Civil War Era History
Armand Pallissard - 53rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Killed at Metamora, TN on October 5, 1862.
The third child of Paulin and Solina Pallissard, Armand was born in France on the 22nd of January 1840, and was a student at the military school of St. Cyr before he came to the United States. When the Civil War broke out, he and his father helped raise an infantry company in the 53rd Regiment of Volunteers, and he enlisted January 1862.
Kankakee County Museum Photo Archive
There is a letter written by Mark Bassett to Edward Lecour, dated May 27, 1896, which tells of his promotion from Sergeant to Captain. "I can hear his voice still, which in times of excitement gave a broken French accent to English words, as for instance when there was disorderly talking in the ranks which offended his true military idea of discipline, I can hear him order "silance" in the ranks instead of "silence".
The battle of the Hatchie took place October 5, 1862, the day Lieutenant Armand Pallissard died of a canister shot.
"The 53rd regiment had been stationed in and around Bolivar and La Grange, Tennessee, in the early fall of '62. It had been engaged in the siege of Corinth and for meritorious conduct on the skirmish line it had been furnished with Springfield rifles. When the news came that the Rebels were coming up from the South in force to attack Corinth, we were ordered to meet them". The adjutant general's report continues: "October 4th moved toward the Hatchie River and on the 5th, engaged four times their number of the enemy who were retreating from Corinth."
Mark Bassett continues: "Major Earl rode up and seeing us in confusion with no officer asked: "Who is in command of this Company?" Moses Wilkins, the tallest man in the Company, hence always at the right of it, and next to me, replied, "All the officers are killed or wounded." The Major, seeing that I was acting orderly said to me, "Throw down that musket, take the sword off that officer and take command of the Company." That officer was Lieutenant Pallissard who was lying on his face in front of us, just as he had fallen dead. Wilkins then took him by his left shoulder, and turned him on his back so as to get at the belt fastening, unbuckled the belt and removed it, then turned the breathless body back again on its face just as it fell a few minutes before, then removed sword and fastenings and assisted in putting it on me and then I assumed command.
The next morning, we buried our dead just as we found them on the field with only their army blankets around them. The sword taken from Lieutenant Pallissard's body I prized greatly and fully expected to bring it back north, but the fates of war would not have it that way, for it was taken from me when I was made a prisoner in the disastrous charge on the rebel breat-works at Jackson, Mississippi on Sunday morning, July 12, 1865 at which battle the whole First Brigade of the 4th Division was badly cut to pieces and the colors of the 53rd and also of some other Regiments were captured."
Others of Company E in this engagement were: Captain Charles Vaughn who died October 30, 1862 of wounds he received that day. Also, Mark C. Wheeler, Second Lieutenant, Frank J. Crawford and Leander Cunningham were present.
On the 8th of October, a telegram of congratulations for the small victory of the Hatchie was sent by Abraham Lincoln to Captain McClanahan.