Madison Parish, Louisiana

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Madison Parish (French: Paroisse de Madison) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Its parish seat is Tallulah. In 2000, its population was 13,728.

The Tallulah Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Madison Parish.



The parish is named for former U.S. President James Madison. Furthermore in Madison's honor, the parish courthouse is built in the colonial Virginia style of architecture though, as with many other Louisiana communities, the structure sets in the center of the immediate downtown area. It faces east. Nearby is the Tallulah City Hall, which faces south.

During the American Civil War, Madison Parish, then a rich cotton area, sent many of its men into battle early in the war. In 1862, it paid $80 to anyone joining one of her Confederate military companies.[1] When Governor Thomas Overton Moore saw that New Orleans would fall to the Union, he issued orders for the destruction of cotton to keep it from Federal hands. Hence hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cotton were burned as the planters sadly looked on.[2] Governor Moore asked Brig. Gen. R.B. Todd, who commanded the Eleventh Brigade in northeast Louisiana to call into active service his own militia and all men between eighteen and forty who were not subject to conscription. These men from Madison, Carroll, and Tensas parishes were to cooperate with Confederate authorities to help repel Federal attacks in the area.[3]

Toward the end of the war, Madison Parish faced problems with jayhawkers sympathetic to the Union, who according to historian Winters, "were holed up in the impenetrable cane and cypress swamps in the area. This band, made up of draft dodgers, deserters, and runaway Negroes, often left the swamps to rob, kill, or capture anyone who passed by on the road."[4] The Confederates dressed in Federal uniforms to trick the jayhawkers. Winters continues: "The leader of the desperadoes, a huge black, welcomed the supposed Federal troops. Suddenly the [Confederate] disguised men fell upon the surprised gang and began to slaughter them. [In] a quick but bloody struggle [the Confederates] killed 130 of the group. The few who escaped never again returned to ravage the area."[5]

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