The Hellfire Stew Mess


Our Battle Cry: "Ainsi Soit-Il!"



This is a 10 sutler script note issued during the Civil War by the regimental sutler of the 11th New York Cavalry Regiment ("Scott's Nine Hundred"). The 11th New York Cavalry served for a time in the Lafourche District. Its lieutenant colonel was Seth Pierre Remington, the father of the famous American artist Frederic Remington. (Denis Gaubert Collection)

One of the events that foreshadowed the American Civil War was the 1859 attempt by abolitionist John Brown to seize the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Brown's raid was thwarted by a force of U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee, then a U.S. Army officer, and local militia. Brown was captured, tried, and executed by hanging. "John Brown's Body" was an alternate version of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," often sung by Union soldiers.

Thibodaux has an indirect connection to John Brown. John Brown's younger brother, Salmon Brown, was born in Connecticut in 1802. He eventually moved to New Orleans, where he was a lawyer and the editor of the New Orleans Bee, a prominent newspaper. Salmon Brown died in Thibodaux (then known as Thibodeauxville) on September 6, 1833. John Brown wrote a letter to another brother, Frederick, in which he mentioned receiving copies of newspapers from Thibodeauxville following Salmon Brown's death:

Randolph, Penn., Oct. 26, 1833.

Dear Brother, I arrived at home without any mishap on Saturday of the week I left you, and found all well. I had received newspapers from Thibodeauxville during my absence, similar to those sent to father, but no letters respecting the death of our brother. I believe I was to write father as soon as I returned, but I have nothing further to write, and you can show him this. I will immediately let him know what answer I get to the letter I shall send to the South by this mail, respecting our dear brother.

I enclose fifteen dollars, and wish you to let me know that you receive it. Destroy my note, and accept my thanks. If you afford my colt plenty of good pasture, hay, and salt, it is all I wish, unless he should fall away badly or be sick. Your's bore his journey well. Please tell Milton Lusk that I wish to have him pay over the money I left with him to Julian, without delay.

Affectionately yours,


P. S. I want to be informed of any news respecting Salmon as soon as any of you get any.

Life and Letters of John Brown; Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia (F. B. Sanborn, 1885)