A Louisianan, 7th Louisiana Infantry*, On the Regiment’s (and the State’s) Role at Blackburn’s Ford and the Battle

6 05 2020

Letter from Camp Pickens, Va.
—————

Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, July 26, 1861.

Mr. Editor –  No doubt by this time you are well acquainted with the particulars of the battles of the 18th and 19th instant. Virginians claim for themselves the honor of having gained both of them. I am a Louisianan. And as Louisiana was well represented on the field on both occasions, I wish to see given them the honor which is their just due. The Richmond papers give the first honors to their own citizens, of course, but to Louisiana, they have as yet barely mentioned her name. I am willing that Virginia should have the honor due them, but I am unwilling that Louisianans should be defrauded of their honors. They have come a long way to fight the battles of their country, and ought to be, at least, treated with due respect. In some statements of the battles, Louisiana receives no credit whatever, not even the presence of her sons being mentioned. They have given to the Washington Artillery and Major Wheat’s Battalion, a portion of their dues; but to the Louisiana Seventh they have rendered nothing, besides several independent Louisiana companies, which were in the thickest of the fight. Among them was the Crescent Blues.

On the 18th the Louisiana Seventh was in the hottest part of the battle, and was acknowledged to the best fighting regiment on the ground, by all but Virginians.

You have heard how the Tiger Rifles charged Ellsworth’s Zouaves with bowie-knives; you have heard how bravely the Washington Artillery fought; but have you seen any mention made of the Louisiana Seventh? If you have, I have not. No Virginia paper has spoken in any manner of the achievements of this regiment. They spoke of the Eighth, and gave that regiment credit for several brave and resolute charges, which I know were not made by it or any other regiment.

In this, as in everything else, Virginia is allowed first honors; but if you give her an inch, she wants an ell; so, she must needs claim all the honor, and leave her sister States go a begging. Although she does not deserve first honors, I am willing she should enjoy them; but I am still not willing that our State, old Louisiana, should lose her dues in this. While we were in Lynchburg, Va., I was conversing with a Virginian about the number of troops sent by the different States. He said that, after Virginia, Louisiana was the most prompt in sending troops. Said I, “Sir, I consider Louisiana second to no State, not even Virginia.” He was then willing to acknowledge that Louisiana was equal to Virginia.

I am one of those who like to see every one “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s;” so, you must excuse my egotism. I have not given Louisiana half she deserves. I only wish that Louisianans should know how she is honored in Virginia by Virginians.

Yours respectfully,

A Louisianan

New Orleans (LA) Daily Crescent, 8/6/1861

Clipping Image

Contributed by John Hennessy

*The writer’s enlistment in the 7th Louisiana is assumed, but not certain.


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