Henry Wassem & Martial Gosselin

Crescent Regiment/18th Regiment


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 A. M. Gremillion

A. M. Gremillion, Pvt., Co. F.

...At this point in time,we are still searching for an image of Pvt. Henry Wassem nor Sergt. Martial Gosselin and we hope to add one in the forseeable future. Should any of his descendants have a photo of Henry or Martial, and would gratiously care to place a copy of his photo at this web site...this researcher would be grateful.


Henry Wassem

Pvt., Co. C.

Martial Gosselin
Sergt., Co. F., G.

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~ Military Record ~

Gonsoulain, Martial, _ Co. -, Conscript La. On List not dated. On Rolls of Co. D, 18th La. Inf. Pvt. as Gosselin, M. On Rolls of Co. F, Crescent Regt. La. Inf. as Gosselin, Martial. En. March 8, 1862, Present. Roll for July and Aug., 1862, Present. Transfd. from Cres. Regt. La. Inf., Aug. 1, 1862. Rolls from Nov., 1862, to Aug., 1863, Present. On Rolls of Co. G, Cons. Cres. Regt. La. Inf. Roll for Jan. and Feb., 1864, Present. On Roll of Prisoners of War, Paroled as 5th Sergt. Co. O, Natchitoches, La., June 6 1865. Res. New Orleans, La.

Wasson, H., Pvt. Co. C, 18th La. Inf. Also borne on Rolls of Co. A, Cres. Regt. La. Inf. En. New Orleans, La., March 5, 1862. Present on Rolls to June, 1862. Regtl. Return July, 1862, Transfd. from Cres. Regt. to Co. C, 18th La. Inf., at Tupelo, July 31, 1862. Rolls Aug., 1862, to Aug., 1863, Present. Also on Rolls of Co. C, Cons. Cres. Regt. La. Inf., as Wassen, Henry, Pvt. Roll Jan. and Feb., 1864 (only Roll on file), states Present. Roll of Prisoners of War, C. S. A., Paroled Natchitoches, La., June 6, 1865. Res. New Orleans, La.


~ Biography ~

Note: The following information was passed on to us by a co-worker of my wife. The "Military Career of Henry Wassem" was written by his Sergt., Mr. Martial Gosselin on July 24, 1907. It appears that the material is a statement given by Mr. Gosselin in support of an application for Confederate Pension Benefits. What it also tells is a "first hand account" of actions of the Crescent Regiment and 18th Louisiana Regiment -- which served side by side in many of the campaings mentioned in this thorough account of common soldiers in combat.

One more interesting note. After doing a search, we found a Confederate Pension Application filed on behalf of Martial Gosselin and his widow, Alix Clara HAIFLEICH Gonselin. Yet, NO Confederate Pension application was located for a Henry Wassem, Henry Wassen or similar name.



The subject of this brief sketch enclisted in Company A Crescent Infantry Regiment, in New Orleans, in the latter part of February, 1862, when he was but a boy. This Regiment was made up of boys from New Orleans, with the exception of one company from Alexandria, La., which was adeed to make it a full regiment. The Crescent was mustered in the Confederate States Service early in March, and was sent to the seat of war on the 6th of March. The first point reached was Jackson, Tenn., which was on the 8th of March. From there the Regiment was ordered to Grand Junction, Tenn., where it remained only a few days, and from there it went to Corinth, Miss., where it remained for three weeks, drilling and fortifying our position. On the 4th of April, the regiment was sent to Shiloh, Tenn., arriving there on the night of the 5th, drenched to the skin. It continued raining all that night. The following morning the Regiment was ordered to advance, which we did. In going to the position assigned to us in the line of battle, we came up to General Beauregard who was mounted on a stump near the enemy. He called out to us: 'Boys, fire low and make every shot count". We gave him three rousing cheers and ware very shortly after than engaged in the great bottle. After driving the enemy from our front, we were ordered to double quick to the left. After running about two miles, we were halted to catch our breath, and soon after that the regiment was ordered to charge Gen. Prentiss, which it did in gallant style. The result of the charge was that Prentiss and his brigade were captured. We took 3,500 prisioners with a force of about 1000 men. The fight was continued in another part of the field late in the evening. After the firing ceased, we threw ourselves down on the field of battle and secured what little sleep we could, as the enemey's gunboats shelled us all night. Very early the next morning, the battle was renewed with great vigor on our side, but Gen. Grant was reinforced during the night with over 15,000 men, and we were compelled to fight him with our rank very much depleted and worn out by our long march. We were then fighting an army more than double our own. This fight raged all day, which was then the 7th of April, until late in the evening. It was a terriblt slaughter, the ground being covered with dead and wounded. We were ordered to fall back, which we did, in line of bottle. It was a beautiful sight to see our retreating lines facing the enemy. Grant was so badly used up in these two days fighting that he did not pursue us. We kept falling back until we reached Corinth. The army rested at the battle place for about three weeks, when we were ordered to the front again, and we met the enemy in force at Farmington, Tenn. We engaged the enemy on the 12th of May, and a spirited fight took place, but we were forced to retreat on account of over-whelming numbers


This was a small affair compared to Shiloh, and very little mention is made of it. The regiment went back to Corinth where it was engaged in several skirmishes. Henry Wassem was in all of these engagements and was conspicuous by his bravery.

The regiment was then ordered to Tripolo, Miss., and from there to Pollard, Ala., at the latter place we camped about a month, and from there we were sent to Meridian, Miss., and then to Jackson and Vicksburg, and from the latter place we embarked on steamboats and sent to Camp Pratt, near St.Martinsville. We camped there about a month, resting and recruiting our depleted ranks, but before we succeeded in getting many recruits, we were ordered to Bayou Lafourche. We boarded several steamboats which took us to Morgan City, and from there we went to Thibodeaux by rail on box cars, but the little army marched down Bayou Lafourche where we nearly froze to death. We reached Labadeville in the middle of October, where we met the enemy, and here was fought a bloody battle, the Crescent Regiment losing more than half its numbers, many were wounded and some taken prisioners. We retreated down the Bayou to Thibodeaux, and took cars from Morgan City. After reaching that place the little army crossed Berwick Bay and marched up Bayou Teche as far as Brisland, where we halted and entrenched ourselves. (The punishment inflicted on the enemy was very great, as we killed and wounded more of them than we had in the engagement).

On the 9th of April, 1863, the enemy being about 15,000 strong, attached our little force of 5,000 men, and we drove them back everytime they charged us. After fighting there for two days, we were compelled to retreat, as the enemy was cutting us off at Franklin, and we only escaped by taking a back road which the enemy, fortunately for us, knew nothing about. The first day of the retreat we marched 35 miles, because the enemy was pursuing us and we had to do it to keep from being taken prisioners. We kept on retreating until we reached Natchitoches, where we camped for some time to reat, and after resting about three weeks, we were ordered back to the Teche Country. Arriving near Morgan City, we halted and made preparations for crossing Berwick Bay above Morgan City, which we did by taking skiff s and all kinds of water crafts. We crossed the Bay north of the town, and after we had formed our line, we charged Morgan City and captured all the troops quartered there, also a large quantity of Commissary stores, among the lot was a barrel of wine, which the writer of this article confiscated, Comrade Wassem and a good many of the boys helped me drink it up.


After remaining in Morgan City for some time, we were ordered to evacuate the place, as it was not well fortified, and we were afraid that the federal fleet would appear before the town and take us prisioners. Our little army kept on its march until we arrived at Red River, where we camped for a week; after resting, we were marched many weary miles through rain and the most sticking mud that I ever saw; - the mud was so sticky that it pulled off all of our worn out shoes, and we were compelled at times to march barefooted. We finally reached our destination, which was Fordoche. Here we found the enemy encamped in the midst of a large plantation. We formed our line of battle and our little army charged the enemy in most gallant style, capturing 400 prisioners and killing 100 of the enemy, our loss being 100 men killed and wounded. After this affair, our regiment visited nearly every town in South Louisiana. We were finally ordered to Hog Point, on the Mississippi River, where we engaged the enemy's gunboats for two days. This was infantry and light artillery fighting gunboats. From this place our little army was ordered to Alexandria, and from this we were ordered to Arkansas. We crossed the Red River over to Pineville and started for Monroe. After marching many miles through roads almost impassable with mud, we finally reached the Ouachita River and crossed it on the 1st day of January, 1864, under a blinding rain.

After we got to camp, it was impossible to sleep, on account of the wet grounds. It began snowing during the night and a freeze set in. On our march to Monticello, Ark., it was nothing but "ICE" "ICE" "ICE", Every man in the regiment being nearly frozen to death. Comrade Wassem was with us all the time, and helped to keep our spirits up. After reaching Ark., we were ordered back to below Alexandria to meet Gen. Banks, who was marching up Red River with a very large army, also a fleet of gunboats. Our little army was sent to hold him in check, but we had to fall back before superior numbers. Our force at that time comprised 5,000 troops, and all we could do was to harass the enemy as much as possible. We continued retreating until we arrived at Mansfield. Here we received reinforcements of 4,000 men, making a total of 9,000. Gen. Taylor decided to give battle to Banks, and on the 8th of April we advanced and formed our line of battle. We waited several hours for the enemy to open the engagement, as they were three times more numerous than we were. Mouton's brigade composed of the 18th, 28th, Crescent Regiments and Polignacs Brigade of Texans were ordered to charge the enemy who was concealed inthe woods and behind rail fences. We charges through an open field right up to the enemy, where we met such a hot fire that we had to halt. We made another charge and captured 28 pieces of artillery, over 250 wagons loaded with commissary stores and over two thousand prisioners. It was a dearly bought victory. General Mouton was killed, also our Colonel, Lt. Col. and major.


Every Captain in the Crescent Regiment was either killed or wounded, with the exception of Captain Claiborne. It was in this battle that Comrade Wassem was wounded. After recovering from his wounds he rejoined the Regiment and participated in the Battle of Mansura. A few days after that he was again in the battle of Yellow Bayou, where we drove the remnants of Banks' army to the cover of his gunboats. The last fight of the regiment was at Simmsport, on the Atchafalaya River, with a fleet of gunboats, which we finally drove off. From there we were ordered to Natchitoches, where we encamped until our surrender on the 6th of June, 1865. We arrived in New Orleans on the 8th of June 1865. Comrade Wassem was with us all through the war and participated in all the battles of the regiment, with the exception of Pleasant Hill and Monetts Ferry. He would have also been in this battle had it not been for his wounds.

I can only add that he was a brave and gallant soldier, and performed his duty like a man, throughout the war. His life, after reaching his native city, until his death, was a most beautiful and honorable one.



Martial Gosselin

Late Serg't in Co. F.-Crescent Reg.

July 24, 1907

Information reprinted with kind permisson of Mary Lou Hardy, Great grandaughter to Henry Wassem.


A special THANK YOU goes out
to Ms. Mary Lou Hardy for providing the above biographical
information about Henry Wassem/Martial Gosselin.


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