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John L. Rapier

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Title: John L. Rapier  
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Subject: Confederate States Marine Corps officers, 1905 deaths, 1842 births
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John L. Rapier

John L. Rapier
John L. Rapier while in the 1st Battalion Zouaves
Born (1842-06-15)June 15, 1842
Spring Hill, Alabama
Died May 7, 1905(1905-05-07) (aged 62)
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Marine Corps
Rank Second Lieutenant
Unit 1st Battalion Zouaves

American Civil War

Other work Owned the Mobile Press-Register

John Lawrence Rapier (June 15, 1842 – May 7, 1905) was an American Civil War soldier and businessman. A native of Mobile, Alabama, he saw action as a sergeant major in the Seven Days Battles, and later became a second lieutenant in the Confederate States Marine Corps. He was captured at Fort Gaines, Mobile Bay, Alabama, August 5, 1864, and paroled at Nanna Hubba Bluff, Alabama, May 10, 1865.

After the war, he became the owner of the Mobile Register, and served as postmaster of Mobile.


  • Family and early life 1
  • Confederate States service 2
  • After the war 3
  • See 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Family and early life

Rapier was born in Spring Hill, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama, the son of Thomas Gwynn Rapier and Evalina Senac. His maternal uncle was Confederate Paymaster Felix Senac. He was also related to Angela S. Mallory, wife of Secretary of the Confederate Navy, Stephen R. Mallory. In 1857 he worked as a clerk in New Orleans until the outbreak of the American Civil War.[1]

Confederate States service

Rapier was enlisted from Louisiana as a private in Captain Henri St. Paul's Company (Second Company) of the Louisiana Foot Rifles on April 22, 1861. This was later folded into Company A, 7th Battalion, Louisiana Infantry. Their first assignment was Pensacola, Florida, where they arrived on April 28 and stayed until mid-September. They were then transferred to Richmond, Virginia, where they encamped for several months in the vicinity of Centerville. The battalion was then assigned to Brigadier General Richard H. Anderson's Brigade on the Virginia Peninsula in May 1862.[1]

Rapier was promoted to Sergeant-Major of the battalion, in which capacity he fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run, Battle of Antietam and Fredericksburg, before his battalion was transferred to southeastern Virginia. In January, he was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant of his battalion. In March, it is reported that Secretary Mallory offered him a commission in the Confederate Marine Corps, but Rapier did not initially accept it. However, several weeks later he took the examination, passed and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, dated July 11, 1863.[1]

On August 1, he was ordered to report to Secretary Mallory, where he was then assigned to the Marine Camp at Battle of Spanish Fort and the Battle of Fort Blakely in April 1865.[1] He was on this boat until he surrendered on May 4, 1865. He was paroled May 10, 1865, at Nanna Hubba Bluff, Alabama.[2]

After the war

After the war, he married the daughter of a former commander, Regina St. Paul, in 1866, and after her death, he married Regina Demouy.

In 1866, Rapier took a position at the Mobile Times with his father-in-law Major St. Paul. The Times was later consolidated into the Mobile Register. He later became part owner, with Colonel John Forsyth, and upon the death of the latter, became the sole owner in 1877.[1]

In December 1894, President Grover Cleveland appointed him Postmaster of Mobile, which position he held until March 1897.[1] He was a member of the Catholic Knights of America, and for many years a member of the Striker's Independent Society and the Mobile Mardis Gras Society Order of Myths.

Rapier died on May 7, 1905, in Mobile, and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery.[1]


  • In the Hope of Rising Again, ISBN 1-59448-103-2 is loosely based on Rapier. In the novel, he is "Col. Riant"


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Donnelly, Biographical Sketches, 163-165.
  2. ^ a b c Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy, 160
  3. ^ Sullivan, 66


  • Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy. Office of Naval Records and Library United States Navy Department. Mattituck, NY: J.M. Carroll & Company. 1983.  
  • Donnelly, Ralph W. (2001). David M. Sullivan, ed., ed. Biographical Sketches of the Commissioned Officers of the Confederate States Marine Corps. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Books. 
  • Sullivan, David M. (2000). The United States Marine Corps in the Civil War: The Final Year. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Books. 

External links

  •  "Catholic Knights of America".  
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