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Confederate Orders, Reports and Letters Louisiana

The Civil War reminiscences of Major Silas T. Grisamore, C.S.A.
By Arthur W. Bergeron

“Page 122 -- For the last two days we passed over the various battle-grounds at the commencement of the retreat from Bisland (Louisiana)

Page 123 – Passing into a sugar house nearby, I saw one of the most horrible sights I ever witnessed. There were about fifty Negro men and women lying around, some of them dead, others dying, some of them being eaten by worms before life was extinct, the whole scene presenting a panorama of fifth, destitution and misery, that it is to be hoped it will seldom be seen again in any country. The roads from Franklin to Tigerville, were lined with negroes half starved, destitute of clothing, and unable to help themselves. The only question of the poor wretches who had been two months experiencing Federal sympathy and charity, was the inquiry of their master was coming after them. Hundreds of them were taken back to their old homes and their lives thus saved by their former owners.”


Page 153
Camp Twenty Miles above Natchitoches, April 18, 1864
---- we moved off through the piney woods, striking Cane River above Cloutierville. The army of general Banks had passed down the day before, crossing at Twenty-Four Mile Ferry, we moved down near Cloutierville and encamped about the 25th of April. The smoke of the burning buildings showed the route of the enemy. Some few dwellings and barns had been destroyed above this place, but from Cloutierville to Monett’s Ferry , a distance of twelve miles, but one dwelling was left standing, Everything in the shape of a building, from the mansion to the pig pen was destroyed, every living thing was killed or driven away. A more complete scene of unnecessary or wanton destruction was never committed by barbarian or savage nations.

On the 26th of April we encamped near Monett’s Ferry. It was at this point where the enemy was expecting to be met by a force of cavalry commanded by Gen. Bee of Texas. Why the attack was not made or some attempt made to interfere with the crossing of the Federals has never been fully explained. Near this ferry, about an acre of ground had been covered with wagons, carts and carriages and burned. The Negroes had been made to hitch up all the teams, load them with everything they could lay their hands on, and follow the army. Arriving at the ferry, they collected all their vehicles into one mass and fired.

Page 154
April, 28
--------. This section had been badly treated by the jayhawkers during its occupation by the Federals, who had stolen and carried off everything they could get hold of in the houses of the citizens.


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 34, Part 1 (Red River Campaign)

Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


The enemy experienced very heavy loss in forcing Monett's Ferry, and destroyed a large number of his wagons on the night of the 2nd.

Page 581 --
The destruction of this country by the enemy exceeds anything in history. For many miles every dwelling-house, every negro cabin, every cotton-gin, every corn-crib, and even chicken-houses have been burned to the ground; every fence torn down and the fields torn up by the hoofs of horses and wheels of wagons. Many hundreds of persons are utterly without shelter. But for our prompt attacks Natchitoches would have been burned to the ground, and also the little village of Cloutierville, both of them having been fired in several places.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 34, Part 1 (Red River Campaign) LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI. Page 508

Natchitoches, March 24, 1864

Colonel S. S. ANDERSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Captain George Sweney, a steam-boat man, well known in Shreveport, left Alexandria on the 21st instant at 2 o'clock. As I regard his statements reliable as far as he had opportunities for getting information ------
page 509

Captain Sweney was present or in sight when a captain of one of the boats there was bargaining with a woman to buy a hogshead of sugar. An officer rose up and prohibited the purchase of the sugar, and said they had come to take not to buy. A boat had gone down from Alexandria loaded with cotton. General Smith was called on to know whether citizens would be paid for cotton,&c., taken from them. His reply was:"We did not come here to buy; we came to take. At the end of the war those who can establish that they were loyal to the United States when their property was taken from them will be paid for it." The negroes were all gone from Cotile down to Alexandria. Those not carried off by their owners had run away or been taken by the Yankees. ----------

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. H. MAY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 34, Part 1 (Red River Campaign) Chapter XLVI. THE RED RIVER CAMPAIGN. Page 579.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA, In the field, near Natchitoches, April 24, 1864.

COLONEL: Yesterday General Wharton pursued the enemy to Cloutierville, where
------ The enemy burned immense stores in Grand Ecore, and threw much in the river which we will recover. He was burning property all last night, the fires lighting the horizon.

Your obedient servant,


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 34, Part 1 (Red River Campaign) Page 586

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST LOUISIANA, In the Field, near Alexandria, May 4, 1864.

The enemy is burning everything in his reach around Alexandria.

Your obedient servant,

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 34, Part 1 (Red River Campaign) Chapter XLVI. THE RED RIVER CAMPAIGN. Page 591


COLONEL: The enemy left Alexandria after midday to-day, burning the place. Two houses only reported left between the ice-house and railroad.

Your obedient servant,


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 3, Part 1 (Prisoners of War) CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE. Page 899


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Opelousas, La., June 12, 1862.

President DAVIS.

SIR: The New Orleans Delta, now published under Federal auspices, of the 7th instant announces that William B. Mumford has been condemned to be hung for trearing down the U. S. flag from the Mint on its first display on that building, and that the sentence was to be executed on that day in the streets of New Orleans near the Mint. If I am corectly informed the act was committed ont the first lading of the Federal navy officers who hoisted their flag or had it hoisted by a detachment of marines a day or two after their arrival before the city and before its occupation by General Butler.

I do not doubt the sentence was executed. We have four prisoners in this town (two lieutenants and two privates) captured by Captain Fuller, of the militia, in his gallant expedition on the Opelousas Railroad in which he succeeded in burning the bridges of that road and capturing three trains, with their locomotives, cars, &c. One of these lieutenants, [James W.] Connelly by name, has been conspicuous in burning the property of our citizen in Terre Bonne Parish, and has exhibited a fiendish alacrity in executing the atrocious orders of Buttler and his subordinate officers. In retaliating for this brutal murder of Mumford which I take for granted will be done it occurs to me that no more propitiatory sacrifice to his memory can be made than the condemnation of Connelly to the same death. Among the first orders to be executed by the new general whom you will sned to us will I hope be this necessary severity.

* * * *

Very truly, &c.,


Governor, &c.]