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M-082 Felix Pierre Poche (1836-1895), Diary and Related Papers, 1854-1955.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
Diary of a young Confederate Army officer kept 1863-1865, including eyewitness account of two 1864 battles in North Louisiana; after the War, Poche an attorney from St. James Parish, Louisiana, was elected a state senator and later an associate judge of the Louisiana Supreme Court. 4 folders.
Biographical and Miscellaneous Papers.
Short Diary, June 1854: Diary kept while a student at St. Joseph's College at Bardstown, Kentucky.
Diary, 1863-1865: The journal begins July 8, 1863, when Poche leaves his home in St. James Parish to join Confederate forces near New Iberia in South Louisiana. In October 1863, his brigade begins moving northward with General Dick Taylor's army. During this period and throughout most of his service he serves as a commissary subsistence officer, which job requires much traveling to nearby towns and plantations. All through his diary he describes how he was fed and entertained at various homes and plantations. He also describes the miserable conditions among the troops because of bad weather, sickness, terrible roads, and at times a shortage of food and water.
He recounts how they camped near Monroe for weeks, moved north into Arkansas for a brief period, then back to Monroe and finally in January marched southward toward Alexandria.
In South Louisiana as aide-de-camp to General Scurry in March 1864 he describes his involvement in the battles of Simmesport and Mansura. His company is moved northward through Natchitoches to Pleasant Hill. The April 1864 entries give eye-witness accounts of the Battle of Pleasant Hill and the Battle of Mansfield, in both of which he was involved.
Following these battles Poche returns to South Louisiana where in May of 1864 his brigade is located at Mansura. Entries in his diary for May 16 and 17 describe the engagement of Mansura with the enemy. Some of the later May entries give an account of the Battle of Yellow Bayou.
After several months of inactivity in South Louisiana the brigade is marched North again in September to a camp near Monroe. From there they are ordered to go to Monticello, Arkansas, to join General Magruder's army.
Toward the end of September 1864 Poche is sent to South Louisiana, where from then on to the end of the war he is fairly inactive. He has a reunion with his wife Selima at the home of Francois Deslattes and they spend several weeks together at the home of Madame George. After Selima's return to St. James Parish in December, Poche continues to stay in the area attending to business, visiting around, and taking charge of a small expedition to the French Coast. Poche spends the rest of the war in 1865 trying to get proper orders to remain in the area,which he finally receives at Clinton, authorizing him to collect some soldiers from Trans Mississippi and make them scouts with the idea of operating from Livingston, Ascension, Iberville and St. James Parishes.
On April 17, 1865, news arrives of the surrender of General Lee to General Grant and the surrender of Johnson and his army to Sherman. After a few weeks of uncertainty and confusion Poche surrenders himself and his men to Col. Parkhurst and is put in the custody of Lt. Pratt. On June 23, 1865, Poche goes to New Orleans to take his oath of allegiance to the United States. He then resumes his occupation as an attorney in his home parish of St. James.
Wade Sample's term paper on the Battle of Mansfield.