Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fall of the Rebellion, Mansfield Louisiana

This past month I was able to witness the surrender of Confederate Forces in the State of Louisiana. In April, Lee had surrendered in Virginia. Johnston in North Carolina likewise capitulated. Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia. In May, rumors had spread that the war was over yet, General Edmund Kirby Smith was consolidating his troops in Shreveport to continue the fight. He made a fatal error by transferring his headquarters to Houston Texas and not telling anyone.
The troops being asked to continue on, and the're commander in a "skedaddle," rumors began to fly that they were abandonded and left to fight on. Full scale mutiny was in effect in several units all over the state. Most men simply just went home.
There were, however a few units that officially surrendered to U.S. authorities in an orderly fashion. One brigade of Infantry actually stacked arms and surrendered in Shreveport. This is a representation of how a surrender was handled.

Union Soldiers prepare for the surrender.

After Lincoln was assasinated, miniature posters and hand cards like this were
printed and desplayed in mourning. Some Union Soldiers pined this to there jackets or stuck them in their hats.

The Confederate soldiers are presented to the Union commander. The order to stack arms is given.

Confederate soldiers remove all "items of war." Government issued Cartridge and cap boxes.
Bayonets, and rifles. The soldiers bedroll, haversack, clotheing and personal items are retained by them. It was not unheard of to see an old haversack being used several years after the war by a farmer as he picked his crops.

the Union officer asks the Confederates to raise their right hand and repeat the oath of allegiance to the United States Govenrment.

Once the oath is administered, The former soldiers line up to sign their names and recieve a parole. The parole was essentially a piece of paper stating that the person has surrendered and promises to go home and not take up arms again.

The Soldiers who refused to take the oath were removed from the formation and placed under guard. Later these men would be sent to prison.

Along with the parole is a nice tasty hardtack bisquit that you can either eat now or throw away later.

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