Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/127

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In a Louisiana Regiment. 119

furled for the last time, and never missed a battle or skirmish in which his command was engaged, and these numbered one hundred or more. In my opinion, Gibson was not what one might call a great commander, but that he was a brave and faithful one his splen- did record bears testimony. He was a good soldier, if not a mil- itary genius.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gerard was a Frenchman by birth and a sol- dier by profession. He was a master of the science of war, and brave to a degree of rashness. Arriving in New Orleans some years previous to the war, while occupying an editorial position on one of the French papers, he became prominent through a duel with a notorious duelist, in which the latter was fatally wounded. Colonel Gerard was not long with the regiment, receiving a severe wound at Farmington, and upon recovery being assigned to duty in the Transmississippi Department.

Major Avegno was a Creole of Louisiana, educated, refined and wealthy. His service was also short, as he fell mortally wounded on the second day at Shiloh, and died a day or two after.

Adjutant King, at the breaking out of the war, was a second lieutenant in the United States Army, resigning to take service with the Confederacy. He was a thorough soldier, and to him in a great measure was due the fine discipline and perfect drill which were always characteristic of the regiment.

At one of the landings made by the boat it was learned that a battle had been fought at Belmont, opposite Columbus, and that the Yankees had been defeated with great loss and had returned to Cairo pell-mell, and that, too, without the presence of the I3th. Thus, thought we, faded the only opportunity of ever facing the enemy. Defeated at Manassas and at Belmont, the Federals would realize the folly of attempting invasion of the South and throw up the sponge. The disappointment had a most depressing effect on offi- cers and men alike, the former cursing the slowness of the boat, while the latter, more superstitious, laid it on the unlucky number of the regiment. "Oh, why the blazes did I join the i3th. I might have known we'd be unlucky," was a common remark. It was a most discouraging piece of news to all, but I lived to see a time when the boys were not so anxious; when they could have re- mained on board a Confederate boat with perfect complacency while others were dying. The i3th always performed its full duty when called upon; the men did the fighting falling to their share, but, like the man who ate the crow, " didn't hanker arter it." After one or