Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> First-Person Narratives >> Document Menu >> Summary

Louis J. Dupré
Fagots from the Campfire
Washington, D.C.: Emily Thornton Charles & Co., 1881.


Louis Jarrel Dupré was born in Macon, Mississippi in 1828. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1847 and earned his law degree from Cumberland University. He worked as a journalist for the St. Louis Times, the Memphis Appeal, and the Birmingham News until the Civil War. Afterwards, he served as the U.S. commissioner to the World's Fair in Vienna and consul to San Salvador under President Cleveland. He died in Raleigh Springs, Tennessee in 1894.

In Fagots from the Campfire (1881), Dupré recounts his experiences as a Confederate army scout during the Civil War. In the preface, he notes, "I tell of wild adventures, hideous deaths, and marvelous escapes. I recite terrible incidents, others ludicrous, and others most pitiful; and if a narrative be rude in expression, significance, or morals, it is because, if more tasteful, it would not be truthful." He offers sketches and tales that recreate the excitement and horror associated with being a soldier. Dupré's scouting activities often took him outside of the army camp and into contact with civilians, and he comments on the war's effect on women and African Americans throughout his memoir. He also discusses the "bushwhackers," or southerners loyal to the Union throughout Tennessee, and the dangers such supporters posed for him and other Confederate scouts. The memoir's coverage is from 1863 until the end of the war.

Work Consulted: Lloyd, James B., ed., Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967, Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1981.

Harris Henderson

Document menu