Leopold Ludger Armant, of St. James Parish, Louisiana, was the son of Adjutant General and Louisiana state Senator Jean Seraphim (John S.) Armant (1801-1859) and his wife, Louise Amelie Fusilier de la Claire (1805-1852). He grew up at Armant Plantation, which was then and is still under cultivation as a sugar plantation. Armant graduated from Georgetown University with an M.A. in 1855, and attended the University of Virginia in session 32 (1855-1856). He then attended the University of Louisiana, graduating in 1858. Prior to the Civil War, Armant was a lawyer, and served in the Louisiana state legislature representing St. James Parish.
When the Civil War began, Armant entered Confederate service as a 1st Lieutenant in Company A, 18th Regiment, Louisiana Infantry. The 18th Louisiana was begun at Camp Moore near New Orleans in Oct. 1861. It was consolidated with the 10th (“Yellow Jackets”) Infantry Battalion and designated the 18th Consolidated Infantry Regiment at Simmesport, LA, on 14 Nov. 1863. Armant advanced quickly through the ranks as Captain (April 1862), Major (May 1862) and Colonel (July 1862). Silas Grisamore said Armant was much admired and respected by the men of the 18th: “In the campaign on the Teche which followed and the fights at Bisland, the colonel always was found at the head of his regiment and bore himself gallantly whenever occasion presented. In the long marches which the 18th Regiment made in northern Louisiana, Colonel Armant accompanied his men, sharing with them the privations and sufferings to which they were subject.”
As the Confederates retreated toward Shreveport, LA, in April 1864, they passed through Mansfield, LA, where the Union forces were defeated by the Confederates. However, the battle cost the 18th Regiment the lives of their commander, Brigadier General Mouton, and Colonel Armant, among many others. Grisamore described Armant’s death in battle: “In the thickest of the fight, Armant’s horse was shot from under him. At the same moment, his color bearer went down; Armant rushed forward and, seizing the flag, received his death wound whilst gallantly waving the flag in the shower of bullets in which he was placed. When last seen alive, he was prostrate, trying to hold up his flag and bidding defiance to his destroyers.”
At the time of his death on 8 Apr. 1864, in the Battle of Mansfield, he was engaged to marry Anna Fortier, the granddaughter of his neighbor, Valcour Aime. Armant was buried after the battle in the Mansfield City Cemetery. His body was later moved to Saint Ann Catholic Cemetery, St. James Parish, Louisiana.
- Bourgeois, Lillian C. Chabanocey; the history, customs, and folklore of St. James Parish. Gretna, LA, 1957. Accessed via books.google.com
- Grisamore, Silas T. Reminiscences of Uncle Silas; a history of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry Regiment. Baton Rouge, LA, 1981, in The 18th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, a brief history and roster [website]. http://members.tripod.com/j_richard/18th_leopold_armant.html (accessed 5/26/2011).
- “Leopold L. Armant,” in The 18th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, a brief history and roster [website]. http://members.tripod.com/j_richard/18th_leopold_armant.html (accessed 5/26/2011).
- Memorial of the first centenary of Georgetown College, D. C. Washington, D.C., 1891.
- Memorial to Col. L. L. Armant, Mansfield City Cemetery, Findagrave.com (accessed 5/26/2011).
- Neal Auction Company, New Orleans, LA. Louisiana Purchase Auction Catalogue, auction Dec. 3-4, 2005. http://nealauction.com/archive/1205/lot/lottext/401-500.html (accessed 5/26/2011)