Written by Jon R. McKinnie
Ettienne Andrew Reppond was born in Dean Community, Union Parish, La on July 13, 1830 to Louis & Henrietta McCormick Reppond.
Etienne’s grandfather, Estevon Reppond, was born 1765 in Marseille, France, came to Louisiana before 1783, and traveled up the Ouachita River with Jean Baptiste Filhiol in 1783 and assisted Filhiol in establishing Ft. Miro, which become Monroe, Louisiana in 1804. (which is another amazing story)
Etienne Reppond married Miss Lucretia Jane Jeter (Abt 1835-Dec 29 1865) on December 29, 1853. They had three sons: William Pinkney (Dec 28 1861-Aug 29 1929), John Washington (Oct 21 1864-Sep 8 1900) and Samuel (1865-1870).
The 31st Louisiana regiment was organized June 11, 1862, at Monroe from Morrison’s Battalion, which had been formed May 14. Reppond, Ettienne A., Pvt. Co. H (Union Parish – Confederate Warriors), 31st Regiment Louisiana Infantry enlisted in Monroe, La., May 14, 1862 (along with his brother, Baptist “Battiace” Reppond).
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. With limited arms and ammunition, the regiment retreated to Tallulah, pursued by a small force which 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. Battiace Reppond (Ettienne’s brother) was killed in action at Jackson, Miss, only 6 months after enlisting, Nov. 29, 1862.
The men fought in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 26-29, and helped repulse several enemy attacks led by Gen William T. Sherman. During the winter and early spring of 1863, the regiment remained at Vicksburg, drilling and doing picket duty. Ettienne answered roll calls from Nov., 1862, to Feb., 1863, reported “Present”.
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, surrendered on July 4, 1863, and went home on parole after the surrender. Ettienne Reppond was one of those captured and paroled in Vicksburg, MS on Jul 4 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 (Ettienne Reppond appeared on list) 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.” Ettienne Reppond was finally paroled for the last time in Monroe, La in 1865.
1865 was not a great year for Ettienne as he lost both his father, Louis Reppond (May 5 1865) and his young wife, Lucretia Jane Jeter (Dec 29 1865).
In 1866, he married Isabella Elizabeth Kirkpatrick (Aug 18 1833-Mar 6 1913) and they had two children: Henrietta Ann (Jul 21 1867-Jan 22 1939) and Ettie Ann (Jan 1869-Abt 1907).
Ettienne died on December 15, 1868, before his last daughter was born. He was buried on what is now Linville School in Union Parish. He was only 38 years old. At that time, folks could not expect a long life and Ettienne was no exception. Theirs was a true tough life. I did not uncover a cause of death.
It is fairly obvious, when looking at the grave, that there is another grave next to him. It does not bear a stone but while a student at Linville, I remember the tombstone of his first wife, Lucretia. Ettienne’s stone was not set until 1932 (A request was made for his soldier’s monument by a Mrs. M.T. Smith–it stated that it would be placed at Linville Cemetery).
On Jun 6 2015, Ward Camp # 1971 held a memorial at Linville School, honoring Pvt. Ettienne A. Reppond. Commander Kevin Adkins led an impressive re-enactment, including cannon and infantry fire.
Originally from Union Parish and a resident of Farmerville, Jon R. McKinnie enjoys writing and spending time with his wife, Phyllis Richardson Hall, two children and four grandchildren. Jon also serves as the Historian for Lt. Elijah H. Ward Camp #1971, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Farmerville, La.