The Catholic Arms At Beaucaire

In May, 1815, a federative association, similar to those of Lyons,

Grenoble, Paris, Avignon, and Montpelier, was desired by many persons at

Nismes; but this federation terminated here after an ephemeral and

illusory existence of fourteen days. In the mean while a large party of

catholic zealots were in arms at Beaucaire, and who soon pushed their

patroles so near the walls of Nismes, "as to alarm the inhabitants."

catholics applied to the English off Marseilles for assistance,

and obtained the grant of 1000 muskets, 10,000 cartouches, &c. General

Gilly, however, was soon sent against these partizans, who prevented

them from coming to extremes, by granting them an armistice; and yet

when Louis XVIII. had returned to Paris, after the expiration of

Napoleon's reign of a hundred days, and peace and party spirit seemed to

have been subdued, even at Nismes, bands from Beaucaire joined

Trestaillon in this city, to glut the vengeance they had so long

premeditated. General Gilly had left the department several days: the

troops of the line left behind had taken the white cockade, and waited

farther orders, whilst the new commissioners had only to proclaim the

cessation of hostilities, and the complete establishment of the king's

authority. In vain, no commissioners appeared, no despatches arrived to

calm and regulate the public mind; but towards evening the advanced

guard of the banditti, to the amount of several hundreds, entered the

city, undesired but unopposed. As they marched without order or

discipline, covered with clothes or rags of all colours, decorated with

cockades not white, but white and green, armed with muskets,

sabres, forks, pistols and reaping hooks, intoxicated with wine, and

stained with the blood of the protestants whom they had murdered on

their route, they presented a most hideous and appalling spectacle. In

the open place in the front of the barracks, this banditti was joined by

the city armed mob, headed by Jaques Dupont, commonly called

Trestaillon. To save the effusion of blood, this garrison of about 500

men consented to capitulate, and marched out sad and defenceless; but

when about fifty had passed, the rabble commenced a tremendous fire on

their confiding and unprotected victims; nearly all were killed or

wounded, and but very few could re-enter the yard before the garrison

gates were again closed. These were again forced in an instant, and all

were massacred who could not climb over roofs, or leap into the

adjoining gardens. In a word, death met them in every place and in

every shape and this catholic massacre rivalled in cruelty, and

surpassed in treachery, the crimes of the September assassins of Paris

and the Jacobinical butcheries of Lyons and Avignon. It was marked, not

only by the fervour of the revolution, but by the subtlety of the

league, and will long remain a blot upon the history of the second