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Source: Louisiana Tech Library


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. 3 items.

001         001              Biographical and Miscellaneous Papers.

               002              Short Diary, June 1854: Diary kept while a student at St. Joseph's
                                            College at Bardstown, Kentucky.

               003              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 eyewitness accounts of the Battle of
                                            Pleasant Hill and the Battle of Mansfield, in both of which he was
                                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.

            004              Wade Sample's term paper on the Battle of Mansfield. .