Origin – Colonel Charles Morgan
Morganza takes its name from Morganza Plantation, the antebellum holding of Colonel Charles Morgan, an early surveyor, political figure and first American sheriff of Pointe Coupee Parish. There is no service record for Charles so it appears that Colonel was honorific. Morgan immigrated from New Jersey around 1800 as a surveyor. He married a local woman, Hyacynthe Allain, and founded the plantation. Evidence indicates he was involved in the transfer of slaves, and possibly freemen, from New Jersey to Louisiana in conflict with New Jersey law. In fact, he was indicted on fifteen criminal counts in New Jersey. He owned much land in Pointe Coupee Parish and served on the Louisiana Legislature and the Mississippi River Authority.
There are no pictures of the Morgan plantation home and as reported in the diary of Aurora Morgan, the house was burned on 10/1/1863 by federal troops. The union troops burned the house after the Battle of Stirling (or Fordoche Bridge).
Colonel Charles Morgan
Civil War History
Morganza was the site of a major Union Army encampment during the American Civil War. General Nathaniel Banks built a fort on the banks of the river with the intent of controlling the river northward to Vicksburg. At one point an estimated 40,000 Union troops occupied the area. The largest battle in Pointe Coupee Parish was fought at nearby Stirling Plantation, on September 29, 1863. While not a major battle in terms of the massive conflicts of the Civil War, it was a Confederate Victory with nearly 600 Union troops being captured. When the Union troops retreated, they burned the town of Morganza to the ground. It became known as the town of chimneys because that was all that was left standing. A local, Emille Carmouche, led partisans in several skirmishes with the Union troops after that. Toward the end of the war hostilities were suspended by both sides to allow the locals to rid the area of Jayhawkers. Once that was accomplished, local guerrilla operations never really resumed. Click here to read more about the Civil War in Morganza.
Hyacinthe Allain Morgan
National Reigstry of Historic Places
Old HickoryOld Hickory is a good representative example of a Creole raised plantation house. This can be seen in its pitch roof which incorporates the front gallery, its plan, its chairrail inside and out, its handsome doorways, and its exposed and beaded beams. Although it is only of moderate size, the house is unusually well proportioned with three dormers in the attic, which gives a much more graceful line than the usual two dormers. The house which came to be known as "Old Hickory"
Easy Rider MarkerIn 1968 the film "Easy Rider" was filmed in areas around Louisiana. One of those areas was Morganza. The film starred Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper and became an American classic. The cafe' where the Morganza scene was filmed has been torn down but a marker has been placed in the concrete in front of where the cafe' stood.
Birthplace of General Lejeune MarkerLt. General Lejeune, 1867-1942, was born in Innis; commanded the 2nd Division of the AEF during WW I; became Commandant of USMC; was superintendent of VMI from 1929 to 1937.
Battle of Bayou FordocheOn Sept. 29, 1863 Confederate forces of Texas and Louisiana commanded by Brig. Gen. Tom Green defeated Union forces of the 13th Army Corps capturing 500 men and 2 cannons. The battle is also known as the Battle of Sterling's Plantation. This marker is dedicated to the men who died on this battlefield.
The Morganza Cultural District has begun installing markers on sites that are special to the village. These markers have been placed on lots where former businesses and family homes once stood, as well as in front of current homes and buildings. The markers tell a unique story of the families that built Morganza. The idea of the historical markers is to allow a visitor to take a self guided tour through town and learn about the rich history of Morganza. The following markers are in place.