WALSH, John M., Lafourche Parish, Louisiana
Submitted by Mike Miller
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Louisiana:  Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and
Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (volume 3), pp. 452-453.  Edited by Alc?e
Fortier, Lit.D.  Published in 1914, by Century Historical Association.

Walsh, John M., Confederate veteran, sheriff, assessor, tax collector and
well-known citizen, was born at Thibodaux, Lafourche parish, La., Jan. 1,
1844; son of Michael and Bridget (McGuire) Walsh, the former of whom was born
at Kilkenny, Ireland, and the latter at Mt. Bellier, Ireland.  Both parents
died of yellow fever, at Thibodaux, in 1853.  The parents were married in
Ireland, and came from that country to Louisiana in 1832, immediately locating
at Thibodaux, where the father was engaged in business, from a time shortly
following his arrival until the end of his life.  John M. was the 2nd of 4
children born 
to his parents.  He received his education in private and public
schools at Thibodaux, but had only attained his 17th year when he left school,
April, 1861, and enlisted in Co. E, 4th Louisiana regiment, and went forward
in the service of the Southern Confederacy, in the course of which he
participated in many of the most sanguinary conflicts of the Civil war.  He
took part in the siege of Vicksburg and of Nashville, the battle of Shiloh and
of Altoona, and a number of other notable events aggregating 32 engagements,
in which he was with his command and in the thick of the fray.  At Nashville
he was captured and taken to Camp Douglas, where he was confined until the
close of the war.  Returning home after the surrender, he engaged in the rice
business for a time, but was attracted to the field of local politics and
secured an appointment as deputy sheriff, which office he continued to fill
until elected assessor of Lafourche parish, and to this post he was
continuously elected for 12 years, following which he became tax collector and
so remained to the end of his life.  For a period extending over about 30
years he was an office-holder at Thibodaux, and it is said that he probably
enjoyed a wider range of acquaintance than any other citizen in that portion
of the state, and that his funeral was the most largely attended of any ev
er
seen in Thibodaux.  In 1871, Mr. Walsh was married to Miss Cecilia Blanchard,
a daughter of Octave Blanchard, a pioneer steamboat captain on Bayou
Lafourche, and previous to the Civil war an extensive slave-owner.  He was
born in Assumption parish.  Mrs. Walsh's paternal grandfather, Firmin
Blanchard, was for many years sheriff of Assumption parish, though he was born
in France and was the first representative of the family to come to America. 
He came accompanied by 2 brothers, Pierre and Edouard, the former of whom
located in Louisiana, while the latter went to Virginia.  The Walsh family has
always affiliated with the Roman Catholic church and been active in church
work.  Mr. Walsh was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Knights of
America, charter member of Braxton Bragg Camp, No. 196, U. C. V. of Thibodaux
charter member of the Young Men's Benevolent association of Thibodaux, and a
member of the Acadian club.  To Mr. and Mrs.Walsh, 8 children were born, seven
of whom died in childhood, the surviving one being Mrs. Mamie C. Walsh
Peltier, a graduate of the dominican academy of New Orleans and for 5 years a
teacher is a cultured lady and was for years prominently identified with the
Daughters of the Confederacy.  She is said to be exceedingly proud of her
father's military record, and of the evidence his long tenure in public office
affords and esteem among his fellow citizens.  Mr. Walsh was a life-long
democrat, and took pride in making the statement that he had never voted any
other ticket.  It is worthy of note, too, that he was vice-commander of
Braxton Bragg Camp, No. 196, U. C. V., from the time of its organization to
his death.

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