Louisiana’s soldiers, some of whom wore colorful uniforms in the style of French Zouaves, reflected the state’s multicultural society, with regiments consisting of French-speaking Creoles and European immigrants. Units made pivotal contributions to many crucial battles—resisting the initial Union onslaught at First Manassas, facilitating Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign, holding the line at Second Manassas by throwing rocks when they ran out of ammunition, breaking the Union line temporarily at Gettysburg’s Cemetery Hill, containing the Union breakthrough at Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle, and leading Lee’s attempted breakout of Petersburg at Fort Stedman. The Tigers achieved equal notoriety for their outrageous behavior off the battlefield, so much so that sources suggest no general wanted them in his command. By the time of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, there were fewer than four hundred Louisiana Tigers still among his troops.
Lee’s Tigers Revisited uses letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles, and muster rolls to provide a detailed account of the origins, enrollments, casualties, and desertion rates of these soldiers. Illustrations—including several maps newly commissioned for this edition—chart the Tigers’ positions on key battlefields in the tumultuous campaigns throughout Virginia. By utilizing first-person accounts and official records, Jones provides the definitive study of the Louisiana Tigers and their harrowing experiences in the Civil War.
Brown’s memoir details his service under Ewell during the campaigns of First Manassas, the Shenandoah Valley, the Seven Days, Second Manassas, and Gettysburg, and under Joseph E. Johnston at Vicksburg. His correspondence and memoranda form a suspenseful recounting of the Overland Campaign, the siege of Richmond, and a harrowing retreat that ended with the capture of Brown and Ewell at Sayler’s Creek just three days before Robert E. Lee’s surrender. Their subsequent three-month captivity in Fort Warren, Massachusetts, is documented in Brown’s letters.
Leaders such as Ewell, Johnston, Lee (whose daughter Brown tried to marry), “Stonewall” Jackson, and Jubal A. Early come to life in rich anecdotes and occasional critiques of their wartime actions. A southern aristocrat from Tennessee, Brown exhibits a grasp of the nuances of military protocol that is as compelling as his descriptions of battlefield horrors.
Brown’s eagerness to report all he sees—from the quotidian to the bloodcurdling—makes his writings among the finest to come out of the Civil War. Scholars will want copies of this volume at close hand for ready reference, and buffs will treasure the play of a nimble mind over a dire and fascinating time.