Discussion Two Confederate Veterans and there influence on Mardi Gras

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2nd Lieutenant
Joseph Stillwell Cain, Jr (October 10 1832 – April 17, 1904) is largely credited with the rebirth of Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama In 1866 following the Civil War and while Mobile was still under Union occupation, Joe Cain paraded through the streets of Mobile, dressed in improvised costume depicting a fictional Chickasaw chief named Slacabamorinico. The choice was a backhanded insult to the Union forces in that the Chickasaw had never been defeated in war. The following year (1867 Joe was joined by other Confederate veterans, parading in a decorated coal wagon, playing drums and horns, and the group became the "Lost Cause Minstrels" of Mobile

This was the origin of The Order of Myths parade on Fat Tuesday. Joe Cain is currently buried at Church Street Graveyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Joseph Stillwell Cain, Jr. was born on October 10 , 1832, along Dauphin Street in Mobile, Alabama. He helped to organize the T.D.S. (Tea Drinker's Society), one of Mobile's mystic societies, in 1846 however, their banquets were part of Mobile's New Year's Eve celebrations, rather than being held on Mardi Gras day. Other groups had developed Mardi Gras parades, but the Civil War had brought them to a halt

Cain participated in Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans in 1865 as a Confederate veteran, and he returned to Mobile determined to revive the celebration. He conceived the fictional character of Chief Slacabamorinico ("slaka-BAM orin-ah-CO") while he was working as a clerk at the city market: he planned to make him a mighty Chickasaw ,the leader of an undefeated tribe.

The chief, as Cain in costume with a native skirt and feathered headdress, paraded through the city streets on Mardi Gras day in 1866 irreverently celebrating the day in front of the occupying Union Army troops

The following year (1867), a band of fellow Confederate Rebel veterans (including Thomas Burke, Rutledge Parham, John Payne, John Bohanan, Barney O'Rourke, and John Maguire) accompanied Joe Cain as "Old Slac" riding through town on a decorated coal wagon, playing horns and drums, parading and celebrating. The group became known as the "Lost Cause Minstrels" in Mobile

The parade was the origin of the Order of Myths (OOM) parade, the final parade each year, on Fat Tuesday in Mobile.Joe Cain founded many of the mystic societies, and he built a tradition of Mardi Gras parades.

Joe Cain, who had played Old Slac until 1879 died in 1904 and was buried in the fishing village of Bayou La Batre (Alabama Julian Lee "Judy" Rayford arranged to have Joe Cain reburied in Mobile's Church Street Graveyard in 1966 and he established Joe Cain Day in 1967 by walking at the head of a jazz funeral down Government Street to the cemetery

Joe Cain's wife, Elizabeth Alabama Rabby Cain, died 3 years later, in 1907 at Bayou La Batre and she is also re-buried, beside him.


In New Orleans George Soule' also had a influence on Mardi Gras. George was born in New York but moved to Louisiana in the late 1850's and was the founder of Soule' College.

When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the Crescent Infantry Regiment (24th Louisiana Infantry Regiment ) [The Crescent Infantry Regiment was organized with men from New Orleans and entered Confederate service in May, 1861.]

He rose to the rank of Lt Colonel before he was wounded and and captured at Shiloh and sent of to the pow camp on Lake Erie .

When he returned to New Orleans he found his school facilities and personal resources had been confiscated or destroyed.. He started over with 50 cents he had in his pocket, rebuilding Soule College to help in the reconstruction of the city. During the years of reconstruction the REX Organization was founded and Colonel Soule' became a member and leader awarded the appropriate title "Duke of Education"

In 1887 he reigned as the Fifteenth King of Carnival. While he had to relinquish the crown, he continued to play an important role within the Rex Organization, the School of Design and helped to Shape Carnival into the grander celebration it would become. Shortly after the turn of the century, Col Soule' wrote an essay titled "The Carnival in New Orleans: Its story and its Sentiment"

He described the history of Carnival and its value to the community, and responded in forceful terms to those who thought it should be abolished. Carnival pageants, he said. " amuse and place smiles upon the faces and joy in the hearts of tens of thousands of people"

Noting persistent regional animosities nearly a half century after the Civil War, he observed that through Carnival ".. Citizens of the North and south , of the East and West re brought together in joyous mood ... and sectional animosities are subdued and lasting friendships are formed."

Colonel Soule' died in 1926 at the age of 91.
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