Living History Association

35th Alabama Infantry & 73rd Indiana Infantry Regiment

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They marched, with bayonets glistening in the sun, and polished brass buttons adorning their blue uniforms. Aside from a few Crimean War veterans, none had seen the horrors of combat. Though they passed fallen horses and pools of blood, their spirits waned but little. They had seen thus far only parades and hosted grand parties for their new comrades; they knew nothing of war. On the 6th of April 1862, the lives of over four hundred men of the Garde d’Orléans would forever be changed. They were now fighting the bloodiest battle in American military history, to that date.

 

Still it was fun and games. They had captured the camp of the enemy and helped themselves to food and wine. Their cheers and celebration soon turned to shock and confusion. Owing to their uniforms, dark blue with red trimmings, the 6th Kentucky and a Tennessee regiment opened fire, taking out two of the Guardsmen before their error was realized. Their first real fight, and some of their earliest losses, all at the hands of their own troops. By the end of that day over twenty-five percent of the battalion was lost, either dead or wounded, among them their own commander, Major Léon Queyrouze. During one charge their flag fell four times, never touching the ground due to the quick thinking of surrounding men. The Battalion had now seen war.

Though their name is largely forgotten, their response to friendly fire is not. Recognizing their blue uniforms presented themselves as targets to their own countrymen, the Garde d’Orléans turned their jackets inside out, presenting their white lining and lending itself one of the many famous stories of the Battle of Shiloh.

 

Though the 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh has yet to be announced, efforts are being made to recreate this unique battalion and their own, unique, story. Join with us as we don their blue uniforms and brave the fire of not only our enemies, but our friends.