Lt. Colonel George A.G. Coppens


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ErnieMac

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#2
Excerpt from 1st Louisiana Battalion Coppens' Zouaves Company C.
http://www.angelfire.com/rebellion2/coppenszouaves/history.htm

"With General McClellan closing on his scattered Corps faster than expected, Lee summoned his army together at Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Louisianans arrived on the afternoon of September 16th. The Zouaves were now under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Marie Alfred Coppens, Lt. Colonel Gaston Coppens had been placed in command of the 8th Florida Regiment. The Battalion was placed, facing north, in position west of the Hagerstown road.​

The Battle of Sharpsburg began at first light with Federal artillery firing on the brigades of Douglass, Trimble, and Hays. The Second Louisiana Brigade held its reserve position, until finally called upon to help repel the assault of General Hooker’s Division. Starke’s men came down the west side of the sunken road, through a small patch of woods, and crashed headlong into the attacking Federals. General Starke fell dead, pierced by three balls, as both sides unleashed tremendous volleys into each other. It was once again the tough western regiments of the Iron Brigade that the Louisianans battled in the West Woods and along the Hagerstown Pike this day. Although their stand was defiant, the overwhelming pressure of the Union numbers forced the Brigade to fall back to new positions near the Dunker Church where the remained for the remainder of the battle. The Zouave Battalion which had marched so proudly out of New Orleans with 600 men, now presented only 12 men present for duty. As the lists of the casualties from the bloodiest day in American history were compiled, the name of Lieutenant Colonel Gaston Coppens was numbered with the dead. Marie Alfred Coppens was to remain in command of the Zouaves as the retreat south began."
From an 1896 letter from David Lang, formerly Colonel, 8th Florida, to E. A. Carman of the Antietam Battlefield Commission as found on the Antietam on the Web website.
http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?unit_id=723

"Col. Coppen was killed almost immediately after getting fire, in the cornfield below the stone barn near bloody lane! Capt. Richard A. Waller then assumed command as senior Capt. and was also killed with the colors of the regiment draped over his shoulders, almost immediately afterward, the flagstaff having been shot in two, & the color bearer and color guard beig [sic] all either killed or wounded".​
 
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#6
Louisiana organized three battalions and numerous Zouave companies. The three battalions were:
1st Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Coppens' Zouaves)
2nd Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Dupeire's Zouaves)
Avegno's Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Avegno's Zouaves)
 
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#7
Louisiana organized three battalions and numerous Zouave companies. The three battalions were:
1st Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Coppens' Zouaves)
2nd Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Dupeire's Zouaves)
Avegno's Louisiana Zouave Battalion (Avegno's Zouaves)
I've never heard of the 2nd or Avegno's. I wonder about the uniforms.
 

ErnieMac

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Avegno's Zouaves were also known as the Governor's Guards. The 6 companies of the Guards were combined with four independent companies in September 1861 to form the 13th Louisiana Infantry; the first commander was Colonel Randall L. Gibson. Anatole Placide Avegno was the major. At Shiloh (April 6 - 7, 1862) Gibson was serving as brigade commander leaving Avegno in command of the regiment. Avegno was fatally wounded on April 7, dying back in New Orleans almost three months later.
Anatole Placide Avegno entry in Find A Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/81584265/anatole-placide-avegno
 
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#11
Of the Avegno battalion, I wrote long time ago here in the forum, I quote my words:

"Just 10 miles from Genoa's downtown (my city in Italy), there is a village called Avegno, one of my fellow-citizen was the organizer of a unit with a strong presence of Italian.
His father, Joseph Avegno, moved to New Orleans and had 10 children. Joseph died three days before the start of the war, but one of his sons, the twenty-six old Anatole Placide Avegno, formed a battalion of infantry of six companies (then with four other companies, became13th Louisiana infantry regiment).
We do not know why, maybe because He had not sufficient military experience, but the battalion was assigned to a Frenchman, Gerard Aristide. Anatole was awarded the rank of Major, as second in command, but the battalion would be forever known as "Avegno's Zouaves."
Among the soldiers present in the six-zuave companies, many sons of Italians, who at the time were defined in a derogatory manner 'Dagoes'. On April 6 and 7, 1862, the Zouaves participated and fought hard in the battle of Shiloh, suffering several losses, major Avegno was mortally wounded on the second day of battle in the leg, underwent amputation died two or three days later".
anatole_avengo_large.jpg
 
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