LONE STAR ON BAYOU BOURBEUX
by Steven L. Driskell

The below words echo from the report 1 of Colonel Oran M. Roberts regarding the loss of Texans in the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux. Unfortunately, there are no monuments, nor headstones to lay a wreath for these martyrs. However, there is the memory and deeds of these brave Texans to pass on.

Camp near Opelousas
Nov 6th 1863

While Texas will mourn the loss of her brave sons, she will treasure the memory as the glorius martyrs of our common country's independence.

O. M. Roberts
Col Comdg
11th, 15th, 18th Texas Infantry

My first encounter of this battle, was found in the book Yankee Autumn in Acadiana by David C. Edmonds.2 This book is a detailed account of the overland expedition through Southwestern Louisiana during the period of October-December 1863.

Although a small corner of the War of Northern Aggression, David Edmonds highlighted a particular battle which is rarely mentioned or thought of. My interest remains on the lost graves of the Texans and I will document any references.

Battle Burial Site

The vicinity of this site was described to me by Mr. Edmonds, however my personal attempts for accessing this site were refused by the property owner.

November 3, 1863  "The Confederate dead were loaded into wagons like so much cordwood and then hauled by the all-black Pioneer Corps to a location north of Urbaigne Lavergne's house. There, near the point of Buehler's last stand, they were unceremoniously buried in a shallow grave along with unexploded missles, broken guns and other discarded weaponry." 3

"The day after the battle, the enemy having possession of the battle-field, our men were buried in the prairie, near the battle-field.  About a week afterwards, Lieut. Airhuit, of the 11th Regiment of Infantry, with a detail of men, raised a large mound of earth over them, which still stands, covered with Bermuda grass, - an honored monument, humble though it be, to the memory of the brave Texans who, on the bright November day, nobly gave their lives to their country." 4

Since the publication of this web page, the Texas and Louisiana Order of Confederate Rose Society placed a historical marker in the vicinity of the mass grave site.

Hospital Burial Site

November 3, 1863  "In fact not less than thirty Texans expired on or shortly after reaching the temporary hospital and were interred in the yard on the north side of the house (Bellevue Plantation home of Benjamin Rogers)." 5

Epilogue, 1979  "... the Rogers' home, used as a Confederate Hospital following the Bourbeux affair, was being dismantled for its valuable cypress lumber even as this book was going to press.  A new house was only recently constructed nearby, the slab of which was poured virtually over the burial site of those who expired under the knives of Confederate surgeons." 6



MEMORIAL LIST

"The Texans remain, their actual location unmarked and only recently ascertained by the writer." 6

The below list contains the names of Texans who died during the period of October and November 1863. 7  Those dated November 3 or later, were from the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux.

  • Bisons, D.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Bowman, J. J.; Pvt, 28th Tx Cav, Nov 2, Shot for Desertion
  • Brantly; Pvt, Baylor's Tx Cav, Nov 3
  • Clark; A. L., Pvt, Waller's Tx Btn, Nov 3
  • Cook, C.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Duncan, N. D.; 11th Tx Inf, Nov 9
  • Duncan, W. H.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Edwards, Samuel; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Evetts, Samuel; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Field, H. S.; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Fleming, T. J.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • George, D. M.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Green, J. F.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 6
  • Green, R. C.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Humphrey, David; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Johnson, L. R.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • King, John; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Lallier, V. A.; Pvt, 5th Tx Cav, Oct 21
  • Litton, D.; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Long, J. M.; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • McDonald, Barney; Pvt, 4th Tx Cav, Oct 13
  • Morgan, Wm. H.; Pvt, 4th Tx Cav, Oct 13
  • Moulder, Joseph; Pvt, 4th Tx Cav, Oct 13
  • Odom, John; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Pribble, W. F.; Pvt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Ramsey, J. C.; Sgt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Reddy; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Robinson, J. A.; 7th Tx Cav, Nov 3
  • Russell, W. O.; Pvt, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Setton, J. D.; Pvt, 15th Tx Cav, Nov 3
  • Spegies, G. J.; Sgt, 15th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Stillwell, J. L. H.; Capt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 7
  • Terry, J. R.; Cpl, 18th Tx Inf, Nov 6
  • Thompson, W. A.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 3
  • Wair, W. H.; 5th Tx Cav, Oct 13
  • Welch, William; Pvt, Madison's 3rd Tx Cav, Nov 3
  • Wilkins, Rutherford; Pvt, Stone's 6th Tx Cav, Nov 3
  • Wimberely, L.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Nov 6
  • Wright, L.; Pvt, 11th Tx Inf, Oct 21
  • Zimmerman, W.; 4th Tx Cav, Oct
References
  1. The Battle of Bayou Bourbeux, November 3, 1863: Colonel Oran M. Robert's Report, edited by Alwyn Barr, Louisiana History.
  2. Yankee Autumn in Acadiana by David C. Edmonds, The Acadiana Press, 1979.
  3. Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, Page 297.
  4. Joseph P. Blessington, 1875, The Campaigns of Walker's Texas Division, Page 145.  Joseph Blessington, who served in the 16th Texas Infantry is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Waco, Texas.
  5. Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, Page 301.
  6. Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, Page 402.
  7. Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, Page 414.
Original version of this web page was published online April 3, 1998.