For General Bank's Official Report (and excuses) use this link >
There was many a Confederate that was inspired to write an ode or poem about the events at Sabine Pass The best, in my view, was written by an Irishman in New Jersey who was impressed with the valiant Irishman, Dick Dowling and the Davis Guard, the Shamrocks on the Sabine. To read his poem entitled The Ballad Of Dick Dowling use this link >
For Lieutenant Dick Dowling's Official Report of the battle use this link >
The Dick Dowling link will also take you to the Appendix information regarding the battle. Included in that is a roster of the Davis Guard and who among them was most probably at the battle, a list of others involved in the battle or right afterwards, a list of those interested through the years to the point of some involvement and some information of commemorations of the battle, the Davis Guard and/or Dick Dowling.
Dick Dowling was promoted to Major, Sergeant David Fitzgerald was promoted to
Lieutenant.The Davis Guard, by order
of General Magruder, was given the honor of having the words, `Sabine
Pass' embroidered on their caps with a laurel wreath in gold thread.
< Major Dick Dowling
after the battle, all the prisoners were loaded aboard the Roebuck and
the Uncle Ben and taken to Beaumont.From Beaumont they
were railed to Houston. In Houston the
prisoners were kept in the courthouse.After a short while the Union prisoners were taken to Camp Groce where
they joined the men of the 42nd Massachusetts and the men from the Harriet
Lane.The Camp Commander was
Colonel John Sayers.
One of the unit's captured was the 48th Ohio Regiment. They made lore for their regiment when for their entire time in prison they kept hidden the regimental flag. Most of that time it was worn in a shirt sewn between the shirt and its lining. It was never found and made its way back to Ohio when the prisoners were paroled.
............................................The "Prison Flag" of the 48th Ohio Regiment >
and after the battle, it was noted that some Union survivors swam to the
Louisiana side of the channel. In case
some of them swam back to the Texas side at another point or got lost in the
bayous and came back into Texas, Dowling wanted to warn people from Sabine City
to Beaumont to be alert for Yankee stragglers.He called for a volunteer to ride to all points from the fort to
Beaumont with the warning.
W. McDaniel, wrote in his book, Patillo Higgins and the Search for Texas Oil,
that according to family tradition, his great uncle, Robert James
"Jim" Higgins volunteered for the assignment. Higgins, who many say was at the battle
wanted the opportunity to check on his family which he had sent from Sabine
City to Beaumont.
< Robert "James" Higgins
Higgins to take a flag with him and find a prominent point enroute and place
the flag where it could be easily seen from a distance.This was to mark a marshalling point for
area locals to bring any prisoners they might capture.Dowling would send some troops behind his
route to man the location in a few days.
location Higgins chose was a mound just outside of Beaumont that had served as
a Confederate training camp for Captain George W. O'Brien's unit (Company E,
Likens' Battalion) early in the war.Some of the buildings they built were still there.That mound would later figure strongly in
the life of Robert James Higgins' son, who was born three months after the
battle.The name given that place by
O'Brien's men was Camp Spindletop.
the Sachem and the Clifton
were repaired and used by the Confederates.Colonel Spaight's Battalion, less Captain Keith's artillery unit was
sent to join Richard Taylor's forces in Louisiana.Colonel Griffin, who had been stationed at Galveston, was sent
back to Sabine City to again take command of the area.
First Texas Union Calvary under E. J. Davis, for the second time, returned to
New Orleans in their boats. Twice they
were poised to land in Texas, at Galveston in January of 1863, and at Sabine
October the unit was again asked to dismount their horses and climb aboard
ships for an invasion of Texas. This
time they would be a part of a 7,000 man force under Major General Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana, pictured to the left. They landed at Brazos Santiago
in early November. They were quickly in
Brownsville and in Fort Brown which was evacuated by Colonel James Duff's 33rd
Texas Calvary. Duff pulled back to the
Nueces. From Brownsville, two columns
advanced from the fort looking for Confederates. One went up the coast capturing Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, and
all of the Matagorda Peninsula.
Matagorda Island the Union forces found Confederates dug in at Fort
Esperanza. This fort was reinforced and
had other improvements made by another Confederate Irish artillerist, David T.
Shea. It had eight heavy guns, ten foot
high parapets, and walls fifteen feet thick.
The fort was built and the guns laid to face an enemy coming by the
sea. The Union force had come from the
vunerable land side and settled in for a siege which the fort was not prepared
to face. The siege began on November
27, 1863. The Union infantry brought up
supporting artillery and Union ships began to appear at sea. The Confederate commander, Colonel William
R. Bradfute, decided it would be better to withdraw his force in face of the
growing number of Union forces surrounding him. He dicided to do it while he could, rather than lose his men to
capture or worse. The 500 Confederates
manning the fort spiked the guns, blew up the magazine and withdrew. Union forces then occupied the fort, and
Indianola on the mainland as well. Seven warships supported the Union takeover
of the Matagorda Peninsula and of Indianola.
Armed reconaissance on land and sea were begun immediately.
T. Shea and his artillery unit together with a large number of refugees
withdrew to Port Lavaca. They were
fired upon by two Federal steamers. The
Union ships demanded the town's surrender.
Shea refused to yield the town and the town underwent a tremendous bombardment. The town withstood the barrage and held
out. Credited with greatly helping
during this situation with assistance, supplies, food and morale was a Mrs.
other column headed by Colonel E. J. Davis' First Texas Calvary, went along the
Rio Grande to Rio Grande City. Davis
and his calvary unit raided deep into Texas.
They went as far north as the King Ranch taking cattle to feed the Union
Brownsville in Union hands, the cotton route to Matamoros and Bagdad was
changed to Laredo and Eagle Pass. The
cotton was ferried across the Rio Grande at Laredo and Eagle Pass to the
Mexican side and then carried overland to its destination.
Magruder took the field himself to check the Federal advances upon the Red
River. The Confederates felt Dana's
force was too small to do anything but hold the coastal area. They feared a larger attack from the Federal
forces that had won at Port Hudson and Vicksburg.