Captain Charles W. Hodge commanded Company G, 31st Louisiana Volunteer Regiment for most of the war. He raised the company from the southern and eastern portions of Union Parish Louisiana in the winter and early spring of 1862, and they traveled to Monroe and joined Morrison’s Battalion in April. The men officially entered the service of the Confederate States of American on 6 May 1862 at Monroe.
Due in part to the incompetence of General Albert Blanchard, commander of the Confederate forces in northeast Louisiana, the 31st Louisiana operated ineffectively throughout northeast Louisiana during most of 1862. In November they were ordered to Mississippi, where they participated in the defeat of General William T. Sherman at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 26 – 29, 1862. They remained in the Vicksburg area that winter and saw action at the Battle of Port Gibson on 1 May 1863. After retreating into the trenches of Vicksburg in mid-May, the regiment helped repulse various Union assaults and endured the siege until the surrender. The popular lieutenant colonel of the regiment, Col. Sidney H. Griffin of Spearsville, Union Parish, was killed in the trenches in late June. After the surrender at Vicksburg, the men went home on parole until the next spring, and in June reformed in Minden. Soon afterwards, they moved to Pineville, where they guarded the Red River against possible Union attacks from the south (which never came). They surrendered in May 1865.
Hodge served with his company through the Vicksburg campaign and helped reform the regiment in 1864. However, he resigned his commission on 13 October 1864 as he had been elected to the Louisiana Legislature.
Charles W. Hodge was born in Jasper County Georgia on 9 March 1815. He was a Methodist minister and farmer with gray eyes, light hair, dark complexion, and was 5’9” in height. Hodge’s wife was Mary E. Hodge (26 December 1823 – 11 July 1889). Their eldest child was born in Alabama about 1845, but by 1847 they had moved to Arkansas. They settled in southern Union Parish, near Downsville, between 1851 and 1853. Following the war, Hodge returned to Downsville, where he lived until his death. Hodge was the son of John E. Hodge (5 April 1790 – 21 April 1860) and R. S. Hodge (7 March 1793 – 17 August 1867); his brother Jeremiah L. Hodge (11 February 1819 – 27 October 1889) joined the Confederate service in 1863 or 1864, serving as a private in Company G. This entire family is buried in the Smyrna Cemetery a few miles southeast of Downsville, Union Parish Louisiana.
NEWSPAPER NOTICES OF CAPTAIN HODGE’S DEATH:
This article was published in the “Home Advocate”, on Friday, 22 January 1886, p. 3 (the “Home Advocate” was a newspaper published at Farmerville, Union Parish LA):
“We regret to learn of the serious illness of our venerable friend, Capt. C. W. Hodge. While attending Conference at Baton Rouge he was stricken down with pneumonia, and our latest information is that his condition is extremely critical. He is nearly 71 years old and consequently ill prepared to withstand the severity of disease. One of his sons – Dr. J. F. Hodge – reached Baton Rouge on the 16h inst., and Lewis Hodge, another son, in company with Mrs. Mosley, left on last Monday to attend him. Capt. Hodge has been the recipient of the kindest care and attention from our former townsman, Judge Rutland, and family, during his illness.”
This article was published in the “Home Advocate”, on Friday, 29 January 1886, p. 2:
“Death of Rev. C. W. Hodge
A private note from Hon. E. T. Sellers, received just as we go to press, brings the sad intelligence that Rev. C. W. Hodge died at Baton Rouge, Tuesday night, 26th inst, of pneumonia.
When we penned a notice of his illness last week, we were encouraged to believe, from latest information, that he would survive the attack, and this was the hope of his family up to Monday evening; but an unfavorable change then took place which resulted in his death. Capt. Hodge was born March 9th 1815 and consequently was nearly 71 years old at the time of his death. His remains were expected to arrive at Calhoun station yesterday, to be interred to day at Smyrna church near Downsville, by the Masonic fraternity, he having been a member of Urim Lodge No. 111, F & A. M. for many years. Capt. H. was well known throughout this entire section of the state and leaves many friends to mourn his demise. We tender the stricken family our sincere sympathy in this their great bereav[e]ment.”