In the 1850’s the river traffic was booming and Champaignolle had grown to a town of 100 inhabitants. There were even two other small hamlets that were started in the local area.
Many young men left Champaignolle in May of 1861, when Albert Rust, a Champaignolle resident and Senator to the Confederate Congress, sent out a call for men to rally around the flag and join a unit of the Confederacy. Littleton C. Duke answered that call.
In 1861 Littleton was 20 years old and like all young men wanted to participate in an experience that would define the move from boyhood to manhood. Unfortunately, war is one historical event that takes away one’s naiveté and replaces it very quickly with the doctrine of “kill or be killed”.
I have often wondered if Littleton knew Nancy Jean Nelson before he went off to war. They married 2 years and 7 months after Littleton was surrendered at Appomattox. He was 26 almost 27 and she was 21 when they married. She must have been about 15 in 1861. I bet he knew her, but he wasn’t her beau when he went off to war. I also doubt if they corresponded during the war.
I believe during the 2 years and 7 months after Littleton returned to Champaignolle they became close; were engaged; and ultimately married.