I want to take today’s post to comment on and improve the accessibility of some of the features of this blog. I am not sure how logical that is as this post will be buried in posts more quickly than the features themselves but here we go. I will start my little tour:
I have a glossary which is important to the subjects discussed in this blog. I have the first page linked earlier and also three more pages . This glossary will define many terms and proper nouns which would not be familiar to most readers.
While the glossary is only four blog pages it is as long as a booklet if printed out. The formatting on this post is not the formatting used in the glossary. It differs in that I have used the quotes feature to expand the margins and thus lengthen the column. But otherwise this is directly lifted from the glossary. I hope to use two of the definitions as examples of what you might find there:
Zouaves Here this almost always will refer to the Louisiana Zouaves of the War Between the States although the French Zouaves do enter a bit into the historical interests of this blog as well. Zoavisme was a movement brought to Louisiana from France by an odd hybrid of military drill instructors and actors who toured Anglophone, Acadian and Creole regions of the State before the war. Yankee or Union Zouaves played a role in that great struggle and there were a significant number of of other Confederate Zouave units. But the Louisiana units are the most famous even in a history which often ignores Louisiana and are often called Louisiana Tigers by a variety of people . Unlike most Federal Zouave units, most Confederate Zouaves were not autonomous “regiments”: Louisiana followed this trend or started it and these men were often companies within larger units. The cognomen “Louisiana Tiger” is a venerable term which dates from the Mexican War although Acadian fighters were sometimes known as gamecocks, crocodiles, alligators, Les Loups, and other animals Louisiana’s fighting animal was mostly the Tiger and the term refers to any Louisiana state trooper LSU athletic teams but all this has little to do with Zouaves. None of the Mexican War Louisiana “Tigers” were Zouaves for example. The earliest, and most famous Louisiana Zouave unit was Confederate officer White’s Company B (the “Tiger Rifles”) of Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat’s First Special Battalion, Louisiana Volunteers, aka “Louisiana Tigers”.
This can be confusing because Lee’s Tigers is a term correctly applied to all Louisiana soldiers that served in the Army of Northern Virginia. These are not to be confused with the Louisiana Zouaves who were the “Louisiana Tigers” or “Coppen’s Zouaves.” These names have been confused with “Louisiana Tigers at Gettysburg.” Coppen’s Zouaves were at Gettysburg, but they were not then known as “Louisiana Tigers” in any way related to the unit although they may have been called Tigers in a broader sense. Captain White’s Company B, “Louisiana Tigers”, of Major Wheats’s First Special Battalion, were not at Gettysburg, having been disbanded after Wheat’s death at Gaines Mill in 1862. There are two other Zouave units of company size for which I have little documentation but believe existed for a small part of the war.
This one comes at the end of the alphabet and has its limitations and challenges that are unique to the word and its history. Here is another example from elsewhere in the glossary, in this case I have three definitions that fall in order here:
Post, here means Lauren C. Post This is the writer of an important little book on the edge of serious scholarship called Cajun Sketches. It has photographs and writings about the Acadian people of Louisiana.
Pontalba, Madame Celestin Pontalba, Baronesse Micaela Almonester de Pontalba was the wealthy investor and patroness of architecture who helped her architect to redesign the decaying Place de Armes in New Orleans into Jackson Square in the center of the old city and French Quarter. She was the successor to charitable, commercial and public building projects organized by her Almonester ancestors. By the time she built The Pontalbas (as the whole project is known) she was bo longer the rather beautiful woman she had been she had one lung, a rotting finger and little left of the others on one hand and one of her breast was mostly a prosthesis. She also had metal fragments left in her chest. All these physical ailments came from being shot by her father-in-law the Baron Pontalba. While she and her husband later Celestin Barone De Pontalba seem to have ended life both separated and in love their marriage is a rather horrid tale of conflicts between the greater property rights enjoyed by women in Louisiana and the lesser (almost nonexistent ) rights of women to property among the European Nobility — in this case Napoleonic Imperial French Nobility. In the state she is rumored to have had an affair with Andrew Jackson for whom she named the Square. Except for naming the Square for him, them both being alive at the same time and capable of consideration in such matters and her being rather independent and a Louisianian all things seem to be against this. All time lines seem wrong to me. Who knows what is possible but it does not seem possible they were together in the right ways and times.
Prince Camille de Polignac This man was a French Prince and Confederate General who fought in Acadiana during the War Between the States. Since that time Liaison a la Maison de Polignac has been an office in the Maison de le Roialso seated in the Tout et Rien. This person is supposed to a De Polignac.
I am always correcting some typefaces, improving spelling and getting translations more accurate. There are no footnotes and I do check websites of place I have worked, Wikipedia and my own files regularly without being perfectly professional in the use of those sources. For these and many other reasons I call this a Glossary of Terms Casually Defined. But I think it may have some helpful information. Check it out, it may be a bit better than these quote the next time you look at it.