The grandson of Oakland Plantation founder Emmanuel Prud’homme, Jacques Alphonse Prud’homme served in the Second Louisiana Cavalry during the Civil War. Although badly wounded, Alphonse survived the war and went on to inherit Oakland Plantation in 1865 upon the death of his father, Phanor Prud’homme. Alphonse owned Oakland Plantation through the turbulent years of Reconstruction into the early 20th century. A Planter’s Son Goes to War, written by park volunteer Thom Brennan, is a brief biography of Jacques Alphonse Prud’homme, focusing on his wartime experiences.
The fascinating story of William Smith, the son of enslaved Oakland Plantation blacksmith Solomon Williams. During the Civil War, Smith escaped from plantation slavery and enlisted in the Union Army. At war’s end, Smith migrated to New Orleans, where he was one of the first to enlist in the 9th U.S. Cavalry, part of the famed Buffalo Soldiers. He served with the cavalry in west Texas during the tumultuous years of Reconstruction. After completing his military service, William Smith married and started a family. They were living in Galveston when it was struck by the worst hurricane in American history. Smith survived, and spent his final years in the delightful seaside town of Monterey, California. A Blacksmith's Son Goes to War was written by park volunteer Thom Brennan. For his efforts Thom received the 2016 National Park Service Southeast Region Hartzog Volunteer Award.
Last updated: February 14, 2019