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Francis Reddin Tillou Nicholls (American National Biography)

Scholarship

Judith K. Schafer, "Nicholls, Francis Redding Tillou,” American National Biography Online, February 2000, ttp://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00566.html.

Although reluctant to support secession, Nicholls had a distinguished career serving the Confederacy. He and his brother Lawrence raised an infantry company, the Phoenix Guards, in which he served as captain. He later served as the commander of the Eighth Louisiana Regiment, participating in the first battle of Manassas and in Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. He lost his left arm from a wound received at the battle of Winchester in May 1862 and his left foot at the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. By this time he had risen to the rank of brigadier general. Although his wounds forced him to retire from the field, Nicholls served the Confederacy as superintendent of the conscript bureau of the Trans-Mississippi department until the end of the war, when he returned to his law practice in Napoleonville.

Nicholls became governor of Louisiana in 1877 after a hotly contested election in which both sides manipulated the vote count. Nicholls's supporters, the Bourbon Democrats, prevented blacks from voting in the country parishes where they were a majority and padded the voting rolls in New Orleans with thousands of deceased persons. Both Nicholls and his opponent claimed victory and organized governments, but a promise that Nicholls would be recognized as governor was part of the Compromise of 1877. Nicholls immediately appointed new justices to the Supreme Court of Louisiana to replace those appointed by his Republican predecessors and sent a force of state police to capture the building that housed the court.

How to Cite This Page: "Francis Reddin Tillou Nicholls (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/18511.