Open main menu

Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/111

This page needs to be proofread.

In a Louisiana Regiment. 103

[From the New Orleans Picayune, Aug. 2, 9, Sept. 6, 1903.]


Organization of the 13th Louisiana Infantry Camp Mandeville, the

Avegno Zouaves, the Regiment Formed at Camp Moore

Presentation of Flag Camp Life Going to the Front.

By General JOHN HcGRATH, Baton Rouge.

In a letter from a friend and comrade, recently, a suggestion was made that I write a sketch of the organization and service of the 1 3th Louisiana Regiment of the Civil war. When that command was a living, actual factor in the events of thirty-five or forty years ago, there were many far better qualified to record the acts and <leeds of the famous old regiment than my humble self, but the eyes of most of my loved old comrades have long been closed and the pulsations of their brave hearts stilled in death, and few remain to perform the task. Of the eight or nine hundred gallant souls who marched from the Crescent City in 1861, there are scarcely enough now living to form a firing party at the funeral of a corporal; there- fore, poorly qualified as I may be, it devolves upon me to leave a record of the battles and marches, defeats and triumphs, of a regi- ment as well officered and disciplined as any that served under the Stars and Bars, and which made a record upon the battlefield second to none.

My first acquaintance with what was afterward the i3th regiment, was when, upon receiving the appointment of first lieutenant, I was ordered to report to the battalion of Governor's Guards, better re- membered as the Avegno Zouaves, camped at Mandeville, La.

At the time of my appointment I was a member of the Delta Ri- fles, of the 4th Louisiana Infantry, a company composed very largely of young sugar planters and slave-owners of parishes contiguous to Baton Rouge. Wealthy, refined, gentlemanly fellows they were, those Delta Rifles, my dear reader, and you may imagine my dismay as I stepped ashore at the wharf at Mandeville, and cast my eyes upon as cosmopolitan a body of soldiers as there existed upon the face of God's earth. There were Frenchmen, Spaniards, Mexicans, Dagoes, Germans, Chinese, Irishmen, and, in fact, persons of every clime known to geographers or travellers of that day. Nor was