The Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville explored the history of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers on Thursday, January 23, 2014. Michael Marshall author of “Gallant Creoles: A History of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers” presented an overview of his book, which he spent the last 27 years researching and writing.

The Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville explored the history of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers on Thursday, January 23, 2014. Michael Marshall author of “Gallant Creoles: A History of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers” presented an overview of his book, which he spent the last 27 years researching and writing. His mother, Gloria Templet Marshall, compiled a family geneaology during the summer of 1985. He said she informed him that his grandfather’s grandfather surrendered with General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and the Donaldsonville Artillery at Appomattox Station. Marshall recalled how he was drawn to write this book. Marshall realized a comprehensive history was not available as he researched the Donaldsonville Cannoniers. He said he then located the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion and began his quest to document the history of the “Gunners of Donaldsonville, a revered and historic militia organization.” The Cannoniers were noted for their “undaunted courage” and “splendid spirit in combat” Marshall learned. “One South Carolina officer took note years after the war of the creole company,” Marshall said, “for well had they done their work from 1861 when they came to Virginia until Appomattox when all was ‘tout perdu’ all lost.” According to Marshall, the great veteran Donaldsonville Artilleryman returned ragged and destitute to the bayou country after Appomattox. They took up their civic duties and rebuilt the Yankee destroyed and burned Donaldsonville, which was the center of creole culture and civilization. Ten years after Appomattox, Marshall said a few Cannonier campaigners reorganized the Donaldosnville Artillery and again served their fellow citizens. These steadfast old war horses included names like: Aucoin, Arceneaux, Landry, Babin, Braud, Carmouche, Gaudet, Hebert, Leblanc, Mollere, Morin, Richard, Savoie, Sobral, Suarez, Terrio, and Tresche just to mention a few. Finally Marshall said the federal government told the Cannoniers in 1898 there was no further need for their military service. The book, “Gallant Creoles: A History of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers”, also contains detailed entries on every Cannonier that served in the Civil War for those who are interested in their family’s history. It is available at the Ascension Parish Library and online at ulpress.org.