|Death: ||May 27, 1863|
Captain Andre Cailloux
The first black Civil War hero.
Company E of the First Louisiana Native Guards.
Andre Cailloux was born a slave in 1825 on a plantation owned by Joseph Duvernay near Pointe a la Hache in Plaquemines Parish.
Killed at Port Hudson.
Buried: July day in 1863, age 38.
Residence was not listed;
Enlisted as a Captain (date unknown).
He also had service in:
US Colored Troops 96th Infantry
Andre Cailloux, a black Creole who was born a slave, attained freedom, carved out a niche for himself and his family as an artisan in the antebellum Afro-Creole society of New Orleans, and died a U.S. Army captain and Civil Was hero whose courageous example continue to inspire civil rights activists in New Orleans down into the mid-twentieth century.
The life of Captain Andre Cailloux, a thirty-eight-year-old Afro-Creole had ended two months earlier, on May 27, 1863, as he gallantly led Company E of the 1st Regiment of Louisiana Native Guards in a doomed assault on the Confederate bastion at Port Hudson, Louisiana.
He landed as the nation's first black military hero, one of the first Afro-Creoles men to hold an officer's commission in the United States Army, and a member of the first black regiment to be officially mustered into the Union army and to engage in a major battle.
Union Officials sent Cailloux's remains, accompanied by wounded members of his regiment, to New Orleans via the steamer Old Essex. Arriving on July 25, the body lay in state in a closed casket for four days in the Urquhart Street hall of the Friends of the Order, a mutual aid society in which Cailloux had played a leading role and whose ring he had worn at the time of his death.
Flowers and lit candles, characteristic of Catholic funeral rites, framed the flag-draped coffin; Cailloux's sword, belt, uniform coat, and cap lay on the flag. A guard solemnly paced back and forth near the casket.
Northern newspapers such as the New York Times, the New York Herald, and Harper's Weekly, which had urged the use of black combat troops in the war, gave extensive coverage to Cailloux's funeral.
In life and in death, Cailloux, an Afro-Creole who took great pride in his ebony color, helped to bridge the gap between Creole free people of color and slaves on the one hand and Anglophonic, Protestant blacks on the othe
r. His wartime experience pointed to a growing alliance between leaders of the two groups and to their shared embrace of radical politics. Cailloux's heroics represented the zenith for black combat officers during the Civil War.
No other black officer figured so prominently in a major engagement, since most were forced out of the army within a year. With Cailloux's death, Union officials effectively buried the brightest hope for black combat officers in the U.S. Army.
NOTE: After Cailloux's death, his widow, Felicie, struggled to receive the financial benefits promised by the United States Government. After several years of effort, she received a small pension. However, she died in poverty in 1874, working at the time as a domestic servant for the Catholic priest who had preached the eulogy at her husband's funeral.
Saint Louis Cemetery Number 2
Plot: Square 3
Maintained by: Sons of Union Veterans o...
Originally Created by: Bev
Record added: Mar 30, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13787526