Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/121

This page needs to be proofread.


In a Louisiana Regiment. 113

Nine-tenths of the men of the i3th were from New Orleans, me- chanics, screwmen, longshoremen, sailors, barbers, cooks, and, in fact, men of all trades and callings, some with parents, sisters and brothers, others with wives and children, and all with scores of friends, arid it seemed this Sunday morning as if neither relatives or friends were absent as if the last one was crowding in upon the cars as the train stopped. Nor was that the worst, for it seemed that every wife, mother or sister in the mob expected her soldier boy to accompany her home for the day. "Oh, Captain, for the love of God, let Patrick go home with me. I have a good dinner cooked for him, and he'll be in camp to-night. Oh, do, Captain; maybe I'll never see my boy again," importuned an old Irish mother. " Impossible, madam, strict orders to keep the men in ranks," was the reply. " Mon Dieu, Lieutenant! let my HI' garcon, Jules, go my 'ouse. His /><?#& sis -tar seek. Come back queek," said another. "Impossible, madam." But Patrick slipped, and Mike followed; Jules dodged through the pressing crowd, and Pierre also. Of course, in such a crowd of admiring patriots, with hearts overflowing with patriotism, whiskey was slipped to the boys going off to fight the battles of the country, and the liquor soon began to tell, so by the time the march began many of the soldiers were decidedly groggy. Nevertheless enough sober and slightly intoxicated men remained with the colors to present a fine appearance as we bravely marched through Louisiana's great city, cheered to the echo by crowds massed on the sidewalks. With handsome field-officers, on gaily- prancing steeds, drum and bugle corps beating quicksteps, flashing uniforms of officers and men, the regiment presented a picture the like of which had not been witnessed in the Crescent City since Jackson's army fought at Chalmette if then.

It was a long march from where the old Jackson depot was located to Camp Chalmette, and, as the men had not made any marches previously, it was absolutely necessary that frequent halts should be made, and every halt meant more whiskey. Only one gross violation of civil or military law resulted from excessive drinking, however, and that was the brutal and unprovoked murder of one soldier by another while resting in front 'of the Mint. This murder was com- mitted by a Frenchman, a member of the Third Company, called the " Zoo-Zoos," who, crazed by drink, without the least justifica- tion, raised his musket and shot and killed a German of Company D. The murderer was disarmed, arrested and turned over to the civil authorities, but it is doubtful if he was ever brought to trial, as