The Coushatta Massacre took place in August 1874 where the White League targeted Republican politicians presiding over Red River Parish and freedmen in the area. It would be the arrival of carpetbagger and Union vet Marshall H. Twitchell, his relationship with the freed Black community, and his position of power that ignited the league’s terror campaign in the parish.

Tensions in Coushatta

At this time, Black people of note and carpetbaggers are now in state legislature. They also hold office in a number of town offices throughout the south. One of them was Marshall H. Twitchell, a white captain for the U.S. Army’s Company H, the 109th Colored Infantry. He was originally a provost marshal of the Red River branch of the Freedman Bureau.

While in Red River, he married a local Black woman named Adele Coleman. To provide for his family, the Vermont-born Twitchell learns to farm cotton after being taught by the Coleman family. The tensions began as this northern-born Union veteran began to accumulate land and influence in political power. He is elected to the Louisiana Senate as a Republican and put his brothers and brothers-in-law in positions of power.

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October 5

1813 – Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was defeated and killed during the War of 1812. Regarded as one of the greatest American Indians, he was a powerful orator who defended his people against white settlement. When the War of 1812 broke out, he joined the British as a brigadier general and was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario.

1877 – Following a 1,700-mile retreat, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to U.S. Cavalry troops at Bear’s Paw near Chinook, Montana. “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever,” he declared.

1908 – Bulgaria proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

1910 – Portugal became a republic following a successful revolt against King Manuel II.

, 1938 – Czech President Dr. Eduard Benes resigned and fled abroad amid threats from Adolf Hitler.

1964 – The largest mass escape since the construction of the Berlin Wall occurred as 57 East German refugees escaped to West Berlin after tunneling beneath the wall.

1986 – Former U.S. Marine Eugene Hasenfus was captured by Nicaraguan Sandinistas after a plane carrying arms for the Nicaraguan rebels (Contras) was shot down over Nicaragua. This marked the beginning of the “Iran-Contra” controversy resulting in Congressional hearings and a major scandal for the Reagan White House after it was revealed that money from the sale of arms to Iran was used to fund covert operations in Nicaragua.