CDV OF COLONEL LEWIS G. DERUSSY -- FORT DERUSSY IN LOUISIANA NAMED FOR HIM

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Oval view of DeRussy in civilian clothes. The image is clear with good contrast. There is a small wrinkle and chip to the upper, left corner of the image. A faint, but original pencil identification and date of death is found at the bottom of the image. Later, a more visible ink identification was added with some "corrections". Photographer's backmark, A.D. Lytle, Baton Rouge, LA. There is a 2-cent revenue stamp on the back, cancelled 1866. Another faint period pencil note is found on the back, "To Mrs. R.A. DeRussy, From C.D. DeRussy".

Louis Gustave DeRussy (1795 – December 17, 1864) was an engineer and career United States Army officer who served as Major-General in the Louisiana Militia during the American Civil War. He was the oldest West Point graduate to serve in the Confederacy in that war. Fort DeRussy, constructed during the Civil War near Marksville, Louisiana, was named for him.

At the age of 18, after eleven months as a cadet, on March 11, 1814, Lewis De Russy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The fact that the War of 1812 was still on may have accelerated his graduation.

After being part of the surveying party to set the US-Canadian border in 1819–1821, De Russy had steady engineering assignments and advanced in his career. In September 1826, De Russy was promoted to major and assigned to the Red River outposts in central Louisiana. He and his family lived between Fort Jesup and Natchitoches. He had most of the remainder of his career and life in Louisiana.

De Russy was passed over and dropped from the Army in 1842, during a reduction in forces. He devoted himself to his plantation and to private engineering jobs. After serving as a major in the state militia, in December 1846 he joined the 1st Louisiana Regiment of Volunteers, being elected to the rank of colonel, and led the regiment in the Mexican War. In July 1847 they fought in the Battle of Tantayuka, their only combat. They were garrisoned at Tampico, where De Russy directed a project to improve traffic on the waterway.

After their return to Louisiana, he served as major general in the state militia. In 1851 he was elected to the state house and, at the end of the two-year term, to the state senate. He also worked on several major engineering projects and a survey of the Red River.

During the American Civil War, he served the Confederacy as Chief Engineer, working on projects near the Red River. He died at his home on December 17, 1864; historians believe he had a heart attack. He was originally buried in the DeRussy/Russell Family Cemetery. His remains were removed and reinterred in the Fort DeRussy Cemetery in 1999.

From the collection of the late William Turner.  [jet] [ph:L]

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