Pvt. Company I, 12th Louisiana Infantry
Last updated on September 17, 2000
Joseph Pipes was a son of William H. Pipes and Louisa Dutton, one of three sons from Union Parish who served in the Confederate Army. His brother George was also in the 12th Louisiana and his older brother Rueben was in the 31st Louisiana. Joseph was born on December 17, 1842, one of 8 children. His parents both died during and shortly after the war, apparently from Illness rather than from war hostilities. His father died in 1862 and his mother in 1867. Court papers from 1868 declaring the children as independent, appointing guardians and dividing the families considerable estate mention all of the childen. His military record below indicates that he was a natural leader and was continually promoted, achieving the rank of 2nd Lieutenant by the end of the war.
The following information was sent to me by R. Hugh Simmons, who has granted permission to use it. He has completed a vast amount of research on the men of the 12th Louisiana and the war time activities of the 12th Infantry and maintains a Web Page on this unit.. The information comes from the Archives data on individual soldiersand is combined with his personal knowledge of the actions of the 12th Louisiana. Please note that the "Farmer Guards" were a local, Union Parish Militia unit, apparently Joseph and George were both members.
"Joseph Pipes was enrolled in Confederate service at Camp Moore on August 13, 1861 as a private with the Farmer Guards from Union Parish in the 12th Louisiana Infantry. This unit left Camp Moore as a 12 month volunteer regiment. Under the terms of the Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862, they were re-enrolled to serve for three years or the duration of the war while at Camp Green [near Fort Pillow] in Tennessee on May 10, 1862. A re-election of officers and non-commissioned officers was held at Camp Green and Joseph was apparently elected from the ranks to serve as 3rd Sergeant. During the September/October 1863 muster period, he was promoted to 2nd Sergeant. He was furloughed for 40 days on November 28, 1863 and returned from furlough to participate in the final 16 months of the war. Surrendered and paroled with the 12th Louisiana Infantry regiment at Greensboro, North Carolina under the terms of the Johnston/Sherman agreement made at Durham Station on April 26, 1865, Joseph was present for duty with Company I serving at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. This promotion probably dates from April 9, 1865 when the final re-organization of the regiment was made official at Smithfield, North Carolina. And it no doubt reflects his leadership contribution during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, the Middle Tennessee Campaign of November/December 1864, and the final battles of the war in North Carolina in 1865.
After the war Joseph married, on September 26, 1870, Nahwista James Vickers. We currently have no information on any children or other facts of his life after the war. He died on September 23, 1920 at Gueyden, Louisiana.
A summary of the actions of the 121th Louisiana follows as provided in the book: "Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units 1861-1865" authored by Arthur W. Bergeron.
This regiment was organized at Camp Moore on August 13, 1861, with 704 men, and was the only Louisiana infantry regiment with twelve companies. The regiment went to Kentucky and became part of the garrison at Columbus. On November 7, the men crossed the Mississippi River to participate in the Battle of Belmont but arrived too late to fight. When the Confederates evacuated Columbus, the regiment went to New Madrid and Island No. 10. The men helped repulse an enemy attack on the latter place on the night of March 4 and 5, 1862. On March 17, the regiment moved to Fort Pillow. There it withstood a nearly six week bombardment by Federal gunboats. After the evacuation of Fort Pillow, the regiment marched to Grenada, Mississippi. The men did duty there and at Holly Springs until mid August, when they went to Port Hudson, Louisiana. They remained there only about ten days and then returned to Grenada. On October 3 and 4, the regiment fought in the Battle of Corinth. The men spent the winter at Grenada, Holly Springs, and Canton. In February 1863, the regiment returned to Port Hudson and witnessed the Union naval attack there on March 14. In early April, the regiment left to join the Army of Tennessee. The men got to Atlanta, Georgia, but received orders to return to Mississippi to intercept Colonel Benjamin Grierson's Union cavalry raid. Failing to catch Grierson, the regiment took its station at Port Gibson. On May i6, the regiment fought in the Battle of Baker's Creek and performed ably in covering the retreat of the Confederate army. The men made up part of General Joseph E. Johnston's army at Jackson during the summer of 1863. A detachment of i6o men under Captain John A. Dixon served in General John C. Vaughn's brigade during the siege of Vicksburg, May 19 - July 4, 1863, and were paroled at the surrender of that place. During that fall and winter, the regiment occupied camps at Morton and Canton. The men moved around during the early months of 1864, being stationed at Meridian, Mississippi, and Demopolis and Montevallo, Alabama. In May, the regiment joined the Army of Tennessee at Resaca, Georgia. During the retreat to Atlanta, the men fought at Marietta, Kennesaw Mountain, Lost Mountain, and Bethel Church. The regiment participated in the Battle of Peachtree Creek on July 20, 73 of its men were killed, wounded, or missing, and its flag was captured. On July 22, the men fought in the Battle of Atlanta. Following the evacuation of that city, the regiment accompanied the army on its invasion of Tennessee. The regiment participated in the bloody attack at Franklin, November 30; nearly 80 of its men were killed or wounded. The regiment fought in the Battle of Nashville, December 1-16, and retreated with the army to Tupelo, Mississippi. In February 1865, the regiment went to North Carolina and joined the army of General Joe Johnston. The men fought their last battle at Bentonville on March 1. On April 26, the regiment surrendered at Greensboro. Some 1457 men served in the regiment during the war; 304 died in battle and 302 died of disease.
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