Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/151

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Officers and Soldiers of the War 1814-15.

orders of Colonel J. B. Plauche, had an adjutant Major Louis Chatry, and for captain, Bayou Savary. It numbered 260 men, divided into four companies, as follows: One company of grenadiers, one company of chasseurs, and two of ordinary infantry. That colored battalion was posted at the left of the Orleans Volunteers the night of December 23, and shared all its perils during the invasion.

"The colored Louisiana Battalion, composed of free men of color, was commanded by Major Pierre Lacoste, under orders of Colonel J. B. Plauche, and had as adjutant, Major Fauche Colson, and was composed of five companies, of which one was grenadiers and another chasseurs, and a band of music, a total of 382 men. That colored battalion having been detailed at Chef Menteuf, could not participate in the preliminary skirmishes, and reached the fortified camp on the 29th of December and was posted between the Orleans Volunteers and the San Domingo Battalion.


"This company was commanded by Captain Beale. It was an active participant in the bloody nocturnal engagement of December 2T,, and numbered seventy-eight men. Not wishing to join the Orleans Volunteers, but preferring to retain its independence of partisan company, the corps of Orleans Riflemen followed a company of Tennesseans that had just arrived, under command of a general of militia named Coffee, who proposed surprising the right wing of the British Army, and failed in the attempt, losing part of the attacking column. Captain Beale fared very ill. His company was ambushed by the enemy and most of his men were killed or taken prisoners, except eighteen who escaped in the darkness and spent all of the next day wandering in the marshes and reached the American camp the succeeding night, almost perishing from hunger and lassitude."

The newspapers of the North are censured for having published that the militiamen from Tennessee and Kentucky fought in all the engagements.

"The truth is," says the narrator, "that those soldiers reached New Orleans on the fifth day of January, 1815, two weeks after the first skirmish, and that the Orleans Volunteers, the colored