Ken, glad to hear that the obit index is helping you. It's a great resource for anyone searching for ancestors who lived in New Orleans. I wish more libraries had such a resource. NOPL's fees are as reasonable as they get. Obits are a great primary resource but they do sometimes contain errors and can really leave you scratching your head.
I assume that you have the compiled service records for Simon re: his time in the Confederate Army, right? Also, the mention of him as a Lt. in the Washington Artillery in 1847 indicates that he also served in the Mexican War, do you have those records too? And the Seminole War? As you no doubt know, there is seldom any genealogical data in military records but at least you can get an idea of where the guy was and what he was doing. Did Simon serve in the Washington Artillery during the War Between the States? I haven't check to see but if so, then you might know that
the Washington Artillery is a famous unit in this neck of the woods and well-known among military buffs all over. It has a long and proud history. I believe it traces its history back to the War of 1812 but I'm a bit rusty on its history so don't quote me. Prior to Katrina, the Jackson Barracks Museum had quite a bit on WA's history as well as some really neat artifacts, photos, etc. Unfortunately, the museum is located in the 9th Ward, on the La. National Guard base, and it went under about 10 feet of water. I don't have the details but I know that it suffered extensive damage and they are now working on saving as much as possible. As I recall, the Confederate Museum in downtown New Orleans also has some material related to the unit's Confederate service and fortunately that museum escaped major damage. I know that books have been written about the history of the Washington Artillery so you shouldn't have any problem locating information, if you are so inclined. I recall that there was something called the "Washington Artillery Association" which was formed right after the War Between the States, but I don't remember anything else other than it was a veterans organization which sought to preserve the unit's history and help out fellow comrades. It was probably a good excuse to get out of the house, smoke cigars, drink some beer or whiskey, hang out with the boys and reminisce about the glory days. A few Goggle searches should provide you with a great deal of information on this outfit.
I really haven't a clue as to what you might find in any personnel files, if they can be located. The one which I obtained for roughly the same time period only had a signed form "Oath of Office" and a copy of the fellows letter of resignation. Of course he didn't serve nearly as long and it was a different government department. I can only guess that back then they didn't keep the sort of detailed records we have today. Maybe pay records, promotions and that sort of thing. I rather doubt they had detailed performance evaluations but maybe I'm wrong...I just don't have much experience with those sorts of records.
Anyway, glad to hear you are making progress and hope that maybe something in this prattle with help you further.
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