Pvt. Reuben F. Pipes
Company G, 31st Louisiana Infantry
Last Updated January 1, 2001
Reuben F. Pipes was a son of William H. Pipes and Louisa Dutton of Union Parish. They were farmers in the Downsville area and had a large farm operation as evidenced in the distribution of the estate of William and Louisa after her death in 1867. Joseph and George Pipes, Reuben's brothers, served in the 12th Louisiana and are listed on the soldiers page as well.
Reuben enlisted on May 6th, 1862 at Monroe, Louisiana. I am still gathering data on his unit, but he was captured and paroled at Vicksburg on July 4th, 1863. He apparently re-joined and was exchanged at Vienna, Louisiana in April of 1864, was in the hospital at Shreveport in the end of August 1864 and finally was listed on rolls of prisoners of war and was paroled for the last time in June of 1864. His residence is reported as Union Parish, Louisiana. He married Ann J. Lewis after the war (1870) and they had at least one child, a daughter named Ada. He died in November of 1897 in Gibslaud, Bienville Parish, Louisiana. His widow, Ann J. (Lewis) Pipes, filed a Louisiana State pension application in 1908 and again in 1913. She states that he had been in ill health for several years and died from Bright's disease.
A summary of the actions of the 31st Louisiana follows as provided in the book: "Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units 1861-1865" authored by Arthur W. Bergeron.
This regiment was organized June 11, 1862, at Monroe. Louisiana from Morrison's Battalion, which had been formed May 14. The men remained at Monroe drilling until June, when they moved to a camp in Madison Parish about eight miles from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Then they moved to Tallulah and New Carthage. In August, the regiment went to Milliken's Bend to unload a shipment of arms intended for General Albert Pike's Indian brigade. On August 18, an enemy gunboat steamed up and captured the transport Fair Play with all of the weapons still on it. The regiment retreated to Tallulah, pursued by a small force landed from the gunboat. During the next few months, the men camped at Tallulah, Delhi, and Trenton. In November, the regiment received orders to go to Jackson, Mississippi. There the Catahoula Battalion was added to the regiment to give it ten companies. The men fought in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 26-29, and helped repulse several enemy attacks. During the winter and early spring of 1863, the regiment remained at Vicksburg, drilling and doing picket duty. The men participated in the closing stages of the Battle of Port Gibson, May 1, and covered the retreat of the Confederate forces. They picketed the crossings of the Big Black River until the Confederate army retreated past the river into the Vicksburg defenses. The regiment fought in the trenches during the Siege of Vicksburg, May 19-July 4, and went home on parole after the surrender. ( Reubens widow states in her application that he was captured and paroled at Vickburg, in 1863.) Many of the men decided they had seen enough fighting and remained at their homes until the war ended. In January 1864, some of the men went into a parole camp at Vienna but returned home on furlough after a few weeks. After the men were declared officially exchanged, they went into camp at Minden in June. They spent two weeks there, moved to Shreveport, and soon went to Pineville. The regiment formed part of General Allen Thomas' brigade and acted as a support for Fort Buhlow and Fort Randolph near Pineville until February 1865. At that time, it moved to Bayou Cotile, remaining there until May. The men marched to Mansfield and were disbanded just prior to the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
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