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Woman's enterprise. [volume] (Baton Rouge, La.) 1921-19??, January 13, 1922, Image 10

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THE DELTA RIFLES
g Kid.Gloves and a Bogus Officer--Organization of a I
Regimental Band--First Appearance
O:"O:~:-: o·oo- - 0--o -o;on
Among the members of the Deltas
were two who wore buff colored kid
gloves at all times whether on guard,
fatigue duty or dress parade and for
what I know to the contrary while
asleep, a practice that drew consid
erable unfavorable criticism from
tother members who thought private
soldiers should be somewhat less pre
tentious or prone to showing their so
'cial status in civil life.
"Sergeant, you should make those
blasted dudes discard kid gloves.
Wearing them is to make less favored
soldiers feel as if the wearers wished
to show their superiority. Doggone
them, some of us could buy the dudes
and all they possess in the way of
'worldly goods and not spend more
than a month's income," said one.
"No," said I, "the boys are vain,
I'll admit, but they are willing and
obedient soldiers and should be per
mitted to wear anything not prohib
ited by military orders or army regu
lations."
. A few days after this conversation
two of the boys approached my tent
and handed me a small package which
upon opening I found to contain a
pair of buff colored gloves which had
been purchased in New Orleans.
"What does this mean?" said I.
"Why, if kid gloves are to be worn
by men in this company our sergeant
is the one to wear them. We present
them for the reason that you have
been fair, impartical and just, treat
ing all alike. You don't play favor
ites and we admire you for it," said
they.
Of course I was highly gratified
'and somewhat proud to think I was
held in such high esteem by my com
rades but was to learn within a very
short time that another motive and
not respect for me had moved the
donors in providing the gloves.
I said in my first paper that the
Deltas were handsomely uniformed,
our coats being copied from some
French corps and my coat was adorn
ed with silver stripes from cuff to
elbow-two V shaped stripes each
one inch wide while my rank was
designated on my fatigue coat by
chevrons after the style of American
soldiers so I could pass as a commis
'aoned officer when in uniform easily
enough in an army such as we had
at Comp Moore where no two com
panies were uniformed alike. A day
or two alter the presentation of the
gloves the donors appeared and said:
"Oh, put on your gloves and come
along and order us a drink." Thus
importuned I reluctantly consented.
The Sutler's store was in a shack
hastily thrown up, with a counter
breast high made of rough pine
.planks and the goods were principally
wines, liquors and tobacco and believe
me, it was well patronized by the 9,
000 or 10,000 officers and men in
camp. Enlisted men could purchase
liquor only on an order of a commis
sioned officer and it was for that rea
son the boys insisted on my mas
querading as a lieutenant. Our cap
tain would occasionally write orders
but not often enough to suit the
boys. So my gloves and uniform were
often requisitioned. *
Entering the Sutler's shack I lean
ed close up to the counter placing my
arms thereon and with all the assur
ance of a colonel ordered the bar tend.
er to "Serve my men a drink." See
ing the kid gloves and tingled coat
'sleeves the fellow complied without
hesitation and continued to recognize
me as an officer as long as I would
respond to the appeal of the boys.
Demands became so numerous and
fear of detection so likely that I f
nally refused all appeals to "Let's go
down to the Sutler's" and the boys
were forced to adopt other ways of
deceiving the bar man. However I
'never noticed signs of intoxication on
any of the older men.
In one tent some five or six of our
youngest and wildest lads, "birds of a
feather" quartered together who in a
spirit of mischief and total disregard
for army rules and regulations caus
ed more annoyance than the rest of
the company combined.' They were
always missing roll calls at reveile,
tardy in falling in for drills and other
duties and withal were fine fellows
'generally. There was nothing small
or mean in the make up of those lads,
just pure mischief and that spirit
kept them doing extra duty almost
constantly. What punishment was
meted out to the fun loving boys was
within the ranks of our own company
'as it was unthinkable that members
of the Deltas should be sent to the
guard house to mix with the tough
characters often confined therein.
That I was kept busy by that erowd,
protecting them, as it were, against
Itheir own acts goes without saying.
My past experience had taught me
that when the embroyo stage was
passed the youngsters would respond
to the requirements of inilitar life
as promptly and as etliciently as the
older soldiers, and that when the cru
cial tests of battle were to be applied
none would respond to face what
might be in store for them with more
firmness and courage. That proved
true by two of the five yielding their
young lives on the field of battle. I
protected the lads against their own
recklessness as best I could for as the
poet says "With all thy faults I love
thee still." In peace the survivors of
the wild lads were among the most
orderly, useful and peace-loving cit
izens of Baton Rouge.
While at Camp Moore Colonel Allen
and our captain devoted considerable
time to the study of tactics and soon
developed into well informed officers
competent to drill equal to West
Pointers, with a result that when we
left few could manuveur a company
or regiment with more success.
While in that camp a band was or
ganized under the leadership of Prof.
Moses of Clinton which was consider
ed one of the best bands in the Con
federate service.
With the exception of two com
panies, the Lafourche Guard and Lake
Providence Cadets, the Fourth Lou
isiana Regiment was composed of
companies raised within a radius of
sixty miles of Baton Rouge. There
were two from East Feliciana, one
from St. Helena, one from what is
now Tangipahoa, one from Bayou
Sara, one from Bruly Landing, one
from Baton Rouge and the Delta
Rifles from East and West Baton
Rouge and Pointe CCoupee, but ac
credited to West Baton Rouge.
With officers fairly well versed in
military tactics, a fine band, hand
somely uniformed, equipped with the
best of arms and with a personal
above the average in intelligence the
Fourth Louisiana when it entrained
to leave Camp Moore was as fine a
regiment as Louisiana sent forth to
represent her or. the tented field.
THE BIRTH O1 THE NEW YEAR.
(By Vallie M. Seitz.)
Of the threads of our lives was the
old year spun,
E'en so will this upstart our days
pursue.
(There's the passing year, here's the
coming one.)
There are sighs and tears for the year
that's done;
Speed the parting and welcome the
new.
(Of the thread of our lives was the
old year spun.)
There's an anxious wish for the one
begun;
May its smiles be many, its tears
be few.
(There's the passing year, here's the
coming one.)
Ah, would that we might their pass
ing shun,
And live in the Eden of those first
two.
(Of the thread of,.our lives was the
old year spun.)
And now his uneven course is run;
With remorse does he whisper his
last adieu.
(There's the passing year, here's the
coming one.)
But dawn is breaking, and morning
sun
Points sanguine finger of rosy hue.
(Of the thread of our lives was the
old year spun,
There's the passing year, here's the
coming one.)
Baton Rouge, Jan. 1, 1922.
DELPHINE PLACE.
'he Delphine Place, one of the
mct desirable subdivisions near the
cMq is being developed rapidly under
~ direction of Mr. A. F. Cazedessus.
¶Ite wide streets are gravelled, water
rkd lights have been installed and
two lovely residences have just been
completed. The lots have been sell
ing rapidly and soon this suburb will
be one of the prettiest near the city.
The lots are high and dry; good
sidewalks, only a few blocks from the
street ear, which makes it easy walk
ing, and every inducement is offered
to make the Delphine Place one of
the most desirable places to locate
sour own home. See Mr. Cazedessus
for particulars.
The Woman's Enterprise has been
favored with the Classified Business
Directory of/ Baton Rouge from
Hughes & Unglesby, publishers. This
directory contains much valuable in.
formation and the gift is highly ap
preciated by the Enterprise.
A SKETCH OF THE
BLIND INSTITUTE
Ihave been requested to write a
sketch of the Institute for the Blind,
so I made a trip to the present State
school and with the help of the Super
intendent, then Mr. Walter Bynum,
Mr. Gary (one of the oldest timers
of the school), and Mrs. Wm. Clarke
collected these details:
In 1850 Senator Frank Richardson
of St. Mary Parish came to Baton
Rouge with the determination that
if it were possible he would get a
bill passed through the Legislature to
have a State Institute for the Blind.
My mother was a near neighbor of the
Richardson's in St. Mary. They were
rich and influential people. Their
orange groves turned golden in the
sun. Processions of purple cane wag
ons filled the long roads to their sugar
houses. Many slaves came at their
bidding--what was it all to one son
who was blind.
Young Richardson was made blind
by an accident in his early manhood.
The calamity nearly broke Frank's
heart seeing his brother led- around
his own halls and being in that per
petual darkness. No education that
he had ever had to do him any good.
No training of touch or the fine sen
sibilities and no place in the State to
get any help were too much. Frank
determined that if he could not help
hTis brother he would other people.
So for two years he tried in vain as
there were so few available blind peo
ple in the state. In 1852 James L.
Brown, Superintendent of the Deaf
and Dumb Institute of Indiana came
here with the hope of establishingl
an institute for the. Deaf and Dumb
in Baton Rouge. In the autumn of
1852 the bill passed the Legislature
and for economic reasons the Blind
and the Deaf and Dumb were put into
one establishment with Mr. Brown as
first Superintendent.
At that time the Institute was called
Asylum. It was opened in a small
log cabin house in a corner of the
present yard of the Deaf and Dumb
Institute. Mrs. J. A. Dougherty, Sr.,
showed me a picture of it then in
her possessino. Mr. Brown secured
some houses on Asia street for the
first dormitories.
After the bill was passed in 1852
Senator Richardson and Superinten
dent Brown were busy men and only
got this small establishment wel!
under way when in 1855 when tI'e
blind scholars joirted the deaf end.
dumb. In 1860 the blind numberledc
14. the highest idr.' er enrolled the
year t:.at Mr. Brown left.
Mr. W. W. McMahon took the place
of superintendent temporarily until
Dr. Levi Laycock was appointed. In
1862, when Ben Butler captured New
Orleans, the asylum's buildings were
used for a Federal Hospital, only a
few of the pupils staying on as they
had no homes to go to. Mr. McGary,
the kindly old gentleman who gave
me so many of these facts being one
of that number. He has been here
since 1858, blind since he 'was thir
teen, and as superintendent, Bynum
says a "walking history of the State
school for the Blind." Mr. McGary
has lived here all these years and has
lived for and with the school from
the Asylum days onward and upward.
After Dr. Laycock, Dr. A. K. Mar
tin took charge. The regular schools
was opened in 1865 and closed during i
the reconstruction days. At this point,!
the kindly old Mr. McGary said
"Damn the Republicans" with such a
vim that I looked around stratled.
He said: "We had an awful time dur
ing their supremacy" and all we
southerners know what republican
ism meant in the 70's.
Mr. McWorther was the next sup
erintendent.
In 1869 the Military Academy at
I Alexandria burned and the school was!
r moved here and occupied the present'
{ building o fthe Deaf and Dumb school
as it was the largest then in the
I city.
The blind people were then moved
over to Main street in the house now
occupiel by the Orphan's Home. In
1870 the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind
having the same superintendent an
assistant was employed, a Pole name
Wrotnoski, who took charge of the
deptrtmpnt of the blind. In 1871
the Legislature passed a bill separa
ting the Blind from the Deaf and
Dumb.
The superintendents followed each
other, thus: Wrothnoski and Edward
Conway. In 1873 Patrick Lane was
appointel. He held the position two
years and was put out by the Repub
licans and L. C. LeSage appointed.
In 1877 Mr. Lane came back and re
mained here until his death in Octo
ber 1889.
From 1876 to 1877 the Institute
for the Blind was in what was then
known as the Posey home, corner St.
Philip and Africa street, now occu
pied by the Hernan Family. In 1877
it moved back to Main street; from
thence it was moved to the Harney
House, now the Commercial Hotel.
In 1882 it was moved to the Knox
building on Boulevard and St. Charles
street, now the Governor's Mansion.
Mrs. Lane then took charge after her
husband's death. In 1888 the Legis
lature reunited the Blind and the
Deaf and Dumb Institutes, with Mrs.
John Jastremski as superintendent.
In 1890 the Institute fro the Blind
again separated from the Institute
for the Deaf and Dumb and moved
to its present home on Government
street. At this time Mr. Nathaniel
MiMcGrauder who had already written
his name in golden letters on the edu
cational page of Baton Rouge took
charge. He died in 1900 and Alvin
Read took his place. He also died in
1902. In 1903 Walter Bynum took
his place and was also an experienced
educator. He was succeeded for a
while by Mr. C. D. Huckaby.- Mr.
Bynum was re-appointed and is the
•resent superintendent.
Through many of these years Sen.
Richardson visited and was most inter.
ested in the welfare of the school. It
I was he who planned the architecture
of the old school house on Asia street.
The long grand galleries, as he said
the blind needed a place to promenade
in the fresh air, and was intensely
hurt when his blind family was forced
to move away as Gov. Warmoth had
taken the buildings for the L. S. U.
I went out to the State school for
the Blind hunting for information
some "misty-moisty" evenings ago
and was almost reminded of "four
gray walls and four grey towers"
but it is not a silent isle and voices
clatter through the dark halls, bells
ring, classes form, and the music,
which is the soul of the place can
always be heard. Prof. W. B. Clark
has been instructor of music for the
blind for over 30 years. Music drips
from his fingers. His music has con
soIled all of Baton Rouge and made
the "fleeting hours gladder." For
twenty-five years he has seft out his
pupils independent and self-support
ing as piano tuners and musicians.
They are at least twenty now in the
state. Mrs. Clark has had charge of
the literary side of the schood for
many years giving the same course as
the High school. Her graduates are
self-supporting all over the state and
wonder of wonders to me-type-writ
ers. Through the dictaphone, J. S.
Allen, Lillie Holland, Ella Kent and
Esther Scott are pupiled that Prof.
and Mrs. Clark are justly proud, Miss
Scott being secretary in a business
office in New Orleans.
The Knights of Columbus have giv
ne one of the pupils a scholarship at
Loyola College.
Mr. Blair and Mr. McCGary are
teachers of broom-making.
Boys and girls are taught weaving,
sewing. I can't remember all of their
occupations but from Frank Richard
son's humble little Asylum 60 years
ago for those who dwelt in darkness
has risen a noble memorial and has
given them light in the noble school
that sends out every year self-reliant
men and women to live their indepen
dent lives in the world-God bless
them. S. T. STERLING.
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"BUILT BY PUBLIC CONFIDENCE"
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