Pierre Soule

According to the New York Times, Pierre Soule arrived in New York as a prisoner on the Ocean Queen June 18, 1862 with his “negro servant” and “free man”, Jule.

The former Congressman was successful in lobbying against the death penalty in 1846, but  Union troops executed Mumford at the US MINT during the Civil War while Soule was provost marshall. You may read more here about the infamous incident.

Pierre Soule was pardoned by the President November 1, 1865.

More was written in 1918 about Soule’s duels “Soule attended a ball in Madrid where a remark by the Duke of Alva was accidentally heard by Mr. Soule’s son, Nelvil, who considered it offensive to his family, and, though the duke denied any such intention, a duel with swords was the result. Mr. Soule then challenged the French ambassador, the Marquis de Turgot, as responsible for what had taken place under his roof, and crippled him for life.” URL

Pierre Soule was provost marshall in New Orleans at the time of his arrest.  His possible duties included: (From URL)

– Suppression of marauding an depredations, and of brawls and disturbances, preservation of good order, and suppression of disturbances beyond the limits of the camps.

– Prevention of straggling on the march.
– Suppression of gambling houses, drinking houses, or barrooms, and brothels.
– Regulation of hotels, taverns, markets, and places of amusement.
– Searches, seizures, and arrests.
– Execution of sentences of general courts-martial involving imprisonment or capital punishment.
– Enforcement of orders prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors.
– Deserters.
– Countersigning safeguards.
– Passes to citizens within the lines and for purposes of trade.
– Complaint of citizens as to the conduct of soldiers.
– Confiscation of contraband.
– Prisoners of war.
– Intelligence.
– Passports for travel.
– Arrest of “Draft-dodgers” and men who were “AWOL”.

A Provost Marshall would have had access to telegraph ciphers and telegraphs.   There were a number of New Orleans investors in the Louisville and New Orleans telegraph in 1849. Soule was known prior to the Civil War for opposing succession although he did agree and acknowledge that he would follow the wishes of his state.

  The Library of Congress [LOC] has a  broadside from the Louisville and New Orleans telegraph written in 1849.  I have written a previous post about telegraphs in Louisiana.

Below is a photograph of Soule’s burial from Find A Grave, Added by: Pat Dupuy 3/09/2010. Pierre Soule burned most of his personal papers before he died and has no formal biography according to many sources.  He led a curious life. The wikipedia article on Soule indicates that he was imprisoned in Massachusetts at Fort Warren and moved to The Astor House while other sources indicate Soule was imprisoned at Fort Lafayette. There are a few very notable differences between Fort Lafayette Prison and The Astor House! The Astor House a lavish hotel.

Fort Lafayette Prison
1900 - The Astor House (Broadway on right, Vesey Street on the left) was the finest city hotel
Astor House
St. Pelagie Prison France

Soule was no stranger to prison and this was not his first prison term!  He was also sent to prison for publishing revolutionary articles in France in 1825. He escaped the French prison, St Pelagie,  before going to England and then to New York.  At that time he knew little English and learned it while working as a gardener in Kentucky before finally moving to New Orleans. (More)

“The latter [i.e. Pierre Soule] from being a noisy Unionist had been persuaded, by his appointment to the office of Provost Marshal, to fly the colors of the Confederacy.” —Retrospections of an Active Life: 1817-1863 (Google eBook) John Bigelow, Baker & Taylor, 1909 – History

“Beauty and booty”:
the watchword of New Orleans (Google eBook)
Front Cover
Marion Southwood
0 Reviews
Pub. for the author by M. Doolady, 1867 – Travel – 303 pages

See also: Louisiana Civil War blog and here.
Find A Grave Mumford and Col. Nevil Soule’s Regt.


About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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