The Tigers got their name in a decision made by coach A.W. Jeardeau in the fall of 1896. The name “Tigers” seemed like a natural choice at the time since most college teams were taking on the names of intimidating and ferocious animals, but the true story of LSU’s athletic title is buried in Civil War history.
According to historical Civil Wartime experts, the name Tigers was birthed from a volunteer company nicknamed the Tiger Rifles, which became organized in New Orleans. The company joined a bigger battalion led by Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat and were the only soldiers wearing a colorful Zouave uniform and in time, the entire battalion was referred to as the Tigers. The nickname caught on as time sped by and soon the nickname was given to all of Robert E. Lee’s Louisiana troops. The symbol of the tiger originated from the well-known Washington Artillery of New Orleans, a militia which traces its history all the way back to the 1830s. Their logo was of a snarling tiger’s head and they first became recognized at the Battle of First Manassas in 1861. The logo became associated with LSU when Major David Frech Boyd became the first president of the school. Boyd was a veteran of the recently-fought war, and after fighting alongside Louisiana troops, was well aware of the reputation of the Tiger Rifles and Washington Artillery.
there was a civil war troop called the Donaldsonville Cannoeers. The leader of the group called his troops the Fighting Tigers. He name was Victor Maurin - commander of the Donaldsonville Cannoneers, core of the "Louisiana Tigers"
Ok, here is the basic story. During the Civil War there was a particular unit from New Orleans that used a tiger as its emblem. This unit and others from Louisiana were known for their ferocity in battle and were said by one Confederate general to "fight like Tigers."
Late when LSU's football coach was looking for a mascot name in the 1890s, someone suggested the tiger, as a way to honor those civil war units. And so LSU's mascot became the tiger.
The Louisiana Tiger Regiment was the meanest, loudest, wildest group of regulars in the Civil War. They were as well known (infamous)for their actions off the field of battle as well as on. They were a hearty lot who didn't usually get the red carpet in the towns they were defending due to excessive drinking, fighting and disorderly behavior. Yet, they still had enough in the tank to be one of the fiercest brigades in the Confederate army. Basically, these guys wouldn't stop when the bullets ran out. They would use knives, fists, teeth, anything. No mercy with these "gents."