William R. Burke

Sergt., Pvt., 2nd. Lt., Co. D.


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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 William R. Burke

William R. Burke, Sergt., Pvt., 2nd Lt., Co.D.

...At this point in time, we are still searching for an image of 2nd Lt. William Burke and we hope to add one in the forseeable future. Should any of his decendants have a photo of him, and would gratiously care to place a copy of his photo at this web site...this researcher would be grateful.

William R. Burke

Sergt., Pvt., 2nd. Lt., Co. D.


~ Military Record ~

Burke, William R., Sergt., Pvt., 2nd. Lt., Co. D., 18th La.. Infty. En. Oct. 5, 1861, Camp Moore, La. Present on all Rolls for Feb., 1862. [p. 189] On List not dated of men who returned from the Battle of Shiloh without arms. April --, 1862. Roll for May and June, 1862, Present. Roll for July and Aug., 1862, Detached to guard M. & O. R. R. Federal Rolls of Prisoners of War, Captured and paroled at Labadieville, La., Oct. 27th, 1862. Rolls from Jan., 1863, June 30th, 1863, Present. Roll for July and Aug., 1863, Absent. Left sick in invalid camp at Vermilion, Aug. 30, 1863.

~ Biography ~

W. R. BURKE, NEW IBERIA...William R. Burke, superintendent of the public schools of Iberia parish, is a native of the town of New Iberia, born February 14, 1839.

His parents, William Burke and Ellen Lee, were both natives of Ireland, reared in the city of Waterford, where they married. While young and ambitious, with hope of future reward in the new world, they bid, in 1833, a lasting farewell to the home of their childhood. After a tedious voyage of three months across the Atlantic, they, with the few emigrant friends who had accompanied them, and who were also seeking "the land of the free and home of the brave," made their first landing at Quebec, Canada. They subsequently removed to New Jersey.

Hearing of great inducements offered to emigrants to go to Texas, they got their little crowd together and started for the promised land. It was about the year 1834 that the small band landed at Corpus Christi. They were soon enlisted in the Texas militia and given a league of land each, which was selected in Refugio county, where they built their homes and surrounded themselves with such comforts as the wilds of Texas could then afford. But they were not to enjoy it long, as they were ruthlessly driven from their homes at night by Indian hostilities. It was not on the order of going, but go at once. They only escaped and saved their lives by the skin of their teeth.
Their Texas home they saw no more.

On their march through Texas and into Louisiana their first stop was at the town of Opelousas, St. Landry parish, where they remained a short while doing a few odd jobs. Next they turned their faces toward the land of Evangeline-.-&emdash; the country of the Teche. They first located in the town of St. Martinsville, and from thence they drifted down to the town of New Iberia, where, in the year 1836, they permanently located, and where the remainder of their lives was spent. William Burke died of yellow fever in October, 1839, at the age of thirty-two. His wife survived him until 1865, when she died in the city of New Orleans, on the 21st of May, where she had gone to settle losses she had sustained by the ravages of war, claiming rights as an English subject.

William R. Burke began business as a liveryman, in association with his mother and two brothers. Having learned the carpenter's trade, he also gave some attention in his early years to this business. He received a primary education at the public schools'of New Iberia. At the beginning of the war, in 1861, he enlisted as a sergeant in Company D, Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry, General Mouton's regiment, and served during he war. He was first lieutenant when the war closed. His field of operations was chiefly in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. He participated in he battles of Pittsburg, Shiloh, Bisland and Texana. At the last named place he was taken prisoner, with his whole company, by General Weitzel's brigade, and was paroled the next day. Three months later he was exchanged and reassigned to his command. He was at Natchitoches at the time of the surrender. After the war Mr. Burke resumed charge ot the livery stable business, in which he continued until November, 1886. He has always been an active participant in the local affairs of the town and parish. From 1879 to 1887 he was treasurer and collector of New Iberia, and was President of the Police Jury from 1877 to 1879. In 1877 he was elected secretary and parish superintendent of the public schools. Mr. Burke's untiring efforts for the improvement of the public school system of Iberia parish will long be remembered. When he took possession of the office the schools were in a most deplorable condition,and under his supervision hey have attained their present standard.

Mr. Burke was united in marriage with Miss Elise Bonin, of New Iberia, on the 28th of October, 1867. Both he and his wife are Catholics.

Information reprinted from:
From: Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical
by William Henry Perrin
Published in 1891 by L. Graham & Sons, Printers,
99, 101, 103 Gravier St. New Orleans, La.
pp. 96-97

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