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Pierre Jacques Alfred Alexander Mouton

Capt., Col., Brigadier General

 

IMAGE of 18th Louisiana Crossed Sabres Heading

IMAGE of 18th Louisiana Battle Flag

Battle Flag
of the
18th Regiment Louisiana Infantry

...Flag design is based on a small torn section of the regimental battle flag which is on display in the Confederate Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana.
May 19, 1865. When the 18th Regiment was disbanded the flag was torn into ten pieces and a piece given to each of the ten company commanders. (Placement of Battle Inscriptions is specualtive and based on similar Confederate battle flags of the same period.)

IMAGE of Alfred Mouton

Jean Jacques Alfred Alexander Mouton,
Capt., Col., Brigadier General

~*~
Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton

Capt., Col., Brigadier General

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~ Military Record ~

Mouton, Alfred, Col., Field and Staff, 18th La. Inf. En. Oct. 5, 1861, Camp Roman. Present on all Rolls to Feb., 1862.

(Footnote #8, pg. 290...Mouton was promoted to brigadier general to rank from April 16, 1862. Warner, Generals in Gray, p. 222) ( April 8th, 1864, Mansfield...“But the greatest loss to us all on that day was the death of our noble General Mouton, who was dastardly killed in the moment of victory whilst striving to avoid any further loss of life to the enemy by some Federals who had thrown down their arms, but seeing him some distance from his own men, fired upon him, killing him instantly.” Additional information transcribed from pg. 158, Reminiscences of Uncle Silas, by Silas T. Grisamore.)

~ Biography ~

The following is a biography by Silas T. Grisamore, who
served with Alfred Mouton and adds a measure of the "personal touch"
to the life and times of one of Louisiana's "Generals in Gray".

ALFRED MOUTON

Upon the organization of the 18th Regiment, Capt. Alfred Mouton of Lafayette Parish was elected colonel. He was a son of the venerable ex-Governor Mouton , who still resides in the vicinity of Vermilionville in the above parish. The colonel was a graduate of West Point, but not having any desire to be a soldier in peace, he resigned from the army and became a planter in the prairies in which he had been born and raised.

During the troubles among the inhabitants of the Attakapas and Opelousas countries previous to the war, he had taken an active part on the side of honesty and justice in the effort to disperse the organized band of scoundrels who roamed over the prairies robbing and pillaging in defiance of law and its officers.

He was one of the finest looking officers I ever saw, having a large, robust form, fully developed, with a strong, commanding voice.

As a drillmaster, he had few, if any, equals. I have seen him drill the regiment for an hour in a square, the sides of which ware equal to the length of his line of battle, without once throwing a company outside or recalling a command when given.

He was a strict disciplinarian and allowed no deviation from orders either by officers or soldiers.

Whilst off duty, he mingled freely with his soldiers and was exceedingly proud of his regiment, always greeting any member kindly whenever he met him, even after he had been promoted to a higher position. He always insisted on having the 18th under his command.

In the first skirmish we had with the enemy at Pittsburg Landing on the 2d day of March 1862 , he convinced his soldiers that he was equally as brave and gallant under fire as he was efficient and capable in camp.

During the terrible days of Shiloh when he was under the command of a brave but unskilled officer, his anxiety for the safety of the men under his command was very evident to us all , and the bad management of the brigade seemed to annoy and worry him exceedingly.

And when at last our regiment was ordered to charge the enemy and leave almost half of our strength upon that bloody hill, seeing that we had not been supported by the other regiments who were sent forward one by one to meet a fate similar to ours and realizing the destruction of his men when a proper movement would have proven a victory, driven this enemy away, and saved hundreds of our gallant men who had fallen before our eyes, his emotions overcame him, and he wept like a child. Gathering his scattered remnants together, he watched over them during the night and again the next day led them into the midst of the battle, when he was wounded and compelled to leave the field. He was but a few feet behind his men when he fell from his horse.

The wound was apparently but trifling, but on returning to our camp at Corinth, Erysipelas set in and he was compelled to return to New Orleans, where his life was in imminent danger for several days. The city fell, and he escaped over the river in sight of the Federal fleet coming to take possession of New Orleans.

It was not until October that he became sufficiently recovered to take the field, having in the meantime been promoted to a brigadier generalship.

He met the 18th in October, a few days after our return to this side of the Mississippi River, and the first military duty he performed was in command of a detachment from his old command. I remember how warmly he expressed his gratification at being with his old regiment when he rebuckled his sword for the contest.

He was in command of the Lafourche District in 1862 when Gen.Weitzel made his triumphant march down our bayou. On the day the fight took place at Winn's road, he was suffering so severely with rheumatism that he could not participate.

After the retreat, he remained in command of the Teche country during the winter and in February 1863 fought the first fight at Bisland's, driving the enemy back.

In April the retreat from Bisland occurred and continued as far as Natchitoches.

When the Federals fell back, he took command of cavalry and proceeded down the Calcasieu country towards Niblett' s Bluff and thence to Opelousas and New Iberia. Following up the retreating Federals to this Place [Thibodaux], he was in active duty whilst we remained here in 1863.

After the Lafourche had been evacuated, he was placed in command at Vermilionville and afterwards shared all the ups and downs of the army until the fatal day at Mansfield, where he fell, basely murdered by men whose lives he had just saved after one of the most brilliant charges made during that extraordinary campaign and in the moment that victory was crowning him with her laurel wreaths. He was buried in the cemetery at Mansfield by the side of the heroic Armant, Martin, and Beatty, who had fallen at the same time. Since the war his remains have been brought to the family cemetery at Vermilionville, where they now repose in quiet by the side of those he loved so well and where his tomb is daily freshened by the gentle gales of his native land.

He who stands by the grave of Alfred Mouton looks upon the dust of honest man and an upright citizen, a hero and a patriot.

Of all the glorious dead of Louisiana, who for their country's freedom gave up their lives and "passed over the river to rest under the shadow of the trees," in the Lost Cause none deserves a brighter niche in the Temple of Fame than does this gallant son of Attakapas. May the memory of his virtues and heroism be ever embalmed in the hearts of the sons of Louisiana.

No officer in the Confederate service was more universally beloved by his soldiers, whilst living, nor more sincerely mourned when he passed from earth in the discharge of his duty at the very moment when he was conscious that the day was his and that he and his own cherished division were the victors of the bloody battle of Mansfield. The line of the enemy had been broken from left to right, Nims' famous and boasted battery had been captured, two thousand prisoners had thrown down their arms , and the general had, by that quick, peculiar glance of his brilliant eye, seen that the day was won and hnad sent his aides in different directions with the necessary orders to secure the fruits of the victory and arrest further destruction of life. Notwithstanding he had witnessed the fall of the gallant Armant, the chivalric Canfield, the intrepid Beard, the fearless Clack, the brave Walker, the daring Martin, the cool and heroic Beatty, and hundreds of his own valiant troops as they surmounted every obstacle in their path, yet to save the lives of those men who had slain his beloved soldiers, he had ridden forward alone, calling upon them to throw down their arms, as being surrounded, they could not escape. Passing near a bunch of brambles in which some Federal soldiers had concealed themselves and thrown down their arms , they, perceiving the general to be alone, picked up their guns and treacherously fired upon him. Falling from his horse, pierced through the breast and heart with seven balls, the noble and gallant hero breathed his last before any of his friends had reached his side.

An additional biography about
General Alfred Mouton
can be located in the Roster section of this web site
under the following heading:
18th Louisiana: Field & Staff

Information reprinted from:
Reminscences of Uncle Silas:
A History of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry Regiment.

© Copyright 1981
Edited by Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr.
Published by: LeComite' des Archives de la Louisiane
P. O. Box 44370, Baton Rouge, La. 70804
pp. 211-215

Photograph of General Mouton reprinted from:
Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders
© Copyright 1959, 1987
by Dorothy P. Warner by Ezra J. Warner
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Baton Rouge and London
p. 222



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