Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr.

Many of you are already aware of this, but Dr. Arthur “Art” W. Bergeron, Jr. passed away on February 8, 2010. I never met Art personally, but I exchanged periodic emails with him over several years. Art researched and wrote extensively on the Civil War, with a particular concentration on Louisiana and its soldiers as well as other trans-Mississippi related topics. My favorite among his books was one I used extensively when I researched the Adams-Gibson Louisiana brigade. Guide To Louisiana Confederate Military Units, 1861-1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989) contains short histories, bibliographies, and lists of officers for essentially all of the units provided by the Pelican State to the Confederate cause. There is also a helpful “Note on Sources” at the back of the book that details important monographs and manuscript sources on these troops. Fans of Dr. Bergeron know that he edited a number of primary sources including one of my favorites, The Civil War Reminiscences Of Major Silas T. Grisamore, C. S. A. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993). Major Grisamore’s lively account documents his service in the 18th Louisiana Infantry and his work as a quartermaster in the trans-Mississippi through much of the conflict. Art also wrote many journal articles over the years such as “The Yellow Jackets: The 10th Louisiana Infantry Battalion” that appeared in the now defunct Civil War Regiments: A Journal Of The American Civil War. This article documents the history of a rather unreliable trans-Mississippi regiment.

Besides his scholarship, Art spent much time aiding other historians. When he learned that I was researching the history of the Adams-Gibson Louisiana brigade, he periodically sent me information about pertinent primary sources and other research leads. In our last exchange a few months ago, we discussed a series of photographs that may or may not depict Brigadier General Daniel W. Adams. When I decided to drop my project on the Adams-Gibson Louisiana brigade because another scholar had submitted a manuscript on the topic, I consulted with Art about other potential research projects. He gave me straightforward and honest advice of what he thought about my ideas (there was one he did not care for too much!).

Art, you will be missed by many.

1 comment:

  1. Jane: I admired Dr. Bergeron's body of work very much. When I decided to write a book on Missouri Confederate units, I modeled it after his book on Louisiana units, as I thought his book the best of its genre. It still is.