After weeks of hard fighting and long marches, the men of the Louisiana Sixth Regiment, sometimes known as the Irish Brigade of the South, had heard that the Union general, James Shields was in the area. Shields was Irish born and had Irish troops. One of the Sixth Regiment Irishmen remarked, “Them Germans is poor creatures, but Shields’ boys will be after fighting.” The Irishman was referring to a prior battle in which the German soldiers – composed of mostly recently arrived German immigrants – performed very poorly in battle. They ran in the face of a strong advance by the Louisiana Irishmen. The Sixth Regiment soldier was saying that if the Union regiment has Irish soldiers, then they will fight better than they did earlier.
Gen. Taylor, once a Know Nothing in Louisiana, responded that his boys could match Shields’ soldiers any time. That remark brought a loud assurances from “half a hundred Tipperary throats.” “You may bet your life on that sor,” said one.
James P. Gannon, Irish Rebels, Confederate Tigers(De Capo Press 1998), p. 42.