peace which followed war. Taylor wrote as he fought, roughly yet gayly, with firm hand on the hilt of his naked sword. His book is himself in type—caustic, fiery, given unto satire, master of epigrams. He held, with Napoleon I, a method of composition sonorous with battle. As he had fought for his State in her stress, so did her cherish her in her degradation. His style, whether in scorn or love, is as brilliant as the gleam of his sword. With its flash before us, I commit Richard Taylor, Liberator of Confederate Louisiana, to his fame.
General Banks found in his own peculiar fashion a justification for his enforced, if not disastrous, defeat. The fact that the gunboats were unable to pass Grand Ecore until the 7th, justifies the belief that their advance had been prevented by the low stage of water, and governed the army exclusively in its retrograde movement to Grand Ecore.—General Banks' report, April 16, 1864. After vainly waiting for Porter's fleet at Grand Ecore, Banks proceeded to Alexandria. Thence, he found a swift way to the Atchafalaya; thence, to New Orleans; thence, after a little more warfare, to Massachusetts. Once there, true type of the political soldier, he utilized his war experience by seeking election in his old congressional district. He received the station, of all others, which he knew best how to fill at once with honor to himself and to his State's advantage.
On the 11th of May General Banks was relieved, at his own request, by Maj.-Gen. R. S. Canby. General Canby did no fighting in Louisiana For that, Mansfield and Pleasant Hill had amply provided.
In January, 1865, it appeared that the brigade of Gen. Allen Thomas, consisting of the Seventeenth, Twenty-sixth, Twentysev-enth, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first Louisiana infantry, Weatherly's battalion (late Miles' legion), Wade's light artillery and acompany of heavy artillery, was at Alexandria, then the headquarters of Gen. S. B. Buckner, lately assigned to the district of Western Louisiana. The Crescent regiment was also in that vicinity, and the Third Louisiana was at Shreveport. At a later date there was a considerable concentration of troops in apprehension of another campaign on the Red river. With other Louisiana troops reported there, was the Seventh cavalry. Vincent's brigade held the Confederate front toward Opelousas. (Federal reports.)
After the collapse of Banks' expedition up the river, Richard Taylor was appointed by President Davis to the command of the department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. This department included the district of the Gulf, Maj.-Gen. Dabney H. Maury; district of North Alabama, Brig.-Gen. P. D. Roddey; district of Central Alabama, Brig.-Gen. D. W. Adams; district of Mississippi and East Louisiana, Maj.-Gen. Franklin Gardner; the fortified city of Mobile on the south, and the invincible remnant of the cavalry corps of N. B. Forrest on the north. The return for his department November 20, 1864, shows the following Louisiana troops included: In Maury's command—Twenty-second regiment infantry, brigade of Gen. Alpheus Baker. In Gardners command, brigade of Gen. George B. Hodge-First cavalry, Col. John S. Scott; Third cavalry; Col. Daniel Gober's mounted infantry; Maj. Frederick N. Ogden's cavalry battalion; Col. Frank P. Powers' Mississippi and Louisiana cavalry. The First Louisiana heavy artillery was at Mobile, and Maj. Washington Marks was in command of the water batteries.
When Mobile, so long defiant, was threatened by formidable land forces in the spring of 1865, Forts Morgan and Gaines having fallen in the previous August, Gibson's Louisiana brigade reported to Gen. St. John Liddell in command. The First, Sixteenth and Twentieth regiments were at that time consolidated under Lieutenant-Colonel Lindsay; the Fourth battalion and Twenty-fifth regiment under Colonel Zacharie; the Nineteenth was commanded by Maj. Camp Flournoy, and the Sharpshooters by Col. F. L. Campbell. The Fourth, Thirteenth and Thirtieth were also consolidated. Capt. Cuthbert H. Slocomb's Washington artillery was there, commanded by Lieutenant Chalaron, under Col. Melancthon Smith, commanding the right wing of the defenses. Fenner's battery, Lieutenant Cluverius, and Captains John H. Lamon's and Edward G. Butler's companies of the First heavy artillery were assigned to the left wing, under Colonel Fuller. At battery McIntosh, under Maj. W. C. Capers, were Companies A and D of the First heavy artillery; at battery Gladden, Companies B and G, under Capt. R. C. Bond; and at battery Missouri, Capt. James Gibney, were Companies E and K, Twenty-second regiment, and Holmes' light artillery.
General Gibson was assigned in the latter part of March to command of the defenses of Spanish Fort, Liddell taking charge at Blakely. He had his brigade, about 500 rifles under Colonel Campbell, Holtzclaw's and Ector's brigades, about 500, and. Col. I. W. Patton's artillery, 360 strong. Gibson, on taking command, found that be had an enormous amount of intrenching to do, and to gain time by a bold show of strength sent the Louisianians in a charge against the Federal line, made gallantly by them, and serving its purpose in preventing an assault. General Canby's two army corps sat down to a regular siege on March 27th. Gibson's works were soon almost surrounded by batteries, but he held out staunchly for two weeks, during which time his men had scarcely any rest, either with the rifle or the spade. On the 8th of April the Federals obtained a lodgment in the works, and that night Gibson skillfully withdrew his troops, under orders not to risk their capture. He retreated to Mobile and thence to Meridian, General Taylor's headquarters. General Gibson estimated the loss of his whole command at 93 killed, 45 wounded and 250 captured, out of a total of less than 2,000. Said Gibson, in closing his report: Lieut. A. G. Clark of my staff, commandant of the post, was killed while charging at the head of the garrison guard to dislodge the enemy when he had turned the left flank. Louisiana has not lost during the war a truer man or a more thorough-going soldier. The list might be prolonged, for we left behind, filling soldiers' graves, many of the bravest and the best; and if any credit shall attach to the defense of Spanish Fort, it be. longs to the heroes whose sleep shall no more be disturbed by the cannon's roar. On May 8th, upon the occasion of the surrender of General Taylor, General Gibson issued an address to the Louisiana brigade, in which he said: There is nothing in your career to look back upon with regret. You have always been in front of the enemy; you have never feasted in soft places in the rear, nor fought your battles at comfortable firesides. Your banners are garlanded with the emblems of every soldierly virtue. More than twenty battlefields have seen them unfurled. They were never lowered save over the bier of a fallen comrade. Forget not the good and true men who have fallen. ... Comrades, henceforth other duties will devolve upon you. Adversities can only strengthen the ties that bind you to your country and increase the obligations you owe to her interests and her honor. As soldiers you have been among the bravest and most steadfast, and as citizens be law-abiding, peaceable and industrious. You have not surrendered and will never surrender your self-respect and love of country.
Taylor, in his new department, without a strong army, was as much a problem in the field as he had been when with Stonewall Jackson in the valley of Virginia, or teaching Banks the art of war in West Louisiana. On May 8, 1865, he surrendered to General Canby at Citronelle, 40 miles north of Mobile.
North Louisiana, when freed by Richard Taylor, one of her sons, from the invader's chains, stood erect among her children. The shackles had fallen from the once stately limbs, now withered by their rust. In her chair of state sat Henry Watkins Allen, a Paladin who had won spurs of gold; a citizen spotless in chivalry; a veteran weak in body, yet counting it all glory to suffer for his State. No Confederate State, it seems to the author, had better war-governors than Louisiana had from 1861-65. One, Thomas Overton Moore, had stood at her cradle; the other waited sorrowing at her coffin. To the end Allen, a maimed figure of valor, watched the shell reverently lest stranger hands profane the corpse.
Louisianians in the armies of the West Battles of Wilson's Creek, Belmont and Shiloh Beauregard in command succeeded by Bragg Battles of Iuka and Corinth March into Kentucky battle of Perryville.
On May 20, 1861, the Third Louisiana volunteers, Louis Hebert, colonel; S. M. Hyams, lieutenant. colonel, and W. F. Tunnard, major, left New Orleans for Little Rock, Ark., to join the forces then organizing to meet the aggressive operations of Lyon, the Federal commander in Missouri. Joining the army organized under Ben McCulloch, of Texas, they marched north into Missouri and united with the command of Sterling Price. While encamped at Wilson's creek, near Springfield, August 10th, the combined forces were suddenly attacked by Lyon and Sigel. The Federals gained without much opposition the commanding position they desired, but Hebert's Louisianians and McIntosh's Arkansans were speedily sent against the Federal left. Their opponents were a body of regular United States troops; but these fresh volunteers, in the face of a galling fire, surmounted a fence and drove the enemy back. Then, far on the right, it was observed that Sigel had opened fire with a battery that threatened havoc. Mc-Culloch took two companies of the Third to seek the rear of the battery, while Lieutenant-Colonel Hyams, with the Pelican rifles, Captain Vigilili; Iberville Grays, Lieutenant Verbois; Morehouse Guards, Captain Hinson; Pelican Rangers, Captain Blair; Winn Rifles, Captain Pierson; Morehouse Fencibles, Captain Harris; Shreveport Rangers, Captain Gilmore; Pelican Rangers, Captain Beazeale, advanced to the front. At the brow of the hill, said Hyams, Lieutenant Lacy sprang on a log, waving his sword, and called, Come on, Caddo! The whole command rushed forward, carried the guns and put the enemy to flight. The gallant Captain Hinson was killed, and his brother-in-law, Private Whetstone, fell dead at his side. Private Hicock, at the front among the guns, was shot through the breast. This was the first battle of the Third, and they had charged and taken five guns out of a battery of six. Again they were called on in the final charge which put the enemy to flight. Having routed Sigel they joined Price against Lyon, and as Lyon fell pushed the enemy before them into rout. Nine of the regiment were killed and 48 wounded. The regiment was in winter quarters, 1861-62, at Fort Smith, and on March 7, 1862, participated in the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, in McCulloch's division. The day was disastrous, McCulloch and McIntosh killed, and Hebert, in command of a brigade, captured; but the gallantry of the Third regiment was conspicuous. The enemy's attacks were repulsed repeatedly, Captain Harris, leading the right of the Louisiana regiment, being especially distinguished in this service. A month later the regiment was transferred to Mississippi.
With General Polk at Columbus, Ky., in the fall of 1861, were the Eleventh Louisiana volunteers, Col. S. F. Marks; the Twelfth, Col. T. M. Scott; LieutenantCol-onel Kennedy's Fifth battalion or Twenty-first regiment; Capt. R. A. Stewart's Point Coupee artillery; and the Watson battery, Capt. Daniel Beltzhoover. Grant gave most of these commands an opportunity for distinction by his attack on the Confederate camp at Belmont, November 7th. As soon as the landing of Grant was observed from the Kentucky shore, Stewart's battery was sent forward to the river, supported by Kennedy's battalion, and the artillery was soon engaged with the gunboats, driving them back up the river. Early in the morning Beltzhoover's artillery had been sent across to Belmont, and there for some time his destructive fire prevented Grant from surrounding the Confederate line, He was finally compelled to withdraw for lack of ammunition, and the Confederates were soon crowded down to the river bank. It was a moment of peril, but the Eleventh Louisiana now arrived, with the gallant old veteran, Colonel Marks, at the head of the column, Lieutenant-Colonel Barrow in immediate command of the regiment, and began the aggressive movement which resulted in driving Grant to his boats. The regiment lost 12 killed and 42 wounded, among them the gallant Major Butler and Lieutenant Alexander. Beltzhoover's loss was 2 killed and 8 wounded, 45 horses killed, 2 guns missing. His modest report was, we stood doing our best until the whole line retreated to the river. At the river I formed battery again, though without ammunition, and so remained until carried down to the bank by force of the retreating troops. Polk telegraphed, Watson's battery, under Beltzhoover, immortalized!
At a later date all of these Louisiana commands, except Beltzhoover's battery, were at Island No.10 and New Madrid, gallantly resisting the attacks of the Federal fleet.
During the early part of February, 1862, Fort Donelson fell, and Grant's forces pushed on down the Tennessee river to Pittsburg Landing, where, on March 1st, Colonel Mouton's Eighteenth Louisiana regiment had its first fight, with the gunboats for antagonists.
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, falling back from Nashville, selected Corinth as his new base of campaign. He arrived at that town in advance of his troops on March 22, 1862, and found there an army of some 25,000 men. This force had been brought together through General Beauregard's feverish energy. In its composition it bore the features of a few States, one of the Confederate North and two of the Gulf. It had been drawn from Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky, General Lovell himself having brought a brigade of volunteers from New Orleans. The Louisiana commands assembled to fight at Shiloh were:
The Eleventh was with Tennesseeans in the brigade of Col. R. M. Russell Colonel Marks was severely wounded while leading his men on the morning of the 6th, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Barrow in command. The Fourth, Thirteenth (Maj. A. P. Avegno) and Nineteenth, with an Arkansas regiment, composed a brigade of Ruggles' division commanded by Col. R. L. Gibson. Major Avegno and Lieut. Benjamin King, Gibson's gallant aide-de-camp, were among the officers wounded. Ruggles' division was mainly Louisiana troops, the other brigades being Patton Anderson's and Preston Pond's. Anderson's brigade included the Seventeenth, Twentieth, Response battalion, and Hodgson's artillery. Colonel Jones, and Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd (Twentieth) were wounded; Major Clack had two horses shot under him. Col. Preston Pond, Sixteenth, commanded a brigade including the Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Crescent, and battalion Orleans Guards. Colonel Martin and Major Queyrouse were wounded.
The First was in the brigade of Gen. A. H. Gladden. Colonel Deas, later in command, reported that the gallant Adams received a severe wound in the head; and that impartiality compelled him to record as first in the fight the First Louisiana and Twenty-second Alabama.
First Louisiana regulars, infantry, Col. D. W. Adams; Fourth volunteer infantry, Col. H. W. Allen; Eleventh volunteer infantry, Col. S. F. Marks; Twelfth volunteer infantry, Col. S. M. Scott; Thirteenth volunteer infantry, Col. Randall L. Gibson; Sixteenth volunteer infantry, Col. Preston Pond; Seventeenth volunteer infantry, Lieut.-Col. Charles Jones; Eighteenth volunteer infantry, Col. Alfred Mouton; Nineteenth volunteer infantry, Col. B. L. Hodge; Twentieth volunteer infantry, Col. August Reichard; the Crescent regiment (N. O.), Col. Marshall J. Smith; Confederate Guards Response battalion, Maj. Franklin H. Clack; Thirteenth battalion (Orleans Guards), Maj. Leon Queyrouse; Fifth Company Washington artillery, Capt. W. Irving Hodgson.
Though called raw troops, the Louisiana levies proved to be splendid fighters, who in spite of some sharp crudeness here and there knew how, stepping straight from their drill-rooms in the city, to hold together at war's word of command, shoulder to shoulder in one of the great combats of the war.
In coming to Corinth, Johnston had decided that the valley of the Mississippi was, in March, 1862, of far greater importance to the Confederacy than the occupation of Middle Tennessee. With his headquarters also at Corinth, Miss., General Beauregard was declared on March 29th by general orders, second in command to the commander of the forces.
General Johnston knew well that General Grant's army, massed at Pittsburg Landing about 22 miles from Corinth, was daily expecting Don Carlos Buell He fully understood the value that lay in striking a sudden blow before Buell could join Grant. He himself had hoped to move his army on April 1st, so as to make sure of attacking Grant on Saturday, April 5th, before the junction could take place. The army began its march on April 3d, two days after the date originally fixed. The next day rains, not heavy but persistent, flooded creeks, scattered bridges, bogged roads and stalled batteries. Every nerve was strained in rank and file to make progress on Thursday. The sun refused to shine out until Friday afternoon, at which hour the Confederates were a day's journey from the enemy's advance. The army bivouacked in his front Saturday about 5 p. m. The day was too far gone to open the attack that afternoon. A small fact; but small as it was, it changed the fate of the second day's fight. By this rain, the coming battle was thrown forward into daylight on Sunday (April 6). This was a day after the time originally selected by General Johnston's admirable plan of battle for opening the assault, a delay which, robbing us of time, gave it to the enemy. At 5 a. m. the Confederates began their forward movement. From that hour until evening their advance continued a victorious progress, full of dramatic surprises, and always marked by stubborn fighting on both sides. One fact may bear investigation here. America's best fighting blood confronted one the other around Shiloh church. It was the men of the South brought face to face against the men of the West, both with heat of fire and nerves of steel.
The first attack was—made upon Sherman's division, with Prentiss to the left. Although surprised, the two divisions fought resolutely, making our brilliant advance costly in killed and wounded. For hours, until the sun had scaled high the sky, the fight wavered on their front. About 2 p. m. Ruggles, whose division was mainly Louisianians, ordered his command to support Hodgson's Washington artillery (Fifth company).
Slocomb, when the Fifth company of Washington artillery was organized, joined as a private and was elected lieutenant. After the battle of Shiloh, where he was wounded, he was promoted to the captaincy of the battery. Hodgson, who had gallantly commanded during Slocomb's absence, resigned on account of failing health.
When a full history of the battles of Shiloh shall have been written, the heroic deeds of the Washington artillery will illustrate one of its brightest pages; and the names of Slocomb and Hodgson will be held in grateful remembrance by a free people, long after the sod has grown green upon the bloody hills of Shiloh.—Report of Brig.-Gen. Patton Anderson, April 17, 1862.
As they were passing Shiloh church, the Crescents saw Beauregard standing on a log by the side of the road. Seeing them, Beauregard, with ringing tone, cried out: Louisianians, drive them into the Tennessee. Spurred by the war-like order, the regiment soon became engaged, a little way ahead, in a determined attack of the Confederate left on Wallace's division, which formed the enemy's right. In this movement, the Washington artillery did brilliant service in keeping a Federal battery from pouring too close a fire into Gibson's Louisiana brigade, then engaged in a rear part of the field. Gibson, unsupported by artillery, had been fighting desperately against masses posted on a ridge, under cover of a battery. This was a critical position, in which Mouton's Eighteenth Louisiana made a brilliant but ineffective charge up the hill. The Eighteenth
The loss of the Eighteenth was 207 officers and men killed and wounded who could not be removed from the field. The Orleans Guard battalion, Major Queyrouse, lost about 80 men immediately afterward.—Beauregard's report.
drove the battery off the crest when, reinforcements coming up, it was compelled to withdraw. It was in this general movement that General Wallace fell mortally wounded. His division, after Wallace's death, began a fierce struggle to retire to the river, a struggle which, for a time, seemed doubtful.
Towards 5:30 the Crescents, under Colonel Smith, made a gallant double-quick across a field, into another field, through a wood, crossing the Pittsburg Landing road, with a rush, to charge Prentiss' division. Prentiss, having been fighting hard since the dawn, was now posted in the camp nearest the Tennessee and its two gunboats. Just as the Crescents got to the road and were making ready to charge they noticed on the other side of the road a flutter of white handkerchiefs from the bayonets of several men standing in an open field. The capture of Prentiss' division, following immediately, formed a brilliant termination to Sunday's heavy fighting. Prentiss' division, 2,500 rank and file, surrendered to the Crescents, with a Tennessee command moving on parallel lines. General Prentiss was seen coolly seated on horseback, in the center of a mob of excited men. He yielded his sword, by right the prize of Col. Marshall Smith, to a young lieutenant of the regiment who asked for it.
After this capture, General Bragg's
General Ruggles, in his report of the closing scenes of the fight, calls this particular moment one of the controlling conflicts of that eventful day.
corps was deployed to the right of the ridge road. Elated with the victory, Ruggles' Louisianians were eagerly listening for the order to advance upon Pittsburg Landing. Dusk was melting into night. The word, so eagerly expected, had not yet come. Beauregard had charged them to drive the enemy into the Tennessee; Beauregard remained ominously silent. A shot shrieked its noisy way across the wood which separated the Crescents from the landing, a mile away. Another shell came; then another; still another, all asking for Prentiss, who, known to the senders to be in peril, had not yet reported. Men in the gunboats had been told the range of the camp. Already these shells had killed or wounded some of our men. It was time to seek shelter. Not a man in Bragg's line but was disappointed at the failure on Sunday, April 6th, to receive the order to double-quick to Pittsburg Landing. It was an army filled with ardor to advance upon the enemy and to drive him, as Beauregard had said, into the Tennessee; and on the way, to capture the whole force on its bank. Of that result, once at Pittsburg Landing, there was not a single doubter among the Louisianians at Shiloh. That night the army bivouacked in the Federal tents. It was already dark and raining. About 9 p. m. a courier came riding through the rain and halted by the side of a wood-road, where men grouped around him. He told the story of the death of the kingly Johnston at 2:30 p. m.
All that night, Don Carlos Buell's hardy army of the Ohio was coming down the Tennessee. At daylight on Monday, the enemy in his turn, relying upon his new masses, began the attack. The offensive on Sunday was, on Monday, the defensive. Bragg's corps was soon on the road. Ruggles' division marched through the woods until some of the command encountered Nelson's advancing line. The Crescents had, in ascending a slope, reached a hill, once a ploughed field, with large trees left loosely standing. In front of that hill, thus denuded, was a narrow valley which on the other side sloped up to another hill, as high as that on which the Crescents stood. This hill was heavily timbered to the brink, from which it looked across to the Crescents. On the extreme right of the Crescents waited Hodgson's Washington artillery. The battery had, on its right, a steep and jagged dip of a sloped hill, rendering passage down it impossible to horses. For awhile the men of the regiment and of the battery peered through the rain and mist to the other side, which looked dark and dangerous. Suddenly, through the light rain but heavier mist, four flags floated for an instant. The woods being too dense to see the commands, no one knew that within that darkness a murderous battle line had already silently formed. Without warning a heavy crash of musketry poured from a long line, unseen, upon the Confederate hill The fire did some execution, killing and wounding nine or ten men among the Crescents.
In that sudden fire, the Crescent regiment lost two of its most gallant officers. Capt. Geo. H. Graham, Co. C. (Louisiana Guards), and Capt. Chas. C. Campbell, of the Sumter Rifles, were instantly killed. These two officers had already made a reputation in the army. Though thorough disciplinarians, they were much beloved.
Among the latter was Color-Sergeant Schilling. The flag, falling from his hand, was quickly taken up by Lieut. William Bullitt. Evidently the Washington artillery had been seen, and the aim was to kill the horses and so secure the battery. Two of the guns remained on the hill, with dead horses keeping guard. Hodgson feared that his other horses might be disabled, and, none too sure that his horseless guns would be safe from capture, turned to the left to save what remained of his battery. The horses, already frightened, became unmanageable, and in their terror they bore the guns and caissons straight through Company C of the Crescents, scattering them here and there, and throwing the regiment into some disorder. Colonel Smith immediately ordered the Crescents to fall back to the slope of the hill to the rear, in order to reform. Seeing the hill empty, the enemy promptly exposed their line, swept down the slope and, crossing the valley, charged the guns lying defenseless. They were making hurried preparations to carry them off with the aid of other horses when a solid line of gray-coats came firmly up the rear slope at double-quick, Colonel Smith on horseback gallantly carrying the colors. In another minute the enemy, seeing the Crescents, left the guns and hurried to their first position. When Hodgson came up he found his two guns unharmed. Later on Ruggles' division again faced the Federals, this time the Federal right under Sherman. The fire of the Confederates was at first light; but on coming well into range the enemy were met with so terrible a storm of musketry and artillery that they reeled, and rushing to the rear were followed nearly a mile. Sherman himself vouched for the fact that the firing here was the severest I had ever heard.
The First Louisiana brigade, under command of Col. R. L. Gibson, of the Thirteenth Louisiana, was conspicuous for its share in the events of both days. From an early hour on the 6th to the hour of retreat on the 7th, Gibson was everywhere in the front, with a loss in officers and men exceeding that of nearly every brigade at Shiloh. Col. H. W. Allen, of the Fourth Louisiana, was wounded in one of the fierce charges of the 6th. Later, at Baton Rouge, in August, he was to receive a wound which long disabled him. The Fourth lost two officers killed, Capts. C. E. Tooraen and J. T. Hilliard, with 22 men; wounded, 12 officers and 157 men. Among the deaths most deeply regretted was that of Brig.-Gen. Adley H. Gladden. General Gladden, a gallant veteran of the Mexican war, had gone out as colonel of the First Louisiana regulars. Promoted to brigadier-general on September 30, 1861, much was hoped for from his recognized skill and courage.
The fighting continued, sharp, resolute, stubborn, throughout the early part of the 7th. Exhausted in body, reduced in numbers, but in heart undaunted, the Confederate army found itself forced to face ever augmenting odds. It was compelled—through Beauregard's resolve to check as long as possible his own proposed withdrawal of his forces—to show an invariably formidable front along the whole line, wherever assailed. This, though a wise precaution, called for a severe strain upon the Confederates. Fall back fighting! was Beauregard's order on that Monday, April 7th; and his army fought with such ardor as to create little suspicion that it was also falling back. At about 3:30 p. m. the army's retrograde movement was begun. It was carried out with a cheerful steadiness never exceeded by a force in retreat. The men knew that they had fought well, and that it was only a missing order on Sunday afternoon which had brought them, overpowered by numbers but not crushed, to the unequal field of Monday. Such are the oscillations of the battle pendulum—those oscillations which so often change the final results of battles.
The Confederate army under Johnston had gone into the battle with 39,630 men of all arms, and lost 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 950 missing; total 10,680. With Buell's army, the total Federal force was about 72,000. The losses numbered 12,190. Of all martial names, in our civil war, devoted to slaughter, Shiloh was in date the first.
Johnston had fallen in the arms of victory. Had he lived until sundown the army would not only have fought enthusiastically under his ably-conceived plan, but would have victoriously carried it to the end contemplated by him. That order to advance, looked for, but not received, would have been caught up by men flushed with victory, standing expectantly around Prentiss' camp. Grant's men, lying listless by the river where they had fallen in their fatigue,
Whitelaw Reid's letter to the Cincinnati Commercial.
would have been captured on the southern bank of the Tennessee. With the capture of his army, General Grant would have been in danger of suffering military eclipse. He would have found his name, assailed through the Northern press, linked to a great disaster rather than to a victory snatched by reinforcements from defeat. He would not have sat before Vicksburg or offered, as victor, an ultimatum; nor, indeed, would his have been the dogging of glorious Robert Lee in the Wilderness; nor to sit, the Union's host, in the White House at Washington.
Misapprehension had done its utmost to defame greatness. It had, with its strongly-feeble hands, dragged Johnston from the exalted place gained by his great qualities, to make him pass as a marked man through the valley of humiliation. Praise is due to those uncorrupted instincts of men, however, which lead them with clarified vision nobly to weigh maligned reputation on juster weights than those for the mass. It is these instincts which, lifting up that lofty fame and tenderly preserving it from wrong, have placed it, restored to grandeur, upon a pedestal far overtopping that from which Detraction, with its thousand mouths of clamor, had for a space pulled it down.
For a time, Beauregard planned to hold Corinth for strategic purposes, it being of great natural strength. The troops were at first kept busy fortifying. While Beauregard was doing this, Halleck was advancing, with tantalizing deliberation, at the head of 105,000 men from Pittsburg Landing. General Grant was second in command. Pope, always ambitious to be prompt, showed himself over-hasty. He had moved on the 18th, eager to anticipate Halleck's slowness. At the village of Farmington he drove off an insignificant Confederate force and occupied it. Here he was, for all practical purposes, separated from Halleck and Buell. This furnished Beauregard with a plan. He quickly resolved, by an attack in force, to cut Pope off from his base. Van Dorn was to move by his right flank, and to keep on moving until his center should be opposite Pope's left. Van Dorn understood the plan, but through inefficient guides failed to get into position at the hour fixed for the flanking. In spite of this, the engagement soon became spirited. Van Dorn, once in line, opened his work with his usual vigor. In this movement he was aided by the simultaneous advance of Ruggles' Louisiana division, which by its fiery onset nearly captured two brigades forming the rear of Pope's command. The enemy's loss was considerable in killed and wounded; the Southern casualties, some 200. In the Farmington affair, though without satisfactory results, owing to the blunder of Van Dorn's guides, our troops behaved with great spirit.
In the meantime Beauregard, in view of the heavy odds against the Confederates, had decided to evacuate Corinth. He had no desire that the enemy should see into his mind. Without the knowledge of either Halleck or Grant, therefore, he quietly withdrew his army on the night of April 29th, with a loss of neither men nor stores. Beauregard's retreat was masterly in every respect. It became known only at sunrise, and may stand for a model as the march from the front of a prudent commander. His army reached Tupelo, Miss., on the 9th of June. Beauregard had already begun to feel the effects of ill health at Corinth, and on the 14th of June he left Tupelo for Claiborne Springs in search of temporary recuperation. He had, before leaving, turned the command of Department No. 2 over to General Bragg. As early as May 7th Maj.-Gen. Braxton Bragg had assumed command of the Confederate army of the Mississippi. Braxton Bragg had been a resident of Louisiana for several years before the war. In 1861, the general assembly provided for organizing the Louisiana State forces, and under that law General Bragg was appointed brigadier-general, March 7th. It seemed, at the opening of the Tennessee campaign, of good augury that the Louisiana troops should have been placed under the command of so distinguished a soldier, who was also a representative of their own State.
Before leaving Tupelo, Bragg had practically reorganized his army. Among the Louisianians whom he left with Price were Mouton's brigade, consisting of the Eighteenth Louisiana regiment, and the consolidated Crescent regiment.
A regrettable feature of Bragg's reorganization was an arbitrary edict by which he refused the re-enlistment for the war, offered by the Crescent regiment, ninety-days men, from New Orleans. On June 3d, the Crescents had offered to re-enlist; on June 30th Bragg ordered the regiment to be broken up, assigning its men to the Eighteenth Louisiana. An appeal to the war department brought relief. On September 17th the assigned men were returned to the command; on October 2d, the regiment was reorganized, and on November 3d consolidated with the Confederate Guards Response (Clack's) and Eleventh Louisiana (Beard's) battalions; the new organization to be officially known as the Consolidated Crescent regiment. It has been seen how the Twenty-fourth Louisiana (Crescent regiment) had made history at Shiloh As the consolidated Crescent regiment, it afterward made more history on brilliant fields nearer home.
These, together with Semmes' and Ralston's batteries, afterward reported to Gen. Richard Taylor, in the Trans-Mississippi department.
Halleck, able tactician in the closet, was uncertain in the field. His deliberate movements had no effect upon General Bragg, who had already sent his troops on the railroad via Mobile to Chattanooga. Bragg, by reason of this surprise, was enabled to control events until Grant, cutting free from Vicksburg, could drive him off. Here Bragg remained concentrating an army, gathering troops around him, tried in the war, long in the field, seasoned in old fights, and eager for new.
After Bragg left Price with his army of the West, and Van Dorn with his army of West Tennessee, in Mississippi, the two moved northward, but separately, menacing Grant and Rosecrans. Price, caught alone near Iuka by two largely superior columns which Grant designed should close upon him, made a brilliant fight September 19th. The Third Louisiana, LieutenantCol-onel Gilmore, was there, in the brigade of Gen. Louis Hubert, and Price declared that the brunt of the battle fell upon Hebert's command, and nobly did it sustain it. Coupling the Third Texas in his praise, he dubbed the Third Louisiana as ever-glorious. He had observed them at Oak Hills and Elkhorn, and no men had ever fought more bravely or more victoriously.
On October 3 and 4, 1862, Corinth again became for two days a seat of war. Again did it hear in its streets the martial drumbeats; again see the two armies drawn up, facing each other as stoutly as they had done at Shiloh, near by. Price had hoped that an attack upon Corinth would thrust Grant back from the public eye, neutralizing his victory so recently gained. Eager in his movements, Van Dorn upon this hope had acted on the spot. Rosecrans, with Grant as his adviser, was at Corinth with 23,000 men. Van Dorn, for the attack, had about the same number. Coming in on the northwest of the town he cut Rosecrans from Grant, who was not far off. Van Dorn had a plan to feint upon Rosecrans' left, thereby drawing troops from his right. Upon the wing so depleted Price was to fall and crush it. This was done on the 3d. A gap was soon made in Rosecrans' line, into which Van Dorn hastened to pour and drive back his enemy's left and center; his right, however, still remaining intact to threaten Van Dorn's flank. Night fell, and with it the combat closed.
The next day, at dawn, Van Dorn advanced into the town and for an hour could not be put out. He soon found, however, that he could not move one step forward. Here was a quandary. With Rosecrans stoutly holding his position, Van Dorn, now in some doubt for himself, decided to retreat. Under cover of a new attack, he fell back skillfully, the enemy not following. The battle of Corinth was a strong attack and defense, a cut and thrust movement, leading to no results save the taking of Corinth as an active factor from the arena of war. Its year for war's dread alarum's, with formidable muster of both armies, was emphatically 1862.
In this battle the Third Louisiana was reported as losing 12 wounded; Dupeire's Zouaves 2 killed; Watson's battery was also engaged.
The Confederates in two columns, meanwhile, had marched into the friendly State of Kentucky. E. Kirby Smith, commanding an army at Knoxville, took one line of the advance and defeated the enemy in a spirited action at Richmond, Ky. Smith's cavalry brigade, of which a large part was the First Louisiana, under Lieut.-Col. James O. Nixon, was commanded by Col. J. S. Scott. He drove the enemy from London, making heavy captures of prisoners and stores; fought a considerable engagement successfully at Big Hill, the enemy leaving 120 killed and wounded and over 105 prisoners; and on the occasion of the battle at Richmond attacked the enemy in the rear, capturing 3,500 prisoners, including General Manson, the Federal commander, and 8 pieces of artillery. Scott reported that in the campaign he captured nearly 4,000 prisoners, 375 wagons, mostly loaded, 1,500 mules and many horses. From the 896 men of his command he lost 7 killed and 21 wounded. A somewhat dramatic fact may be cited here. Profiting by his New Orleans lesson of a transfer of flags, Scott, riding into Frankfort, hoisted the battleflag of the First Louisiana (no Confederate flag being at hand) on the capitol of the State. The dramatic touch was emphasized by the presence of a pacific rear guard of the enemy, 8,000 strong, watching the scene with mild interest from the opposite bank. Acute war legalizes offenses even against Old Glory, and that Confederate ceremony of September 3d having been completed, Scott dashed on hotly with 450 horses to harass the friendly rear.
The second line was followed by Bragg himself. The movement was not overwise, but the issue of it was the severely fought battle of Perryville, on October 8, 1862. Buell, after having been summarily relieved from command, had just been reinstated at the solicitation of Thomas, prince of Federal soldiers, whose Virginia lineage is so clearly traced in his steady character. Buell's whole army was not with him when he came upon Hardee with only 15,000 men. Had that army been behind him, Buell might have defeated Hardee where he met him. Half of his force was distant from the field. This lack of concentration called for payment somehow, at usurer's interest. Bragg was too shrewd to err in the same way. He had already, on October 8th, succored Hardee, who, on finding himself attacked, fell stoutly on McCook, holding Buell's left, and bore him back helplessly. Tug as he might, Hardee could not break Buell's center. After a fierce fight, stubbornly maintained, Bragg suddenly withdrew from the field. Decidedly, a tactical check had been suffered by Bragg. Loss, about 5,000 men on either side.
With Bragg in the wearisome march and the tug of battle was the Louisiana brigade of the army of Tennes-see, organized under the command of Daniel W. Adams, promoted to brigadier-general. It included the Thir-teenth regiment, Col. R. L. Gibson; Sixteenth, Col. D. C. Gober; Twentieth, Col. August Reichard, Lieut.-Col. Leon von Zinken; Twenty-fifth, Col. S. W. Fisk; Fourteenth battalion sharpshooters, Maj. J. E. Austin; and Fifth company, Washington artillery, Capt. C. H. Slocomb. Adams was put in line on the extreme left, and while a fierce attack was being made on the angle of the Federal line the Louisianians advanced with Buckner's left All along the line the enemy was driven back, throwing away arms and equipment, and Adams' bri-gade, with the others, followed for about a mile. The Washington artillery, whose guns had opened the ball, followed and again opened fire. Later the whole of Adams' command was stationed on the hill from which they had driven the enemy. While they were far in front, ammunition exhausted and no effective supports in sight, some mishaps occurred. Lieut. Philip Seyne, with his ammunition train, and Lieut. Thomas Blair, with fourteen men, going after ammunition, were capt-ured. The same fate was supposed to have befallen Aide-de-camp E. M. Scott. The regimental and battal-ion commanders,, and Maj. Charles Guillet, Capt. H. Brummerstadt, Adjt. E. P. Guillet, Lieutenant Schaedel, Capt. M. O. Tracy, Lieutenant McCall, Maj. R. G. Higgins and Lieutenants Eichholz and Stewart (both wounded) were mentioned with honorable distinction: and of the Washington artillery Adams said: It did most essential and valuable service and deserves particu-lar notice of praise, and I would especially recommend that they be allowed to have Perryville inscribed on their banner. The brigade loss was 152, of whom 6 were known to have been killed, 78 wounded and 68 missing
Battle of Murfreesboro gallant record of Adams' brigade the Washington artillery Tullahoma campaign the great conflict on Chickamauga Creek Adams' brigade Turns the Federal line action of other Louisiana commands.
The next encounter of the armies was in Tennessee. Rosecrans, the new commander of the army of the Cumberland, vice Buell, gave the command of his center to Thomas. Thomas acted throughout the campaign as his military adviser. None better could he have had than this soldier—as prudent as he was daring, as successful as he was prudent. About the middle of November Bragg advanced to Murfreesboro. From this point he planned to lay distant siege to Nashville. Rosecrans' own objective was Chattanooga, as had been Buell's, but his first aim was to sweep Bragg from his front. Bragg, who had gone into winter quarters, was quickly aware of Rosecrans' purpose.
It was on Stone's river (December 26th to January 5th) that the army of Tennessee and the army of the Cumberland met for the mastery of the fields of Tennessee. If we read the rival reports both commanders lay claim to victory. In his losses, Bragg showed rather better than the enemy, having lost 10,000 out of 47,000, against the other's 12,000 out of 48,000. Adams' brigade—the Thirteenth and Twentieth consolidated, under command of Colonel Gibson; the Sixteenth and Twenty-fifth consolidated, under Colonel Fisk; Austin's sharpshooters, and the Washington artillery, Lieutenant Vaught—was prominent in the fighting of Breckinridge's division. The First cavalry was with Wheeler. Breckinridge, on the east of the river, toward noon on the 31st was called on to send help to General Polk, whose right was yet unsuccessful. Adams crossed with his brigade, and was at once thrown forward against a battery on a hill in front. The two battalions of the brigade, led by Colonels Gibson and Fisk, advanced gallantly to do the work too heavy for Chalmers and Donelson to complete, but met the same terrible artillery fire that had shattered Chalmers, and musketry from both flanks, and after an hour's noble struggle was compelled to give way. The whole Federal army was packed in columns behind the position Adams was sent to attack in front. It was here that Col. Stuart W. Fisk, of the consolidated Sixteenth, was killed while bravely leading a desperate charge. Colonel Fisk had gone out in the Crescent Rifles—the first command to leave the city, May 15, 1861—and had been on the Peninsula with Dreux‘ battalion. His death was a serious blow to our Louisiana contingent in Tennessee. He was a gallant officer, who in danger possessed that coolness which, while it attracts peril, minimizes it. Devoted to his men, he was by them fully trusted and deeply regretted. The loss was very heavy. Fisk's regiment had 457 men, and 217 were put hors de combat. Among the killed of the brigade were Lieuts. Charles J. Hepburn, R. O. Smith, H. Gregory, A. Ranlett, and T. L. McLean, and among the wounded General Adams and his adjutant, Capt. Emile P. Guillet, and Lieuts. J. M. Clayton, Louis Stagg, and W. L. Sibley. Capt. M. O. Tracy, acting major of Gibson's regiment, distinguished at Shiloh, Farmington and Perryville, lost a leg. Capt. Thomas W. Peyton, of the sharpshooters, was severely wounded. These and Colonel Gibson, Maj. Charles Guillet, Maj. F. C. Zacharie, Adjt. H. H. Bein, Capt. T. M. Ryan, Color-bearer Roger Tammure, and Sergt.-Maj. John Farrell, Lieuts. W. Q. Lowd, A. P. Martin, S. R. Garrett and C. F. McCarty, and Adjt. A. O'Duhigg, were mentioned for soldierly conduct Colonel Gibson, speaking for his regiments, Thirteenth and Twentieth, said that at the outset of their charge they drove the enemy at their front, and rescued the colors of some Confederate regiment
It is worth the record to say that this was the battleflag of a regiment of General Polk's corps. There the Louisianians found the flag, covered from sight by the bodies of its bearers who had bravely died in its defense. To save such a flag was an honor next to having borne it.
which had previously engaged the enemy there, and whose dead marked the line of battle.
On January 2d, Bragg renewed his attack upon Rosecrans, whose right he had pushed back through a quarter-circle, and sent Breckinridge on the east side of the river against his left. In this memorable charge, which worsted the Federal infantry, but came to naught under the murderous breath of the concentrated Federal artillery, the most tremendous outburst of gunnery that the West had yet known, the Thirteenth consolidated, Major Guillet, and the Sixteenth consolidated, Major Zacharie, were the front of Gibson's line. They advanced close to the river and drove the enemy beyond a ravine, where the Thirteenth held its position under heavy fire for some time. Of the 28 officers of the regiment who went into the fight, 14 were wounded, some mortally. The regiment behaved throughout like veterans, said Gibson, Captains Ryan, Lipscomb, King, Bishop and McGrath and Lieut. D. C Ryan displayed distinguished steadiness and courage. The loss of this regiment in two short actions (31st and 2d), lasting both together not more than an hour, was 19 officers and 332 men killed, wounded and missing, losing as many as some brigades. Major Zacharie, through a mistake in orders, crossed the river in this movement of the 2d. Once there, Zacharie plucked a brilliant diversion out of the error which had led him there. The Stone river being between him and Gibson, he was necessarily without orders for his guidance. Taking advantage of his unofficial line—not to add a sense of freedom not distasteful—he gallantly drove in the skirmishers of the enemy, besides, at this particular point, holding the threatening masses in check in front of our batteries, giving us time to throw shot and shell at them. Zacharie stood by his colors with steadiness, contesting every inch of the strange ground upon which chance had opportunely placed him. The Washington artillery, Fifth company, rendered distinguished service during the two days. As early as December 29th, two rifled guns were in position near the river, under the command of Lieut. J. A. Chalaron, who occupied that dangerous point during Tuesday and Wednesday, exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries and frequent assaults of his infantry. On the 31st, Vaught, with his remaining guns, supported Adams, continuing an effective fire on the enemy during the day. Then returning to the east side of the river, they followed Breckinridge in the charge on the 2d, and galloping up a hill, were in action till ammunition failed. While wait. ing for a new supply, the enemy swarmed about them, pouring in volley after volley at fifty yards. Then, after the last regiment and last battery were from the field, the Fifth company grimly retired in perfect line. The loss of the artillery was 5 killed and wounded. Lieutenant Chalaron, for distinguished gallantry, was appointed on the field as temporary chief of artillery. Lieutenants Blair and Leverich, Corporals Smith and Adams, and Privates Johnson and Walsh, were commended for gallantry.
In these fights, Randall Lee Gibson gave proofs of that signal ability which was to mark him progressively during the war. Gibson was always the student among our brigadiers, but this is far from meaning that he was a dreamer in action. He was a student only in the scholarship which he had borne away from ambitious competitors in the prizes of peace at Yale. His classics in nothing detracted from his dash upon the field, however much Plutarch may have offered him models for imitation.
For six months the army of the Cumberland, in and around Murfreesboro, did naught but face Bragg. Halleck, from Washington, was pressing Rosecrans to open anew the campaign; Grant, from Vicksburg, was urging him potently to attack Bragg. Around Vicksburg Grant's hopes, between May 18th and July 4th, had whirled with the singleness of personal ambition. All he then needed Rosecrans for was solely to keep Bragg from sending help to Pemberton. Finally Rosecrans, under this forcing process, moved on June 23d, with a force of 60,000 men. Bragg was at Shelbyville with 43,000—rather less than more. Rosecrans had begun by pushing Bragg out of his fortified posts—such as Tullahoma, which the Confederates had used as a depot of supplies—and driving him to new headquarters. It was a short campaign, at the end of which Bragg, evacuating Tullahoma, had marched into Chattanooga. Rosecrans' main object in September was to maneuver Bragg out of Chattanooga; and he succeeded by crossing the mountains south of that city, upon which Bragg fell back to Lafayette, Ga.
Bragg had just received help from Mississippi, and Longstreet, with Hood and Kershaw, was speeding from Virginia. Rosecrans made a faulty movement by dividing his army into three columns, thus getting his right and left wings hazardously separated from his center. His position became full of peril and gave to Bragg an excellent chance to overwhelm some one of these pieces on the board, after which the others would be easy victims; but there were unfortunate delays and the opportunity was lost. By September 18th the scattered Federal wings joined Rosecrans and as the reunited army of the Cumberland faced Chickamauga creek with Bragg's army on the east bank. Rosecrans awaited the inevitable attack, and meanwhile prudently placed Thomas in command of his left.
Against Chickamauga, Name of Thunder, will stand for all time two dates—September 19th and 20th—days of heroic fighting. Longstreet had arrived and was in command of Bragg's left. Polk commanded his right. Bragg was delayed by one day in crossing the Chickamauga. He fell upon Thomas, however, with none the less vigor. Thomas, who had been aggressive in the morning, was found behind his log intrenchments when the night came. On September 20th, Polk and Longstreet forced the fighting. As at Stone's River, everything seemed lost to the Federals. A great rout fell on Rosecrans' right, as complete as it was disgraceful. As at Bull Run, it became a sauve qui peut. Alone in the midst of the routed army —seeing yielding everywhere, Thomas stood defiant. With one-half of the Federal army gone, he remained, building up for his fame that noble title, never to be disassociated from his name, the Rock of Chickamauga.
On the 18th Adams' brigade was taken by Lieut.-Gen. D. H. Hill in person to Owen's ford, where there was Federal activity. Next morning it was withdrawn to Glass' mill, and there Captain Slocomb, with two guns and an infantry support, was sent to the Federal side of the creek, while Lieutenant Vaught, with the rifles, went into action from the east bluff, the artillery duel resulting favorably to the Confederates.
Then the brigade was marched three miles south of Lee & Gordon's mill, to meet a supposed move by Rosecrans on that flank. But they soon found that the Federal troops in motion were going on north, and the brigade was rapidly transferred to the other flank of the army, crossing the creek at Alexander's bridge, and bivouacking about midnight. Next morning, the 20th, Breckinridge's division was on the extreme right or north of the Confederate line, with Adams on the right of the division, in a line supposed to be parallel to the Chattanooga road, which was to be the object of the fight. Bragg's plan was yet, although his movements had previously been thwarted by delays, to swing his right forward and cut Rosecrans off from Chattanooga, the attack being taken up along the line to the south. This meant activity for the Louisianians on the extreme right.
Again there was delay on the morning of the 20th, but not through fault of Breckinridge or Adams. Let loose at 9:30, they swept forward. The left of Breckinridge's line found the enemy in front in battle array, and a desperate fight resulted; but Adams and Stovall, steadily marching forward, scattering two lines of skirmishers, found themselves on the Chattanooga road, and Adams, still keeping on, dispersing a regiment and capturing a battery, crossed the road into an open field. He was evidently north of the extreme north flank of Thomas. So Adams and Stovall were wheeled around facing south, Adams and Slocomb's battery on the Federal side of the road, and they moved southward against Thomas' flank. Small reason is there for surprise that Thomas called again and again for reinforcements, till Rosecrans' right was fatally weakened.
The Louisianians soon met two lines of the enemy sent to meet them. The first line was routed, said Breckinridge, but it was found impossible to break the second, aided as it was by artillery, and after a sanguinary contest, which reflected great honor on the brigade, it was forced back in some confusion. Here General Adams, who is as remarkable for his judgment on the field as for his courage, was severely wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy. Among the casualties, LieutenantCol-onel Turner, of the Nineteenth Louisiana, was wounded, and the gallant Major Butler of the same regiment was killed. Stovall had gained a point beyond the angle of the enemy's main line of works. Adams had advanced still farther, being actually in the rear of his intrenchments. A good supporting line to my division at this moment would probably have produced decisive results. As it was, the engagement on our right had inflicted on the enemy heavy losses and compelled him to weaken other parts of his line to hold his vital point. Adams' brigade reformed behind Slocomb's battery, which repulsed the enemy by a rapid and well-directed fire, rendering on this occasion important and distinguished service.
About sundown, the battle having raged all day and Thomas still holding his log barricades, Gibson, who had taken command of the brigade, was ordered to advance, gaining ground to the left. They passed over several lines of our troops, who cheered them heartily. The orders were not to fire a gun. Passing through the last Confederate line engaging the enemy, without halting and without firing, they pushed on until, within a few paces of the Federal line, the charge was ordered, and the whole command, said Gibson, with a terrific yell fell upon the enemy. A volley was received without effect; a second from the barricades checked us for an instant, but the officers rushed forward again, the men followed, and the enemy, panic-stricken, fled in the wildest disorder. . . . We continued to drive the enemy from every position for three-quarters of a mile until we had entered the woods, about 70 yards west of the Chattanooga road, where we halted. During the charge several hundred prisoners remained within their lines, but the Louisianians gave no heed to them. The position they stormed was held by the brigade of General King, whose dead and wounded marked his track to the rear. A battery was taken by the Thirteenth and Twentieth, but the gallantry of the whole brigade made it in fact a brigade honor. The brigade halted victoriously at night at the very point whence it had recoiled at midday.
Among the officers, Col. Daniel Gober and Col. Leon Von Zinken were conspicuous for courage and skill. All the officers and men behaved with commendable gallantry. Maj. C. H. Moore, Capt. H. A. Kennedy, who commanded the Nineteenth in the evening charge, and Capt. E. M. Dubroca, Thirteenth and Twentieth, showed themselves capable officers on the field. Major Graves, chief of artillery, fell mortally wounded in the arms of Captain Slocomb. The staff of General Adams was also cordially commended. The courage and skill of Colonel Gibson was gratefully mentioned by Breckinridge and D. H. Hill.
The brigade entered the battle with 120 officers, and lost in killed and wounded 33; with 1,200 enlisted men, and lost in killed and wounded and missing 396. It drove the enemy from two batteries and captured about 600 prisoners. Colonel Von Zinken reported a loss of 1 24, and mentioned the bravery of Capt. E. M. Dubroca, acting major, and Color-bearer J. Foster. Colonel Gober of the Sixteenth, lost 107 out of his 293 in battle at midday, and three officers—Lieutenant Oliver killed and Captain Ford and Lieutenant Walton missing. Walton was last seen urging his men to follow him against the foe. Captain Kennedy reported the loss in killed of Lieuts. R. W. Cater and W. T. Williams, in addition to the gallant Loudon Butler, and 25 enlisted men; wounded, 14 officers and 92 men; 11 missing; in all 153, half his force. Major Austin, with his battalion and a company from each regiment, led the skirmish line in the morning's advance, and reported for Company A, Capt. W. Q. Lowd, the capture of two cannon and nearly a hundred Federals. Company B, under Lieut. A. T. Martin, captured 33 prisoners. In the evening Austin co-operated with General Forrest.
Captain Slocomb lost the gallant Lieutenant Blair and 10 men killed and wounded, on the 19th, and 20 killed and wounded on the 20th. His own horse was shot under him. He commended Lieutenants Vaught, Chalaron and Leverich, and mentioned with sadness the death of Leon Brocurd, a youth of sixteen, who volunteered for the battle.
Scott's cavalry brigade was under Forrest's orders in this campaign; the First Louisiana cavalry under Nixon, and a section of Louisiana howitzer battery under Lieut. Winslow Robinson. He skirmished with the enemy about Ringgold for a week, and then drove in the advance of Granger's corps, within nine miles of Chattanooga. Next day he was with Pegram and Forrest in the first gallant fight with the enemy west of Chickamauga creek; on the 21st was in the attack on Missionary ridge, and next day, crossing the ridge, drove an Ohio regiment into Chattanooga, attacked the enemy in his intrenchments, and drove them from their first line of rifle-pits, then being recalled at night to the ridge.
In this campaign, Dreux‘ cavalry, Lieut. O. De Buis, served as escort with General Bragg, and Captain Leeds Greenleaf's Orleans Light Horse had the same honor with General Polk. Capt. George V. Moody's Madison battery, coming with Longstreet, arrived too late for the battle.
Later reports show the First Louisiana regulars, Col. James Strawbridge, and First cavalry, Maj. J. M. Taylor, attached to Bragg's headquarters.
The Madison battery went with Longstreet into East Tennessee, where Colonel Alexander reported: One of my most gallant officers, Capt. G. V. Moody, was compelled to be left dangerously ill at a private house near Knoxville, and must have fallen into the hands of the enemy.
The Georgia campaign Louisiana commands with Johnston and Polk their service from Dalton to Atlanta the siege battle of Jonesboro General Hood Withdraws to Alabama.
In November, 1863, Grant, victorious at Vicksburg, appeared at Chattanooga, where the Federal army was beleaguered by Bragg on Missionary ridge and Lookout mountain. Grant's prompt decision was that Bragg must be driven from the position he had chosen. For that work he selected well his lieutenants, Sherman, Thomas and Hooker, and they did it successfully. Bragg, always fighting valiantly, but ever face to face with a stronger enemy, never once possessing men enough, assailing or assailed, to mass against a compact foe, saw himself worsted at every point. He found it necessary to retreat to Ringgold, which he did on November 26, 1863. Here he was soon after relieved from command by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, and called to Richmond to serve as President Davis' chief of staff.
Johnston assumed command of the army of Tennessee on December 18, 1863. He found at Dalton an army of about 36,000 effective infantry and artillery, with 5,000 cavalry. In his front was soon massed a Federal army of about 10,000 and Sherman put in command. The odds were altogether in favor of the Federals. Beginning early in May the Federal army slowly forced the Confederates back step by step, by a series of flanking movements, to Atlanta. In his army at Dalton, Johnston counted among his effective fighters the Louisiana brigade, in A. P. Stewart's division. The brigade was commanded by R. L. Gibson, promoted to brigadier-general; the First regiment regulars by Maj. S. S. Batchelor; the Thirteenth by Lieut.-Col. Francis L. Campbell; the Sixteenth and Twenty-fifth by Col. Joseph C. Lewis; the Nineteenth by Col. R. W. Turner, Lieut.-Col. Hyder A. Kennedy; the Twentieth by Maj. Samuel L. Bishop; the Fourth battalion by Lieut.-Col. J. McEnery, Maj. Duncan Buie; the Fourteenth battalion by Major Austin. (Return of April 30th.) The Louisiana cavalry was represented by Guy Dreux‘ company at headquarters, the artillery by Vaught's company with Hardee's corps and Capt. Charles E. Fenner's with Hood's.
When Polk's army of Mississippi joined that of Tennessee at Resaca it brought a brigade under command of Col. Thomas M. Scott, of the Twelfth regiment (that regiment led by Lieut.-Col. Noel L. Nelson), in Loring's division; the Fourth Louisiana, Col. S. E. Hunter, and Thirtieth, Lieut.-Col. Thomas Shields, in Quarles' brigade, Walthall's division; the Pointe Coupee artillery, Capt. Alcide Bouanchaud, and Capt. Greenleaf's escort company. Later in the campaign the Fourth and Thirtieth were transferred to Gibson's brigade, and Nutt's company was added to Granbury's brigade.
In the meager reports available of the Georgia campaign we catch glimpses of the heroic service of the Louisianians. General Gibson in his report of June 1st, describing previous operations, told of tenacious holding of his line, assisted by Fenner's battery, in Mill Creek gap, till ordered to the south. At Resaca the brigade made two charges, and on the retreat from there they were assigned to the rear guard. Hardly were they in line when attacked, and then Gibson, taking command of his own and Stovall's brigades, threw forward a heavy line of skirmishers. His men stood calm and steadfast till long after midnight, when the army was across the river. After various maneuvers the army found itself on the line of New Hope church, facing westward. On the evening of May 25th, A. P. Stewart sent Austin's battalion and Lewis' Sixteenth regiment forward as skirmishers near the church, the enemy showing activity. Soon the remainder of the brigade was ordered forward to develop the enemy. They drove in the skirmishers and found the enemy in line of battle. Gibson was called back and put in reserve. Then immediately followed that determined assault by Hooker's corps, and no less determined repulse. By June 1st, the brigade had lost out of 889 enlisted men, 34 killed, 150 wounded and 19 missing; out of 85 officers, 4 killed and 13 wounded.
Said General Gibson: Capt. E. J. Blasco, Thirteenth, was killed in the charge at Resaca. He was a modest, skillful and brave young man, who had served with me from the beginning of the war and to whom I had become greatly attached. Capt. M. G. Pearson, Nineteenth, Lieut. J. T. Craddock, Sixteenth, and Lieut. F. Hammond, Fourth battalion, excellent officers, fell at their posts. Lieut.-Col. J. McEnery, commanding Fourth battalion, was severely wounded in the charge at Resaca; Maj. S. L. Bishop, commanding Twentieth regiment, lost his right arm in front of New Hope church, and Maj. W. B. Scott, Nineteenth, lost his leg and has since died of the wound. Maj. W. B. Scott laid aside his ministerial robes for the sword, and while he served the brigade as a parson he gave up his life defending his native land. Capt. J. W. Stringfellow, First infantry, and Adjt. O. O. Cobb, Sixteenth, were also severely wounded. These officers and those of the wounded whose names I have mentioned were among the very best officers of the brigade. He especially commended Major Austin, who had been frequently distinguished on the skirmish line, and honorably mentioned his staff officers: Capt. H. H. Bein, adjutant-general; Capt. A. L. Stuart, inspectorgeneral; Maj. J. H. Henshaw, quartermaster; Maj. W. V. Crouch, commissary; Capt. G. Norton, successor to Bein; Lieut. H. P. Kernochan, an efficient aide in the frequent intrenching; Aide J. M. Gibson, and Lieut. L. Ware, volunteer aide, severely wounded at New Hope church.
Fenner's artillery was complimented by General Stewart, with the battalion of three batteries in which it served, for effectiveness at New Hope church. Colonel Campbell reported at this time that he had 58 men bearing arms in the Thirteenth. Major Austin reported that, reinforced by two companies, he had suffered a loss of 26 killed out of a total of 85 effective in the stubborn fight he made against Hooker's advance at New Hope. He mentioned with honor the names of Sergt.-Maj. Augustus O'Duhigg, dangerously wounded in most gallant action; Captain Lowd and Lieutenant Greany; and Lieut. A. T. Martin, alone in command of Company B; Sergt. James Delany and Privates John Hagan, Richard Kiely and J. B. Mc-Graw, for great gallantry at New Hope church. The gallant Austin, capable of commanding a regiment, had 60 men at Dalton, and had lost 23. Colonel Lewis mentioned in addition to names already given, AssistantSur-geon Bass as greatly distinguished, and Sergeant-Major Bradford, wounded. Capt. Robert L. Keen was now in command of the Twentieth.
Scott's brigade reached Resaca May 10th, when Mc-Pherson's corps was four miles distant, intent on cutting off the retreat of Johnston from Dalton. On the 13th, McPherson advancing, Scott was thrown forward to Bald Knob to meet him, where he held the enemy in check three hours, until called off. Subsequently they manned the breastworks, Bouanchaud's battery in action from a hill in the rear. When Sherman was crowding the retreat later, Scott's brigade with a section of the Pointe Couple battery assisted General Wheeler in checking the enemy. On the New Hope line they engaged in heavy skirmishing for a week. From May 10th to June 1st the brigade loss was 341, a due share of which was borne by the Louisianians.
Of the Louisiana regiments then with Quarles we snatch a glimpse through the smoke of battle in the report of the gallant Cleburne of the fight of May 27th, near New Hope church: Quarles' brigade was conducted to the rear of Lowry, and formed as a second line. The Fourth Louisiana, Colonel Hunter, finding itself opposite an interval between the two regiments of Lowry's line, advanced with great spirit into the field, halted and delivered a very effective fire upon the enemy in front After some minutes Quarles withdrew his regiment and formed it behind the field, where they continued their fire across it. In the same battle the Thirtieth relieved the Thirty-ninth Georgia at the front.
Next followed the fighting at Kenesaw mountain,
During the operations near Kenesaw, the armies of Mississippi and of Tennessee suffered a heavy blow in the death of Lieut.-Gen Leonidas Polk. The united armies, though facing desperate perils, took time to mourn the bishop of Louisiana. He had ever been a pillar of strength to his people. Gentle in peace and undaunted in the field, he is remembered as the militant bishop of the Confederacy.
the attempt to hold the Chattahoochee, the retreat across it, the relief of General Johnston by Gen. John B. Hood, and the fierce battles of Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, and Ezra Church, July 20th to 28th.
During these operations Gibson's brigade was in the division commanded by General Clayton, Stewart having corps command until S. D. Lee arrived, July 27th. Gibson's brigade took part in the attack from the intrenchments on the 22d; and on the 28th, according to General Gibson's report, was led by Colonel Von Zinken against the enemy strongly posted, where the men fought gallantly and lost heavily. Lieut.-Col. Thomas Shields and Maj. Charles J Bell, of the Thirtieth, fell at the head of the regiment, the former with the colors in his hands within a few feet of the enemy's breastworks. Lieut. W. B. Chippendale, of the same gallant regiment, was killed and Captain Becnel mortally wounded. Lieut. W. J. Clark, Nineteenth, and Lieut. W. G. Jeter, Fourth, and Capt. W. H. Sparks, First, were killed, and Lieutenant Gladden mortally wounded. The brigade took position, intrenching on the west of the city, and was engaged in continual skirmishing during the remainder of the siege. An attack was made upon them August 5th, and General Lee reported that the skirmishers of Gibson's brigade permitted half of their number to be killed, wounded or captured before the others would leave their position.
Finally Sherman secretly withdrew from his lines and was at Jonesboro, essential to the railroad communication of Atlanta, before Hood was fully persuaded of his intentions. Gibson's brigade, sent to Jonesboro with Lee, put his men in line of battle August 31st, and was ordered to the attack upon the enemy who had had time to intrench. My line, said Gibson, moved forward with great enthusiasm and went beyond the fence into the thicket in which the enemy's rife-pits were, when a few men, halting at the fence and lodging in the skirmish pits, began to fire, and soon the whole line fired, halted and finally gave way. A few of the men got up to the works of the enemy and some inside of them, when they found the enemy being reinforced while their own commands were retiring, and they had consequently to abandon the posts they had won. I never saw a more gallant charge or one that so fully promised success. The officers and men all behaved with great intrepidity in charging through an open field under a very heavy and well-directed fire. With noble spirit the men reformed, and advanced again to the hopeless slaughter. In fifteen minutes, in the second charge, half the command that was left fell killed or wounded. Conspicuous was Col. J. C. Lewis, who fell mortally wounded at the head of his regiment, within a few paces of the enemy. Others who fell within arm's reach of the trenches were Capt. S. Aycock, Capt. R. P. Oliver, Lieut. T. J. Scott and Lieut. Morgan Edwards. The Fourth, under Colonel Hunter, made a gallant assault, striking the most important part of the line, but they had not the strength alone to break it.
The Twelfth Louisiana, at the battle of the 20th of July, lost II killed, 57 wounded, and 4 missing, out of 318 engaged. Capt. J. A. Bivin and Lieut. M. S. McLeroy were killed in front of the line. Maj. H. V. McCain was wounded. Lieut.-Col. T. C. Standifer and Sergt.-Maj. H. Brunner were honorably mentioned.
After the evacuation of Atlanta Hood designed a campaign to lure Sherman from Atlanta, cut his communications and force a battle further north. On September 25th President Davis arrived at headquarters, and on the next day, after a serenade by the Twentieth Louisiana band, he addressed the soldiers. Three days later the army began its movement northward. In the most serious engagement which followed, that at Allatoona, the Pointe Coupee artillery took part. Slocomb's battery, under Chalaron, did effective work at Dalton.
Hood, closely pursued by Sherman, fell back into Alabama, and Sherman returned to Atlanta, burned the city, and set out for Savannah.
The Tennessee campaign under Hood Scott's brigade at Franklin the Washington artillery at Murfreesboro battle of Nashville the retreat the Louisiana brigade in the rear Guard last days of the army of Tennessee.
Hood having failed to draw Sherman into Tennessee, Beauregard, now close at hand, was stirring him to a bold stroke.
General Beauregard had been assigned on October 2, 1864, to the department of the West, including the department commanded by Hood and that of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, to which Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor had been assigned. Neither of the subaltern commanders was displeased at the selection of Beauregard, who had but lately stepped from the masterly defense of Charleston. It was not a promotion for G. T. Beauregard, only a new field in which to show his tact and rich military experience.
This was nothing less than to give a fatal blow to Thomas, organizing at Nashville.
Hood willingly undertook the enterprise, but unfortunately was hindered by perilous delay. In his welcome advance, the larger contingent of Louisiana men fought in Gibson's brigade, Clayton's division. The Twelfth infantry, Col. N. L. Nelson, was in its old brigade (commanded by Thomas M. Scott, promoted to brigadiergen-eral) of Loring's division; Fenner's battery, Lieut. W. T. Cluverius, trained with Eldridge's battalion, now commanded by Fenner; Bouanchaud's Point Coupee artillery, with Myrick's battalion; Slocomb's Washington artillery, with Cobb's battalion; and Capt. L. M. Nutt's cavalry was with Granbury.
Gibson's regiments were led as follows: First regiment, Capt. J. C. Stafford; Fourth regiment, Col. Samuel E. Hunter; Thirteenth regiment, Lieut.--Col. Francis L. Campbell; Sixteenth regiment Lieut.-Col. Robert H. Lindsay; Nineteenth regiment, Maj. Camp Flournoy; Twentieth regiment, Capt. Alexander Dressel; Twenty-fifth regiment, Col. Francis C. Zacharie; Thirtieth regiment, Maj. Arthur Picolet; Fourth battalion, Capt. T. A. Bisland; Fourteenth battalion sharpshooters, Lieut. A. T. Martin.
Schofield was at Franklin, with instructions from Thomas to hold it until the post could be made secure. Hood quickly resolved to crush Schofield before he could obey Thomas' order. His troops carried the first line of hastily constructed works. Behind this was an interior line, which he failed to storm against overwhelming numbers. Confederates occupied the outer line, a position of peculiar peril. The enemy held the inner line strongly manned, against which the Confederates bravely advanced, and there inside the enemy's works many fell The Federals had the worst of the struggle at Franklin, but the South suffered the loss of many of its most heroic men.
During this battle Gibson's brigade was with Lee at Columbia, but Scott and his gallant Alabamians and Louisianians were in the heat of the desperate struggle, attacking on the right of the Federal line, charging over ground obstructed by a deep railroad cut, abatis and hedge, swept by a terribly destructive fire from the enemy's artillery, pressing forward with dauntless courage to the inner line of works, which they failed to carry, but where many of them remained, separated from the enemy only by the parapet, until the Federal army withdrew. Such were the words in which A. P. Stewart described the work of Loring's division. Brigadier-General Scott was paralyzed by the explosion of a shell near him. The gallant Colonel Nelson gave up his life on this bloody field.
Rousseau was at this time strongly fortified at Murfreesboro, with 8,000 men. Hood, on the way from Franklin to Nashville, stopped Bate's division long enough to order him to see what he could do to disturb Rousseau, varying that operation by destroying railroads and burning railroad bridges. With Bate's division went Cobb's battalion of artillery, Capt. Rene T. Beauregard commanding the artillery. Slocomb's battery, Lieutenant Chalaron commanding, was directed to open upon a block-house on a creek guarding a railroad bridge. Twice or thrice the enemy appeared, each time being thrown back by the gunners. Later in the day he came again, this time reinforced by infantry and artillery. Chalaron, quick to answer, poured double charges into his lines, when not fifty yards distant, scattering them in all directions. Of this action, a spirited if hasty one, Bate says: Slocomb's battery, under Lieutenant Chalaron, acted with conspicuous and most effective gallantry. Bate himself seemed genuinely solicitous about his New Orleans artillerists. I have to regret the loss of two of the guns of that gallant battery, Slocomb's. The horses being killed, they could not be brought off. General Bate's regret would surely have turned to rage had he known that the Washington artillery's 2-pounder Napoleons lost in this fight were at once placed in position in the fortifications at Murfreesboro, traitor-like to turn in shells upon their old masters.
Winter opened early and forbidding in Tennessee. Bate soon found bad weather interfering with him, ugly rains with falling snow as early as December 5th; ground freezing; soldiers barefooted; feet bleeding. Once more on the road to Nashville, he reached the front of the town December 15th, catching, as he drew near, the mutterings of battle. The next day he ordered Captain Beauregard to place a section of howitzers upon a small plateau, whence they could command the front of his right. Beauregard did this with telling effect, clearing the front as though some mighty broom had swept it. Captain Beauregard, commanding my artillery, showed merit beyond his years, and managed the battalion not only to my satisfaction but to the good of the service and to his own credit. Bate's report. This, however, was only a temporary relief. Towards 9 a.m. the enemy began to deploy large masses, which threatened, with their heavy weight, to crush the thinner Southern lines. Beauregard, still fighting steadily at his guns, was ordered to move his battalion back to the Franklin pike; the Granny White pike, our chosen avenue of escape, being already swarming with the enemy. At length the Confederate lines gave way everywhere, and all inditia of defeat were plain to our outnumbered and over weighted army. Never without hope, the army of Tennessee this day lost all save valor.
From December 1st to 15th Gibson's brigade had been incessantly working on the intrenchments before Nashville. The attack of the 5th in other quarters caused such withdrawal of troops that two of Clayton's brigades had to be scattered along the whole front previously held by the corps, and Gibson's brigade was taken out of the trenches and thrown back perpendicularly to check the enemy's advance. About midnight the division was moved back to Overton's hill, on the extreme right of the army. There Gibson sustained a vigorous assault early in the afternoon of the 16th, which was repulsed with slaughter. From 9 o'clock in the morning Gibson's brigade had been under fire of a battery which completely enfiladed them, but they stood fast. Between three and four o'clock they learned that the entire left of the army had given away. Then they moved to the rear, marching out in good order and saving the battery they supported. Fenner, who had been dealing destruction to the enemy, brought off his guns, but three of them were afterward abandoned by order of General Forrest. On the morning of the 17th Colonel Hunter, with the Fourth and Thirtieth, was put on guard in the rear, and while there was captured with his detachment. At the Harpeth river the brigade narrowly escaped entire destruction. Deserted by the cavalry, and charged on all sides by the enemy, Lindsay's Sixteenth deployed as skirmishers, and Colonel Campbell and Major Flournoy, with the First, Thirteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth, in all about 250 muskets, moved to the rear, fighting as they went. The command fought its way to the river thus, with a loss of o killed, 25 wounded, and 5 captured. A more persistent effort was never made to rout the rear guard of a retreating column, was General Lee's comment. Among the losses at Nashville were Capt. C. W. Cushman, Lieut. J. J. Cawthon, and Lieut. C. Miller killed; and Lieut. A. T. Martin, commanding sharpshooters, wounded and captured.
The Point Coupee artillery, for its courage in dispersing a charging line, was complimented by Loring. On the 16th, towards 4 p. m., the enemy charged in force the battery, left and front. At this hour and on this part of the field confusion was supreme. The Point Coupee artillery, regardless of all save duty, poured double-load canister into the advancing column. Its infantry support, having begun by wavering had finished by fleeing in disorder. A poetic incident followed with that successful rush of the charging enemy. It was the battery's fourth gun which fell into his hands. With the capture, the enemy mockingly planted his colors upon it. Not at all disturbed, but rather angered by the growing confusion, not to add the intrusive flag, the cannoneers of the third piece turned their gun directly upon the fourth and fired their last round of ammunition at the colors. After this act of justice, the gunners fled to avoid capture.
Mr. Caesar Landry, a popular sergeant of the Point Coupee artillery, kept a faithful diary of its marches, halts and fights from June 29, 1861, to January 12, 1865.
As touches the work of the various batteries in this long, and at the end, disastrous campaign, one can lean upon this note from such a competent military critic as Lieut-Gen. S. D. Lee, bravely commanding the rear guard of the army from Nashville: The officers and men of the artillery behaved admirably. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon this efficient arm of the service in the army of Tennessee. We have Lee's corroborative authority equally for the assertion that 6 guns were lost by the artillery in my corps. The greater portion of these were without horses. ... The noble gunners, reluctant to leave their guns, fought the enemy, in many instances, almost within reach of the guns.
With this retreat, John B. Hood passed from the field of active Confederate movement. Time was passing swiftly; the Confederacy was within a few months of Appomattox. A moribund government, no more than a dying man, cares about new ventures with old agents. Like the Marechal de Villars, Hood, full of fire, had always shown himself a better fighter than a strategist He planned a campaign as impetuously as he fought, and in his ear rang ever the trumpet's note. He loved best the wild excitement of a charge, the crash of blow for blow; himself dearly preferring to deal the first sounding stroke. His initiative always displayed dash with momentum. Once taken, he sustained it with set lips and eager eye. A man intensely brave, not only in the field, but what is still rarer, in his thought, he was like many men of his class almost femininely sanguine. With this sanguineness went a most controlling desire to conquer.
The reaction after Nashville was intensely painful for a nature so ardent and hopeful as Hood's. Far more painful, however, was the dissatisfaction which, as he learned day by day during that retreat, had sprung up among the people with the entire campaign. With nothing to do at Tupelo, Miss., he wrote with strong feeling from that point, to President Davis: With no desire but to serve my country, I ask to be relieved with the hope that another might be assigned to the command who could do more than I could accomplish. Singularly honest in his nature, the humility genuinely felt by this dashing captain must excite the sympathy of all brave men. General Hood relinquished his command on the 28th of January, by authority of the President.
The retreat from Nashville had brought no dishonor to the army of Tennessee. It had fought until a division, weakly guarding its line, had unexpectedly given away, involving an order to retire from the position so long and so gallantly held. When the Federal invaders charged it faced them sternly, and when they pressed upon it, struck back at them fiercely. With hearts steadfast; never flurried, though barefooted; never depressed, though bleeding feet left a tracery of blood upon the path, the army of Tennessee crossed the Tennessee and marched to Tupelo over winter roads, roughened by winter rains. Never in the course of this war have the best qualities of our soldiers been more conspicuously shown; never more enthusiasm evinced than when our troops once more crossed the Tennessee river; never greater gallantry than that which was so general at Franklin; never higher fortitude than was displayed on the retreat from Nashville to Tupelo.—Beauregard's report, April 15, 1865.
The army of Tennessee
With the remnant of the army of Tennessee which participated in the campaign in the Carolinas was the Twelfth regiment, Capt. John A. Dixon, Lieut.-Col. E. M. Graham, in Loring's division, Stewart's corps. Also with Johnston's army was the Louisiana battery of Capt. William M. Bridges, and Battery A, Orleans Guard, Capt. G. Le Gardeur, two organizations which had participated in the defense of Charleston harbor under Beauregard. Le Gardeur's battery fought at Averasboro, gave the enemy the last shot they had, and when nine horses were killed and nearly all the cannoneers of the two guns were killed or wounded, the career of the gallant battery was practically ended. Sergeant Guibert was mentioned by General Taliaferro for gallantry and energy. The Louisiana infantry, under Walthall and Loring, had their last battle at Bentonville, March 19th. In his last report, General Walthall commended the gallant services of Private E. D. Clark, Fourth Louisiana regiment, who was wounded in the performance of the duties of adjutant-general of division.
had made its last retreat. With all its flags streaming; with all its bugles blowing and its drums beating, with its strong files as unbroken in that final retreat as when facing its first fight; with not a commander away, not an officer absent, not a private forgotten from its proud story, the army of Tennessee, in serried ranks, horse, foot and artillery, marched in shadowy column victoriously from its last Confederate field of December 16, 1864, straight through the golden portal leading to the transcendent roadway of history.
Within five months, its elder brother, the army of Northern Virginia, holding within its skeleton ranks every man, general, officer, or private, who had in its day of greatest glory belonged to it, was to retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox, and from that culminating height of heroic effort, to march without let or challenge through those same golden portals, behind which the Confederate armies, great or small, were to meet, one in birth as in endeavor; one in hope as in failure; one in failure as in unending fame!
It was April, 1865, that the rings of that Titanic curtain which had hidden within its heavy folds the thrilling epoch of so much valor and so much devotion, noiselessly shaken by some hand mightier far than man's, and rattling off from their pole, fell with a crash upon the land sodden with the blood of an entire people, never to rise again over our Union of States, one and indivisible
Louisianians in the army of Northern Virginia fight at Blackburn's ford the fame of Harry Hays battle of First Manassas with Magruder on the Peninsula Williamsburg and Seven Pines
Around the Confederate capital, as early as June, 1861, exciting rumors of McDowell's advance began to spread with the lighter gossip of the fair grounds. Richmond, with that brave smile which in storm or sunshine never left her war-scarred features, had ceased to be a Capua. The Louisiana regiments, once so petted, had not been spoiled for active service. Hearing the drum beat, they struck tents with shouts of joy and took up a quickstep. Beauregard was posted somewhere ahead—that was what the Washington artillery on their caissons had gaily said—somewhere on the road to Washington.
Louisiana showed a considerable forge in this campaign, beginning with the battle of July 18, 1861, and culminating in the picturesque victory of First Manassas on the 21st. At that time there were present in Beauregard's army the Sixth Louisiana volunteers, Col. I. G. Seymour; First Special battalion, Maj. C. R. Wheat; Seventh regiment, Col. Harry T. Hays; Eighth regiment, Col. H. B. Kelly; and the Washington artillery, Maj. John B. Walton.
On the 18th the Louisianians, Ewell's brigade, occupying position in vicinity of the Union Mills ford, included Seymour's regiment. Wheat's battalion was with Evans, who, holding the left flank, watched over the Stone bridge across Bull run. Hays' Seventh was attached to Early's brigade; Kelly, just arrived, was ordered to Bonham's brigade. Walton had four howitzers under Lieutenant Rosser at Union Mills ford; three rifles under Lieut. C. W. Squires, with Early, later reinforced by four guns under Lieutenants Whittington and Garnett; and two guns under Captain Miller at McLean's ford.
Beauregard, about 10 a. m., established his headquarters at a central point below McLean's and Blackburn's fords, and ordered up reinforcements. The enemy on the north bank of Bull run seemed to coquet with Confederates on the south bank. Ricketts' battery, the pride of the Federals, because handled with peculiar skill, was occupying a hill over one and a half miles from Bull run. The shriek of its shells was a direct challenge to the Washington artillery who heard it. It was accepted on the spot with 6-pounders, smooth. It needed only six solid shots to silence Ricketts and drive back its support. A new attack was opened by the enemy about 11:30 a. m., supported by the artillery and cavalry. The ford was not left to itself. Keen eyes watched it, scanning every foot in front and every yard up and down the stream. Two of Walton's 6-pounders under Lieutenant Garnett were stationed to command the passage—with conditional orders to retire to the rear as soon as the ford itself should be commanded by the foe. The northern bank, in front of Longstreet, rose with a steep slope at least 50 feet above the water level. A hazardous difference! This ridge, rising from a narrow berme, formed for the enemy what General Beauregard styled an admirable natural parapet. Behind this parapet the enemy approached under shelter, in strength, within less than one hundred yards of Longstreet's skirmishers. The southern bank was fairly level, forming almost a plain. This plain gradually rose at a distance from the stream.
Of a sudden, the artillery on both sides awoke. It was a question between the hill and the plain. The Federals pointed their guns down upon the Confederates, from a vantage height which seemed to assure success. On their side, the Louisianians squinted up at the enemy's battery with their pieces on the level. Let General Beauregard speak of the result:
It was at this stage of the affair that a remarkable artillery duel was commenced and maintained on one side with a long trained professional opponent, superior in the character as well as in the number of his weapons, provided with improved munitions and every artillery appliance, and at the same time occupying the commanding position. The results were marvelous and fitting precursors to the artillery achievements of the 21st of July. In the outset our fire was directed against the enemy's infantry, who indicated their presence and force. This drew the attention of a battery placed on a high commanding ridge, and the duel began in earnest. ... Shot fell and shells burst thick and fast in the midst of our battery—wounding in the course of the combat Captain Eshleman, five privates, and the horse of Lieutenant Richardson ... By direction of General Longstreet, his battery (two 6-pounder brass guns of Walton's battery) was then advanced by hand, out of the range now ascertained by the enemy. .. .From the new position our guns—fired as before, with no other aim than the smoke and flash of their adversaries' pieces—renewed and urged the conflict with such signal vigor and effect that gradually the fire of the enemy slackened, the intervals between their discharges grew longer and longer finally to cease, and we fired a last gun at a baffled, flying foe, whose heavy masses in the distance were plainly seen to break and scatter in wild confusion and utter rout.
Though occupying an inferior position, though serving guns of far lighter metal and though without any advantage of shelter, the Louisianians, in the conflict of battle so graphically described, stood at the last erect upon the field where the duel had been fought. The officers immediately in command were Captain Eshleman and Lieutenants Squires, Richardson, Garnett and Whittington.
At Blackburn's Ford occurred the death of the first Louisiana artillerist during the war—Private George W. Muse,. First company, Washington artillery.
In the same battle gallant Colonel Hays, of the Seventh Louisiana, whose regiment was with Early's brigade, handled his men with skill and coolness while relieving Corse's Virginians at Blackburn's ford. This movement, never other than a hazardous one, was made under a pouring fire of bullets from a force of infantry vastly superior to his own. The elan of General Hays, first shown at Bull Run, was to find voice in a proverb which ran like a red line through the fighting years of the Confederacy— Dashing as Harry Hays shouted the army and echoed the newspapers. In 1861-65 army and press combined made a war proverb.
On the evening of July 20th, Beauregard, bidding good night to his generals at his headquarters at McLean's, said in a loud tone: Now, gentlemen, let to-morrow be their Waterloo.
On the morning of July 21st, the Louisiana regiments occupied the same general ground as on the evening of the 18th. In the early hours of that victorious Sunday several encounters had taken place between the Louisianians and the enemy possessing as before, heavier odds in men and guns. At 8 a. m. Wheat's battalion, deployed as skirmishers, were eyeing an extended line of the enemy in their front. Of the attack upon Wheat; of the cool courage with which he met it, and of the formidable odds united against Evans' line which he was protecting, Beauregard says:
The enemy, galled and staggered by the fire and pressed by the determined valor with which Wheat handled
Adjutant Owen, of the Washington artillery, lying on the grass near by heard these words to report them.
his battalion until he was desperately wounded,
Though badly beaten Maj. Robert Wheat left his mark on the memories of the beaten army. In Washington, on the morning of the 22d, the soldiers explained the rout by gasping—D—n those Louisiana Tigers—born devils, every one of them!
hastened up three other regiments of the brigade and two Dahlgren howitzers—making in all quite 3,000 men and 8 pieces of artillery, opposed to less than 800 men and two 6-pounder guns.
Though the hours by the battle clock look to the afternoon, victory for us was still lost in the smoke.
Near the Henry house, on the plateau around which the battle flowed for hours in the forenoon to ebb in the afternoon — the Washington artillery, with Colonel Walton in command, was doing excellent service. Whilst the fire was at its hottest, General Beauregard and staff rode up. He called out: Colonel Walton, do you see the enemy? Yes! was the reply. Then hold this position and the day is ours. Three cheers for Louisiana! Cheers were given with the voice of many-throated men.
For the Federals had been the forenoon with its gains. Now came to the Confederates the afternoon with its promise. The fate of First Manassas was operating. It was the hour after noon. The hands of the battle clock were pointing to Confederate success. The enemy, bewildered by the skill and precision with which our guns were fired, wildly threw forward regiment after regiment to dislodge the Confederates, only to fall back in added confusion. Still always in dense columns, they were vainly essaying to outflank our left. Victory, hovering undecided in the thick air since noon, proudly revealed herself at 4:30 p. m. It was the hour of First Manassas! The road to Washington was already filling up with fleeing men and the wrecks of luxurious belongings—a great army utterly despoiled.
In a work on Louisiana, three points for the greater honor of the soldiers at their first battle find a proper place (bearing in mind his compliments to the other Louisiana commands already quoted):
1. General Beauregard praised the Eighth Louisiana volunteers and the section of Walton's artillery under Lieutenant Garnett, as having-whether in holding their post, or taking up the pursuit—discharged their duty with credit and promise. Always generous of his praise of the Washington artillery, he says: The skill, the conduct, and the soldierly qualities of the Washington artillery engaged, were all that could be desired. The officers and men attached to the seven pieces . . . won for their battalions a distinction which, I feel assured, will never be tarnished, and which will ever serve to urge them and their corps to high endeavor. Lieutenant Squires worthily commanded the pieces in action. The commander of the battalion was necessarily absent from the immediate field, under orders in the sphere of his duties, but the fruits of his discipline, zeal, and instruction, and capacity as an artillery commander, were present, and must redound to his reputation. (Report of battle of 18th.)
2. At about 5 p. m. on Sunday, President Davis, who had just then reached the field, passed the spot where the guns of the Washington artillery were halted. Turning to his aides, he said, as he raised his hat: Don't they look like little game-cocks? President Davis' words for the Washington might be enlarged to cover every Louisiana command composed of the native troops. Throughout all the armies, they became known as game-cocks. Small of frame, compact of muscle, elastic of step, eager in movement, they were full of the élan which showed the French blood of many of them. As then in war, now in peace the National Guard of Louisiana will compare more than favorably with competitors from other States, far and wide.
3. The last gun of the battle of Manassas was fired from one of the guns of the Washington artillery. Its shell followed a fleeing army. One who may read the story of the Louisiana troops on the field of Bull Run will not find it hard to cry with General Beauregard: Three cheers for Louisiana.
The loss of the Louisiana commands participating in the battle of Manassas, July 21st, was as follows: Wheat's battalion, killed 8; wounded, officers 5, men 33, missing, 2; total, 48, Seventh regiment, killed 3, wounded 23, total, 26. Washington artillery, killed x, wounded 5.
Our battleflag springs from the field of the First Manassas. The striking resemblance between the rival flags in that battle rendered it often difficult to tell friend from foe. To obviate similar confusion on future fields, General Beauregard, thus early in the war, proposed the adoption of a battle as well as a peace or parade flag. The design he presented to the committee in charge was accepted. It presents the blue cross with its complement of stars resting on a red ground. This, in our day, is well known as the battleflag button of the United Confederate Veterans.
On July 25th, the Ninth regiment, Col. Richard Taylor, having arrived, the Louisiana commands were organized in the Eighth brigade, soon to be commanded by Brigadier-General Taylor. Following the victory at Manassas, occurred some minor affairs at the front. At Lewinsville, September 12th, J. E. B. Stuart, with some Virginia companies, and two guns of the Washington artillery commanded by Capt. T. L. Rosser and Lieut. C. H. Slocomb, put a sudden stop to a Federal reconnoissance. Here Rosser had an encounter with Charles Griffin's six guns. Of the two artillerists, both to be generals, Rosser seems to have had the advantage in aim. Longstreet reported that it was difficult to say whether the work of the infantry or the destructive fire of the Washington artillery was the most brilliant part of the affair. From this time there was comparative quiet in eastern Virginia until the spring of 1862.
McClellan's landing on the Virginia peninsula, early in 1862, concentrated 110,000 men in and near Fortress Monroe. True to his system, he began without delay to erect fortifications and to complete scientific parallels. With all his army, he was afraid to attack in force. Magruder, with less than 8, 000 to oppose him, itched to fight, but had not enough men. In the few skirmishes on the Yorktown line the Louisianians with Magruder bore off their share of honors. On April 5th, when the enemy attacked the redoubts, his attempt to flank by crossing the Warwick river was foiled in part by the unerring volleys of the First Louisiana battalion. On the 16th a determined attack was made on the Confederate line at Dam No. 1, where Col. William M. Levy, of the Second Louisiana, was in command. A Vermont regiment threw itself into the rifle-pits of a North Carolina regiment, and in the brilliant charge which dislodged the Green Mountain boys, the companies of Capts. A. H. Martin and R. E. Burke went in with fixed bayonets and the steadiness of veterans, while the companies of Captains Flournoy and Kelso poured a biting fire into the intrusive Federals. In the same fight, the Fifth, Col. T. G. Hunt, and the Tenth, Col. Mandeville de Marigny, were commended by their superior officers. The success of the Confederates was largely attributed to the coolness and courage of Colonel Levy. The Donaldsonville battery, Captain Maurin, and Rosser's battery, Washington artillery, did effective service on the lines, as well as other commands not mentioned in the reports.
One day during these clamorous reports of war Magruder favored his men with a new march—somewhat longer than his wont on the peninsula. On April 21st he retreated from the Warwick line in silence and mystery, with Richmond for his objective. McClellan, though fairly surprised, quickly followed on our rear with his entire army. He attacked the Confederate rear guard near Williamsburg. During the day, Magruder succeeded in keeping the swarming masses in check. Here the Fourteenth Louisiana, Colonel Jones, was actively engaged, and the gallantry of its commanding officer as well as of Lieutenant-Colonel York and Captains Leech and Bradley, is mentioned in the reports. A battalion of the Chasseurs-à--pied, Capt. M. G. Goodwyn commanding, which held one of the redoubts, and three pieces of the Donaldsonville artillery, under Lieutenant Fortier, are mentioned. At New bridge, on the Chickahominy, some days later (May 24th), the Fifth Louisiana, on picket duty, was suddenly attacked by a force which crossed the river, but was speedily driven back. The Fifth lost 13 killed, 23 wounded, and 34 missing. Lieutenant Pindell was killed in the gallant charge.
On May 31st, the battle of Seven Pines
The details of this battle as, indeed, of all the battles in Virginia, are left to the distinguished writer who himself hails from that commonwealth, so rich in strong men and inspiring memories. The present author's pleasant duty is to get on the track of his brother Louisianians wherever he can find them in the smoke of each battle fought on her soil. He sincerely trusts that he may miss no comrade, whose duty is told in the reports of his superior officers.
was fought—a noisy prelude to the Seven Days colossal shock of arms. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston commanded the Confederates, now numbering less than 80,000 men. McClellan, having sufficiently organized his army around Yorktown, was in direct command of the Federals. His force was always in preponderance—125,000 effectives, with 280 guns.
Briefly it may be said that McClellan had, at Seven Pines, committed a blunder. On the morning of May 31st he had rashly placed two of his best corps on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy, and the river, flood. ing its banks, cut them off from the rest of his army. Johnston at once hurled the bulk of his force against the isolated enemy. Throughout the first day the Confederates were doing their best to profit by the blunder. But steady Sumner crossed the river in force to help Keyes and Heintzelman, and, through his desperate effort, the Federals recovered on the second day what they had lost on the first. Both armies claimed the victory. The loss on both sides was heavy and about equally divided. In our number of casualties, however, we suffered a greater loss than they in the severe wound which, during the battle, had incapacitated General Johnston.
Among the troops at Seven Pines, the Chasseurs-à--pied, of New Orleans, after rendering excellent service, had come out with the loss of Edgar Macon, killed, and M. Goodwyn wounded. Colonel Coppens, of the Zouave battalion, was also wounded.
On June 1st, R. E. Lee was assigned to command of the army, vice J. E. Johnston wounded. Such was the first association, bringing together Robert Edward Lee and that army of Northern Virginia which for three years he led, with unsurpassed genius, to ever-widening renown for it, and for himself immortal fame. General Lee's first order was to direct Jackson to rejoin him from the valley. Jackson was about seeing the end of hopelessly confusing the enemy in that region. Suppose we follow in the footsteps of the great soldier. We do so the more freely, since Richard Taylor, now in command of the Louisiana brigade, is riding the same stirring road, whose mile posts are to become victories.
Louisianians with Stonewall Jackson the great valley campaign Taylor's brigade at front Royal Middletown Winchester Cross Keys and Port Republic with Lee before Richmond the Seven days.
From May 8, 1862, when Jackson swooped down on McDowell, defeating Milroy, to June 9th, he furnished a series of valuable lessons to a select class of Union generals. Between these dates was compressed, with its marvelous series of triumphs, the most brilliant campaign of our civil war. For the rest, the Valley campaign must have been transcendent in any war known to history. It was a campaign approached, scarcely rivaled, but in naught surpassed, by Bonaparte's dazzling Italian campaign.
Taylor marched his Louisiana brigade, composed of the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth (Colonel Stafford) regiments and Wheat's battalion, with Bowyer's 4-gun battery (Virginian) into the valley with Ewell's division. The Louisianians of 1861-62 everywhere deserve a word for their elasticity on the march. No veteran from other States but will vouch for their springiness of step. The first time Taylor met Jackson was in the valley of Virginia. Over 3,000 strong, neat in fresh clothing of gray with white gaiters, jaunty in frame, his Louisianians were marching by with a free and easy swing which caught Jackson's weary but observant eye, as they passed him, perched ungracefully upon the topmost rail of a snake fence. You seem to have no stragglers, he said to Taylor. Never allow stragglers. You must teach my people; they straggle badly. Just then, Taylor writes, my Creoles started their band on a waltz. After a contemplative suck at a lemon —Thoughtless fellows for serious work, came forth. I expressed a hope that the work would not be less well done because of their gaiety.
After the victory of McDowell, Jackson had heard Front Royal was alive with Banks' blue coats. Hastening there on the 23d he fell upon one of the Federal detachments, annihilating it. The first attack was made by Bradley Johnson's Marylanders and Wheat's battalion with the remainder of Taylor's brigade supporting. The Federals then taking a stronger position, Wheat charged again in the front, while the Sixth sought their flank. The enemy fled across the river. Two bridges spanned the deep Shenandoah. One wagon bridge was above; some yards lower down was a railway bridge. Taylor was everywhere in the valley—everywhere, as far as he could, galloping at Jackson's side. The sharpest point of danger was always the place of Jackson, watching all things. The Federals, posted on the west bank, were punishing us with murderous discharges. Jackson, as usual, was on his horse, looking thoughtful. Taylor came up, suggesting a crossing on the railway ties. Stonewall nodded. At the word, Kelly of the Eighth led his Acadians across the ties under a sharp fire. With some loss, Kelly's first files gained the opposite bank. The moment the Eighth appeared the enemy set fire to combustibles, previously placed on the wagon bridge. This bridge would, if fired, have involved serious delay to the Confederates. Taylor looked up again at the man on horseback—Jackson again nodded. At a new sign, the entire brigade rushed at the bridge and clambered over. The enemy, without halting to save their guns, fled wildly from the bridge toward Winchester.
Next morning Jackson took Taylor's brigade and struck the Federal wagon trains at Middletown. The pike was found full of cavalry, upon which the artillery and Taylor's infantry, said Jackson, promptly opened, and in a few minutes the turnpike, which had just before teemed with life, presented a most appalling spectacle of carnage and destruction. A little later the Federal artillery attempted to cut its way through, but General Taylor was ordered with his command to the attack, and this detachment also took to the mountains. Banks was found in battle array at Winchester, on the 25th. Again was Taylor called upon by Jackson. It concerned a high ridge on the west, massed with Federals, with viperish guns in position, seeking for gray-coats. You must carry that ridge, said Jackson softly as Taylor came up. Taylor, never rash where his men's safety from useless carnage was at stake, led his column to the left, close to the base of the ridge, for protection from a plunging fire. To carry the height itself, the brigade had to ascend it with all the guns shelling them. As they marched, the Louisianians were in full view of both armies, stopping slaughter to watch a new slaughter through this deed of desperate derring-do. Closing up gaps, shoulder seeking shoulder, alignment coolly kept, every man stepped as though on parade, conscious of the multitudinous eyes fixed upon him. About half way up, the enemy's horse, swooping unexpectedly from the right, charged fiercely. To meet the onset, Taylor directed Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholls of the Eighth Louisiana, which was on the left, to withhold slightly his two flank companies. While carrying out this order Nicholls by one volley, emptying some saddles, drove off the horse, himself receiving shortly after a serious wound.
Plainly, Francis Tillon Nicholls was a soldier who loved the breath of powder. Losing an arm by amputation, caused by this wound received May 25, 1862, he again faced the enemy at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. In that battle, a wound cost him a leg. Nicholls returned, thus maimed, to his State, to lead her liberators in days of political oppression, and to occupy stations of highest honor among her people. First conservative governor of Democratic Louisiana, in 1877, General Nicholls is, in 1898, chief justice of the supreme court of the State.
Then the whole line magnificently swept down the declivity, bearing all opposition before it, said Jackson, who was no flatterer. The loss of the brigade in those three days was 21 killed and 109 wounded. Among the killed was Major McArthur, Sixth, who had captured two Federal flags with two companies of his regiment at Middletown, and Maj. Aaron Davis.
Jackson's hardest foeman proved to be the gallant Shields of Illinois. Impetuous as were all of Jackson's movements, his attack on Shields at Port Republic was sturdily resisted by the veteran soldier. The situation changed its fortunes hourly, like a chameleon's colors. Finally turning critical to tension, it became hugely enjoyed by Stonewall. A battery was spitefully resisting all attempts at capture. Taylor coming up just then reports his chief as being on the road a little in advance of his line where the fire was hottest, with the reins on his horse's neck, seemingly in prayer. Attracted by my appearance, he said in his usually low voice: Delightful excitement! Next, seeming to waken up to the crisis in the fight, he ordered Taylor, in a high-pitched voice, to move against the battery on the plateau.
Taylor first attacked the left and rear of the enemy, and while thus engaged, the enemy was heard loudly cheering some success in front. Taking advantage of this enthusiasm, Taylor came out, unseen, from the wood. He was missing Hays, but the Seventh could not be found. Taylor looked around for them, but being pressed could not wait At a word, his brigade, with a rush and shout, swept through a gorge and impetuously broke upon the plateau. The next instant, the battery was theirs. Three times was that battery lost and won—a plaything of war, and cup-and-ball of the armies! Not to be balked of all his pieces, the enemy, moving up once more, finally succeeded in carrying off some of the guns. Taylor was not to be outwitted by the blue-coats. With a desperate rally, his brigade carried the battery for the third time. That time our boys, each planting what Charles Lamb calls a terribly fixed foot upon the plateau, held it to keep—held it like bulldogs, but like bulldogs baited by boys, and snarling at each attack. The plateau had grown dangerous. The enemy once more recovering was advancing upon them in a solid mass. Just then Ewell came up like a healthy breeze, to be welcomed with cheers. A moment later a shell came shrieking along. To it rebel yells responded somewhere in the advance and, freed from his delightful excitement, Jackson rushed up like a whirlwind. The fighting in and around the battery was hand to hand, and many fell from bayonet wounds. Jackson came up and said the brigade should have the captured battery. I thought the men would go wild with cheering, especially the Irishmen.
Taylor's Louisianians bore from the valley two trophies, shared by no others. In the words of General Ewell: To General Taylor and his brigade belong the honor of deciding two battles—that of Winchester and this one. This one—Port Republic, Jackson's closing victory—was a victory in which the glory largely belonged to Harry Hays' faithful Seventh. During the flank movement of Taylor's brigade, he had looked around for the Seventh, without seeing it. Up the slope, fighting sturdily, he was struggling. Riflemen were shelling his brigade from the slope. Dislodge me yonder riflemen, he ordered. Two companies of the Ninth Louisiana were sent to do the dislodging, and did it cleverly. Where is Hays? Taylor kept asking himself while mounting the dangerous slope. At last, the lost Seventh came into view sadly cut up. The Seventh had been with the rear of Taylor's column, when he marched out; and the thin line that remained was so pressed that Jackson ordered Hays to stop, and meet the enemy's rush. Where have you been, boys? asked Taylor, much relieved in mind, when the regiment reappeared. Been! Old Jack told us to stop the rush—we stopped it! Apropos Taylor said of this: The Seventh would have stopped a herd of elephants.
The Seventh, Taylor reported, lost 156 killed and wounded—about half of its effective force. In the two days of Cross Keys and Port Republic the brigade lost 34 killed and 264 wounded. In the Sixth, Capt. Isaac A. Smith was killed, and Lieutenants Farrar and Martin wounded; in the Seventh, Lieut. J. H. Dedlake was killed, Lieutenant-Colonel De Choiseul mortally wounded, and Col. H. T. Hays, Captain Green and Lieutenants Brooks, Driver and Pendergast wounded; in the Eighth, Lieut. A. G. Moore was killed and Lieutenants Montgomery, Randolph and Wren wounded; in the Ninth Lieutenant Meizell killed; and in Wheat's battalion Lieutenants Cockroft, Coyle, McCarthy, Putnam and Ripley wounded. Captain Surget, adjutant-general, was greatly distinguished, and Lieutenants Hamilton and Kilmartin did valuable service.
Taylor's brigade remained with Jackson from the first to the last of the unparalleled series of triumphs of that famous commander, and steadily growing in that great soldier's special favor. After Malvern Hill, with the reorganization of the army of Northern Virginia, if one sought a Louisiana command, he had first to ask where Jackson's corps was. Puritan though he was, Jackson had learned to value the Louisianians for their freedom from straggling—not even frowning upon their partiality for waltz music. Behind these, the soldier in Jackson had seen that courage which never faltered and had understood those young hearts, chirpy as crickets, which never weakened before a long march or quailed in front of the foe. The brigade was originally organized at Centerville in 1861, with the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Louisiana, Wheat's battalion closing the list. Its first commander, General Walker, was killed at Gaines' Mill. In Richard Taylor it had a leader—a fighter himself who would not willingly have stinted a man's love for battle. He did not stay long with them, being promoted to major-general after the Seven Days campaign, and soon transferred to the Trans-Mississippi, where, with his own good sword, he was to carve his name in the. Gold Book of the Republic. (Taylor's words.)
On June 12th Jackson's victorious command moved from the valley to the Chickahominy to become the left flank of Lee's army.
Here, before Richmond, Taylor's brigade found as comrades the Fifth and Tenth Louisiana, in Semmes' brigade of McLaws' division; the Second with Howell Cobb; the First with A. R. Wright; the Third battalion with J. R. Anderson; and the Fourteenth regiment, First battalion (Coppens') and Maurin's battery, in Pryor's brigade. The Washington artillery was attached to Longstreet's division, and the Madison (Moody's) battery to D. R. Jones' division.
Pryor, marching to the front via Mechanicsville, with Longstreet, was posted at Beaver Dam, where he was in battle on the 27th of June. In the affair at Ellison's mill, said Pryor, the battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel Coppens was especially distinguished. At Gaines' Mill these Louisianians bore a gallant part in the intrepid charges which cost so many lives, and at Frayser's Farm they held their ground with heroic tenacity. Through all this Captain Maurin, with his artillery, showed himself, as Pryor reported, a most courageous and capable officer. The loss of Coppens' battalion was reported at 10 killed and 41 wounded; of the Fourteenth, 51 killed and 192 wounded, a total ranking among the heaviest regimental losses of the campaign; while Maurin's gunners had a loss of 4. The killed of the Fourteenth included Captains Bradley and Scott, and Lieutenants Fisher and Garrish.
Ewell's division was first in battle at Gaines' Mill, on the 27th. Taylor being disabled by severe illness, Col. Isaac G. Seymour commanded the Louisiana brigade. In the afternoon, at the charge at Cold Harbor, he was shot from his horse and died in a few minutes. Here also fell Maj. Robert Wheat, known familiarly as Bob Wheat, cheeriest of souls, and not a stranger to the enemy, who remembered him as the chief of the Tigers at Manassas. The Louisiana brigade fought desperately at Gaines' Mill, attacked in front and flank, and for hours without reinforcements, and lost 32 killed and 136 wounded from their ranks, already worn in the valley. Again, at Malvern Hill, the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth suffered in the bloody charge, ordered at dusk, by an officer unknown to Colonel Stafford, losing the main part of the brigade casualties, 24 killed and 94 wounded. Capt. L. D. Nicholls, Eighth, and Lieutenants Foley and Pitman, Wheat's battalion, were killed at Cold Harbor, and Lieutenants Francis and McCauley, Sixth; Lieutenant Newport, Seventh; and Lieutenant LeBlanc, Eighth, were among the killed at Malvern Hill.
The other Louisiana commands were with that part of the army that opposed the main body of McClellan's forces before Richmond, while Jackson, Longstreet, and the Hills crushed the Federal right wing beyond the Chickahominy. The first fight of the whole great campaign was at King's schoolhouse, June 25th, the enemy taking the aggressive against Wright's brigade on the Williamsburg road. Wright went to the front at once with the First Louisiana, Lieut.-Col. W. R. Shivers commanding, and the Twenty-second Georgia, and soon, according to Wright's report, these brave men were dashing through the woods, with loud cheers, driving the enemy through a field to another wooded covert. With a gallantry and impetuosity which has rarely been equaled, and certainly never excelled since the war began, these brave and daring Louisianians and Georgians charged through the open field and actually drove from their cover the entire brigade, supposed at the time to be Sickles'. Colonel Shivers being among the wounded, Capt. Michael Nolan took command. A severe struggle followed and continued all day, ending in the two contestants occupying their original lines. The Louisiana regiment, sadly thinned in ranks, took part in the last charge which regained the line which had been temporarily lost. The regiment lost 22 killed, including Lieutenants Gilmore, Murphy and Trott, and 109 wounded. Again at Malvern Hill 8 were killed, including Lieutenants Fallon and Miller, and 40 wounded.
The Montgomery Guards losing all its officers, Private Thomas Rice was promoted to captain on the field. Captain Rice proved a gallant officer, and lived to lead his men on many a hard fought field. Three severe wounds still speak of his valor during the war.
On the 27th the Federal intrenched line, held since the battle at Seven Pines, was found vacant—Lee's masterly stroke in flank beyond the Chickahominy having been heard from—and the Confederates advanced through deserted camps to overtake the enemy at Savage's station, where the Fifth Louisiana lost but 6, while over 100 of the dead enemy were counted on its front. At Malvern Hill, the brigade, only 557 strong, charged the Federal line, a distance of 150 yards in the face of forty cannon and a terrible musketry fire from the front, as well as the fire from the rear by our own troops, shooting astray in the gloom of that night of blunder and carnage. The memory of that somber close of the great campaign is lighted by the heroism of Col. Eugene Waggaman's Tenth Louisiana. Up the hill the Tenth rushed at double-quick, thrown nearest the enemy by the diagonal advance. Waggaman, most intrepid of leaders, leaps far in advance of his line, and inspired by his example the men tear after him. The air is filled with shrieks of shells — no one hears them. Troops lying down for shelter see the Tenth sweep by like ghosts of war. They cheer them on, but do not rise to help them in that bullet-swept field. Not yet quite on the summit, the men of the Tenth are crossing bayonets with a force fifteen times greater than their own. Driving back the first formidable charge, the thinned line finds itself among the Federal batteries. Though odds were all against them, they gained a title that odds can neither give nor take from. They are the heroes of Malvern Hill! Colonel Waggaman, rushing into the enemy's lines, was captured, as also was the gallant Capt. A. L. Lyons. Out of the 318 in action, 13 were killed, 36 wounded, and 38 fell into the enemy's hands.
In the same fierce finale of the Seven Days the Second regiment held for some time a hill crest, exposed to the Federal artillery, advanced and repulsed a threatening movement of the enemy, and then joined in the general charge upon the batteries. Their dead, said Gen. Howell Cobb, were found mingled with those of the other brigades, nearest the batteries of the enemy. It was at this point of the battle that Col. Josiah T. Norwood, of the Second Louisiana, while gallantly leading his regiment, fell severely wounded. Major Ashton, of the same regiment, had seized the colors of the regiment after three brave men had been shot down in the act of bearing them forward, and was bravely cheering on his men, when, pierced by several balls, he fell and died instantly.
The Seven Days afforded a superb exhibition of the highest qualities of the fighting American. During that week of colossal conflicts, beginning with Mechanicsville bridge on June 27th and ending with Malvern Hill on July 1st, Americans on both sides were fighting all day; sleeping on their arms at night when they could, up before dawn to renew the fight, and passing, day after day, through the terrible round of battle, which like Don Worm in the bud, grows by what it feeds upon. Neither army, we are free to say now, had cause for shame in the details of heroism when written out by un-partisan pens. With this admission it may be added that in their marked discrepancy of numbers, the Confeder- ates had more reason to rejoice in the genius of the great soldier, newly become their captain, emphasized as it was by their own trained and impetuous courage.
The two Louisiana brigades, army of Northern Virginia Louisiana artillery battle of Cedar Run the Second Manassas campaign battle of the rocks.
General Robert E. Lee had, on assuming command of the army of Northern Virginia, proceeded at once with energy in its organization. His work was quickly shown in results. In order to insure the full efficiency of that victorious army, upon which was to depend the safety of the Confederate capital, it became important to organize it thoroughly. New brigades, composed of three or more regiments from the same State, commanded by brigadiers from that State, were indispensable. It was still 1862; the war was still young; the carnage within bounds; the people cheerful; and great gaps spoiled not yet the stately ranks of that noble army which, beginning at Bull Run, July, 1861, was to end a conflict of many victories in one long, final fame-crowned retreat, April, 1865.
On July 26th the First regiment, Wright's brigade, the Ninth, Taylor's brigade, the Fifteenth (late Third Louisiana battalion, of Anderson's brigade), and Coppens' battalion, Pryor's brigade; were ordered to General McLaws, to constitute in connection with the Second and Tenth regiments, a brigade of that division. Thus was formed the Second Louisiana brigade of the army of Northern Virginia. General Taylor was assigned as its commander by this order, but Col. Leroy A. Stafford, of the Ninth, was mainly in command until, in October, 1862, his regiment was transferred to the First brigade. The command of the First brigade, composed after July 26th of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Fourteenth Louisiana regiments, was given to Harry T. Hays, promoted to brigadier-general. Hays' successor in command of the Pelican regiment was Lieut.-Col. Davidson B. Penn. Col. Zeb York was in command of the Fourteenth, with David Zable as lieutenant-colonel. To the Third battalion, to fill out the Fifteenth regiment, was soon added two companies, the Orleans Blues and Cathoula Guerrillas, of the St. Paul Foot Rifles, which during the Seven Days had been consolidated with the battalion of Lieut.-Col. G. Coppens. Lieutenant Colonel Nicholls, of the Eighth, was promoted to colonel of the new Fifteenth, and held that rank until October 14th, 1862, when he became brigadier-general, and Lieut.-Col. Edmund Pendleton took command of the regiment. The remaining three companies of the St. Pauls' were permitted to make individual re-enlistments in any command desired. Wheat's battalion passed under the same order of disbandment, with equal privilege of re-enlistment. The First Louisiana brigade, thereafter known as Hays' brigade, including the Louisiana Guard artillery, remained attached to Ewell's division, Jackson's corps. The Second Louisiana brigade after moving to Gordonsville under Colonel Stafford, in August, was assigned to the same corps, in Jackson's old division, and a week later Gen. W. E. Starke, who had served in West Virginia in command of a Virginia regiment, was put in command.
Louisiana in 1861-65 had comparatively few batteries in the army of Northern Virginia. These were composed, however, of men of proof, who knew their duty, loved their guns dearly, and from field to field grew ever more watchful of their State's honor. In her light artillery she included names of which the army, around its campfires, spoke much and often after some doughty day of combat, and which war—over for thirty-four years—has not let pass from the memory of men who live at ease in days of peace. Some, like the Washington artillery and Donaldsonville Cannoneers, still survive among us, sustained by their old record and their young blood; others, like the Louisiana Guard artillery, live only in heroic story.
The field artillery, army of Northern Virginia, which Louisiana gave to the war, comprised the Washington artillery, four companies, Col. J. B. Walton commanding; Victor Maurin's fighting Donaldsonville Cannoneers; the Louisiana Guard artillery, Capt. Louis E. D'Aquin; and the Madison Tips—most natural of nicknames, though hailing from an upper parish. Tips clung to the battery by reason of its fun-making Irishmen, loving danger quite as much as cracking a jest. It would be hard to fix the palm of cheery valor among those loud-laughing, dinmaking, battle-loving, caisson-riding lads. One thing is sure, the push of the Louisiana infantry passed into her artillerists' nimbler fingers. Under her Tent of Glory one can find both the musket and the field-gun.
On June 26th, a bugle-note had rung cheerily in Camp Walton of the Washington artillery. The Seven Days had opened. Colonel Walton was appointed by General Longstreet as chief of artillery of the right wing of the army. Walton's promotion was joyfully hailed by his enthusiastic artillerists. For highest rank in the artillery the battery would not willingly have parted with its popular commander. It was also announced that the battalion itself would be Longstreet's reserve artillery. Reserve artillery is, in passing, an exceedingly elastic phrase. Under a fighter like Longstreet, it might mean many chances on the fighting line. Under a Fabius, it might easily suffer from an overdose of inaction. The Washington artillery was directed to move out on the Mechanicsville turnpike. Once on the pike, the battalion began to learn what the phrase reserve artillery might mean. They saw no fighting on the 26th; grumbled at the reserve on the 27th; frowned on the 28th, 29th and 30th —were lured into hope on July 1st, and dropped into gloom by Longstreet himself late on the afternoon of Malvern Hill. Longstreet had said: We have done all we can to-day. Park your guns in the field alongside the road.
Owen's In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery.
That was all That same night McClellan sought repose at Harrison's landing—leaving the batteries still in reserve. On July 5th-7th Squires' battery, with Col. S. D. Lee, had some practice on the Union shipping on the James.
Impatient at their long inaction, eager for the fray, yelling wildly at the order of June 26th, rejoicing in the splendid show they are making when they obey it—with their sixteen guns, rifles and Napoleons taken from the enemy at Manassas and Seven Pines; throwing back cheers like shells, as they jubilantly galloped passed the Dixie battery, and feeling their hearts throb at hearing themselves cheered and yelled at by Hood's hardy Texans—the Washington artillery misses, by the narrow chance of an eighth of a summer day, the glory of baptizing its tigers—the fiery emblem of the command—and its new Napoleons in one ensanguined pool. Have patience, Washington artillery! Your tigers, cheated so far, will shortly growl at Beverly ford, on the Rappahannock, and roar their fiercest when the battalion rides, with Longstreet, through Thoroughfare gap, in search of Jackson.
The Louisiana Guard, from New Orleans, left the city, April 28, 1861, as Company B in the First Louisiana infantry. After remaining a few days about Richmond, the regiment was sent to Norfolk, to lose patience in weary tramping and no fighting. In August, 1861, Company B, being taken out from the regiment and furnished with field guns and horses, the Louisiana Guard galloped with its new pieces straight into the light artillery. At the expiration of its original enlistment it re-enlisted for the war. After the evacuation of Norfolk, the company followed Huger's division to Richmond. As the Louisiana Guard artillery it went into the war; its first corps commander was Stonewall Jackson; its field of valorous action, all Virginia. Before the curtain had fallen upon the slowly darkening Confederate stage, the Louisiana Guard artillery had helped to make the name of the State honored by valiant service on a hundred fields. With the Washington artillery and the Louisiana Guard went also Maurin's active Donaldsonville Cannoneers and Moody's Madison Tips. All these carried their guns wherever the army of Northern Virginia fought, marched or stormed; served them bravely, cheered comrades, and confounded the blue-coats.
McClellan, supreme as organizer and steadiest of fighters for existence, was a doubtful commander in a campaign for conquest. After the Seven Days he had still remaining an effective force of between 85,000 and 90,000 men out of that army which he had made a great military machine. His main plan was to remain near Richmond, his secondary one being the capture of Petersburg. But McClellan was under a cloud from Washington, and Pope, fresh from his vaunted success at Island No.10, was the new favorite. Halleck's latest order gave birth to a military infant. This was the army of Virginia. It meant McClellan withdrawn, Pope seated firmly in the saddle.
In the stagnation which followed the Seven Days Lee had not been idle. Seeing the temporary dismemberment of his old heroic foe, his heart was easy that Richmond, for a time, was safe. Lee at once settled upon a new field on the old fighting ground around Manassas Junction. At the mere name, the army of Northern Virginia stirred through all its scattered bivouacs.
In mid-July, Jackson's corps was stationed at Gordonsville, where the remainder of the army was to concentrate after Jackson, lightning-like, had flitted northward. John Pope was in front with his boasts, his foolish orders, and his unconcealed flouting of our army. To crush Pope had been Jackson's aim ever since Lee had settled upon his advance. Lee's plan had chimed in with Jackson's. The chances seemed unequal. Pope, trying to anticipate Jackson, failed. Jackson, anticipating Pope, struck him a sharp blow at Cedar Run, August 9, 1862.
In this fight Hays' brigade, under Col. Henry Forno, of the Fifth regiment, was led by Ewell to an elevation of 200 feet, looking down in the valley, whence they supported Trimble's charge. Already repulsed from our left and center, and now pressed stoutly by gallant Ewell on our right, the Federals retreated from the whole line, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. The Louisiana Guard artillery had taken an active part at Cedar Run. They behaved like veterans, although this was their first engagement, said their Captain D'Aquin. The Second Louisiana brigade, under Colonel Stafford, and then with A. P. Hill's division, reached the field at dark and was sent forward through the woods, feeling its way cautiously, skirmishing and taking prisoners, and finally discovering the enemy in force. The brigade was thus forced to occupy a position always dangerous. To an army—or any part of it—a night attack multiplies its perils indefinitely. At frequent intervals during the night, the Second brigade was under heavy shelling. Its loss was 4 killed and 20 wounded.
From Cedar Run Jackson set himself to mystifying Pope as he had mystified McClellan. What the great St. Bernard pass had been to the Austrian Melas, in the Marengo campaign, Thoroughfare gap was to be to Pope. Before the latter—in his saddle—had even thought of holding the gap, Jackson's foot cavalry—after a wonderful march of fifty miles in thirty-six hours—were dashing through it, wrecking the Union supplies at Bristoe
Hays' brigade, under Forno, attacked and destroyed the railroad trains approaching Bristoe station on August 26th; on the 27th the Sixth, Col. H. B. Strong, and the Eighth, Maj. T. B. Lewis, repulsed the attack of two Federal brigades until supported by the Fifth, under Major B. Menger.
and Manassas Junction, and sending a thrill of horror as far as Halleck's office. Once on his old territory, Jackson lay like a cuttle-fish, saving his ink but watching warily. Meanwhile he rested his men, waiting for Longstreet. This he could safely afford to do. From the memories of the ground, his Stonewall veterans were receiving new fire. Never had the certainty of victory been as high in them as now, once more on the field of their brevet. Never, too, had the trust in the invincibility of Jackson been so deep in that larger army which was following with Lee and Longstreet.
Meanwhile Longstreet was marching to Thoroughfare gap, with him Colonel Walton in command of artillery, including the Washington artillery, Squires' First company, Richardson's Second, Miller's Third, and Eshleman's Fourth, and Maurin's Donaldsonville battery, as well as S. D. Lee's battalion, and other batteries.
Lee not in sight and Longstreet still outside the gap, Pope's chance for a battle seemed good. For swallowing up Jackson he had more than troops enough. With Mc-Dowell, Pope had planted himself squarely between Jackson and Thoroughfare gap. McDowell was a trained soldier, and his movement was well sustained, but its effect was marred by an unlooked for blunder of his chief. Strangely enough he seemed to have cooped up Jackson; certainly, Jackson seemed to be in a trap set by him, and watched over by McDowell. Getting over-anxious for his right flank, however, Pope called off his watch dog—leaving only a small force under Ricketts at the key point. Swiftest of commanders, Jackson was prompt in seeing his advantage. From Sudley he outflanked the guard. Ricketts back, he opened wide the gate to Longstreet just outside, and Lee near by. Pope should have known that Longstreet had passed through—he did not. Believing fatuously that Jackson alone was in his front, and borrowing his adversary's favorite tactics, he endeavored, by turning his left flank, to reoccupy Gainesville, so as to separate him from Lee. This was a weak effort to make good a fatal blunder. Had Pope held Gainesville from the morning of the 28th on, he could have barred the gap to Longstreet. On the 29th the attempt to regain the town was too late. Longstreet had already passed through and joined forces with Jackson.
Heavy fighting began on August 28th and continued on the 29th and 30th. The fronts of battle changed from day to day. The Second Louisiana brigade under General Starke was engaged on the 28th at Groveton, in a conflict both fierce and sanguinary, holding its line of battle at the crest of a hill. Taliaferro, division commander, was wounded, and Starke filled his place, Colonel Stafford resuming brigade command. Next day Stafford was not in action until afternoon, when he made a charge, clearing his front.
Hays' brigade, with Early at the deep cut of the unfinished Manassas Gap railroad, had not been seriously engaged in the fight of the 28th, in which General Ewell was wounded. On the 29th they were with Early's brigade on the extreme right of the division, and at 3:30 Colonel Forno was ordered by General Jackson to advance the brigade to the support of one of A. P. Hill's brigades. Gallantly the Louisianians went to the front, drove the enemy from the railroad, and took position. A few hours later Colonel Forno was seriously wounded by a Federal sharpshooter, and Colonel Strong took command. After Forno's advance, Early's brigade also went to help A. P. Hill, accompanied by the Eighth Louisiana under Major Lewis, and this regiment, temporarily separated from its brigade, shared in the gallant ousting of the enemy from the railroad cut.
On the morning of the 30th Stafford's brigade was ordered up to this dangerous line, to be held at all hazards. At an early hour the enemy's activity began. Massed heavily, the Federals formed six lines of battle. Starke, to meet the expected attack, placed the brigade in the deep cut. Our artillery quickly opened fire on the enemy. Ominously silent remained the brigade. The Federals came at double-quick toward the embankment, heedless of what might be behind it. Then the rifles of the brigade awoke. Our bullets came swiftly, and from close quarters made havoc in the advancing column. Charge after charge was each time repulsed with appalling loss. While this slaughter was going on, the Louisianians began to run short of ammunition. Already some of the men were relieving the dead bodies of their comrades of cartridges. Another Federal advance, in force, came up closer than before to our position at the railroad. Company E, Montgomery Guards, First Louisiana, earliest out, first called for cartridges. Starke had already been notified by Nolan, commanding the regiment, that ammunition was running out. Directly in the rear of the Montgomery Guards was their leader, Capt. Thos. Rice. The eyes of Captain Rice, from his station on a slight elevation of the slope, moved, here, there, everywhere. Nothing but a great quantity of rock was lying around, broken in fragments of moderate size, as they had been blasted when the railroad was building. Captain Rice drew upon his experience in the Crimea. He recalled that battle with stones, fought in a rock quarry at Inkerman, close to the redan—one of the bulwarks of Sebastopol—which had now come to him like a flash, born of the need. Quick as the thought, Rice picked up a piece of rock and calling out loudly, Boys, do as we did at Sebastopol! hurled the first stone. Ambulance men, being idle just then, gathered stones at the word. The company, the regiment —even other commands of the brigade—followed with more stone, pelting the enemy savagely in their faces, with good aim. Excellent work was done with these rocks—a work certified to by both pelters and pelted. Some of the enemy crawled up the bank and voluntarily surrendered themselves to escape the deadly stoning.
By this time the men had warmed to the work. A fresh assault of the Federals, in formidable array, came up to the railroad. Major Barney, commanding the Twentyfourth New York, rode gallantly up to the very bank, on a fine bay horse. As he came close to it, and the horse had planted his four hoofs squarely on the embankment, the major was shot through the heart. Stone pelting had swiftly turned tragical. At his fall, his command became demoralized and fled in confusion. The bay, half dazed by the clamor, was finally captured. He was ridden by Lieutenant-Colonel Nolan, and remained with that brave soldier until his death on Culp's hill. He became next the property of Father Hubert, soldier-priest known and dear to every man in the army of Northern Virginia. Martial tradition has it that under Father Hubert the warrior bay learned to care no more for the battle afar off, nor recked he of the thunder of the captains and the shouting.
While this battle of the rocks was still going on, Jackson, in response to Starke's report of the failure of ammunition, had sent word that men who could hold their line and drive back the enemy by throwing stone could defend themselves a little longer, until reinforcements or ammunition could reach them. Jackson smiled rarely. He may have smiled, for aught we know, at this. At 3 p. m., a Virginia brigade reinforced the First Louisiana. The result was a prompt distribution to each man of twenty rounds of cartridges. Thus was fought the picturesque Battle of the Rocks, and fought to victory.
The loss of Starke's brigade during August was reported at 65 killed and 288 wounded. Among the killed was Lieut.-Col. R. A. Wilkinson, of the Fifteenth. The losses of Hays' brigade, reported in more detail were, at Bristoe and Manassas Junction, 17 killed and 70 wounded; on August 29th, 37 killed and 94 wounded, including Lieutenants Sawyer and Healy killed. On September 1st, Hays' brigade, under Colonel Strong, fought at Ox Hill, near Chantilly, and suffered a loss of 33 killed, including Lieut. W. W. Marsh, Fifth, and 99 wounded.
The Washington artillery, fresh from its successful engagement with the enemy at Beverly ford, a victory saddened by the death of Lieut. I. W. Brewer, Third company, and other brave men, went into the fighting at Manassas plains with two of the companies assigned to different brigades. The Fourth, under Capt. B. F. Eshleman, Lieuts. J. Norcum, H. A. Battles, and G. E. Apps, was with Pickett's brigade; the Second, under Capt. J. B. Richardson, Lieuts. Samuel Hawes, G. B. De Russy, and J. D. Britton, with Toombs' brigade. The First under Capt. C. W. Squires, Lieuts. E. Owen, J. M. Galbraith, and C. H. C. Brown; and the Third under Capt. M. B. Miller, Lieuts. Frank McElroy and Andrew Hero, were held together.
About noon on the 29th, Longstreet sent Miller and Squires to open on the enemy's batteries near Groveton. Miller soon found the enemy with his shells and silenced a battery in front. Squires, with three rifle guns under Lieutenant Owen, and followed by Lieutenant Landry's Donaldsonville artillery, two guns, found place on Miller's left. The roar of these guns, pouring confusion into the enemy's lines of infantry, meant that Longstreet, long looked for, was near, and that a strong fighter had come to the help of a greater. Jackson, on the qui vive, hears the welcome note. Thousands listening to the guns yell wildly along their battle-lines. Lee's army is no longer separated from its brothers—Lee will have his lieutenants at each hand. Next morning (30th) Richardson, going to the front with Toombs, came to the rescue at the Chinn house where the Confederate infantry had taken a battery, but feared its loss in the face of heavy reinforcements.. When Richardson got in position on the left of the Chinn house, the enemy was advancing rapidly in large force, but after a few shots he succeeded in holding the captured battery and compelling another battery—immediately in his front and greatly annoying our infantry —to retire from the field. Having got the four Napoleons Richardson turned them on their late owners—a good stroke of vengeance. The first to reach these Napoleons were Private J. B. Cleveland and W. W. Davis.
The Louisiana Guard artillery throughout the two days fought gallantly and effectively, and suffered considerable loss in wounded and in the killing of many horses. Meanwhile Eshleman, following Pickett for the time, had his eye open for a hill from which to flank the enemy's line. Trying all the ridges he found, and firing as he went, at last he was satisfied far in front, enfilading the ground in front of the Chinn house. When the enemy began his retreat a section under Norcum was engaged near the Conrad house, and Battles' section, supported by only one company of infantry, pushed on after the rout
On to Maryland Hays' and Starke's brigades return to Harper's Ferry battle of Sharpsburg the terrific struggle at the Dunker church valorous deeds of the Washington artillery Guard artillery Madison Tips.
Long and lusty was the shrill bugle-call—To Maryland—in September, 1862. The pursuit of the enemy by Lee's army in September, 1862, had resulted in the Louisianians with Jackson crossing the Potomac into the State of Maryland, moving first to Frederick City and the Monocacy, where the bridge was burned; from the Monocacy, back again into Virginia by a forced march to Harper's Ferry, a march worthy of Stonewall's muscular foot cavalry. Under Jackson's forcible, suasive method, the Ferry capitulated with 11,000 prisoners and supplies. The Second Louisiana brigade, under General Starke, was there, formed in a line across a wooded ridge. There too, was Hays' brigade, in the division commanded by Gen. A. R. Lawton. On the morning of September 14th the white flag hoisted rendered fighting unnecessary. Harper's Ferry had surrendered.
On September 17th the armies met face to face at Sharpsburg, where Jackson, having left A. P. Hill attending to certain details of the bloodless surrender of Harper's Ferry, had joined Lee on the 16th, bringing hope with the sight of his dingy cap with the dingier visor hiding his brow.
The First brigade, under Gen. Harry T. Hays, who had joined it on the 15th, marched to Sharpsburg with Ewell's division, under Lawton; the Second brigade, under General Starke, with the Stonewall division, under Gen. J. R. Jones. Hays' brigade was not 550 strong, and Starke's could not have been larger, for his division numbered but ,600. The two divisions were stationed in a line behind the Dunker church, before which Hood had already been in battle. As they marched the Louisianians were under the fire of the Federal batteries beyond the Antietam, and about dark the acting adjutantgen-eral of Starke's brigade, gallant Lieut. A. M. Gordon, of the Ninth regiment, was killed by a shell which cut off both his legs at the thigh.
During the night the Louisianians slept upon their arms, snatching brief rest between the outbreaks of musketry. At the first dawn of day skirmishing began in front, followed by a severe artillery fire. About sunrise, Jackson reported, the Federal infantry advanced in heavy force to the edge of the wood on the eastern side of the turnpike, driving in our skirmishers. Batteries were opened in front from the wood with shell and canister, and our troops became exposed for near an hour to a terrible storm of shell, canister and musketry. General Jones having been compelled to leave the field, the command of Jackson's division devolved on General Starke. With heroic spirit our lines advanced to the conflict, and maintained their position, in the face of superior numbers, with stubborn resolution, sometimes driving the enemy before them and sometimes compelled to fall back before their well-sustained and destructive fire. Fresh troops from time to time relieved the enemy's ranks, and the carnage on both sides was terrific.
We had scarcely emerged from the woods in which we had rested during the night, said Col. Edmund Pendleton, of the Fifteenth, upon whom the command of Starke's brigade finally devolved, when we found ourselves face to face with the enemy, heavily massed and within close musket range. Still, we charged forward in the face of a murderous fire, which thinned our ranks at every step, until our progress was arrested by a lane, on either side of which was a high, staked fence stretching along our whole front, to pass which under the circumstances was an impossibility. The men, being formed along this fence, kept up an accurate and well-sustained fire, which visibly told upon the enemy's ranks; and though we suffered greatly, as well from musketry in front as from a battery on our left, which enfiladed us with grape and canister, still, not a man flinched from the conflict. ... It was in the early part of this engagement that our brave and chivalric leader, Brig.-Gen. W. E. Starke, loved and honored by every man under his command, fell pierced by three minie balls, and was carried from the field in a dying condition, surviving his wounds but an hour.
Unsupported and about to be flanked, Colonel Stafford withdrew the brigade, reformed his line reinforced by other troops, again rushed upon the exultant enemy and drove him from the field, where he left hundreds dead and wounded and did not again venture during the day. Called out again to support a battery, Colonel Stafford, on account of a painful injury, turned over the command to Colonel Pendleton. Pendleton himself escaped serious hurt, though a spherical case-shot passed between his feet. Col. J. M. Williams, commanding the Second, and Lieutenant-Colonel Nolan, of the First, were badly wounded. Capt. H. D. Monier gallantly commanded the Tenth. Among the officers killed were Capt. R. Grigsby and Lieuts. R. P. Cates, H. Hobart, J. H. McBride, M. V. B. Swann, N. P. Henderson, S. T. Robinson and A. J. Alexander. The total loss of the brigade was 81 killed, 189 wounded and 17 missing, with no report from Coppens' battalion.
Hays' brigade fought with equal valor in this historic struggle of Jackson's corps about the Dunker church. Moving to the support of the Georgia brigade, he advanced with his heroic 500 beyond their line, firing as he went. It was a step into the jaws of death. The enemy poured into his devoted ranks their musketry fire from the front, and on his flank several batteries opened a storm of shell. In a very short time over half his men were killed and wounded, and with the remnant he was compelled to retire, taking shelter with Hood's command. The Eighth suffered the heaviest loss, 103. The total casualties of the brigade were 10 officers killed and 46 wounded, 35 enlisted men killed and 243 wounded; total, 336. The officers killed were Lieut. Dwight Martin, aide-de-camp, Col. H. B. Strong, of the Sixth, Capts. A. M. Callaway, H. B. Ritchie, and E. McFarland, and Lieuts. N. A. Canfield, Robert Gerrold, M. Little, George Lynne, W. P. Newman, and B. F. Birdsell. No words could add to such a bloody record of valor.
Among the earliest participants in the battle were the Washington artillery, posted on a line just east of Sharpsburg, fronting the Antietam. During the afternoon of the 15th the Federal batteries appeared on the hills beyond the creek and opened fire with long-range guns, but Walton's guns were not able to make themselves felt at such a range. Next morning, the 16th, the enemy brought some batteries closer, and at 11 a m. an artillery duel began, lasting for forty minutes, when General Longstreet sent word to save the ammunition. Captain Squires' rifles were the only ones of the battalion engaged. Down in front and to the right of the battalion at Sharpsburg was the bridge to be known as Burnside's, guarded by Toombs, and there Richardson, with two Napoleons, that afternoon drove to cover the first threatening movement of the enemy.
On the morning of the 17th the Federal infantry appeared in front of Squires, posted at the east side of the village, and waiting till they came in effective range, disregarding the enemy's artillery, he drove the infantry from view by a concentrated fire. Now the Federals sent up a regiment against the obnoxious batteries. Twice Squires drove them back. A third time, reinforced, the Federals advanced and were repulsed, and the fourth charge only resulted in heavier loss, for they came within range of Squires' canister. Lieutenant Owen, wounded, and Galbraith and Brown were worthy leaders of brave men in this defense of the Confederate center.
Captain Miller, with his four Napoleons, ordered to the left, was assigned to position by General Longstreet. It was a post of honor and danger, and soon, Lieutenant Hero having been wounded and Lieutenant McElroy having been detached to the right, Miller found himself the only officer with his company and barely enough men left to work a section. Two determined assaults by the enemy met with bloody repulse, and the third, thanks to the able assistance of Sergeant Ellis, in command of a section, suffered the same fate. Too much praise, Walton reported, cannot be bestowed on Captain Miller for his stubborn defense of the center for several hours; to Lieutenants Hero and McElroy, Sergeant Ellis and Artificers Bier and Dempsey. This part of the action was under the immediate eye of General Longstreet and his staff, who, when Captain Miller's cannoneers were exhausted, dismounted and assisted the working of the guns.
Captain Richardson, played upon by three batteries, had one of his guns disabled and retired through the village, but soon righting himself went to the assistance of Toombs at the lower bridge. Later, he and Lieutenant Galbraith were engaged near Miller to nightfall, while Lieutenants Hawes and De Russy fought with Toombs. Lieut. J. D. Britton was wounded late in the evening. Burnside's bridge was a favorite field of activity with the Louisiana gunners that day.
About noon on the 17th Eshleman was sent to guard the ford below Burnside's bridge, and he made a gallant fight against great odds, with orders to hold the enemy in check until A. P. Hill came up. When a heavy column crossing the fords on the extreme south of our line, threatened to carry disaster to that flank, Gen. D. H. Hill turned upon it three guns of Carter's battery and two of Donaldsonville artillery. The firing was beautiful, said Hill, and the Yankee columns, 1,200 yards distant, were routed by this artillery fire alone, unaided by musketry. This is the only instance I have ever known of infantry being broken by artillery fire at long range.
The Louisiana Guard artillery, Captain D'Aquin, entered into the fight with the bubbling enthusiasm which so signally marked the members of every command that fought with Stonewall Jackson. I belong to Jackson's corps, as a military vaunt, is quite as fine as that republican boast, egosum civis Romanus, uttered nineteen hundred years ago by a Roman, whether on the banks of the near Rhine or of the distant Jordan. Of all the Louisiana batteries, the Louisiana Guard artillery alone was attached to Stonewall's corps. The battery followed him through the second day of Chancellorsville. After his death the Guard remained equally faithful to Ewell and Early. Fidelity was a proven trait of the Guard. In the battle of the 17th the battery was supported by Captain McClellan's sharpshooters. The boys could see the whites of the enemy's eyes. There was a bold charge; but it was a brave repulse. In the afternoon the company, by a proceeding not set down in the programme, captured a 10-pounder Parrott gun, afterward known as the D'Aquin's gun. Brave D'Aquin was fated not to own that gun long. His hand fell as he touched his gun for the last time hard by the Rappahannock.
Moody's Madison Tips, with Col. Stephen D. Lee, were under fire on the 15th, north of the pike, before the village. Early on the 17th they were firing near the center, and about 9 o'clock were stationed at a point where other batteries had been cut to pieces. This was on the right of the Hagerstown pike. Hood, falling back, so mixed up with the enemy as to prevent the battery from using its guns. S. D. Lee immediately advanced two of Moody's guns into a plowed field where he could best use them. The enemy's infantry was pouring a most galling fire upon the battery under Captain Moody and Lieut. J. B. Gorey. The Tips doggedly retained their position until the infantry on their right and left melted away, when Lee ordered them to the rear. Lieutenant Gorey, while sighting a piece for the last discharge, was killed by a minie ball. In the afternoon, Moody, with four guns, fought with Squires before the village, repulsing many assaults; and two of the guns, with Garnett's brigade, drove the enemy from a ridge to the left of Sharpsburg. Captain Moody, Lieut. J. Sillers, Sergeants Conroy and Price, and Corporals Gaulin and Donoho were mentioned by Colonel Lee.
Like Inkerman, in the Crimea, Sharpsburg on the Antietam was emphatically the battle of the privates. Like Inkerman, too, a fatality seemed to follow the field officers. The report of General Hays remarked, The terrible loss among the officers evinces with what fidelity they discharged their duties; Colonel Pendleton said, It is a noteworthy fact that not a single field officer in the brigade who was on duty that day escaped untouched.
The battle panorama at Fredericksburg the Louisiana artillery at Marye's Hill fright Ful slaughter of the enemy battle of Chancellorsville Louisianians fight again at Marye's Hill Nicholls' brigade with Jack son.
Lee at Sharpsburg, September 18th, stood prepared to renew the conflict on the ground of the 17th; but McClellan was not so ready. He was satisfied to see from a signal station perched on the top of a high mountain what was passing within our lines. At dark on the 18th the Confederate retreat began. Gen. A. P. Hill, cool and resolute, commanded the rear guard. With those who held that post of honor was D'Aquin's Louisiana Guard artillery, of Jackson's corps, ready for battle. The company occupied the heights at Shepherdstown, and, at a severe loss in killed and wounded, forbade the enemy's free passage of the ford. All through the night the crossing of the river was going on. Night movements mostly partake of the confusion of the darkness, consequently there was much disorder at the ford. With the disorder went its mate, slaughter. Frigid Maryland cost the army no morale. Once having got over the disturbing, because wholly novel effects of a retreat in force, the army's bugles rang as cheerily again in Virginia as on that day when they had summoned it to new and gayer fields across the border.
The Confederate army was safely gathered back into Virginia and marshalled to fight the great battle which followed Sharpsburg. No battle in our civil war was more clearly a defeat of the Federals than the battle at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. McClellan had begun a new forward movement, promising activity, but did not long continue it. Shortly after his return into Virginia he was relieved and Burnside appointed to the command.
The field of Fredericksburg was singularly open as a fighting ground. As noted by skilled observers, its peculiar situation, with hills in the rear and the river in the foreground, made it a panorama of a battlefield rarely equaled for clearness of observation. In its absence of woods it appeared more like a battleground in war-scarred Belgium. Along the Rappahannock was the gray town (young when the revolution was growing) crowded with troops in glittering line of battle. To the right, at Sligo; to the left, at Amarett farm, were still other masses. Up to 10 a. m. the view of the field had been impaired by a thick fog, which disappearing, the army lines became visible in the plain between us and the Rappahannock, extending far to the left toward Fredericksburg. Two miles or less back from the river were our lines, defending earthworks. Burnside had at first sat down at Falmouth on the north side of the Rappahannock. This was an unwise move, since he should have anticipated Lee by taking possession of the heights back of that town. General Lee answered his blunder by making triple defenses. At Marye's hill the Washington artillery had its guns behind earthworks en barbette.
Starke's brigade, under Colonel Pendleton, the First regiment being commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Nolan, the Fifteenth by Lieut.—Col. McG. Goodwyn, the Second by Maj. M. A. Grogan and the Fourteenth by Capt. H. M. Verlander, supported Thomas' brigade early on the 13th, and on the 14th relieved General Pender on the front line. His skirmishers were engaged sharply through the day, and his brigade was three times under a considerable fire. Two men were killed and 34 wounded. Hays' brigade reached the field about 10 a. m. of the 13th and marched to the brow of the hill in front, losing 9 killed and 44 wounded, though the brigade was not actively in the fight. On the 14th the Seventh regiment was sent to fill a gap in the line along the railroad.
Had there been any question of the result of the battle, any doubt of the final outcome at any hour of the day before the sun went down, the Louisiana infantry would have been called on to lend their aid to make the issue glorious.
The Louisiana batteries rendered effective service during the 13th and 14th. The Guard artillery took position with the gallant Pelham on the extreme right. This was the post of responsibility, for wherever Pelham's guns were heard there honor abode. Their enfilading fire mowed down the enemy, actively threatening on the plain. Here Capt. Edgar D'Aquin fell gloriously.
The Washington artillery, with its four batteries, gallantly and, it need not be added, successfully defended Marye's hill against heavy and repeated assaults during the day. Five successive charges were repulsed by their skilled gunners. Among the generals who bravely led the assaulting lines was Hancock, known far and wide in the army of the Potomac as Hancock the Superb. Among the devoted soldiers who fell in the slaughter-pen before their invincible fire came the Zouaves and Meagher's Irish brigade. These brave men, bearing the green flag with Ireland's golden harp, did not stop their impetuous rush until within five and twenty paces of Cobb's infantry line. There they were met with such a tempest of shell, shot, canister and musketry, that two-thirds of them were left on the field in front of the stone wall.
After four hours and a half of this dreadful work, calling for the concert of every faculty of mind, heart and body, Colonel Walton relinquished the defense to Moody's Madison Tips. The Tips, true to their Irish blood, did not fall back before the enemy's masses, but forced them back, broken and dismayed, before their victorious pieces. Maurin was also in action during the two days with two sections of the Cannoneers; the first commanded by Lieut. Prosper Landry, the other by Lieut. Camille Mollere. For a time, on the first day, Maurin had a gun which was ordered by Major Latrobe, of Longstreet's staff, to be placed outside the works, where it could not bear upon the enemy assaulting Marye's. Where they were, the gun's defenders, commanded by Landry, were in far greater peril than the foe. Most effectively did Landry perform this service; but in doing so lost several of his men and had his feet disabled. His conduct was admirable, for during the time he was exposed to a direct fire of six and an enfilading fire of four guns. (Owen's In Camp and Battle.) In a minute every man was killed or wounded at the guns. (Report of General Ransom.) On the second day, Moody's two 25-pounder howitzers assumed the place of Maurin's battery in the rifle-pits. From that post a few well-directed shots broke up the enemy's reserves, lying flat on their faces in the valley. This General Burnside called, by a bold but misleading figure of speech, holding the first ridge. A few shots by Captain Moody turned this into the wildest of routs: a vanishing of charging lines-an army's broken remnant huddling into the town's streets for safety.
During the night of the 15th Fredericksburg was evacuated by the Federals. Burnside had abandoned his advance movement, presented with such a pomp of battle-array, glitter of steel and wealth of equipment, and with such a glow of color in its flags and in its myriad guidons dancing in icy sunshine of that December day. On the north bank of the Rappahannock the defeated but gallant army of the Potomac—having in vain tempted death —was, in its heroic disappointment, calling that through which it had just passed the Horror of Fredericksburg. Horror, most truly! Heros Van Borcke, J. E. B. Stuart's distinguished and devoted chief of staff, in his Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, says that the dead bodies lay thicker on the field than I had ever seen before. Meagher's brave Irish brigade was nearly annihilated. In front of the stone wall which skirted the sunken road at the foot of Marye's hill the brigade's dead lay in heaps.
For the North, Fredericksburg had chilled the gladness following Antietam; for the South, it had restored confidence. Reckless Burnside was replaced by Fighting Joe Hooker. Hooker began well. While Lee was watching him from his old heights back of Fredericksburg Hooker had taken a march on him, massing 40,000 men on his left flank at Chancellorsville. Here Fighting Joe, forgetting his nickname won by daring, rested, undecided, one full wasted day. When at last prepared to advance, Lee (without Longstreet, who was absent at Suffolk), hastening by forced marches from Fredericksburg, was ready to meet him. After barely feeling Lee, Hooker tempted him by retiring into the Wilderness, facing toward Fredericksburg. Here the Confederate advance under Jackson attacked him. The expected happened. In the dense thickets, turned everywhere into abatis and bristling at every avenue of approach with artillery, Hooker was practically impregnable. Lee soon drew back from the purposeless contest. The heavy guns on this day, both Federal and Confederate, thundered only the prelude of the mighty opening orchestra. Lee on the same evening (May 1st) called a council of his corps commanders. Jackson, who had led the assault of the day and had seen its futility, was ready with his plan for the next day's battle.
Here we see the one opportunity of Jackson's military life. He for the first and only time outlined a plan for the movements of the army of which he was only a lieutenant. It was as though Lannes had laid before Napoleon the scheme of Austerlitz. Jackson had fully recognized the impossibility of a direct assault on the Federal front or left, by reason of the broken ground. He proposed to sweep with a rapid movement around Hooker's front, attack on his right flank, taking him in reverse, and cut him off from the United States ford. This plan was at once adopted by General Lee, and the details were left to Jackson. Early the next morning Stonewall opened the movement. He was eager to play once again his victorious flanking game. He knew that to pass Hooker's entire front was most hazardous. The broken country, however, greatly aided him. The route, skirting the edge of the front, sometimes going through it, sometimes hiding itself away in small by-roads, was an all-day's plodding. To make this flank attack a success it needed, above all, to be a complete surprise. Once, at
furnace, Jackson found himself in plain view. An assault, hot while it lasted, was made upon his rear. As the widening road, however, bore strongly toward the south, he was supposed to be in full retreat to Richmond. But Jackson was in sinuous advance toward Hooker's right flank. By 5 o'clock in the evening, having reached the pike, he broke, utterly unlooked for, into Howard's Eleventh corps, crushing it like an egg-shell, and sent its pieces spinning helplessly into the heavy works around Chancellorsville. Early the same night, while preparing for a new and more resolute attack, Jackson received his death wound at the hands of his friends.
Chancellorsville was the fact—Marye's hill was an episode. On May 2d and 3d Hays' brigade was, and was not, at Chancellorsville. Early, in whose division he was, had, under orders from General Lee, left him behind at Fredericksburg to guard the valorous town. It was no inglorious task which had fallen to Hays. Attending to Marye's safety were other gallant commands: Barksdale's brigade, Griffin's Eighteenth Mississippi occupying the foot of the hill, and Humphreys' Twenty-fifth Mississippi. The Washington artillery's First, Second and Fourth companies were also there to defend the hill.
About light on Sunday, May 3d, Barksdale reported that the enemy had thrown a bridge across the Rappahannock. Hays' brigade was immediately sent from the right to Barksdale's support. The enemy was seen crossing, and soon known to be Sedgwick's whole corps. Sedgwick's first assaults upon the right of our line were thwarted. One attack in force upon Marye's hill was repulsed by Hays. Then treachery did what numbers could not. A false flag of truce came to Griffin, colonel of the Eighteenth Mississippi. Unsuspicious of evil, Griffin, incautiously receiving the flag of truce, gave the bearer time to spy out the thin line of defenders. Going back to his lines—almost before he was out of sight—heavy columns were sweeping upon the position. It was, under the guise of peace, an absolute surprise of war. The Washington guns had been playing havoc with the columns of the enemy in front; but while the gunners were looking forward blue lines had climbed the hill in the rear, appearing like Asmodeus before their very faces.
Everywhere in force they swarmed upon the hill among the guns, capturing the gunners. A large part of the Eighteenth Mississippi was taken prisoner, and a company of the Washington artillery with its six guns was captured. The enemy did not stay long on the hill They seized the guns and hastily marched their prisoners (329) off. The Washington artillery, with their uncaptured guns, retired firing to the line of the Mine road. Corporal L. L. Lewis of the Fourth company was killed at this time. The sacrifice of the Washington guns—the result of basest treachery—had been redeemed by the courage with which they had been defended. Surrendered only when surrounded front and rear, no blame attached to the heroic battalion for the misfortune.
At sunrise on May 4th Early, moving forward, reoccupied Marye's hill. A few of its defenders were found there, some dead, some wounded. That stone wall, which skirted the sunken road, had again grown fatalistic. This time, its fatalism had turned against its friends. On May 3, 1862, Sedgwick earned the empty honor of capturing Marye's hill and a few prisoners and guns. Upon some drunken rowdies of his corps fell the dishonor—fortunately rare in the annals of civilized warfare—of killing prisoners on the hill after they had surrendered.
Adjt. Oscar E. Stuart of the Eighteenth Mississippi was deliberately shot after he had surrendered. By his brutal murder a life, full of promise as of honor, was cut short.
At this Fredericksburg battle the loss of Hays' brigade was 63 killed and 306 wounded.
On May 2d and 3d the Second Louisiana brigade, now led by Brig.-Gen. Francis T. Nicholls, was to be found on the Plank road, either resting on the highway or deployed along it toward the Chancellor house. Around Chancellorsville the battle swayed during the two days, at times fiercely, with a resolute purpose of the enemy's masses to envelope, anaconda-like, our slenderer lines; at other times, utilizing heavy guns to clear the Plank road of our men. The artillery was specially destructive on Saturday, the 2d. About 9:30 p. m. the head of Nicholls' brigade halted on the Plank road about half a mile from Chancellor's house, and the road was swept by a destructive artillery fire. It was here that the gallant Nicholls had the misfortune to be seriously wounded, a shell tearing his left leg, necessitating immediate amputation.
Men of the brigade, hearing of their leader's wounds, mentioned the loss of his arm on Winchester heights less than a year before: and anxiously recalled the army talk—heroic gossip!—that it was hard to say whether General Nichols was as brave as he seemed or not—he was always fated to be wounded so soon as a battle opened. They spoke also, with soldierly regret, of his mutilated frame. In its honorable mutilation it may still be seen when the chief justice of the Supreme court of Louisiana passes on the street, or when, with his associate justices around him, he sits on the bench.
Col. J. M. Williams, Second Louisiana, assumed command. The brigade remained under arms on the extreme left of the battle-line until Sunday, May 3d, at sunrise, so incessant were the threats of attack. In a sharp engagement at a very early hour, with a very large force of the enemy pressing forward, the brigade hotly contested the ground until, by ill fortune, its ammunition gave out. Still later in the day the brigade was again engaged with the enemy's batteries, strongly massed and supported by other masses of infantry, in which it lost some 50 men. Colonel Williams had discharged the duties of brigadier-general with a zeal and gallantry worthy of remembrance. The loss of his command was 73 killed and 390 wounded.
In this valorous brigade the First Louisiana infantry was commanded by Capt. E. D. Willett; the Second, by Lieut.-Col. R. E. Burke; the Tenth, by Lieut.-Col. John M. Leggett; the Fourteenth, by Lieut.-Col. David Zable; and the Fifteenth, by Capt. W. C. Michie. It was while the Tenth Louisiana was exposed to a heavy storm of grape and shell that Lieut.-Col. John M. Leggett, an officer of signal merit, was instantly killed by a shell, after which Capt. A. Perrodin took command. The Second regiment, in very gallant style under a galling fire, drove the Federal General Tyler's brigade from its position, capturing a colonel and several officers of the command.
Capt. C. Thomas, of the Guard artillery, with a section of rifle guns, was placed near the Plank road, opposite to the enemy's works, under Major McIntosh. With an enfilading fire the Guard succeeded in dislodging the enemy from his works. After this the battery directed its fire upon a dense column in front of Chancellor's house, soon breaking and dispersing it. This column was said to be Meagher's brigade.
Chancellorsville, with all its glory, bore one broad stream of crape for the mighty soldier who had planned it. His plan, triumphing in the rout of the enemy's right flank, opened the road to Hooker's final retreat to his old Falmouth camps. Throughout the critical third day the watchword was, Remember Jackson. It broke into the multitudinous voices of battle with a note mightier than theirs. Heard the loudest with each victorious advance, it told once again how an army fights when grief inspires valor.
In the reorganization which followed the death of Jackson the Louisiana brigades remained in the old Second corps, under General Ewell. Early's division included, besides Hays' Louisiana brigade, Gen. William Smith's Virginia brigade, R. F. Hoke's Carolinians and John B. Gordons' Georgians. The old Stonewall division, including Nicholls' brigade, was under Maj.—Gen. Edward Johnson. Hays' regiments were commanded: the Fifth by Maj. Alexander Hart, Sixth by Lieut.-Col. Joseph Hanlon, Seventh by Col. D. B. Penn, Eighth by Col. T. D. Lewis, Ninth by Col. L. A. Stafford. Nicholls' brigade was led by Col. J. M. Williams, and the regiments were commanded: First by Lieut.-Col. M. Nolan, Second by Lieut.-Col. R. E. Burke, Tenth by Maj. T. N. Powell, Fourteenth by Lieut.-Col. David Zable, Fifteenth by Maj. Andrew Brady.
Col. J. M. Walton, still in command of Longstreet's artillery, had in his reserve the battalion of E. P. Alexander and the Washington artillery battalion under Maj. B. F. Eshleman, whose Fourth company was now under Capt. Joe Norcum, the other captains being unchanged. In Alexander's battalion was the Madison artillery, Capt. George V. Moody. The Louisiana Guard artillery, Capt. C. A. Green, was attached to Early's division, and the Donaldsonville artillery, Capt. V. Maurin, to Heth's division, A. P. Hill's corps.
The Pennsylvania campaign Hays' brilliant charge at Winchester battle of Gettysburg First day's fight Nicholls' brigade at Culp's Hill Hays' brigade on the summit of Cemetery Hill work of the artillery after Gettysburg Rappahannock bridge Mine Run Payne's Farm.
Late in June, 1863, Lee's bugle once more sounded for invasion. His army, in thoroughness of discipline, numbers and equipment, was the most formidable that had marched under the flag of the seceding States. There were ardent Confederates who believed that the Pennsylvania movement would prove a military mistake. Such distrust, however, nowhere showed itself on the surface. For Lee himself the invasion was a necessity. He saw that matters were fast going to the bad in the West. He knew that Vicksburg was making a heroic but hopeless defense. Her fall would bring the Mississippi a free and unmortgaged gift to the Federals. By a new and possibly successful invasion of the North he might offset inevitable disaster in the West. Such was his hope. He knew his army, he trusted in its strength and fiber.
Fredericksburg in December, and Chancellorsville in May had raised in an extraordinary manner the spirit of the army—victorious at both points. Its courage was accompanied by an increasing hope. Far more than ever before, a consciousness of invincibility had begun to be felt by rank and file. It proved to be a great error, an error which cost us the campaign. Yet, under the glorious history of the latter part of 1862 and the early part of 1863, the error seemed to most minds, the direct result of recent events.
With his right, Lee had gripped the old defenses of Fredericksburg, associated with thronging memories of triumph; his left covertly advanced, under Ewell, toward Culpepper and thence to the Shenandoah valley. Early's division was directed by Ewell to march straight to the valley. On June 14th Early trapped Milroy, capturing 4,000 prisoners, with much material. Hays' brigade was at the front from the beginning of this movement, pushing the enemy back, with skirmishing during the 13th and 14th. On the latter day Early took the Louisianians around a considerable detour to the west, and about 5 p. m. ordered them to assault the enemy's works on a hill which appeared to be the key to their fortified position. After the artillery, which included the Louisiana Guard, had shelled the astonished Federals, who were not looking for fight in that direction, Hays advanced as was directed, Early said, and ascended the steep slope of the hill leading to the enemy's works through a brushwood that had been felled to answer the purpose of abatis, and drove the enemy from his works in fine style, capturing in the assault six rifled pieces, two of which were immediately turned upon the enemy. The enemy discovered the advance of Hays when he reached the edge of the abatis, about 150 yards from the works, and then, ordered to charge, his men swept forward so rapidly that they were in the redoubt before the enemy had time to fire more than four or five rounds. A most brilliant achievement, said Early of this assault. At some distance was a small redoubt with two pieces of artillery, manned by infantry. Here the Seventh, Col. Davidson B. Penn, gallantly secured two guns. In the main work, a battery of the Fifth U. S. artillery (regulars) was captured, caissons and trappings complete.
Hays, in the movement against the key position in the defenses of Winchester, had the Louisiana Guard artillery with him. Here Capt. C. Thompson, of the Louisiana Guards, fell mortally wounded, his death saddening the glorious victory. With D'Aquin nobly dead at Fredericksburg and Thompson slain at Winchester it was evident that the officers of the famous battery did not hide behind its caisson wheels. Hays reports his brigade loss for the two days at 14 killed and 78 wounded. Lieutenant Terry, Seventh, and Captain Dejean, Eighth, were killed. Lieut. John Orr, adjutant of the Sixth, was the first to mount the parapet. The adjutant did not regret the bayonet thrust which he received on this occasion. That night, while Hays' brigade was expecting another assault on the coming day, and the Guard was training its guns upon the main fort of Milroy, the enemy decamped. But Ewell had arranged for such a sequel. Nicholls' brigade, which had been skirmishing with the Federal line during the 13th and 14th, was sent with Steuart's brigade to the north of Winchester during the night. In the dark they struck the head of the retreating column, and being fiercely assailed a desperate fight resulted, turned into victory by the timely arrival of the Stonewall brigade. A Federal flanking party under the immediate command of General Milroy was gallantly met by the Second and Tenth Louisiana, who afterward led by General Johnson in person captured 1,000 prisoners and a stand of colors. The brigade loss was 2 killed and 13 wounded.
From Winchester Ewell marched boldly into Pennsylvania, Early crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown on the 22d, and then marching through Maryland to Gettysburg. Hays' brigade was camped peacefully near the historic Pennsylvania village on the 26th. Ewell then advanced, with Gordon in the van, to York, near the Susquehanna river and the capital of Pennsylvania, 75 miles north of Washington. Johnson's division crossed at Boteler's ford and marched to Carlisle, still further north, and west of Harrisburg. In the last days of June these commands were ordered back by General Lee toward South mountain.
Hooker, haunting the north bank of the Rappahannock, had observed Ewell's movement into the valley and believed it meant mischief to the North. When he found Longstreet following Ewell he also started for the Potomac. An army between the capital and invasion was the one besetting desire of Halleck, intent on defending Washington. Lee, consummate master of all strategy, no sooner had seen Hooker fairly in pursuit of Ewell than he took his hand off Fredericksburg, and A. P. Hill crossing the mountains marched with Longstreet into Maryland and on to Chambersburg.
Hooker's army was in Maryland keeping between Lee and Washington, on June 26th and then Hooker, chafing under Halleck's restrictions and unable to control events, with a great battle in the air, asked to be relieved from his command. Sober Meade succeeded him. This changed altogether the current of Lee's movement. Seeing Meade moving northwest from Frederick, intent on loosening his grip from the river, Lee became fearful for his own communications and the safety of Richmond, naked before her foe. General Dix was at Fortress Monroe, and before a resolute attack Richmond might have fallen. The capture of Harrisburg was abandoned; Longstreet and Hill were ordered eastward through the passes of South mountain, and Early back from the Susquehanna. Lee himself drew back from his invasion, striving to engage Meade's attention by a diversion east of the mountain.
Cautious Meade had seen through his great adversary's purpose. Having selected the general line of Pipe creek for his defense, he now threw his left wing forward to Gettysburg as a mask Already Lee was disposed to make sure of the same point. The shadow of the mighty battle was on them both.
On the 1st of July, 1863, the vanguards of the two armies clashed on the west of Gettysburg. At 9 a. m. the first gun was heard. The shadow had melted away. Gettysburg, sternly questioning, alone was visible. On the Confederate side was A. P. Hill, with Heth and Pender; on the Federal, Reynolds, with the Third and Eleventh corps. The result of the first encounter was a victory for Hill. Gallant Reynolds—a heavy loss to his army—was killed during the action. History puts no faith in precedents, else Gettysburg would have opened another page on July 3d. Lee himself had no illusions. On the evening of the first day he showed his sound common sense in what he said to Longstreet: They are there in position. I am going to whip them, or they are going to whip me. He trusted in his troops; cared little for the disparity in force; but never quite forgot that war had its lottery.
While Hill was fighting for Seminary ridge, Ewell, on his way back from the east, was in time to strike from the north; and his effective blow, which hurled Schurz back through the town, uncovered the Federal line still defiant on Seminary ridge, and compelled it to give up the strong position occupied during the next two days by Hill and Longstreet. Hays' brigade, said Early, advanced toward the town on Gordon's left in fine style, encountering and driving back into the town in great confusion the second line of the enemy, until the Louisianians formed in line in the street running through the middle of Gettysburg. They captured two pieces of artillery and Federal soldiers at every turn, and having no men to spare for guards, sent them to the rear as they pressed on. Hays declared he was satisfied that the brigade captured more prisoners than its own number. Their own loss was Captain Richardson, Fifth, and 6 men killed and 37 wounded. The Louisiana Guard artillery, also effectively participating, lost one man killed. During the evening Nicholls' brigade came to the east of Gettysburg and took position.
The morning of July 2d found Hays' brigade, moved during the night to the east and front of the town, facing the northern extremity of Cemetery hill, the new Federal line. To the east of that was Culp's hill, faced by Nicholls' brigade, on the right of Johnson's line. The two Louisiana brigades waited all day, expecting orders to assault, which were not given until after the batteries, opening at 4 p. m., had for some time been thundering against the strong Federal position. Finally, about 7 o'clock, Johnson was ordered to the assault and his men advanced gallantly up the sides of a rugged and rocky mountain, heavily timbered and difficult of ascent; a natural fortification, rendered more formidable by deep intrenchment and thick abatis. Colonel Williams reported that his men engaged the enemy near the base of these heights; and having quickly driven his front line into the intrenchments on their crest, continued forward until they reached a line about 100 yards from the enemy's works, when they again engaged him with an almost incessant fire for four hours, pending which several attempts to carry the works by assault, being entirely unsupported on the right, were attended with more loss than success.
As soon as Johnson was engaged Early ordered forward his assaulting line, Hays on the right, Avery's North Carolinians on the left, and Gordon supporting, against Cemetery hill. It was a little before 8 p. m. and the darkness was some screen to their movement; but the enemy's artillery was in furious activity, and as the Louisianians crossed a hill in front they were dangerously exposed. But they swept on down into a hollow at the foot of Cemetery hill. There they found a considerable body of the enemy which opened fire, and the batteries began throwing canister, but the smoke and darkness enabled the brigade to escape what in the full light of day could have been nothing else than horrible slaughter. Panic seized the Federals as Hays pushed on up the slope, over a stone wall where many prisoners were taken; over an abatis, and through a line of riflepits where more prisoners were taken. The summit was gained, and with a rush along the whole line, Hays' men captured several pieces of artillery, four stand of colors and still more prisoners. Meanwhile, the North Carolinians, encountering stone wall after stone wall, had lost their commander, Colonel Avery, and not more than 40 or 50 were together in the last charge. The Louisianians, alone at the summit of Cemetery hill in the face of Howard's corps, at first encountered a strange silence. But soon, through the dark, heavy masses of infantry were heard approaching. Expecting support, Hays for an instant thought they were the friends promised in the crisis. But he soon perceived that the enemy was confronting him and surrounding him, and after a volley from his depleted ammunition he was forced to fall back in order to a stone wall at the foot of the ridge. His loss was heavy—26 killed, 151 wounded, and 55 missing. Among the gallant dead were Col. T. D. Lewis, Captains Victor St. Martin and L. A. Cormier, and Lieutenants W. P. Talbot, A. Randolph, R. T. Crawford. Lieut.-Col. A. De Blanc succeeded to the command of the Eighth. Early next morning (3d) Williams' men and their comrades, reinforced, renewed the assault, and the enemy in turn with a greatly strengthened line made a desperate effort to recapture their line of breastworks. The fighting continued till noon without favorable result. The loss of the brigade during the entire battle was 43 killed and 309 wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Nolan, one of the best and most gallant officers of the Louisiana contingent, was killed in the charge across Rock creek toward Culp's hill, on the night of July 2d. Capt. Thomas Rice, of the Montgomery Guards, First Louisiana, took command of the regiment after Colonel Nolan's death, from July 2d to July 5th, when the army fell back into Virginia.
About midnight following the 2d of July, the Washington artillery, having reached the field dusty and tired, were ordered to take position at the Peach orchard, whence Federal General Sickles had been driven. Before daylight of the 2d Eshleman's battalion was in position; Captain Miller and Lieutenants Hero, McElroy and Brown with four Napoleons; two Napoleons of the Fourth under Captain Norcum and Lieutenant Battles, and two Napoleons of the Second under Captain Richardson and Lieutenant Hawes. The howitzers were in reserve under Lieutenant Apps.
With some changes in position at daylight, they were engaged moderately during the forenoon, under a fire which disabled the gallant Norcum. Walton now had 75 guns posted in one great battery, menacing Cemetery hill, and 63 more were massed before Hill's corps, including the Donaldsonville boys, to the north. Toward noon there was an outburst of Hill's guns, but it soon subsided and, says Colonel Alexander, the whole field became as silent as a churchyard until 1 o'clock. The enemy waited for what Lee might do, and Lee was making ready for the last assault on Cemetery hill. It had been arranged that when the column was ready General Longstreet should order two guns fired by Captain Eshleman. At 1:30 a message came to Walton from Longstreet: Let the batteries open. In a moment, says Col. William Miller Owen of the Washington artillery, the report of the first gun rang out upon the still summer air (fired by Miller's battery). There was a moment's delay with the second gun, a friction-primer having failed to explode. It was but a little space of time, but 100,000 men were listening. Finally a puff of smoke was seen at the Peach orchard, then came a roar and a flash, and 138 pieces of Confederate artillery opened upon the enemy's position.
From the opposing heights came back a thundering Federal answer, and the most terrific artillery battle of the war was on. The roar was deafening, stupendous— the gorges of the hills vibrating with the shock and the two ridges echoing crash after crash. The Washington artillery and the Madison men were under both a direct and an enfilading fire, but stood bravely to their work. About 30 minutes after the signal guns had been fired, according to Major Eshleman, our infantry moved forward over the plateau in our front. Captain Miller and Lieutenant Battles were then ordered forward, but they had suffered so severely that only four pieces could be taken to support the charge. These, with one piece of Haskell's battalion, were the only guns advanced, and they came under the concentrated fire of the enemy. At the same moment, the brave men under Pickett and Pettigrew were seen falling back from the hill. Miller, Battles and Richardson were then withdrawn. It was found that Lieutenant Brown was severely wounded, Lieutenant Battles had both his guns disabled, and Miller had lost so many horses that he could manage but one piece. Major Eshleman then, with the howitzers of Moody's Madison artillery, Parker's battery, and a section of Cabell's, with the infantry 200 yards behind him, held the enemy in check till dark. Eshleman's loss was 3 killed, 26 wounded, 16 missing, and 37 horses killed. Lieutenant Apps was among the wounded.
Early in the day Captain Richardson had pointed out to Major Eshleman a 3-inch rifle gun abandoned by its defenders between the hostile lines, with the horses dead but harnessed to the pieces. William Forrest and James Brown, drivers, at once volunteered to bring the piece off. The gun was drawn off, and ammunition with it, under a hot and jealous fire from the enemy's sharpshooters. Forrest was not content with running this peril. Finding that in order to serve the gun against its old masters horses and harness must be had, he set out to hunt these, groping in the sulphurous and perilous semi-darkness between the lines, and brought them in despite the sharpshooters. A few days later the brave man was wounded at Williamsport. In telling the story of heroic deeds, this of Richardson's drivers should not be forgotten.
The three Louisiana batteries aside from the Washington artillery won equal honor. If one called them the D'Artagnan, Athos and Porthos of the Louisiana artillery contingent in the army of Northern Virginia, one would not go far wrong. Among their comrades they were known as the Louisiana Guard artillery, Maurin's Donaldsonville Cannoneers, and Moody's Madison Tips. Capt. Charles A. Green, of the Guard, with his Parrott guns, joined Hampton's cavalry on the evening of the 2d just in time to engage the enemy. At their position they could see the enemy's wagon-trains rolling away. The Guard could do nothing toward their capture, for the business in hand was of a more war-like nature. On the 3d they gave effective aid to Stuart and Hampton in the cavalry battle on the right flank. The Guard lost 7 killed and wounded. Maurin's Donaldsonville boys were just in time at Gettysburg, July 1st, to relieve one of Pegram's batteries whose ammunition had been expended on the foe. To keep worthily in a heady fight the place of a Pegram battery, was not easy; doubtless Pegram's eyes, young but keen, looking approvingly on the work and on the men doing it. Moody's Madison boys, with Alexander, shared the work of Colonel Walton's men shelling the Peach orchard on the 2d and the memorable artillery duel of the 3d. They were warmly commended by Colonel Alexander.
Only as Confederates is it permitted to us, in this work, to express an interest in Pickett's mighty charge. As Louisianians, it is made our duty to report a gallant charge up the same Cemetery hill by a Louisiana brigade commanded by a brigadier from Louisiana. We need not repeat the glorious story of July 3d. It is one of those tales of heroes which, as the Skalds tell us were rehearsed in Valhalla, will grow in acute interest as the years recede from the field and from what has made it memorable.
This may be said for conclusion. If Pickett's famous division of Virginians made a heroic attempt to storm Cemetery hill on July 3d, so had Hays, with a brigade of Louisianians, made the same difficult journey on July 2d. If Pickett's charge with Virginians be immortal, who may doubt that the amaranth will equally crown Hays' charge with Louisianians? Between a brigade and a division there may be a difference in the length of the battle lines. In honor, there can be none!
After Pickett's division had been swept away on the perilous slope of Cemetery hill, Gettysburg was a battle lost to the Confederates. Lee still held to the ground where the battle storm had raged; but the battle had been fought and won against him. That Chancellorsville, in May, 1863, was the clearest, strongest, most carefully-planned victory gained, with equal conditions, by the army of Northern Virginia, is admitted in the North itself. It was the fight of a strong plan on one side, of no plan on the other. Against this, Gettysburg, in July following, was the first victory gained by the army of the Potomac which called a permanent halt to Confederate movement northward en masse. A year later, Early was to hazard a bold but useless rush as far as the breastworks of Washington. Not being in mass, at best a minor affair, it served to emphasize the supreme lesson taught at Gettysburg.
Lee retreated at his ease by way of Hagerstown and Williamsport.
At Williamsport on the 6th, the trains, being unable to cross the Potomac on account of high water, were assailed by the Federal cavalry, with artillery, and successfully defended by General Imboden, and the Washington artillery and Donaldsonville battery. Eshleman, seeing his only salvation was a bold attack, sent Miller's battery forward 600 yards, supported by a line of skirmishers and later by Norcum's Napoleon gun. By this bold move Miller and Norcum repulsed the enemy in their front, while Battles, Squires and Richardson held the Federals back on other roads. Hawes, with two Napoleons, relieved two other batteries which had briefly aided them, and fought under a galling fire, losing 12 men at one piece. On this day the Louisiana gunners, after a most fatiguing march of two days without sleep, rest or food, were of vital importance to the army of Northern Virginia.
Meade slowly, too slowly indeed for one who had to his credit a decided victory, followed him hesitatingly across the river. Begun late, Meade's pursuit was active enough to have enabled him to strike Lee's flank by debouching through Manassas gap. The attempt was unsuccessful Lee withdrew to Culpeper while Meade advanced to the line of the Rappahannock. It was a duel in points between the two—Lee, for all his small army, altogether the bolder and readier master. The commanders began a race for the possession of the Orange & Alexandria railroad. Lee's gaze was fixed upon Bristoe station. Warren, forming Meade's rear guard, gained success in a brilliant side engagement with A. P. Hill, which enabled Meade to post himself strongly at Centerville. For the moment Lee felt himself foiled. Throwing out a line of troops along Bull run, he destroyed the railroad south of that point and retired at his leisure, a leisure with a certainty of future triumph in it. Meade, quickly leaving Centerville, followed him, repairing the road as he went. Reaching the Rappahannock he crossed, forcing the passage. Lee, without delay, put the Rapidan between himself and the army of the Potomac.
Meade's continued movement might mean peril. In order to deter him, if possible, from advancing farther into the interior during the winter of 1863-64, Lee caused certain works previously constructed on the north side of the Rappahannock to be converted into a tete-de-pont to defend a pontoon bridge already laid down. Lines of rifle-pits were constructed at the same time on each bank. November 7, 1863, proved a day of gloomy remembrance both for Hays' brigade and the Louisiana Guard artillery. On the north bank, in the rifle-pits, was Hays' brigade; in the redoubt on the same side was stationed the Guard with four guns. No position during the war was more helplessly exposed than this. The Louisianians were at first the only troops north of the river—the Sixth, under Colonel Monaghan; Eighth, Captain Gusman; Fifth, Capt. J. G. Angell, and Seventh, Col. T. M. Terry, were more or less advanced, and the Ninth, Col. W. R. Peck, was held in the works. Col. D. B. Penn was in command of the brigade during the early part of the fight. About 2 o'clock p. m. Sedgwick's two corps began to crowd about the devoted brigade, which was soon forced to concentrate behind the breastworks, where they held their position, under artillery fire, unsupported until about 4:30, when Hoke's brigade came over and took position to assist them. At dusk, according to Sedgwick, an assault was made by two brigades of Russell's division. There were three heavy lines, as Hays, who was in the fort by 4 o'clock, saw them. At the center, the first Federal line was broken and some of it captured. But the second and third lines swarmed over his right, leaving the battery in the hands of the enemy, and while he was preparing to order the Seventh and Ninth to a desperate counter charge his center was broken. New lines of the enemy appeared, and the Seventh and Fifth regiments and Hoke's brigade were surrounded so as to make escape impossible. My men, says Hays, continued at their post in the works, fighting well to the last, and it was only when the command was cut in two and the enemy in complete possession of the entire hill that any thought was entertained of falling back. Indeed, there was no effort made by any one in my command to recross the river until nothing else remained but surrender. Many then escaped by swimming and fording the river, and some few on the pontoon bridge. The force under my command was small, between 800 and 900. That of Hoke's brigade was also small. The force of the enemy, I am confident, could not have been less than 20,000 to 25,000. His report of loss was 2 killed, 16 wounded and 684 missing. The loss in Green's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Moore, was 1 killed and 41 missing. Twenty-eight escaped. Hays himself was made prisoner, but was saved by a restive horse. Being surrounded, his horse took fright and ran away, carrying him clattering over the pontoon bridge, the bullets still seeking him. The General used afterwards to call this a narrow escape.
It was something more, it was the most disastrous event in the history of the Louisiana Guard artillery. With guns gone the company temporarily was as Samson shorn of his locks. During its battle work its loss had been more in the ratio of numbers than that of any other Louisiana battery serving in Virginia. After the exchange in May, 1864, the company was formed into a mounted battery and detailed to act with the cavalry. It was employed chiefly in raiding the enemy's outposts and surprising their communications. The service was arduous; and finally, when the horses could not be replaced for the work, the battery took its place in the trenches near Richmond, and was in the retreat to Appomattox. The valor of the Louisiana Guard artillery, previous to Rappahannock bridge and on that day of wild fighting, assured the full performance of duty by the men. Whether riding with Hampton's legion or guarding like watchdogs the trenches, its valor was always to the fore. No special mention will be made hereafter of the Louisiana Guard artillery, save that the battery was at Appomattox, was surrendered there, but not before firing its last gun. Their comrades salute them, with no stain upon their record as Confederate artillerists from Norfolk to Appomattox.
Meanwhile the North, drunken with delight after Gettysburg, still demanded energy from the victorious commander. Action! action! always action! was the solitary message weighing down the telegraph. Lee had prudently put his army into cantonments for the winter over a considerable space. Several of the lower fords of the Rapidan were left open. Lee had defended his right flank, however, by a line of intrenchment facing Mine run, at right angles to the Rapidan.
Meade was spurred beyond his usual hesitation. He resolved to turn Lee's position and seriously cripple his great adversary by a quick blow. Marching orders were issued to the several corps, the day and hour being added for each march; but one corps commander was three hours late. A pontoon bridge proved too short on account of high water in the Rapidan. So Meade got into position two days later than he had wished. Lee smiled, having already hastily concentrated. When ready for attack on the fourth day, Meade found Lee secure in his position (November 26th to 30th). Each army went back to its own lines. The troops being once more in winter quarters remained there. The North did not quite like the quiet after failure, but winter gripped hard both town and camp.
During this futile campaign there was some brisk fighting, and many brave men fell. General Early having taken command of Ewell's corps during the illness of his chief, Hays was put in charge of Early's division and Col. William Monaghan commanded the remnants of his brigade and Hoke's. Leroy A. Stafford, with the rank of brigadier-general earned gallantly on many fields, again led the Second brigade. Both of these commands were on duty.
Hays' brigade was in line of battle beyond Mine run during the 27th, and during the skirmishing of the day, Captain Bringhurst, of the Ninth, and three privates were killed. Then retiring to the Confederate side of Mine run, they remained there several days. On the 30th Lieutenant Wehmer and several privates were wounded on the skirmish line. That night they slept on their arms, but no battle followed.
Stafford's brigade was at Payne's farm, where there was severe fighting on the 27th. The brigade advanced with a cheer to the support of the Stonewall brigade, but under a murderous fire found it impossible to proceed be. yond the crest on which the Confederate line had been established. The brigade lost 16 killed and 88 wounded. Three officers lost their lives: Lieutenants Kenna, Mc-Rae and Cotton.
Lee Meets Grant in battle the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Courthouse Stafford killed, Hays disabled Louisiana's part in Lee's magnificent campaign with Early in Maryland and the valley siege of Petersburg five Forks Fort Gregg.
The spring of the year 1864 opened with a change of leader of the Federal forces in Virginia. On March 10, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was commissioned lieutenant-general and given supreme command. After many mistakes, the North had at last found a man with qualifications. The battlefield had shown that the North had made sure of a man of strength; a man who held that maneuvering paralyzed hard fighting, and had little faith in it—yet withal one who, if never a great strategist, was a trained and educated soldier and knew how to lift up Thor's hammer, and use it weightily upon his foe. On this side of the Potomac there had been not a whisper for a change in commanders. From the battle of Seven Pines the South had rested, with a serene confidence which may well be called sublime, upon one as lofty in life as he was superior in those arts which make a great leader. Robert E. Lee had for three years kept Richmond free from the invader. To none save him, throughout the whole embattled Confederacy, did Richmond in her peril look for succor.
In the conduct of the war, now reopening with the spring, the two commanders were for the first time brought face to face. Neither had known the other in the hurly-burly of battle. From the West one had come; defending the South, the other had remained. Each was of the choicest military fruitage of his section, If the West was rude, its rudeness had come of its strength. If the South was courtly, in its courtliness lay that strength which was the germ of generations. Such were the men. Equally mated in knowledge, these men were, when tested, to prove how skill overlaps knowledge and numbers both.
McClellan had made his attack on Richmond from the sea. Grant was resolved to make his main approach by land—taking the precaution, as a compromise, of sending Butler, with the army of the James, to move in support up the James river. With himself, however, the On to Richmond was the idlest of cries. From first to last his own object was Lee's army. That army once crushed, Richmond must of necessity fall, and with Richmond, the Confederacy. Grant believed in giving hard blows and plenty of them. In hammering away at the army, his creed was to keep on hammering until nothing was left on the anvil. To do this kind of work needs men and guns. These the North lavished upon him with full hands. At the opening of the Wilderness campaign (May 4th), the odds were 120,000 men against 60,000; 200 guns against 350.
On May 4th Grant opened his campaign by attempting to turn the Confederate right. The new movement through the scrub oaks of the old Wilderness was foiled. Strategy for once proved too much for hard hitting. This was an ugly surprise for Grant, unused to checks. Giving himself no rest, however, the great Hammer of the North struck again and again, seasoning his blows with a little maneuvering. From May 4th to May 8th he learned the metal of our army in Virginia. From May 8th to 19th he wasted nearly two weeks and thousands of men in looking for a weak spot in Lee's army. Lee, meeting him at all points, exposed no weak spot. From out the checks and disappointments of Spottsylvania Court House, among which was the death of the gallant Sedgwick, sprang that grim vaunt, I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.
Grant came South through the gloomy Wilderness which, one year before, had so nearly stranded the army of the Potomac. Lee stretched no hand to stop Grant's crossing the Rapidan; he was bent on striking once for the sake of those dreary woods of fortunate Confederate memory. Ewell's corps on the morning of the 5th called a halt to Warren's Federal corps advancing on the Orange turnpike. Though Sedgwick came up to help in the assaults upon the Confederate line, Ewell held fast all day, one corps against two, and blocked the road. Both of the Louisiana brigades were hotly engaged, and they bore their share of the losses. In a counter-attack by his and the Stonewall brigade, toward dusk, the heroic Stafford fell mortally wounded. Afterward, in sorrowfully recounting his loss of 3 generals killed, 4 wounded and 2 captured, Ewell remarked: Gen. Edward Johnson once said of General Stafford that he was the bravest man he ever saw. Such a compliment from one himself brave, brave almost to a fault, and habitually sparing of praise, needs no remark.
Next day the fighting continued along Ewell's line, the enemy aggressive, trying to find his flank. In the evening Gordon went forward, Hays moving partly out of the works to connect, and took a mile of the Federal works. While marching to Spottsylvania Court House on the 8th, orders were received transferring Hays' brigade to Johnson's division, and consolidating both Louisiana brigades under General Hays. But the gallant Hays was not long to have this honor. On the next day, in line at Spottsylvania, he was severely wounded and compelled to leave the field. Unfitted for further battle service, he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi to bring new men into the army.
On May 12th Hancock, superb fighter steadied by danger, broke through a part of our line, enveloping the salient held by Edward Johnson, and capturing Johnson and Steuart and 2,000 of the division, including many of the battle-worn Louisiana brigade. But on the second line Hancock was checked and partly driven back. It was a day of fierce fighting on both sides. In this single battle Grant lost 8,000 men. For the short campaign filled with charges and blood his loss was 37,000. In killed and wounded, as well as captured, the Louisiana troops lost heavily. Among the killed was the gallant Col. John M. Williams, of the Second regiment, distinguished as the successor of General Nicholls at Chancellorsville; Captain Rice, of the Montgomery Guards, First Louisiana, was grievously wounded and left for dead on the field.
Grant renewed his pounding on the 18th, and on the 19th Ewell, making a long detour, fell on the Federal right, but found the enemy prepared, and lost nearly 1,000 of his 6,000 men. Next day the remnant of Edward Johnson's division, in which the Louisianians still maintained the forms of their brigade organizations, was coupled with John B. Gordon's brigade to form a division afterward led by that gallant Georgian.
With Thor's hammer; with his tremendous preponderance in men and guns; with all that capacity at will to push a corps against a regiment, Grant was from day to day growing in knowledge of the power which lay in the military genius of R. E. Lee. During all his Wilderness fights he had accomplished nothing but attrition. Tough was the grain of the army of Northern Virginia—as tough as its mighty heart was sound. That army had heard of Grant and what the West knew of him. It was rather disposed unjustly to underrate his strength of resolution, and to make light of those marked staying qualities of his, which were such potential aids to his army's fighting strength. Grant knew how to fight, to give and to take blows. What is more, he knew how to stay in the fight when once begun. An army easily trusts such a captain as this.
Never did Lee manifest in so conclusive a manner his gift of prevision as in foreseeing Grant's plans, and in meeting his movements with his entire army whenever the threatened attack was on, during the marching and maneuvering which intervened between Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor.
On June 2d Grant ordered an assault along the whole Confederate line for 3:30 a. m. next day. Lee behind his intrenchments waited, unmoved, the avalanche. Out of the grayness of the early morning of June 3d it came with 80,000 men—and fell back in bloody repulse. The awful slaughter was over in scarcely more than ten minutes. Ten thousand Federals had fallen. Our loss, though heavy, was a mere fraction of that number. To have won at Cold Harbor called from Grant a master plan; a plan strong at least as that which opposed it; a plan which should have combined in equal shares, daring with skill, skill with caution, caution with numbers wisely and prudently used.
Concurrently with his advance from the North Grant had ordered Butler forward up the James toward Richmond. At Drewry's Bluff, where Beauregard, with a hastily collected army, met the enemy, the Washington artillery was privileged to fight against the former commander at New Orleans. Eshleman was still in command of the battalion, his valor rewarded with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. On the right of the line, May 15th, a section of the artillery was thrown forward with Johnson and Hagood, and the Louisiana gunners found themselves opposed to six or eight pieces of artillery. Our artillery engaged at very short range, said Beauregard, disabling some of the enemy's guns and blowing up two limbers. Another section of the same command opened from the right of the turnpike. They both held their positions, though with heavy loss, until their ammunition was spent, when they were relieved by the reserve artillery under Major Owen. The battle over, Butler scurried back to his intrenchments at Bermuda Hundred.
After Cold Harbor, Early was sent with the Second corps to drive from the Shenandoah valley the tardy Federal column that was to have cut off the army of Northern Virginia from the Southwest. The Louisiana brigades, under Zebulon York, former colonel of the Fourteenth, now promoted to brigadier-general, were in that brisk march down the valley, the driving of Sigel's force to Maryland heights, and the rapid and exhausting journey through Maryland under a July sun. They joyfully went with Early, they and Terry's Virginians the representatives of Stonewall Jackson's old division. They never marched more debonairly; never fought more gallantly —as Wallace found at the Monocacy. In that brilliant battle Col. W. R. Peck, of the Ninth, commanding Hays' brigade, earned by his admirable conduct the praise of General Gordon. Among the killed and wounded Louisianians, for this last time left on the north of the Potomac, was Lieutenant-Colonel Hodges, Ninth regiment, severely wounded, and left in hospital at Frederick.
When Washington lay before them, like a jewel for the plucking, and Early called halt! at her very gates, a murmur of despair was heard among the veterans. Nor should we forget that, in the unmade attack of July 12, 1864, the Louisianians were too intelligent not to understand there had been, for once, lack of dash in that bold raider who when he was on the point of success had failed to achieve it. That was Early's single chance of making the one surely immortal stroke of the war. The immortality thus gained would have resembled a tent raised by the Arabian sorcerer—large enough to contain not only Early but every man in his army.
Returning across northern Virginia to the valley the Louisianians remained there to fight bravely but unavailingly against great odds in the famous battles of Winchester, September 19th; Fisher's Hill, September 22d, and Cedar Creek, October 9th. At Winchester General York lost an arm, and was succeeded in command by Col. Eugene Waggaman, whom we know as an officer of peculiar courage in the assault of the Tenth Louisiana at Malvern Hill. During the early part of December the brigades were ordered back to the Confederate capital to take position in the defences of Petersburg.
On July 12, 1864, Grant began to leave Lee's front and cross the James. For four perilous days Beauregard alone held the Federals in check before Petersburg. Then Grant found the army of Northern Virginia again before him and despairing of successful assault, sat down to a siege. He had by no means forgotten Lee's strategy. Fearing to be worn out upon the Lee granite, he started the construction of fortifications. From these he opened a bombardment on the Confederate works, which lasted without intermission for eight months. In the organization of the army during the siege, the Madison artillery, Capt. George V. Moody, was assigned to Huger's battalion, First corps; the Donaldsonville artillery, Capt. R. Prosper Landry, to Richardson's battalion, of which Victor Maurin was now major, Third corps; and to the same corps (Hill's), the Washington artillery battalion, Col. B. F. Eshleman, commanding, M. N. Miller, major, the companies being commanded in numerical order by Capts. Edward Owen, J. B. Richardson, Andrew Hero, and Joe Norcum. While Major Maurin was detached in command of artillery at High Bridge, Major Miller took his place with Richardson's battalion.
On duty with the command of General Wise, along the railroad in southwest Virginia, was Coppens' battalion, now known as the Confederate States Zouaves, under Maj Fulgence Bordenave.
On the last day of 1864, General York's command, returned from the valley, was reported in the charge of Col. W. R. Peck—the First and Fourteenth regiments under Capt. James Scott; Second, Capt. W. H. Noel; Fifth, Sixth and Seventh, Capt. John A. Russell; Eighth, Lieut. N. J. Sandlin; Ninth, Capt. Cornelius Shively; Tenth and Fifteenth, Lieut. J. B. W. Penrose. On January 19th and 20th the Washington artillery was put in position at Batteries 34 to 38.
Petersburg will be forever associated with the last act of the tragedy. Life in the faithful city under that tremendous clamor of hundreds of guns loses its sense of security. As the din goes on from day to day, Petersburg becomes like Vicksburg and all beleaguered cities. The hills, with their dry, firm soil, are honeycombed with places for shelter for the poor and timorous. Women, ignorant of tactics, grow to know them by the sound of heavy roar of cannon, friendly or hostile. Each battery is daily the center of a gallant fight, the aggregation of forts and batteries joining their voices in chorus to make up a battle such as Gettysburg, or a passage of the forts such as Farragut's. Little by little the Confederate lines are reduced in size, never wholly withdrawn. Abruptly coming to our ears without are the firing of the cannon on our extreme left and right; the smothered hum of new men arriving; the sudden blare of trumpets, and the deeper beat of drum.
On February 5th the Louisiana brigade, under Colonel Peck, marched out to where the Federals were pushing their fortified line westward at Hatcher's run. Part of Gordon's division, under Gen. C. A. Evans, they moved to the support of Pegram, and on the same day were engaged in skirmishing, Lieut. R. B. Smith, Second Louisiana, commanding the sharpshooters in front. Peck's effective force was only about 20 officers and 400 men, a heroic remnant of two brigades. Colonel Peck and his handful of men made three desperate charges against the enemy in his front, fighting for a sawdust pile in the field which was the momentary strategic point, gaining it each time, but compelled to let go for want of support. Only after firing their last round, and losing 6 men killed and 17 wounded, did they retire from the field. Lieutenant John S. Dea, Eighth regiment, acting as adjutant of the division corps of sharpshooters, a brave soldier and good officer, lost his life that day.
March 25th, Gordon's corps, sent to the other wing of the Confederate works about Petersburg, sought by a gallant night attack to break the Federal line at Fort Stedman, which covered Meade's station, an important point on Grant's supply route from City Point. It was a forlorn hope. But if success were possible, it might force Grant to pause in the ceaseless pushing of his line toward Appomattox creek.
Here the heroic band of Louisianians were again in battle. They were with the columns that seized the fort and captured the garrison before daylight. Again and again the efforts of the Federals to rescue their position were repulsed with bloody slaughter, but before long the inevitable happened Overwhelmed from all sides, the gallant Confederates were forced back to their own lines, leaving many brave men dead and wounded.
On the 29th Grant sent Sheridan westward, and April 1st was the day of battle of Five Forks. Elated, the Federal commander opened a bombardment along the line, and ordered an assault early on the morning of April 2d.
At 2 p. m. the enemy advanced upon Forts Gregg and Whitworth. Around these two forts, Petersburg, hard pressed, will make her final stand. The disproportion between assailants and defenders was appalling—214 men in Fort Gregg; about the same in Fort Whitworth. Against these moved 5,000 men—crazed with the delirium of the new wine of success after the old wine of defeat—straight upon our right.
During the Federal assault in the morning orders had been hastily given by Lieut.-Col. Wm. M. Owen to withdraw to Fort Gregg. These were only partially executed, Lieutenant Battles in the confusion having been captured with his command, owing to the darkness and the absence of horses. Lieut. Frank McElroy, of the Third company, was as quick as a flash from his guns. His practice throughout with artillery-infantry was excellent. Three times did McElroy, with his small garrison, repulse as many attacks; three times his bullets from brigade rifles whizzed around the advancing Federals, decimating them. They fell before McElroy's shells and Harris' rifles, covering the field before Fort Gregg with dead bodies. One-half of the Washington artillery drivers were armed with muskets and placed on duty in the forlorn hope of Fort Gregg. Under Lieutenant McElroy's able and courageous management these drivers did gallant service.
On this terrible day Capt. Andrew Hero, Jr., was wounded at Petersburg, as he had been severely wounded at Sharpsburg. As sergeant, lieutenant and captain, Hero was a true soldier. His name was one particularly hard for a soldier to bear. Smiles were easy, but the smile never came when Hero was at the gun.
Appomattox Louisiana infantry and artillery at the surrender after Appomattox the President's bodyguard the State's total enrollment the Chaplalns the Sacrifices of the women conclusion.
At midnight of April 2, 1865, the army of Northern Virginia turned from the lines of Petersburg it had so long and heroically defended. What remained of it passed over the pontoon bridges, each man sternly watching for the enemy in his rear. The army reached Appomattox Court House on April 8th. In its ranks of scarred and maimed veterans were the Louisiana troops, who held together in brigade organization, and the artillery with their guns.
The Washington artillery at the last sacrificed their guns when what was doing in Major McLean's house was flashed through the armies, not yet quite through with fighting here and there. Gordon and Sheridan had passed the forenoon in filling the air of Appomattox with noise of battle. On April 9th the artillery battalion went up to Longstreet on the hill for orders. Turn into that field on your right and park your guns, said Longstreet. The battery so long in their hands, so often an instrument of power and defiance, was parked in that field on the right, there to be forever separated from its gunners, to whom each gun was dear as friend and noisy comrade.
The Louisiana brigade was at Appomattox—all there was of it! Lieut.-Col. W. M. Owen had been ordered with his guns to report at the Brown house, where General Gordon was. Gordon said: Major, you are from Louisiana; I will send you the Louisiana brigade to support your guns. Naturally the fittest support of a Louisiana battery would be Louisiana infantry. Now, through the pines the Louisiana brigade comes marching, with the stalwart Col. Wm. R. Peck striding at their head. Can these be Louisiana's two brigades?—this gathering of men too proud to hide their ranks? Only 250 men out of that superb organization which had carried upon their bayonet spikes far and wide the valor of the Louisiana infantry! The men still marched with a swing, but there was no covering, no hiding, no pushing out of sight the shortness of the jagged line. All changed—numbers, organization, faces also, gallant fighters once there no longer here—all, all, save the great unconquered heart of the Louisiana brigade which had contained them all! To this same brigade, under Gordon's command, fell the signal honor of making the last infantry charge at Appomattox Court House. Ordered to advance upon a swarm of enemies, they stemmed with their weakness the assaults so successfully that Gordon, in calling them back from the slaughter, complimented them upon the courage displayed under circumstances so adverse. The spirit so triumphantly shown at Cemetery hill had passed into that slender line and for one supreme moment made it irresistible.
A still higher compliment was paid by one who, himself a distinguished Georgia soldier, had often seen them in action. This was Brig.-Gen. Clement A. Evans, for some time their division commander. General Evans from Headquarters, Appomattox C. H., April 11, 1865, addressed the Louisiana brigade, through Colonel Waggaman, commanding, in terms eloquent with feeling and expression. Coming from one whose courage and skill had become known on every field in Virginia, and presented at a time when the curtain was falling for the last time upon the cause and upon those who loved it, his words touched to the quick the sensibilities of brave men: To you, Colonel, and to my brother officers and brother soldiers of Hays' and Stafford's brigades, I claim to say that you can carry with you the proud consciousness that in the estimation of your commanders, you have done your duty. Tell Louisiana, when you reach her shores, that her sons in the army of Northern Virginia have made her illustrious upon every battleground from the First Manassas to the last desperate blow struck by your command on the hill of Appomattox; and tell her that, as in the first, so in the last, the enemy fled before the valor of your charging lines.
The record of the services of both Louisiana infantry and artillery is now made out to their last battle. That record cannot be safely impeached. The ceremonies of surrender were simple but most impressive, by reason of their very simplicity. With the carnage of the whole four years behind them stand the representatives of two mighty armies. On this day, April 9, 1865, a chasm long yawning was filled. Between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant rose, supreme, the humanities of God!
President Jefferson Davis, having left Richmond on the night of April 2d, proceeded to Charlotte, N. C. While in that city, the news of President Lincoln's assassination came to fill him with horror—a horror which he never ceased strongly to express during the remainder of his long and eminent life. He finally resolved to cross over to the Trans-Mississippi department. On his way to Washington, Ga., he was protected by a bodyguard of honorable veterans drawn from every State in the Confederacy. Each man of the escort felt himself honored by the high trust confided to his sense of patriotism. It was after his separation from his escort that the President was captured by Wilson's raiders. Fidelity, when extended to him to whom it is justly due, resembles the stars of Friedland that shine best in the blackest night. Each member of the President's bodyguard could claim a part of this fidelity. One of Louisiana's representatives in this guard of old soldiers was Theodore J. Dimitry, of New Orleans, in war a fearless member of the Louisiana Guard artillery; in peace an honored citizen. The following papers attest the services done by Mr. Davis' bodyguard, with the names of the Louisiana members thereof:
Washington, Ga., May 4 1865. T. J. Dimitry, Louisiana Guard Artillery.
Dear Sir:—In transmitting to you the enclosed letter of thanks from President Davis, for your services with him, it affords me much pleasure to join him in your praise. While under my command as a part of the President's escort, you have always given that ready and willing obedience to all orders which becomes the soldier and the gentleman; and I thank you for it. In this dark hour of our history it is pleasant for you to have the proud satisfaction of knowing that you have done your duty to your country to the very last, until relieved by her chief magistrate himself.
Again thanking you for your kind consideration toward me as your commander, and wishing you prosperity and happiness in life, I remain,
C. H. Brown, Lieut. Comdg., President's Escort. Washington, Ga., May 3, 1865. Lieutenant Brown, Washington Artillery.
My Dear Sir:—The President requests me to return to you his heartfelt thanks for the valuable services rendered him by yourself and the gallant men under your command as part of his escort.
Very truly yours,
Wm. Preston Johnston, Col. and A. D. C.
Names of the Louisianians of President Davis' bodyguard: Charles H. C. Brown, lieutenant commanding Washington artillery; W. G. Coyle, sergeant Third company; J. F. Lilly, corporal Fourth company; T. J. Lazzare, R. McDonald, R. N. Davis, and Webster, privates of Fourth company; R. K. Wilkerson, J. B. McMullan, W. A. McRay, privates of First company, Washington artillery; L. D. Porter, W. R. Payne, C. A. Louque and T. J. Dimitry, of the Louisiana Guard artillery.
We know how the Louisiana troops fought from Bull Run to Appomattox hill, losing a man here and another there, each man's loss making a gap. We have seen through how many fields they passed in victorious peril. We have told more than once of the forlorn hope which fell to the Louisianians from trusting commanders, always leaving broads gaps in its train. We know how at Malvern Hill, with Waggaman at their head, in that awful ascent they went up, like Gants Glacees in the war of the Fronde, sweeping on while guns plowed into them from the hill with terrible carnage! We have seen them in that deadly charge at Cemetery hill. We have seen the Louisianians, whenever called upon, make answer, present!
Even as these words are written, a call flashes from the Potomac to our battalion of Washington artillery. That word has met prompt response from gallant volunteers, eager to fight under their country's flag in the dense thickets of Cuba. No coincidence can furnish a nobler lesson of patriotic hope than this. As the fathers fought against the Stars and Stripes, so will the sons, with equal ardor and singleness of zeal, load their pieces for the flag.
and charge reckless of danger and laughing at death. Take Manassas as the epoch of Hays' greatest strength, 1,400 men! Now compare Manassas with that thin line which moved triumphantly up Appomattox hill. Only 250 men to speak there, on the crest, for the two brigades which Death had struck so often!
We have, now that the war drums have ceased to beat, and memory alone makes it clear, the contrast to the recapitulation from official sources, which showed how full-ranked with eager youths was the Louisiana contingent of 1861. Then, no gaps were in the ranks.
Recapitulation: Total original enrollment of infantry, 36,243; artillerists, 4,024; cavalry, 10,046; sappers and miners, 276; engineers, 212; signal corps, 76; the New Orleans State Guards, 4,933; grand total, 55,820.
It would be unjust to conclude this work without some mention of those two arms of service which did as much for the Confederacy as the men who fought.
Not a word has been given to that noble body of God's men who were of the army, though not in its ranks. Exposed to the viciousness of bullets, yet never once their object, the priests and ministers of religion should not be left out of any picture of our civil war. Need we write here the name of Fathers Darius Hubert and Turgis; of that prayerful giant, Rev. B. M. Palmer; of the beloved Markham, Purser, Bakewell, and a long and shining line of others? To speak of Confederate battlefields is to invoke their presence. Their spirits haunt them all to bless them, and to sanctify the ground once given up entire to slaughter.
Our women were the unmustered militia of the State. On no roster did eyes see their names for war service; yet never did war's roster contain names of those who would have done more for the cause and its demands. Brave as their brothers they stood forward, cheering them, and in a hundred sweet ways keeping their enthusiasm at boiling point. They did not go out to the war, but without them the army would surely have been without many of its heroes. Could it have become necessary that upon one man depended the performance of Confederate duty, be sure that a Flora McIvor would not have been found wanting in Louisiana. Bred in luxury, reared in refinement, circumstances as a rule called out the more womanly forms of courage. Yet in many of our Louisiana girls, city-bred and country-born alike, lay, undetected under their charm, the strong, patriotic purpose of a Helen McGregor.
When war raised a loud cry for need, Beauregard was calling upon his sisters who spoke French and his other sisters who spoke English to send him metal for his guns. Quick to the melter and blacksmith's forge! Are these your fretted brass candelabra, madame? Brought across seas and handed down from one generation to the next, you say? What of that? Beauregard calls, his need will not brook delay. This tall, slender, lily-cupped candlestick, too, in the young girl's chamber, let it be brought out! and those massive polished andirons Dorcas has been so proud of. From the house to the quarters one very short step. Take down the metal bell that rings the plantation signals! Look well around now; perhaps you have some sonorous ram's or cow's horn to echo through the quarters? That might do duty instead.
And how these women prayed! Just Heaven! The churches might open early, but our women were earlier. In the dawn, see the anxious souls. Anxious—yes, their hearts outstrip the hour to claim Heaven's protection for the soldier son, husband or father! Before the altars the candles used to burn brightly and steadily as the faith that placed them there, and the burden of prayer that rose from the heart of the kneeling worshiper, and went up with the burning incense, was evermore the same: Ay de mi! ay de mi! God guard our beloved ones and bless our cause!
The men to-day are only the youth that went out a generation ago. The years added have capped them with honors which Time gives to all true men. With hair whiter than black, we meet our veterans daily on our streets. Their step is still firm; their eye still clear; the grasp of their hands and the roll of their voices as natural as the lads' who went to fight.
From Memorial Hall on
, raised by the munificence of Frank T. Howard, a veteran's son, has sprung a noble tree of brotherhood, with four stalwart branches. Call them the Army of Northern Virginia, the Army of Tennessee, and the Ex-Confederate Cavalry. See them swelling with the quick sap of brotherhood!
With these, since June 10, 1889, the United Confederate Veterans were organized for purposes strictly social, literary, historical and benevolent. Gen. John B. Gordon, of Georgia, who was the first commander of the new organization, is still happily in command. Since his appointment, the Louisiana division of the order has elected each year a major-general for the State. The list has been W. J. Behan (twice), John Glynn, Jr., John O. Watts, B. F. Eshleman, W. G. Vincent, John McGrath, E. H. Lombard.
Each year the sturdy tree of ex-Confederates rises higher and broader in the city's sky. In its tinier upper branches we recognize hopefully the Sons of Veterans, who are proud of what their fathers did. These lads, clear-eyed and cheery-voiced, will keep that tree fresh while loving Old Glory with ardent young heart. Nor will they fail to recall, with a subtle feeling of blood-ownership, that battleflag which in days of storm fluttered, star-crossed, over charging lines sweeping to victory; or, nailed to the masthead, went down in the bloody waves with the Alabama, off Cherbourg. It went down not in shame, but in honor, broad as the world which had looked on amazed. In birth, a foundling; in age, a child; in strength, a giant greater than Pantagruel; in glory, it was what the gray-coats who died where it floated had, full of love for it, made it. It hath no speech nor language, but, had either been given to it, it would thus speak to the world:
Not long unfurled was I known, For Fate was against me; But I flashed over a Pure Cause, And on Land and Sea So fired the hearts of Men into Heroism That the World honored me. Within my folds the Dead who died under them Lie fitly shrouded; And my tattered Colors, Crowded with a thousand shining Victories, Have become, For the People who love me, A Glorified Memory. A word of Explanation.
Nothing can be left out of the proud story now, as nothing can be added to it. Association with valorous deeds ennobles a writer. The author recognizes forcibly how inadequately his pen has worked out the task of comradeship. He has read, with increasing feelings of wonder and admiration, the severely simple official records of his comrades-in-arms during the Confederate war. As the old monks deemed golden ink alone worthy to record holy lives of saints and martyrs, so type of gold should only be used to crystallize so much heroism and self-sacrifice as Louisiana's soldiers showed upon fields by the James, by the Harpeth, by the Teche, and by the banks of our own kingly Mississippi.
It is freely admitted that from the limitations imposed by space many omissions have necessarily occurred. The names of many gallant comrades, like obscured stars, do not appear. Yet like those same stars they have shown, even if darkened, in War's studded firmament.
The Louisiana contingent marched over a broad space, never otherwise than honorably. They covered battlefields from Belmont in Missouri to Mobile in Alabama, and from the Carolina coast to the Rio Grande. To write their deeds would call for volumes, not chapters.
No author can feel more personal pride in the record made by Louisiana, or a more unselfish pleasure in recording their achievements. In this personal word, along with other matters, he has tried to make clear to his comrades at once their right to the fairest treatment from him and his earnest effort to accord it.
John Dimitry. Biographical. Major-Generals and brigadier-generals, pro-visional army of the Confederate States, Accredited to Louisiana. Brigadier-General Daniel W. Adams
Brigadier-General Daniel W. Adams—Dan Adams, as he was familiarly called—was one of the gallant leaders so well known in the military operations in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi. At the call to arms in 1861 he hastened to the defense of the South and entered the field as second-lieutenant of Mississippi State troops. On October 30, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the First regiment, Louisiana infantry, at Pensacola, brigade of General Gladden. Later he served at Mobile. When, in the spring of 1862, the forces of Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard were being concentrated at Corinth for the advance upon Grant, the First Louisiana was in Wither's division of the corps commanded by Gen. Braxton Bragg. On the first day at Shiloh these troops were in the fierce fight with the division of Prentiss which fought so stoutly that day until at last surrounded and captured. Early in the day the able brigade commander, Gladden, was killed, and not long after the gallant Col. Dan. Adams was borne from the field seriously wounded. On May 23, 1862, he was commissioned brigadier-general. He recovered from his wound in time to lead his command in the Kentucky campaign. At Perryville, Adams' brigade was in the division of Patton Anderson attached to the wing led by General Hardee, who commended Adams for his gallantry. The Confederates in this battle pressed steadily forward all along the line, and on both wings, forcing the Federals back nearly a mile, capturing prisoners, guns and colors, and stopping only when darkness compelled a cessation of hostilities. On December 31st at the battle of Murfreesboro or Stone's river, Adams' brigade was detached from Breckinridge's division of Hardee's corps, and under orders from General Polk made a desperate charge against the Federal right, in the course of which General Adams was seriously wounded. In the second day's battle at Chickamauga the brigade of Adams steadily advanced and got in the rear of the Federal intrenchments, but Federal reinforcements coming up the brigade was temporarily repulsed. While gallantly leading his men he was again wounded, the command devolving on Col. R. L. Gibson. Here General Adams, said Breckinridge, who is as remarkable for his judgment on the field as for his courage, was severely wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy. Said D. H. Hill: Brigadier-General Adams was for the third time severely wounded It was difficult for me to decide which the most to admire, his extraordinary judgment as an officer, his courage on the field, or his unparalleled cheerfulness under suffering. As soon as he was exchanged and had sufficiently recovered from his wounds, he commanded a cavalry brigade operating in northern Alabama and Mississippi. In September, 1864, he was assigned to command of the district of Central Alabama, and on March 1, 1865, of the entire State north of the Gulf department. He evacuated Montgomery a month later and fell back before Wilson's force to Columbus, where a battle was fought by his command and Howell Cobb's on April 16th. When peace had been restored he settled in New Orleans, engaging there in business. In that city he died June 14, 1872.
Brigadier-General Henry Watkins Allen
Brigadier-General Henry Watkins Allen was born in Prince Edward county, Va., April 29, 1820. His early life was spent in a workshop. His parents removing to the West he became a student at Marion college, Missouri. In consequence of a dispute with his father he ran away from college and opened a school at Grand Gulf, in Mississippi, studying law at the same time. He was soon admitted to the bar and practiced law with great success. In 1842, when President Houston, of Texas, called for volunteers to repel any renewed invasion from Mexico, Allen, who was only 23 years of age, raised a company and joined the forces of Texas, so acquitting himself as to win the confidence and esteem of his men and of his superior officers. Returning home he resumed his law practice. In 1846 he was elected to the legislature. Soon after the expiration of his term he went to Louisiana, purchased an estate near Baton Rouge and became a planter. In 1853, he was sent to the legislature of Louisiana. The next year he went to Harvard university to take a higher course in law, but he became so interested in the struggle of the Italians for independence that he sailed for Europe with the purpose of joining them in their fight for freedom. Finding the contest ended when he arrived he made a tour of Europe, and on his return published a book entitled The Travels of a Sugar Planter. During his absence he was a second time elected to the legislature, where he gave great satisfaction to his constituents, besides making a reputation throughout the State. When the storm of civil war began in 1861, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate service and was stationed at Ship Island. He preferred more active service and was commissioned colonel of the Fourth Louisiana. At the battle of Shiloh the brigade to which this regiment was attached suffered a loss of officers and men exceeding that of most other brigades in the battle. Allen was himself among the wounded in the first day's conflict, on April 6th. At Vicksburg he superintended the construction of fortifications under a heavy fire. After the repulse of the Union force and fleets from Vicksburg in 1862, Van Dorn, at that time in command at the city, organized an expedition against Baton Rouge, which was led by Breckinridge. In the severe battle fought at that place August 5, 1862, Allen was dangerously wounded in both legs by a shell. He was promoted to brigadier-general early in 1864, but soon after being elected governor of Louisiana he retired from the army. He promoted important things for the Confederacy. Among these was the payment of the cotton tax to the Confederate government in kind, and the opening of trade between Mexico and the State of Texas by which cotton was exchanged for medicine, clothing and other articles of necessity. In his suppression of the liquor traffic Governor Allen used dictatorial powers, and succeeded in a way that was never before known. After the war he made his home in the city of Mexico, where he established a newspaper entitled The Mexican Times. General Allen died in that city April 22, 1866.
Brigadier-General Albert G. Blanchard
Brigadier-General Albert G. Blanchard.—It has often been matter of comment that some of our most efficient officers in the Confederate war were of Northern birth; while on the other hand the South furnished to the Union armies and fleets some of their best commanders, notably Thomas of Virginia, and Farragut of Tennessee; and frequently it happened that brothers were arrayed on opposite sides, as in the case of the Crittendens of Kentucky, and the McIntoshes of Florida. It is this fact that makes the term civil war appropriate for the great struggle of 1861-65, although in other and greater features the war between the States resembled an international conflict. Albert G. Blanchard, who in the Confederate records is credited to the State of Louisiana, was born in Charlestown, Mass., in 1810. There he received his early education. When quite young he entered the United States military academy, where he was graduated in 1829 as brevet second-lieutenant of the Third infantry, being a classmate of Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston. He served on frontier duty, in recruiting services and in improving Sabine river and lake. In 1840 he resigned the rank of first-lieutenant, Third infantry, and then engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1846, being also director of public schools in Louisiana from 1843 to 1845. He again entered the service of the United States as captain of Louisiana volunteers on the 15th of May, 846. Winning distinction at the battle of Monterey and the siege of Vera Cruz, he was tendered appointment in the regular army as captain of the Voltigeurs, but declined that and accepted a commission as major of the Twelfth infantry, May 27, 1847. He was next superintendent of the recruiting service at New Orleans, and was afterward in command of his regiment at Cuernavaca, Mexico. Returning to New Orleans after that war he was a teacher in the public schools until 1850. Then he was for several years employed as surveyor, and from 1854 to 1861 was secretary and treasurer of the New Orleans & Carrollton and of the Jefferson & Lake Ponchartrain railroad companies. At the opening of the war he espoused the cause of his adopted State and entered the army as colonel of the First Louisiana infantry. He served with his regiment at Norfolk, Va., and in May, 1861, was in command of one of the two divisions of Huger's forces. With promotion to brigadier-general he commanded a brigade at Portsmouth, Va., consisting of the Third, Fourth and Twenty-second Georgia regiments of infantry, the Third Alabama infantry, the Third Louisiana infantry, Colonel Williams' North Carolina battalion of infantry, Girardey's Louisiana Guard artillery, and the Sussex cavalry. In April, 1862, he supported Colonel Wright in the operations about South Mills. In June, 1862, Gen. A. R. Wright took command of the brigade, and on account of his advanced age General Blanchard was not longer actively engaged. He was for a while in command at Drewry's bluff, afterward in North Carolina. After the war he returned to New Orleans and was surveyor and civil engineer from 1866 until 1870. He was deputy surveyor of the city of New Orleans from 1870 to 1878, and assistant city surveyor from 1878 to 1891. He died in New Orleans June 21, 1891.
Brigadier-General Johnson Kelly Duncan
Brigadier-General Johnson Kelly Duncan was born at York, Pa, March 19, 1827. He was graduated at West Point July 1, 1849, as brevet second-lieutenant of the Second artillery. He served in Florida against the Seminole Indians in 1849 and 1850, and on garrison duty at Forts Sullivan and Preble, Me.; then as assistant on Northern Pacific railroad exploration from 1853 to 1854. He resigned January 31, 1855, being at that time first-lieutenant, Third artillery. He then became superintendent of repairs of New Orleans branch mint, marine hospital and quarantine warehouse, and Pass á l'outre boarding station; subsequently civil engineer, surveyor and architect at New Orleans, 1859-60, and from 1860 to 1861 chief engineer of the board of public works of Louisiana. Living so long in the South he had become thoroughly identified with the people of his adopted State, and regarded their interests as his own. Therefore, when the war began, he resolved to maintain to the best of his ability the cause of those whose rights and interests he thought imperilled. He offered his services to Mr. Davis, who gladly accepted them and had him commissioned first as colonel, and on January 7, 1862, as brigadier-general. He was placed in command of the coast defenses, including Forts Jackson and St. Philip, which were intended to defend the city of New Orleans against any fleet that might attempt the ascent of the Mississippi river. Toward the last of April, 1862, Commodore David G. Farragut with a powerful fleet of armored vessels supplied with the best guns then known in naval warfare, after bombarding for six days Forts Jackson and St. Philip and failing to silence them, made a bold dash past the forts, and attacking the small Confederate fleet of rams and fire-rafts, destroyed them and appeared before the city of New Orleans, which could do nothing but surrender. Seventy per cent of the Confederate guns were 32-pounders and below, while sixty-three per cent of the Union guns were of heavier caliber. As the passage was open so that the fleet was not long under the fire of the guns, the forts had no advantage over the ships. General Duncan had made a gallant fight, but, after all succor had been cut off, he was compelled to surrender. After his exchange he acted as aide to General Bragg. But he lived only a few months longer to serve the cause which he loved so well. He died on the 18th of December, 1862, in Knoxville, Tenn., in his 36th year.
Major-General Franklin Gardner
Major-General Franklin Gardner was born in New York in 1823. His family moved West and he was appointed to the United States military academy from Iowa in 1839. After his graduation in 1843 and promotion to brevet second-lieutenant of the Seventh infantry he served in the garrison at Pensacola harbor, in scouting on the frontier, in the military occupation of Texas, and in the war with Mexico. He participated in the defense of Fort Brown, and the battle of Monterey, where he was brevetted first-lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct. He served at the siege of Vera Cruz; the battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was brevetted as captain; the battles of Contreras, Churubusco, Molino del Rey and other operations before the city of Mexico, and in the capture of that city. He was afterward on frontier and garrison duty at various posts in Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas, Wisconsin and Minnesota. At the commencement of the war between the States he was stationed in Utah Territory, and was captain of the Tenth infantry. He had spent a great part of his army life among the Southern people, and in sentiment and sympathy was one of them. The army officers who in such large numbers resigned their commissions and embraced the cause of the South, did not regard the Southern people as rebels against the government of the United States. They looked upon the Union as already divided into two governments, and felt that they had the right to choose the defense of that side whose cause not only their inclinations, but also their ideas of duty, led them to espouse. Thus, with the purest of motives, Franklin Gardner left the service of the old army and entered that of the Confederate States. He was immediately appointed lieutenant-colonel of infantry, his commission dated March 16, 1861. His services were during the first year mostly in Tennessee and Mississippi. At Shiloh he had command of a cavalry brigade. There was very little opportunity in that battle for the cavalry to take part; but they performed faithfully whatever duties were committed to them. A short while after the battle of Shiloh General Beauregard expressed his appreciation of Gen. Franklin Gardner in the following language: The general commanding avails himself of this occasion to return his thanks to General Gardner for his services in the reorganization of the cavalry of this army. He had been commissioned a brigadier-general a few days before the battle of Shiloh. Soon after this he was appointed to the command of a brigade in Withers' division, Polk's corps. He shared in the marches and battles of the Kentucky campaign, and on December 13, 1862, he received the commission of major-general in the army of the Confederate States. Early in 1863 he was placed in command of the important post of Port Hudson. His gallant defense of that place, against greatly superior numbers, is a brilliant page of the Confederate history. The heroism of Gardner and his men is not dimmed by the fact that they were finally compelled to yield to the powerful combinations that were brought against them. After his exchange General Gardner was assigned to duty in Mississippi, at the last under the orders of Gen. Richard Taylor. After the war General Gardner lived in Louisiana the quiet life of a planter, near Vermilionville. There he died April 29, 1873.
Brigadier-General Randall Lee Gibson
Brigadier-General Randall Lee Gibson was born at Spring Hill, Ky., September 10, 1832. His paternal ancestors, natives of Scotland, first settled in Virginia, where Randall Gibson, grandfather of the general, was a revolutionary soldier. Subsequently moving to Mississippi, this ancestor married Harriet McKinley, and was one of the founders of Jefferson college. On the maternal side General Gibson was descended from the Harts and Prestons of Kentucky. His youth was passed at Lexington, Ky., and at his father's plantation in Terrebonne parish. In 1853 he was graduated at Yale college, after which he studied law, was admitted to practice, and traveled in Europe. Returning to enter upon the career of a planter, the political crisis diverted his energies to war and he became an aide-de-camp to Governor Moore. He entered the Confederate service March, 1861, as captain of the First Louisiana artillery. On August 13, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the Thirteenth Louisiana infantry. He drilled and disciplined this regiment until it was one of the best in the service. In April, 1862, the effect of his good work was seen in the cheerful and ready courage with which his men encountered the dangers and hardships of the Shiloh campaign. In the battles of the 6th and 7th of April Colonel Gibson, after the wounding of General Adams, commanded a brigade whose losses showed the nature of the work done by it on that well-fought field. Colonel Gibson and his regiment participated in the Kentucky campaign of the summer and fall of 1862. Gen. D. W. Adams, in his report of the battle of Perryville, three times mentions Colonel Gibson in terms of the highest praise, and ends by saying, I will recommend Colonel Gibson, for skill and valor, to be brigadier-general. At Murfreesboro (Stone's river) he commanded the Louisiana brigade in the latter part of December 31st and in the memorable charge of Breckinridge's division, January 2, 1863. After the fall of Vicksburg he was for a time in the army of Joe Johnston in Mississippi, but was back in the army of Tennessee in time for the battle of Chickamauga. On the first day Gen. D. W. Adams was wounded, and Colonel Gibson again took command of the brigade. He commanded the brigade at Missionary Ridge, and in January, 1864, was promoted to brigadier-general. He and his brigade were in the fight at Rocky Face ridge, February, 1864, and during the long Georgia campaign they were alike distinguished in the fighting from Dalton to Jonesboro. In the command of a brigade he was perfectly at home, and did the right thing in the right place. In this campaign his record is part of that of the splendid division of A. P. Stewart, later under Major-General Clayton, than which none did better service. In the disastrous battle of Nashville it was this splendid division which, by its steady bearing, assisted so materially in allaying the panic which threatened the destruction of Hood's army when its lines had been pierced by the exultant enemy in superior force. In the spring of 1865 General Gibson was placed in command of a small division at Spanish Fort (Mobile), including his brigade. Of his service there, Gen. Richard Taylor has written, Gen. R. L. Gibson, now a member of Congress from Louisiana, held Spanish Fort with 2,500 men. Fighting all day and working all night, Gibson successfully resisted the efforts of the immense force against him until the evening of April 8th, when the enemy effected a lodgment threatening his only route of evacuation. Under instructions from Maury he withdrew his garrison in the night to Mobile, excepting his pickets, necessarily left. Gibson's stubborn defense and skillful retreat make this one of the best achievements of the war. After this General Gibson practiced law at New Orleans until he was elected to the United States Congress. He served as representative of the First district in the Forty-third to Forty-seventh Congresses, and in 1882 was elected United States senator, an office in which he represented his State with great ability until his death at Hot Springs, Ark., December 15, 1892. He also rendered valuable service to the cause of education as administrator of the Howard memorial library; trustee of the Peabody educational fund; regent of the Smithsonian institute, and president of the board of administrators of Tulane university, a noble institution indebted for its existence to his influence and the munificence of Paul Tulane.
Brigadier-General Adley H. Gladden
Brigadier-General Adley H. Gladden was born in South Carolina, and was one of the most heroic men of that gallant State. In every period of American history, when a call has been made to battle for the liberties or honor of the country, South Carolina's valiant sons have been among the foremost in the fray; and during the long and bloody war between the sections of the great republic the Carolinians were never deaf to the call of duty or honor. On every field where they fought they added new luster to their gallant State; and no matter where they made their home they never forgot that they were Carolinians, and South Carolina never forgot to love and honor them. One who takes the pains to read the records of the gallant leaders of the Southern armies will be surprised to note how many of them received their best training in the Mexican war. Though West Point furnished some of the choicest spirits of that war so memorable for the unbroken success of the American arms, yet many other gallant officers were there who, in that romantic struggle of small forces against tremendous odds, measured up in brilliant achievements to their brethren of the regular service. No regiment in all the American army that fought its way over all obstacles from Vera Cruz to the halls of the Montezumas was more famous than the Palmetto regiment of South Carolina. Gladden was the major of that regiment, whose colonel and lieutenant-colonel were killed, together with many of their brave men in the storming of the Mexican works at the fierce battle of Churubusco. In consequence of the bloody result of that day Major Gladden became colonel of the Palmetto regiment and led it in the assault upon the Belen Gate, where he also was severely wounded. When the civil war came, Colonel Gladden, whose home was then in Louisiana, made haste to serve the cause of his beloved South. Going to Pensacola as colonel of the First Louisiana regiment, on September 30, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general and assigned to command of a brigade, including the First regiment, of which D. W. Adams then became colonel. He was in command of his brigade during the bombardment of the Confederate forts at Pensacola harbor, and General Bragg expressed thanks for the able support he rendered. Subsequently Bragg, expressing a desire to form a brigade of regiments which should set an example of discipline and official excellence, said, I should desire General Gladden to command them. In January, 1862, Gladden was transferred to Mobile and thence to Corinth, where he was in command of a brigade composed of four Alabama regiments, the First Louisiana and Robertson's battery. At Shiloh this brave officer proved that he had lost none of the fire of his youth. General Beauregard thus describes his death: In the same quarter of the field all of Withers' division, including Gladden's brigade, reinforced by Breckenridge's whole reserve, soon became engaged, and Prentiss' entire line, though fighting stoutly, was pressed back in confusion. We early lost the services of the gallant Gladden, a man of soldierly aptitudes and experience, who, after a marked influence upon the issue in his quarter of the field, fell mortally wounded. Struck down by a cannon-ball, he was carried from the field and soon afterward he died.
Brigadier-General Henry Gray
Brigadier-General Henry Gray.—The State of Louisiana gave many gallant defenders to the cause of the South. Whether in Virginia or in Tennessee, or on her own soil, her soldiers were among the bravest of the brave, conspicuous for daring on the field of battle and for fidelity to duty on all occasions. Among these gallant spirits none deserve more the grateful remembrance of their countrymen than Henry Gray, who entering the service in 1861 as a subordinate officer had by May 17, 1862, received his commission as colonel of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana. The sphere of action assigned him by the Confederate authorities was within the limits of his own State. Through the first months of his service he had no opportunity for distinction. But when in 1863 the Federals in New Orleans began to make attempts to extend their conquests in the southwest, all those brave sons of Louisiana who had not yet had an opportunity to strike a single blow, found steady employment in watching the movements of the enemy and thwarting his plans by gallantly defending every foot of the soil of their beloved State. An enterprising commander like Dick Taylor kept his own troops, and those of the enemy as to that matter, on the tramp all the time. When they were not attacking him, he was making hostile demonstrations against them. There were many fierce encounters which tried the endurance and valor of the troops as sorely as did the great battles in other parts of the Confederacy. These movements of Taylor's troops greatly helped to secure to the Confederacy, to the very last, the possession of their great Trans-Mississippi department. Along the Teche there were many brave deeds performed. Colonel Gray, amid these stirring scenes, found ample opportunity to show the metal of which he was made. In April, 1863, at Camp Bisland occurred one of those desperate affairs in which the troops could plainly see the great disadvantage under which they labored, especially in regard to the superiority in numbers of the force arrayed against them. Gen. Richard Taylor, in his report of this battle and others that preceded and followed it, said: Colonel Gray and his regiment (the Twenty-eighth Louisiana), officers and men, deserve most favorable mention. Their gallantry in action is enhanced by the excellent discipline which they have presented, and no veteran soldiers could have excelled them in their conduct during the trying scenes through which they passed. In one of these numerous combats on the Teche, Colonel Gray received a painful wound. During the Red river campaign he commanded a brigade in Mouton's division. So well did he handle it that, after the campaign had ended in the total defeat of the Union army and fleet, the commission of a brigadier-general in the provisional army of the Confederate States was conferred upon him, dated from the battle of Mansfield, May 8, 1864. After the war General Gray resided in Louisiana until his death, December 13, 1892.
Brigadier-General Harry T. Hays
Brigadier-General Harry T. Hays.—The Seventh Louisiana, one of the crack regiments of the State, in which many of the best families of New Orleans were represented, and its gallant colonel, Harry T. Hays, were at an early date familiar names in the army of Northern Virginia. The record of this command and its colonel began with the First Manassas. In Early's brigade on that day they shared in the march and flank attack which completed the rout of the Federal army. In Jackson's brilliant Valley campaign of 1862 the Seventh Louisiana was attached to the brigade of Gen. Richard Taylor, of Ewell's division. At Port Republic Colonel Hays was wounded. This prevented his participation in the Seven Days battles and Second Manassas. On July 25, 1862, while still absent on account of his wound, he received the commission of brigadier-general, taking the brigade formerly commanded by Gen. Richard Taylor, who had been ordered to Louisiana to take charge of operations in that quarter. At the battle of Sharpsburg the brigade, commanded by General Hays, was in the fiercest part of Jackson's battle. Of that terrible struggle Stonewall Jackson said in his report: The carnage on both sides was terrific. At this early hour General Starke was killed. Colonel Douglass, commanding Lawton's brigade, was also killed. General Lawton, commanding division, and General Walker, commanding brigade, were severely wounded. More than half the brigades of Lawton and Hays were either killed or wounded, and more than a third of Trimble's, and all the regimental commanders in those brigades, except two, were killed or wounded. Again at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg Harry Hays and his brigade exhibited their old-time endurance and valor, and in Ewell's first day's fight at Gettysburg Hays led his brigade in the victorious onset of that corps that swept the Federals under Howard and Reynolds from the field, through the town of Gettysburg and to the heights beyond. In all the battles in which he participated, from Port Republic, where Winder tells of how in the charge that won the day, Hays moved his command forward in gallant style with a cheer, down to the desperate struggle in the Wilderness, in the spring of 1864, the name of General Hays is frequently mentioned in flattering terms in the reports of commanding officers. His gallantry in battle is frequently noted in Early's report of the fighting around Winchester while on the march to Gettysburg, and of the superb conduct of himself and brigade at Gettysburg. On the 9th of May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House, General Hays was severely wounded. In the fall of 1864 he had recovered sufficiently to attend to duties in Louisiana to which he had been assigned, and was kept busy trying to get together all absentees from the commands east of the Mississippi; on the 10th of May, 1865, he was notified of his appointment as major-general in the army of the Confederate States. But the Confederacy had already ceased to exist everywhere, except in the Trans-Mississippi department, where he then was. On the 26th of May the Trans-Mississippi also gave up the fight, and the war was ended. After the war General Hays resided at New Orleans until his death August 21, 1876.
Brigadier-General Louis Hebert
Brigadier-General Louis Hebert was born in Louisiana. He was a cadet at West Point from 1841 to 1845, when he was graduated as brevet second-lieutenant of engineers. His only service in the United States army was as assistant engineer in the construction of Fort Livingston, Barataria Island, Louisiana, 1845-46. He then resigned his commission and became a planter in Iberville parish. He was major of the Louisiana militia from 1847 to 1850, and colonel from 1858 to 1861; a member of the State senate from 1853 to 1855, and chief engineer of the State from 1855 to 1860. At the beginning of the civil war he entered the army of the Confederate States as colonel of the Third Louisiana infantry, which was a well-drilled and well-equipped organization made up chiefly of men from the northern part of the State, and was placed in the brigade of Gen. Ben McCulloch. In the battle of Wilson's Creek it was McCulloch's command that encountered Sigel. General McCulloch in his report of the fight with Sigel says: When we arrived near the enemy's battery we found that Reid's battery had opened upon it, and it was already in confusion. Advantage was taken of it and soon the Louisianians were gallantly charging among the guns, and swept the cannoneers away. Five guns were here taken. On the 7th of March, 1862, at the battle of Pea Ridge, while Mc-Culloch and McIntosh were leading a charge which at first promised success, they were suddenly struck in flank by an overwhelming force of the enemy. McCulloch and McIntosh were killed, and Hebert with a number of his officers and men were captured. On May 26, 1862, Colonel Hebert was commissioned as a brigadier-general, and after having been exchanged he led the second brigade in Little's division of Price's army, now in north Mississippi. At the battle of Iuka, Hebert's brigade bore the brunt of the attack by Rosecrans' two divisions. Reinforced by Martin's brigade, they drove the enemy back, capturing nine guns and bivouacking upon the ground which they had won. On account of the approach of heavy reinforcements to the enemy, Price retreated near daylight of the next morning. After this Hebert was for a time in command of Little's division. In brigade command he was at the battle of Corinth, and when Price returned to the Trans-Mississippi he was left under the command of General Pemberton, whose fortunes Hebert and his men shared in the battles and siege of Vicksburg. After the fall of that heroic city, Hebert's brigade was, as soon as exchanged, assigned to the army of Tennessee, while General Hebert was sent to North Carolina and put in charge of the heavy artillery in the Cape Fear department, under the command of Major-General Whiting. He continued to act as chief engineer of the department of North Carolina until the close of the war. After the return of peace, General Hebert went back to his home in Louisiana and resumed his old occupation of a planter, living in retirement and not entering into political affairs.
Brigadier-General Paul Octave Hebert
Brigadier-General Paul Octave Hebert was born in Iberville parish, La., December 12, 1818. He was of Norman-French descent. He entered the United States military academy at West Point September 1, 1836, and was graduated on the 1st of July, 1841, as second-lieutenant of engineers. He served as acting assistant professor of engineering at West Point from August, 1841, to July, 1842, and as State engineer and surveyor general of Louisiana in 1845. Resigning in the latter year he re-entered the service of the United States in 1847 with appointment as lieutenant-colonel of the Fourteenth infantry, in the brigade commanded by Gen. Franklin Pierce. He was frequently mentioned by General Pierce in his reports as the gallant young Creole colonel. At the battle of Molino del Rey, one of the fiercest of the bloody combats of the valley of Mexico, his gallantry was so conspicuous that he was brevetted colonel. After the war Hebert returned to his home in Louisiana In 1852 he was a member of the convention which met to revise the constitution of his State. In the same year he was elected governor. Soon after the expiration of his term as governor, William Tecumseh Sherman was, through his influence, elected superintendent of the Louisiana military academy. In that position he was quite popular, and Hebert and many others hoped that the future great Union general would espouse the cause of the South. But Sherman resigned his position just before Louisiana seceded, and going North entered the service of the United States. Hebert, as was to be expected, was zealous in the cause of the South and his native State. He was at once commissioned by Governor Moore as brigadiergen-eral of the State military force, and on August 11, 1861, was commissioned brigadier-general in the provisional army of the Confederate States. During this first year of the war he was put in command of the district of Louisiana and especially of the defenses of New Orleans. For a short time he had command of the Trans-Mississippi department, which was turned over to him by General Magruder when the latter was placed in command of the department of Texas. Though he performed with great fidelity all the duties of the various commands to which he was assigned, he was not actively engaged except at Milliken's Bend, where he acquitted himself in such a manner as was to be expected from a man of his reputation and courage. During 1864 he was in command of the district of Texas and the Territory of Arizona. After the surrender of the armies of Lee and Johnston, Magruder transferred to Hebert the command of the department of Texas, and by him it was surrendered. After the war had ended General Hebert resumed business in his native State. He died on the 29th of August, 1880, at New Orleans
Brigadier-General Edward Higgins
Brigadier-General Edward Higgins, of Louisiana, was from 1836 to 1844 a lieutenant in the United States navy. For four years from that time, being still in the navy, he commanded an ocean steamer. Preferring that position he resigned from the regular service and continued in the merchant marine until it was evident that there would be war between the North and South. He then left the steamship service and in April, 1861, entered that of the Confederate States as captain of the First Louisiana artillery. He served as aide-de-camp to General Twiggs while that officer was commander of the post at New Orleans. In February, 1862, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, Twenty-second Louisiana. At the time of the attack upon New Orleans, 1862, he was in command of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. He made a gallant defense of these forts so long as defense was possible, and then surrendered to the fleet which had already passed up the river and captured the city of New Orleans. In December, 1862, when Sherman marched against Vicksburg and attacked the Confederates at Chickasaw bayou, Colonel Higgins had charge of the heavy batteries at Snyder's mill. He conducted his defense so skillfully and valiantly that General Pemberton called particular attention to his conduct. He had received his commission as colonel on April 11, 1862, and had the Twenty-second Louisiana (artillery) under his command. He was placed in charge of the batteries of heavy artillery on the river front at Vicksburg in the beginning of 1863. He strengthened the works along the river in every way, preparing for the tremendous ordeal which those on this part of the Vicksburg line must pass. Long before the investment of the city by land, the men in charge of the river front were subjected to furious bombardment by the fleets of the enemy. In his management of the task committed to him he gave the greatest satisfaction to his superiors, and in the official report of the operations on every part of the line of defense prepared by General Pemberton after the fall of Vicksburg, he was especially complimented for coolness, gallantry and skill. After he had been exchanged he was commissioned brigadier-general October 29, 1863, and was placed in command of the posts and batteries around Mobile. Here he measured up to his reputation already won for skill and bravery. He survived the war several years and made his home in Louisiana.
Brigadier-General St. John R. Liddell
Brigadier-General St. John R. Liddell, one of the prominent leaders of the army of the Confederacy that fought so long and gallantly to maintain its hold on Tennessee, served with the rank of colonel on the staff of General Hardee at Bowling Green, and in February, 1862, carried to Richmond the reports of General Johnston. He was in command of an Arkansas brigade during the siege of Corinth in the summer of 1862, and was commissioned a brigadier-general on the 12th of July, 1862. After Beauregard had retired from Corinth and had established his army at Tupelo, he temporarily turned over the command to General Bragg, who was immediately made permanent commander by the government at Richmond. Bragg now determined on a campaign in Kentucky. General Liddell commanded a brigade in the army that bore the standard of the Confederacy back again into the heart of Kentucky and even to the Ohio river. General Leonidas Polk, in his report of the battle of Perryville, speaks of the good work done by this brigade under its gallant commander; and General Hardee in his report of this battle says:
The brigade so gallantly led and directed by General Liddell captured arms, prisoners and colors, together with the papers and baggage of General McCook of the Union army. In the battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's river) his brigade was in the division of Major-General Cleburne, which bore such a conspicuous part in that grand wheel of one wing of the Confederate army, which bore back its foe to the distance of nearly four miles, routing brigade after brigade, capturing prisoners, colors and cannon. At Chickamauga he commanded a division of Walker's corps, comprising his own brigade under Colonel Govan, and Walthall's brigade, taking a conspicuous part in the fighting of the 18th, 19th, and 20th of September, in five different engagements. After this battle General Liddell was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi department and assigned to the command of the sub-district of North Louisiana. Here he found as his only military force Col. Isaac F. Harrison's brigade of cavalry, small in numbers and poorly armed, but valiant men. He had also two sections of available artillery. During the Red river campaign he operated first about Campti. During the retreat of the Federal fleet from Boggy bayou to Grand Ecore, he kept the boats continually annoyed by sharpshooters and artillery, and stopped the fleet at Berdelon's Point one day with Fauntleroy's guns. On April 24th, suggesting to General Taylor a movement upon Alexandria, to which the general commanding replied that he intended to drive them in and out of Alexandria, Liddell pushed his little command into Pineville, and attacked the gunboats. Retiring he was attacked but drove the Federal detachment back to Pineville. In August, 1864, he was assigned to the command of southern Mississippi, in General Maury's department, and when Mobile was assailed he was put in charge of the eastern division, department of the Gulf. In command of the defenses, he was captured at Blakely with a large part of his forces after the fall of Spanish Fort. After the close of the war General Liddell made his home in New Orleans, where he resided until his death.
Brigadier-General Alfred Mouton—or as christened, Jean Jacques Alexandre Mouton—was born at Opelousas, La., February 18, 1829, a son of Governor Mouton. He was graduated at West Point July 1, 1850, but resigned from the army in the following September. From 1852 to 1853 he was assistant engineer of the New Orleans & Opelousas railroad. Civil engineering is one of the sciences thoroughly taught at West Point, and many graduates of the United States military academy have attained distinction in that profession. General Mouton found time in the midst of all his business engagements to gratify his military inclinations; from 1850 to 1861 was brigadier-general of the State forces of Louisiana At the opening of the war he recruited a company among the farmers of Lafayette parish, where he was then residing. When the Eighteenth Louisiana was organized he was elected colonel and commissioned October 5, 1861. His service was entirely in the West. At the battle of Shiloh he was severely wounded while leading his men in the thickest of the fight. For conduct in this battle he was commissioned brigadier-general April 16, 1862. When he recovered he was assigned to brigade command in Louisiana, the nucleus of his force being the Eighteenth and Crescent infantry regiments and Clack's battalion. From that time until he fell in battle he was distinguished on the battlefields of Louisiana, everywhere gaining fame as a skillful and dashing leader, first in the Lafourche district, commanding forces east of the Atchafalaya, later about Berwick bay and on the Bayou Teche. General Taylor frequently bore testimony to his skill, fidelity and courage. His record was that of the command he led, the Louisiana brigade in Louisiana. In command of his own and Polignac's brigade, one of the two infantry divisions in General Taylor's army, he was given the distinction of opening the battle of Mansfield, his men making a magnificent charge. At the front with his soldiers he fell, with many other gallant officers and men, in the high tide of victory. Louisiana and the Confederacy lost in him a modest, unselfish and patriotic citizen and soldier. He possessed the spirit that dwelt in his father, Governor Mouton, of whom Gen. Dick Taylor says: Past middle age he sent his sons and kindred to the war and was eager to assist the cause in all possible ways. His eldest son and many of his kinsmen fell in battle; his estate was diminished by voluntary contributions, and wasted by plunder, and he was taken to New Orleans and confined for many weeks; yet he never faltered in his devotion, and preserved his dignity and fortitude.
Brigadier-General Francis T. Nicholls
Brigadier-General Francis T. Nicholls was born at Donaldsonville, Ascension parish, August 20, 1834. His father, Thomas Clark Nicholls, was a member of the general assembly of Louisiana, judge of the district court for many years, and in 1843 was appointed senior judge of the Louisiana court of errors and appeals. Francis Nicholls entered the United States military academy in 1851, was graduated in 1855 and promoted the following October to second-lieutenant. He served against the Seminoles, and afterward on frontier duty at Fort Yuma, Cal. He resigned in 1856 and became a counselor-at-law at Napoleonville, La., where the outbreak of war found him. He was prompt to answer the call of Louisiana for troops and entered the Confederate service as captain of a company in the Eighth infantry. On the 9th of June, 1861, he was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel of his regiment. He had the high honor of taking part in Stonewall Jackson's valley campaign, and was badly wounded in the elbow, near Winchester, May 25, 1862. On June 24th following he was commissioned colonel and given command of the Fifteenth Louisiana infantry, and on the 14th of October was made a brigadiergen-eral of the provisional army of the Confederate States. He was for a time in command of the district of Lynchburg, Va., but on January 16, 1863, was assigned to command of the Second Louisiana brigade of Jackson's corps. In the battle of Chancellorsville General Nicholls led his brigade into the thickest of the fight and fell seriously wounded in the foot. Amputation was necessary, which disqualified him for further active service in the field. General Nicholls was in 1864 assigned to the Transsissippi department, and continued to serve the Confederacy to the best of his ability to the end of the struggle. Then returning home he began again the practice of law. In 1877 he was elected governor of Louisiana and held that office until 1881. In 1886 he was a member of the board of visitors to the United States military academy and was honored by being made president of that body. In 1888 he was again made governor. General Nicholls is still living and as chief justice of the Supreme court of the State is one of the most highly honored citizens of Louisiana.
Major-General Camille Armand Jules Marie Polignac was born in France
Major-General Camille Armand Jules Marie Polignac was born in France, February 6, 1832. He bore the title of Count de Polignac and was a descendant of the duchess of that name who was a favorite of Marie Antoinette. At the beginning of the civil war he came to America and offered his services to the Confederate government. He was made brigadier-general January 10, 1862, and attached to the army of Tennessee, but was transferred to Louisiana, where he served mostly and was highly esteemed by Gen. E. Kirby Smith, and by Gen. Richard Taylor. For his management of a spirited action which he had with the enemy's gunboats on the Ouachita river, March 1 and 2, 1864, in which the enemy's gunboats were repulsed, he received the thanks of General Taylor in a special order, which said: The dispositions made by General Polignac were excellent and were nobly sustained by his command. At Mansfield and Pleasant Hill Polignac was greatly distinguished by the gallantry and skill which he exhibited in the performance of his duties. When General Mouton fell at Mansfield, five of his regimental commanders being also killed and another severely wounded, and seven standard-bearers of the Crescent regiment shot down, General Taylor says that the division never halted for a moment nor even fell into confusion, but under the gallant Polignac pressed stubbornly on. On June 13, 1864, Polignac was commissioned major-general. He continued in command of Mouton's old division, which he had led in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, in subsequent operations in Louisiana. Before the downfall of the Confederacy he returned to France, where, during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870– 71, he fought for his native land. Subsequently he was engaged in journalism and civil engineering, having charge of several surveying expeditions in Algeria.
Brigadier-General Henry Hopkins Sibley
Brigadier-General Henry Hopkins Sibley was born at Natchitoches, La., May 25, 1816. He was graduated at West Point in 1838, and assigned as second-lieutenant to the Second dragoons; took part in the Florida war, and was promoted to first-lieutenant in 1840. He served against the Indians in other parts of the country and on garrison duty; was on recruiting service at the beginning of the Mexican war; was present at the siege of Vera Cruz, and for gallant and meritorious conduct was brevetted major. He had been commissioned captain February 16, 1847. He participated in all the succeeding battles of that war, and after its close served on the frontier and among the Indians, receiving his commission as major of the First dragoons May 13, 1861. On the day on which he received that rank he resigned to enter the service of the Confederate States. On May 16th he was commissioned colonel in the Confederate army, and on June 17th was promoted to brigadier-general and placed in charge of the department of New Mexico. He went into Texas and raised a brigade of over 2,000 men, with which force he marched into New Mexico. His design was to take possession of that territory for the Confederate States. He advanced into the territory along the Rio Grande, at Valverde defeated the Union forces under Colonel (afterward General) Canby, and then moved forward and occupied Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He had expected to subsist his army on supplies found in the country, but in this was disappointed, for Canby had taken care to destroy all supplies that could fall into the hands of the Confederates. He found himself in the heart of a country without supplies and with well-equipped hostile forces gathering in his front and rear. Under these circumstances he was obliged to retreat, a movement which was accomplished in the face of the most appalling difficulties. He passed on the west side of the Sierra Madelena, through the Sierra de San Mateo until he reached the dry bed of the Rio Palomas, down which he continued until he reached the Rio Grande, where supplies had been sent from Mesilla to meet him. His route had been through the wildest and most rugged country in the territory, with no guides, no roads, and not even a trail. The artillery was dragged up hill and lowered by the men with long ropes. The undergrowth was so dense that for several miles they had to cut their way with axes and bowie-knives. In May the retreating force reached Fort Bliss, and after a few days of rest continued the retreat to San Antonio, Tex. General Sibley's services after this were in the Trans-Mississippi department. After the close of the war he went abroad, and from 1869 to 1874 served as a general of artillery in the Egyptian army. After returning to America he delivered lectures on Egypt. His last years were spent in ill health and straitened circumstances. He died at Fredericksburg, Va., August 23, 1886. General Sibley was the inventor of what was called the Sibley tent. It was in great favor for a time, but its use was after a while discontinued.
Brigadier-General Thomas M. Scott
Brigadier-General Thomas M. Scott, going out as colonel of the Twelfth Louisiana volunteers, was identified during his subsequent military career with the army of the Mississippi. He and his men were on duty at Island No.10, near New Madrid, Mo., during the bombardment of March, 1862, under General McCown, and later at Fort Pillow under Colonel Villepigue. Subsequently he was on duty in Mississippi, and during the latter part of 1862 and early part of 1863 in General Gardner's district, the stronghold of which was Port Hudson. When Vicksburg was threatened he and his regiment went to that region with Gen. A. Buford's brigade, and were attached to Loring's division, which after the battle of Baker's Creek was cut off from Pemberton's army, and was engaged in Gen. J. E. Johnston's operations for the relief of Vicksburg and the defense of Jackson. He remained with the army in Mississippi until it was led by General Polk to Georgia in the spring of 1864, when he participated in the campaign from Dalton to Atlanta, commanding his brigade, which included his own regiment and five Alabama regiments. Soon he was promoted to brigadier-general. At Peachtree Creek he was particularly distinguished, leading his gallant brigade to the assault, and for his intrepid conduct received special mention by General Loring. After the fall of Atlanta he marched with Hood into Tennessee, and at the fateful field of Franklin, after winning the admiration of all by his bravery, fell seriously disabled by the explosion of a shell.
Brigadier-General Leroy A. Stafford
Brigadier-General Leroy A. Stafford, whose name will be forever associated with the glory of the Second Louisiana brigade in the army of Northern Virginia, went to Virginia in 1861 as lieutenant-colonel of the Ninth Louisiana volunteers, and upon the promotion of Col. Richard Taylor became colonel. With the First Louisiana brigade he participated in the Valley campaign of Stonewall Jackson, and at Winchester General Taylor reported: Colonel Stafford led his regiment into action with the most distinguished bravery. In the Seven Days battles, during the disability of General Taylor and after the death of Colonel Seymour, he took command at Cold Harbor and continued to lead the brigade during that campaign. When the Second Louisiana brigade was organized in the summer of 1862 he, being senior colonel, was first in command. He served in this capacity with distinction at Cedar Run or Slaughter's mountain, and in the Second Manassas campaign he was again called on to command the brigade when General Starke took command of the division on the 28th of August. In the desperate fighting at the railroad cut he and his men were conspicuous. After the capture of Harper's Ferry, he went into the battle of Sharpsburg, and won new honors by his coolness and intrepidity in that great struggle. Though wounded in the foot, he was soon again in the fight. After Sharpsburg his regiment was transferred to the brigade of General Hays, with which it participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Winchester and Gettysburg. In the latter battle he gained the plaudits of his commanding officers by conspicuous gallantry. Early in October he was promoted to brigadier-general and assigned again to command of the Second Louisiana brigade, in the Stonewall division. He commanded this brigade in a gallant action during the Mine Run campaign, fall of 1863, and in May, 1864, led it into the battle of the Wilderness. In that tremendous conflict he received a mortal wound while leading his command with conspicuous valor, as Gen. Robert E. Lee stated in his official report.
Brigadier-General Allen Thomas
Brigadier-General Allen Thomas was commissioned colonel of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana May 3, 1862. This regiment was one of the Louisiana commands at Vicksburg under Gen. M. L. Smith, who defended that important post on the Mississippi after the fall of New Orleans and Memphis. During the long bombardment in the summer of 1862 by the Federal fleet, he and his Louisianians were among the trusted men on guard. This Federal attempt ended in failure, but in December following a renewed assault was made with land forces by General Sherman, and the famous battle of Chickasaw bayou resulted. In that victorious defensive combat, Colonel Thomas on the 27th, in command of a brigade consisting of the Second Texas, Twenty-eighth Louisiana, Fourth Mississippi, Forty-second Georgia and Thirty-first Alabama, was ordered to move to a point where the Federals were attempting to build a pontoon. This operation he checked with a part of his command and with the remainder defeated a Federal assault on the flank. On the next day commanding his regiment, still on the Federal side of the bayou, he fought for six and a half hours, now being pushed back by the superior numbers of the enemy, and now rallying and driving them back, and learning after the battle was over that he had fought Blair's brigade with his one regiment, and inflicted a loss of 400. Gen. S. D. Lee, commanding the Confederate forces, now withdrew across the bayou, and on the 29th Sherman made a desperate assault, hoping to gain the bluffs on which Lee was posted. Here again Thomas and his regiment were distinguished in repelling a flank attack made by a portion of the Federal force. No officer was commended more warmly in the report of Gen. S. D. Lee, who said: Col. Allen Thomas exhibited great gallantry and with his regiment did splendid service. Remaining at Vicksburg he served during the siege of May and June, 1863, in command of his regiment, which was greatly distinguished. General Shoup, commanding the Louisiana brigade, said, Col. Allen Thomas was constantly at his post. He was vigilant and energetic. He shared the fate of the prisoners of war, and was for some time under parole. On February 4, 1864, he was promoted to brigadier-general and assigned to General Taylor's department, where he had command of a brigade consisting of the Seventeenth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first Louisiana infantry, and Weatherby's Louisiana battalion. His brigade had not, however, been exchanged in time to participate in the spring campaign of 1864. When assembled it was assigned to the division of Gen. Camille J. Polignac. This division he was in charge of after General Polignac went to Europe, and Gen. Kirby Smith referred to him as an able division commander.
Brigadier-General Zebulon York
Brigadier-General Zebulon York accompanied the Fourteenth Louisiana to Virginia in 861 as its lieutenant-colonel. In the early spring of 1862 the Fourteenth Louisiana was on the peninsula in the division of Gen. James Longstreet. On the 5th of May, as the army of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston retired toward Richmond his rear guard had a very sharp conflict with McClellan's advance at Williamsburg, with the result both sides claimed a victory. General Longstreet in his report thus speaks: Lieut.-Col. Zebulon York discharged his difficult duties with marked skill and fearlessness. During the Seven Days he had become colonel of the Fourteenth Louisiana and led the regiment through that fiery ordeal. After the campaigns of Second Manassas, Maryland and Fredericksburg Colonel York was ordered to report to Gen. Richard Taylor in Louisiana to organize and drill conscripts designed for the Louisiana brigades in the army of Northern Virginia. After he had completed this mission Colonel York returned to the army of Northern Virginia, and appears again upon its muster-roll at the head of his regiment during the Gettysburg campaign. On May 31, 1864, while the Overland campaign was in progress, Colonel York was commissioned brigadier-general with temporary rank, and he was assigned to the command of all the Louisiana troops in the army of Northern Virginia. These troops included the heroic remnants of the brigades of Hays and Stafford, one of whom had been killed in battle, and the other severely wounded. When Early's corps was sent to Lynchburg, York's brigade was part of his force. Early was at first very successful, driving Hunter beyond the mountains, marching triumphantly down the valley, clearing it of Federal troops, then crossing the Potomac, defeating Wallace at the Monocacy and advancing to the very suburbs of Washington, giving the people of the North the greatest scare that they had experienced during the whole war. At the battle of Winchester, fought on the 19th of September, 1864, General York was severely wounded, losing an arm, and was thus incapacitated for further service in the field during the campaign of 1864.
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