Sunday, May 16, 2010


[Exerpt from UT-Tyler Digital Archives]
DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], May 3, 1860, p. 2, c. 2

Presentation of a Flag to the Creole
Guards by the Young Ladies of Baton

Address of Miss Junia Burk.

Gentlemen:--It is with much pleasure I avail myself of the privilege which I enjoy of addressing you a few words on the present occasion, which we celebrate in your honor as a military corps. "The Creole Guards!" Your designation is well chosen. It is particularly the province of the creole youth of Louisiana to raise the national standard upon their native soil, and to see that it remains there firmly rooted in defence of the institutions of their country. We sincerely hope that these institutions will never be disputed, but if they are ever made the subject of a conflict we are persuaded, that this standard will be the first in front of the battle, waving proudly to the sound of hymns of freedom and glory. We look not upon this banner as the mere ornament of a pageant. It is the same that waved o'er our forefathers of the Revolution, and remains to us, with its additional trophies a glorious page which we learn lessons of patriotism and valor. With the thought that it was once our passport to freedom, what may it not attain for us now when strengthened in that good cause? It is yours, free-born men of Louisiana to plant it upon an eminence that the true and brave hearted whose voices stifled by party clamor may see at least that Liberty is true to her post, and the Eagle yet looks upon the sun.—You will conquer wherever this banner may lead, and your's [sic] will be the meed [sic] ever awarded to valor—"the smiles of the fair." If, on the contrary, the destiny of war decide against your corps, it will remain to tell where the brave have fallen, and songs of freedom will be sung in your praise! the loudest reverberation of your fame will be in the hearts of these for whom you fall and the monument erected to the memory of your deeds will be inscribed Excelsior!

Now while the gentle May-breeze comes sighing through these silken folds, arranged by the delicate hands of so many fair maidens, it seems that the spirit of chivalry decends [sic] to encourage the task you are prepared to undertake. Can aught but freedom be inhaled from the rose-scented air of our Sunny South? Does not the very ground which we tread, send forth the odor of Liberty rising in a burning column of incense far up through the blue ether of our glorious sky, "till we almost fancy that it ascends in sight of the celestial gates." Let the goal of your ambition be set as high, and in serried ranks, march on to its attainment—march on! with this applause of your fellow countrymen, the smiles of your countrywomen and the benediction of Heaven, march on—to Victory!

I now present you this banner, in the name of my companions, your welfare in the voluntary profession which you have assumed, and also the good will of all who boast themselves natives of the glorious State which I have the honor to represent.

Reply of Captain H. M. Pierce.

In the name of the Creole Guards, I thank the fair donors, whose representative you are, for this graceful and acceptable compliment. Ever, from the earliest dawn of civilization to our own times, one of the most potent incentives to man, to acts of goodness and greatness, has been the hope of deserving and obtaining the praise and love of woman. And she has ever been ready to bid him God speed on his errand, of charity, mercy, religion, patriotism and glory, her prayers attend him in the conflict, and her smiles of approbation are no mean element in the plaudits ever paid to triumphant worth.

The Creole Guards will always march with pride beneath the folds of this beautiful flag, the gift of the creole sisters.—Should our marches all be merry meetings in the times of peace, it will be a continual reminiscence to us of this bright day; of this delightful occasion; of these fair forms and radiant faces, and of these warm and true hearts, now throbbing in perfect harmony with love and devotion for our whole country, every part of which is so charmingly represented by yourselves.

Should we be called on to serve our country in the field, I know that among the inducements we will have to do our whole duty, and do it well, will be the recollections of this happy day and brilliant assemblage, and the hope of seeing you proud of the soldiers who fought under your flag.

[Editor's Note: The Creole Guards became Company A, 8th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, CSA.]

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