Col. Clayton Hale: Commander of the Union Occupational Forces during Reconstruction

I found the above etching several months ago online. If you have done a bit of research on Reconstruction in Ouachita Parish, you are familiar with his name. Col. Hale was born in Smithfield, PA Jan. 7, 1832. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Army as captain in the Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry. He quickly rose up in the ranks to Major and then lieut. col. He was honorably mustered out when the war ended, but enlisted in the regular army and was sent to Louisiana. Reconstruction in Ouachita Parish was particularly brutal. It was said the parish was second only to Orleans parish in violence. Col. Hale had to deal with it all. He continued to serve honorably until he was discharged due to disability in 1890. He finally passed away after a brief illness in his home at Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 19, 1896. He was only 64. His body was taken back to his boyhood home in Massachusetts where he was laid to rest with full honors.

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