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Silas T. Grisamore

Sergt. Q. M. Co. G, F and S

 

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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 Silas T. Grisamore

Silas T. Grisamore, Sergt. Q. M., Co. G., F & S

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Sila T. Grisamore

Sergt., Q. M., Co. G., F & S

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~ Military Record ~

Grisamore, Silas T., Sergt., Q. M., Co. G., F and S,18th La. Inf. En. Oct. 5, 1861, Camp Moore, La. Present on all Rolls to Dec., 1861. Promoted Dec.17, 1861, from 1st Sergt. to 3rd Lt. Rolls from Jan., 1862, to June 1863, Present. Elected 1st Lt., May 3, from 3rd Lt.Roll for July and Aug., 1862, Absent on detached service. Roll for Jan. and Feb.,1863, Present. Apptd. Capt. and Asst. Qr. Master of the Regt. Rolls from May, 1863, to Aug., 1863, Present. Also on Rolls of Co.-, F. and S., Cons. 18th Regt. La. Inf. and Yellow Jacket Battn. Roll for Jan. and Feb., 1864, Absent, Acting Brig. Q. M. since Jan 30, 1864.

~ Biography ~

SILAS T. GRISAMORE was born March 8, 1825, in Clark County in southern Indiana, about nine miles from Louisville, Kentucky. He attended public school in that county and later spent two or three sessions in the Charlestown Academy, Charlestown, Indiana, while working as a teacher elsewhere to earn his tuition. On October 23, 1846, Grisamore and a cousin, Dr. James H. Hazard, boarded a steamer bound for Louisiana, where his brother had been living for several years. He was hoping to make a living as a teacher, while Dr. Hazard was planning to open his practice in Natchez, Mississippi. The cousin arrived at Donaldsonville November 3, and Grisamore soon settled near Napoleonville. For a short while Grisamore tutored a young lady on a nearby plantation.

On January 4, 1847, Grisamore began teaching a private school. He worked hard at his task until his term ended in August. Grisamore took a short vacation to his home in Indiana, and when he returned to Louisiana found there was no future in teaching. Unemployed until December 1847, Grisamore finally was hired as an overseer on a plantation owned by a man named Sims. This job lasted only nine months. Grisamore sought employment unsuccessfully until early 1849. In March of that year he began selling various goods from a flatboat on Bayou Lafourche.

Grisamore had succeeded well enough in his new occupation after a year's time that he was able to buy his own flatboat, the Gen. Satisfaction No. 1. He would buy his goods in New Orleans for sale on the bayou. In his diary, Grisamore recorded, "My stock consists of Provisions, Groceries, Liquors, Dry Goods, Fancy articles, Hardware, Stoneware, Woodware, Crockery, Shoes, Boots, Hats, Tinware." He even had two youths working for him. Finally in 1857 Grisamore settled permanently in Thibodaux, where he opened a copper, tin, and sheet iron business with John Larkin. Two years later Larkin sold his interest to W. H. Ragan and George Westbrooks, and the firm was from then on known as S. T. Grisamore & Co.

In his youth Grisamore was drown toward the Whig party. He wrote in his diary on November 7, 1848:

To day I gave my first vote for President and Vice President. I voted for Taylor and Fillmore. Whig from principle, I have always preferred Henry Clay to any living man for the highest office in the gift of the people...Taylor I considered. as the saying is, a pill easier to swallow than Cass.

When the Whig party broke up after 1854, Grisamore apparently became a Democrat, but in the election of 1860 he supported John Bell, the Union party candidate. Grisamore opposed secession, but when Louisiana left the Union he cast his lot with his adopted state. Originally enlisting in the Lafourche Creoles (a volunteer company) as Fifth Sergeant, he became First Sergeant of the company when it was organized as Company G of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry Regiment. On December 17, 1861, Grisamore was elected Junior Second Lieutenant of his company.

Upon the reorganization of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in
May 1862, Grisamore was elected First Lieutenant of the Lafourch Creoles, after refusing the rank of captain and insisting upon the rejection of Captain J. Kleber Gourdain, who was then absent, sick and wounded. Since April 1, 1862, Grisamore had been acting quartermaster of the Eighteenth Louisiana, and when elected First Lieutenant, he was assigned to duty as assistant quartermaster by Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Roman. In August 1862 Grisamore was appointed captain and assistant quartermaster by Colonel Leopold L. Armant, the appointment later being confirmed by Confederate authorities in Richmond.

In April 1864, following the Battle of Mansfield, Brigadier General Henry Gray, who was commanding the brigade to which the Eighteenth Louisiana was assigned, appointed Grisamore major and assistant quartermaster of the brigade, a position which he held until the end of the war. For a brief time in early 1865 he served as acting quartermaster of the Confederate forces in the vicinity of Alexandria on the staff of Brigadier General Allen Thomas. In August 1864 Grisamore had also served briefly as acting quartermaster of Polignac's Division during the absence of the division quartermaster. Grisamore turned down frequent offers of post quartermasterships, preferring to remain with his command.

At the end of the war Grisamore returned to Thibodaux. There he found his business in a state of ruin. After a few months' service as deputy sheriff of Lafourche Parish, Grisamore returned to his mercantile business to get it going again. He continued to run his store until his death.

Governor James Madison Wells appointed Grisamore mayor of Thibodaux July 13, 1865. He had previously served one term in that office in 1860. The town was in bad condition, owing a debt of more than $3,000 and existing on what taxes it could draw from an impoverished people. The bridge over Bayou Lafourche and the market house, one of the town's main economic enterprises, had both been destroyed. With the assistance of the town council, Grisamore was able to improve the town's financial condition through wise money management. The bridge and market house had both been rebuilt by the time he left office July 3, 1868.

On June 4, 1866, Grisamore was elected to the Lafourche Parish Police Jury and became its president. He served on that body, with the exception of only a few terms, until July 1892 and was its president except for one term. The parish was in debt for more than $35,000 when Grisamore first took office, but during his service the debt was liquidated, many needed improvement were effected, and the parish affairs were turned over to his successors free of debt
and with funds on hand to run the parish in on a cash basis. Grisamore proposed a plan of dividing the parish into districts for the purpose of drainage. The plan resulted in the restoration of thousands of acres of land to cultivation.

Grisamore was appointed a member of the Parish School Board in
1876 and served as President or Superintendent until September 1888.

In 1859 Grisamore had been one of the organizers of Thibodaux Fire
Company No. 1, and he was president or secretary of the organization until his death except during the war years. He served one term as chief of the Fire Department and was a member of the body for several years. As a representative of his fire company, Grisamore officiated as manager of the Thibodaux Opera House for several years.

In 1853 Grisamore had become a member of Excelsior Lodge No. 34, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, located in Thibodaux. He withdrew in 1855 to become a charter member of Assumption Lodge No. 43, I.O.O.F., located at Napoleonville. After the war the two lodges were merged into one under the title of Excelsior No. 34. Grisamore occupied all of the offices of that lodge at various times and was its secretary until his death. He became a member of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana in 1859 and after 1865 never missed a session of that body except when detained by illness. In 1872 he was elected Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge, 1873, Deputy Grand Master, in 1874 Grand Master, and was Representative to the
Sovereign Grand Lodge from 1875 to 1879.

Grisamore served for many years either as chairman or secretary of the Lafourche Parish Democratic Central Committee.

For thirty years Grisamore was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church and served as clerk, treasurer, and warden of the church.

In August 1892 Grisamore was instrumental in forming a camp of Confederate veterans. Upon the organization of Braxton Bragg Camp
No. 196, United Confederate Veterans, on September 11, 1892, he was elected commander. Every year thereafter he was re-elected to that position.

Grisamore became co-editor of the Thibodaux Sentinel in February 1869, assuming charge of the English language department. He held this position until August 1875 when he was replaced by Duncan S. Cage, Jr. Shortly after Grisamore became co-eitor, the Lucy (La.) Le Meschacebe, referring back to an episode during the war wrote:

One day, it was at Texana, we saw Uncle Silas climb on the roof of
an old shanty to see what Weitzel was doing. Birds were flying in that region in the shape of Minni balls. We then had a vague idea that our Uncle delighted in outlandish situations. We are now satisfied that nothing can terrify him. A man may escape Minnie balls; but the Printing Bill never misses a conservative newspaper.

To this Grisamore replied in the Sentinel:

Uncle S. never feared unbogging a wagon Train, so long as the ears of the lead mules and the driver's whip were visible, and if his services will be on any avail in drawing the conservative Party out of apathy and listlessness they will be freely tendered.

Grisamore resumed his position as editor of the English language department of the Sentinel in January 1877 and worked for the newspaper until July 1887 when it fused with the Thibodaux Democrat. He continued to contribute to the Sentinel until his death, his chief contributions being a history of the Parish Police Jury down to the 1880's and a column entitled "Fifty Years Ago," which described Louisiana and Lafourche Parish during the 1840s. During the last decade of his life Grisamore was the local correspondent
for the New Orleans Daily Picayune and Times-Democrat.

On July 24, 1897, Grisamore died at his home in Thibodaux after a brief illness. He was buried in the St. John's Church cemetery.

From:
the Introduction to
Reminiscences of Uncle Silas:
A History of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry Regiment
Edited by Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr
©Copyright 1981, Published by
Le Comite' des Archives de la Louisiane
Baton Rouge, LA. 70804

 


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