Michael Dan Jones, author of “The Tiger Rifles: The Making of a Louisiana Legend,” will give a talk on these famed Confederates at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Young-Sanders Center. He will display a reproduction Tiger Zouave uniform, Baton Rouge Arsenal accoutrements and Mississippi rifle like those worn and carried by the unit. He will also have on display several fine arts prints by well-known artists, featuring the Tiger Rifles.
The Tiger Rifles of Wheat’s Battalion became famous because of their flashy Zouave uniforms, their famous battalion commander, Major Roberdeau Wheat, and their heroics at First Battle of Manassas. Their nickname, Tigers, became attached, first to the battalion, and then to all Louisiana troops serving in the Army of Northern Virginia.
The Jones book tries to separate fact from myth with regard to the Tigers. The men became so notorious for their antics in camp, they got blamed for a lot of things they didn’t do, although they did plenty on their own to deserve their reputation.
Also examined is the possible real identity of their company commander, Capt. Alexander White. His name is an alias but as far as is known, his real identity has been a mystery. The book focuses tightly on the men of the Tiger Rifles and brings them to life as much as the limited resources allows.
A Louisiana resident, Jones is a Vietnam War veteran and an avid student of military history, particularly the War for Southern Independence. He is also a veteran living history re-enactor who took part in the 125th anniversary reenactment of the First Battle of Manassas as a member of the Tiger Rifles re-enactment unit. Jones is a retired newspaperman and has written articles for prominent historical magazines.
He is a 1974 cum laude graduate of the University of Houston and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars.
Jones co-authored “Lee’s Foreign Legion: A History of the 10th Louisiana Infantry Regiment,” with Thomas Walter Brooks. The Southwest Louisiana Historical Association has published a series of books by Jones, which are compilations of his newspaper articles he wrote on the history of the area, “Southwest Louisiana in the War Between the States,” “Southwest Louisianians Defend the Nation,” and “Adventures in Old Calcasieu.”
Jones is currently working on a series of histories about Louisiana Confederate military units.
The Young-Sanders Center is located on Bayou Teche one block from the St. Mary Parish Courthouse at 701 Teche Drive in Franklin. Jones’ lecture is open to the general public at no charge. For further information contact the Young-Sanders Center at (337) 413-1861 or email@example.com.