LOUISIANA IN THE CIVIL WAR

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SCOPE & CONTENT

The goal of Louisiana in the Civil War is to provide an online resource of information and links to our great state's involvement in the war. Topics expected to be commonly covered are: Battles fought in Louisiana, battles that Louisianians participated in, unit histories, rosters, uniforms and equipment of Louisiana soldiers, personalities to include not only the leadership of the state and armies but the common soldier, flags and resources to research/read on the state's role in the war.



Louisiana in the Civil War strongly supports the input of the Civil War community. Submissions of stories, information, etc. are welcome and full credit will be given for what we share.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

4th Louisiana at Berwick City

A letter to the West Baton Rouge newspaper the Sugar Planter, November 20, 1861, from a member of the 4th Louisiana Infantry. 

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], November 30, 1861, p. 2, c. 5-6
                                                                        Camp Lovell, Berwick City, Nov. 20, '61.
            Dear Sugar Planter:--You have no doubt heard before this of our being encamped opposite the terminus of the New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad at Berwick City.—The position is certainly a very important one and should the war be prosecuted, and the New Orleans be threatened with an attack, our friends at home may rest assured that the Fourth Regiment will do everything that can be expected of it. . .
            We have a pleasant camp so long as it does not rain, for our tents afford little protection against the weather, and the mud I assure you is very disagreeable to us, especially having just come from the sandy Gulf coast.  Col. Barrow intends having barracks built so soon as he can make arrangements for lumber and I hope we shall be made more comfortable by it.
            I am confident it would amuse you to pay our camp a visit.  Imagine your humble correspondent's accommodations for writing:  my knapsack on an empty box for a desk and a cypress board for a seat, with the inkstand lying on the ground.  In the other half of tent lies our bed, made of rough cypress boards.  This is the most important piece of furniture in the tent and answers several purposes, viz:  bed at night, chair sofa or table as the case may be when we entertain company.  In the back part of the tent is a shelf on which are strewn combs, pipes, tobacco, brushes, a few books and a pack of cards.  Could you peep in, dear Planter on evenings when we are entertaining company, you would be amused at the tableau.  The pack of cards may be in use, and in that case the bed answers as table and chairs—one of the bed posts having been removed for the purpose answers as a candlestick; on the shelf, in the background of the tent, you might see a bottle and tin cup, which together with the tobacco and pipes, are all intended for the entertainment of the company, more especially, however the bottle and tin cup.  Our camp has been visited by a great many ladies and I have no doubt that their visit was highly interesting to them for I do not believe that many of them ever saw a soldier's camp before.  Last Sunday our Chaplain performed service in camp and quite a number of ladies were in attendance as well a number of gentlemen. . . .
                                                                                                                                                                            Yours, &c., VIC. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Confederate Generals in the Western Theater Volume 3



Lawrence L. Hewitt and the late Arthur W. Bergeron Jr.  collaborated and put forth three volumes on Confederate leaders in the west. I belatedly highlight Volume 3 because of an article written on Brigadier General Daniel W. Adams by Jane Johannson. The article is titled, "Daniel Weisiger Adams: Defender of the Confederacy's Heartland." This was highlighted on Johannson's blog, The Trans-Mississippian, in July of 2011...I have been busy. Johannson and I exchanged research material for several years on the brigade Adams commanded from May of 1862 - September of 1863. This brigade was the centerpiece of my book Louisianians in the Western Confederacy: The Adams-Gibson Brigade in the Civil War (2010). Her article is highlighted with several maps from my book along with one custom drawn specifically for the article on the Battle of Shiloh. I had the pleasure of reading the article and thought it was an a great piece. Another addition to chronicling the role/contribution of Louisianians in the Civil War.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tulane Scans Photos & Makes Available Online


From Tulane University's Louisiana Research Room


Civil War Photograph Digitization Project Completed


The Tulane Digital Library, under the direction of Jeff Rubin, has completed a six-month project to digitize more than 1,000 photographs, lithographs, and drawings from the Louisiana Historical Association depicting the Civil War and Reconstruction, and they are all now available online.


Subjects include political leaders, soldier and regimental portraits, veterans’ organizations, and forts and battlefields. Also included are images pertaining to the Army of Northern Virginia and the Washington Artillery. Many images are unique and record the work of noted New Orleans photographers.

The images are only one part of LaRC’s vast Civil War holdings, which include the papers of Jefferson Davis, the Gettysburg letters of Robert E. Lee, the papers of Albert Sidney Johnston, and the papers of Stonewall Jackson. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Donald S. Frazier on the War in Louisiana

Donald S. Frazier has written two books on the war in Louisiana (two of three books planned). His books have been well received and liked. Always trying to provide a resource for all interested in the war in Louisiana these are two highly recommended books.



(Author of numerous books on Louisiana in the Civil War).



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Southern Historical Society Papers Online

A great resource for researching the Civil War (and finding stories on and by Louisianains) are the Southern Historical Society Papers.



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Confederate Veteran Online

The Confederate Veteran is a great publication that ran from 1893-1932. They are all scanned and online at archive.org. Here is a master listing of all the volumes - GREAT RESOURCE for any researcher.





An example of what you can find in the Confederate Veteran. Here is a group photo of veterans of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry "Scott's" on May 21, 1903 in New Orleans. This is from CV 1903. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Louisiana Tigers @ Sharpsburg by Terry Jones


Dr. Terry Jones of ULM has a piece published at the New York Times' "Disunion" series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the war. Jones covers the roles of the two Louisiana Brigades that fought at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam for you Yanks). Its a great write up and includes good information on the photographs taken at the battlefield in relation to the dead Louisianians and Colonel Strong's dead white horse.

The Dead at Antietam by Terry Jones



Friday, September 21, 2012

Letter from Opelousas

In October 1863 General Nathaniel Banks began his Overland Campaign to march from the New Iberia-Franklin area to reach Texas by land. The plan was to march to Opelousas and from there take the Opelousas-Lake Charles Road to Lake Charles, then to the Sabine River. Once his column reached Opelousas, the advance stalled. One of the regiments on this advance was the 26th Massachusetts Infantry. One of its members, William B. Reed, wrote a letter home while his regiment was camped near Opelousas. Please follow this link to the Acton Memorial Library Civil War Archives. They have posted his letter online (with scans of the original available). 

Monday, September 17, 2012

24th Iowa Infantry in Louisiana.

The following link is on the role of the 24th Iowa in the Louisiana. Its titled, "William T. Rigby and the Read Oak Boys in Louisiana," by Terrence J. Winschel at the University of Iowa. A significant part of this article is on the 24th Iowa in the Red River Campaign. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

8th Vermont Arrives in Louisiana

From Vermont in the Civil War by G.G. Benedict, 1888 (p.87-88) we have an account of the arrival of the 8th Vermont Infantry Regiment in Louisiana. The 8th Vermont was recruited to be part of Major General "Beast" Butler's expedition against New Orleans. The regiment arrived at Ship Island in early April and remained for about a month. In early May it was transferred to New Orleans to be part of the occupation force of the recently captured city. From pages 87-88 we pick up with the 8th Vermont's travel up the Mississippi River toward New Orleans:

The passage up the river was full of interest and excitement. The semi-tropical vegetation; the levees, filled to the brim with the vast volume of waters, on which the ship rode high above the rice plantations; the shores strewn with the wrecks of the Confederate gunboats destroyed in the naval fight ; the forts on either hand over which now flew the stars and stripes ; the throngs of blacks along the banks, who hailed the troops with every sign of welcome, — were new and interesting sights to the Vermonters. A little before sunset of the 12th, they first caught sight of the Crescent City, still canopied with smoke from its burned warehouses and smouldering docks. It was filled with multitudes of unemployed workmen and roughs, most of whom made no attempt to conceal their hatred toward the Union troops. The richer and influential citizens excited rather than soothed the passions of the mob. The women were bold and persistent in their insults. The entrance on such a scene was not likely to be forgotten by any of the Vermonters. Colonel Thomas reported to General Shepley, who had arrived two days before and had been appointed military commandant of the city, and in the evening of the 12th the regiment landed, loaded muskets in the street, and marched, to the strains of Yankee Doodle, which drowned the secession songs with which the crowds around them greeted the new comers, to the Union Cotton Press, close to the river, where the regiment was temporarily quartered. They were in a hostile city ; and there was no sleep for the officers and little for the men, that night.' Strong guards were posted and the men felt under little temptation to leave quarters. One man, however," undertook to run the guard, was challenged by the sentinel, and refusing to stop, was fired on and received a wound from which he died three weeks after. On the 17th the regiment was established in permanent quarters in the large building of the Mechanics Institute and in the ad- joining Medical College of Louisiana. 




Colonel Stephen Thomas, 8th Vermont Infantry

  • Colonel Stephen Thomas of the 8th Vermont: Appointed colonel with no prior military experience. His father was a veteran of the War of 1812 and his grandfather served in the American Revolution. He became an apprentice "to a manufacturer of woolens," and became a woolen manufacture as his career. Thomas became a sheriff, judge of probate and a member of the Vermont House of Reprsentatives for six terms and its senate for two before the war. In November of 1861 Thomas was given the rank of colonel to command a regiment at the age of 51. In his post-Louisiana service in the war, Colonel Thomas won the U.S. Medal of Honor at the Battle of Cedar Creek (19 October 1864) for "Distinguished conduct in a desperate hand-to-hand encounter, in which the advance of the enemy was checked."


Coppens' Zouave Battalion

Coppens' Zouave Battalion
Lt. Colonel George Coppens (seated) and brother, Captain Marie Alfred Coppens.Image sold at auction on Cowan Auctions, for $14,375