The following graphics are from interpretive displays at the Battle of Sabine Pass Park: (with minor spelling corrections, Secham to Sachem and Joshua Belle to Josiah H. Bell )
fact, there was no field artillery.
Captain Lamson's imagination, under duress of what was in front of him,
played on his fears. It may be that he
saw Daly's men. Those on board the Granite
City were in the best position to see them. It may be the scouts had the small six pound field piece Captain
Kellersberger did not use in the fort.
There were other pieces of information that might have fed the
on board the Union ships could see the black smoke rising from the cotton clads
approaching from the north. Maybe
Odlum's visual trick played a part as well.
Once the initial move was made, the Union fleet got in a panic to
leave. Provisions, equipment, even horses
and mules were thrown over board to insure they could cross the bar
quickly. The Arizona, with its
white flag still flying, got unstuck and backed down the Louisiana
channel. In his eagerness to escape,
the captain of the Arizona got stuck again. The Captain of the Arizona did another thing to preserve
his place in history, he confirmed Lamson's erroneous sighting of the field
The drawing below is another from Francis Lubbock showing the surrender to Dowling
who was stripped to the waist and covered with soot and gunpowder, met
Lieutenant Crocker. Crocker was in the
uniform of a United States Naval Officer. Crocker found it difficult to believe Dowling was the commander of the
fort. Lieutenant Dane, brought to shore
by the Uncle Ben was more vocal,"Are you the shaughran (Gaelic for rogue) who did all that
mischief?"Dane said Dowling
looked about 19 years old, was very retiring and modest. He asked Dowling how many men and guns he
had. Dowling replied "four thirty-two
pounders and two twenty-four pounders, and 43 men.""Do you realize what you have done,
sir?", Dane continued; ..."you and your men have in your miserable
little mud fort among the rushes have captured two gunboats carrying 14 guns, a
number of prisoners, many stands of side arms, and plenty of good
ammunition. And all that you have done
with six popguns...and that is not the worst of your boyish tricks. You have sent three Yankee gunboats, 6,000
troops, and a General out to sea in the dark. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, sir." Dowling asked why the fleet left. Dane told him, "My impression is that
our fellows had a sudden attack of homesickness."
Boys, I wish my arms had been made of rubber, so that I could hug you all at once.
< Kate Dorman who stood a lot taller then her 4'10" in the hearts of the Davis Guard
The noble men belonging to the Davis Guards, who are all natives of the "Green Emerald Isle," deserve well of the nation.Nobly have they proved their devotion to the land of their adoption.
Let no one hereafter cast any imputations on the honest Irish soldier. He is true to his friends and country, and when the gallant deeds of valor, as was displayed inhere, are recorded on the page of history, there you will find the names of the heroes of Sabine.They had no property at stake in the contest, and no other motive than to battle for the rights and the sacred rights of the home of their adoption.
One of the most brilliant and heroic achievements in the history of this war, and entitles the Davis Guards to the gratitude and admiration of their country.
I believe the brave garrison did more than an equal force had ever elsewhere performed...
...that battle was more remarkable than the battle of Thermopylae, and, when it has orators and poets to celebrate it, will be so esteemed by mankind.
...to the defense of SabinePass, which for intrepidity and extraordinary success must, I think, be admitted to have no parallel to the annals of ancient or modern warfare.
The medals were presented with a green ribbon attached. On the front were the capital initials "D G" for Davis Guard and a Maltese cross. The obverse had in script: Sabine Pass, Sept.8th 1863
Dick Dowling wearing his medal
Magruder in a General Order dated September 13, 1863 and issued from aboard the
captured Clifton, stated:
The Major General Commanding again returns his warmest thanks to the gallant soldiers of Texas for their unsurpassed devotion and heroism, under the most trying circumstances of war. That a band of forty men, defending a fort of six guns, should have foiled an army of fifteen thousand, supported by powerful gunboats, in an attempt to land, would have been deemed incredible on any other soil save that of Texas. The results of this engagement are as valuable as the conduct of the men was brilliant and heroic.
Too much credit cannot be awarded Dowling, who displayed the utmost heroism in the discharge of the duty assigned him and the defenders of the fort. God Bless the Davis Guards one and all!
The Davis Guards were responsible for what was,without question, the most brilliant victory of Confederate forces in Texas. This was the Battle of Sabine Pass that took place on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8th, 1863. For bravery this engagement ranks with the Defense of the Alamo and for military results with the Battle of San Jacinto.