IN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO

Another leader of Texans fighting outside the state on behalf of the Confederacy was John Robert Baylor. His family first arrived in America well before the American Revolution, when John Baylor II and his bride, Lucy O'Brien emigrated. One of John R. Baylor's antecedents was an aide to George Washington. His older brother, Walker Baylor, fought at San Jacinto. Another brother, Henry Walker Baylor was a surgeon with Jack Hays in the Mexican War.

John R. Baylor, pictured to the left, was an Indian fighter. He was appointed a commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederacy. John R. Baylor was assigned the task of securing Texas' western frontier. To accomplish this, his men occupied the frontier forts. The Indians were all that was facing this force.

Wanting to do more for the war effort, Baylor decided to extend his territory west of Texas. In 1861, he led a force that secured western New Mexico. This area was organized as the Territory of Arizona. Baylor was appointed Governor. Other Celtic members of Baylor's administration include: M. H. McWillie who was appointed Arizona's representative to Richmond, capitol of the C.S.A.; and Colonel James Reilly who served the Republic of Texas as a Foreign Minister.

 

 

< Colonel James O'Reilly

Reilly, in February of 1862, led a force that occupied Tucson. James Magoffin assisted Baylor in finding supplies for his command. Magoffin's brother, Beriah Magoffin, Jr. was Governor of Kentucky. The Governor of New Mexico at this time was Doctor Henry Connelly, an old friend of Magoffin from his Chiuahua days. Connelly broke a trail through Texas to New Mexico.

Other Celts of note in the New Mexico/Arizona campaign were Tom Green and Leander McNelly. McNelly was very active in the Battle of Valverde which saw 40 Confederates capture 800 Union men. Other Confederate Celts in action at Valverde were: Lieutenant John Reilly, son of Colonel James Reilly; Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Pendleton Bagby (his mother was Anne E. Connell), Lieutenant Joseph H. McGuinness, a Lieutenant McIntire, Captain Jerome B. McCown, Lieutenant Joseph D. Sayers and Lieutenant Colonel Henry C. McNeill. Colonel McNeill with a force of Texans secured Socorro after Val Verde.

........................................................Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Pendleton Bagby>

A unit was raised from Nacogdoches for the campaign in New Mexico. It was raised by Captain John F. F. Doherty. Doherty became sick before the unit left for New Mexico and command evolved to Benjamin Livingston Rusk, the oldest child of Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Among men with Celtic names in this company were: John H. McKnight, James R. Boone, Rufus M. Casey, Charles R. Finley, Charles R. Garret, Edward S. Graham, John G. Graham, Alfred Griffith, William S. McCuistion, John McIntosh, and Cicero Rusk.

Another company present was one raised in Halletsville by Joel B. Ponton. His mother was the former Sarah Delaney. Ponton was elected Captain. He declined but did accept and serve as a Lieutenant.

The victory at Valverde seemingly brought New Mexico into Confederate control. In fact, the Confederates only controlled Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and some outposts. Their vulnerability was the long supply line to Texas. Before 1862 was half over, the Confederates were pushed out of Arizona and New Mexico. The end came when the supply line was cut in the the Battle of Glorieta Pass. The battle was a costly victory for the Confederates. The loss of a supply train forced the Rebels to return to Texas. Celts mentioned as being in the Battle of Glorieta Pass are: Captain Denman W. Shannon, Captain Isaac Adair, Lieutenant John Scott, 2nd Sergeant John H. McKight; and Privates Everett C. Foley, James McCord, Alexander Montgomery, Willie McCormick, James McManus, R. P. Catlett, and a Private Kelly.

IN LOUISIANA

On Texas' eastern side, there were Texans fighting battles for the Confederacy in Louisiana. They were fighting under Richard "Dick" Taylor. Taylor, pictured to the left, was the son of former President Zachary Taylor. Earlier in the war, Dick Taylor served under Irishman "Stonewall" Jackson as the leader of an Irish unit known as Taylor's Irish Regiment during the Tennessee Valley Campaign. The Louisiana Irish unit was the first to let loose what became known as the "rebel yell."

Union troops had a foothold in Louisiana early in the war. In 1862, Major General Benjamin F. Butler led Union ground forces supported at sea by Union naval forces in a successful capture of New Orleans. In pre-war Democratic Party politics, General Butler once nominated Jefferson Davis to be President of the United States.

The townspeople of New Orleans did not like the occupying army. Men knew they could not say anything derogatory about the Union or they would be tossed in jail, so their women started to throw slurs and objectionable comments to the Union soldiers they passed in the street. General Butler put out a General Order saying any women showing disrespect to a man in Federal uniform would be put in jail for prostitution.

As military commander of New Orleans, General Butler, pictured to the right, met one of the city's notable citizens, Margaret Gaffney Haughery. Margaret Gaffney was born in Killasandra, County Cavan, Ireland. Her mother was Margaret O'Rourke, and her father was William Gaffney. The family emigrated to the United States in 1818. By 1822 both parents were dead of yellow fever. Margaret was nine years old. She was cared for by a Jesuit priest, Father McElroy. He was assisted in this care by a Mrs. Richards. In 1835, Margaret Gaffney married Irish born Charles Haughery. He took her to New Orleans. On a later trip back to Ireland, Charles Haughery died. A few months later the only child of the marriage died as well. Margaret Haughery worked in a laundry to support herself. She later went to work at the Poydras Orphan Asylum. She was 23 years old at the time. She solicited funds for the orphans. Mary Gaffney was a very effective money raiser. She was so effective, other Poydras orphanages were opened. Mary Gaffney was rewarded for her efforts with a position in the administration of the orphanages. Besides her administrative duties, Margaret Haughery maintained a dairy herd of 40 cows to provide the orphanage children milk. She sold surplus milk to help raise funds for the orphanages. In 1859, Margaret Haughery became the owner of the later famous Klotz Cracker Factory. It was operated by her adopted son, Bernard Klotz. Margaret Haughery is credited with being the first to offer packaged crackers. The success of the diary and the crackers financed the needs of the orphanages.

When Benjamin Franklin Butler occupied the city and set up martial law in 1862, he set up barriers and curfews. No one in New Orleans was to pass these barriers or be outside past the hours of the curfew. Margaret Haughery distributed food and milk to the needy outside those lines. She continued to do so after the barriers were set up. General Butler ordered her to appear before him. He admonished her to stay behind the lines and told her she would be shot or hung if she crossed them again.

Margaret Haughery asked the general if it was President Lincoln's will to starve the poor? General Butler is said to have replied "You are not to go through the picket lines without my permission, is that clear?" "Quite clear" answered Margaret. To which Butler is said to have responded "You have my permission." Margaret Haughery continued her mission work throughout the Civil War and until her death in 1882. The City of New Orleans erected a statue of Margaret Haughey, one of the first statues in the United States to honor a woman. It still stands today in Margaret Park, New Orleans and is shown to the left.

Back to events of 1862. After Butler took New Orleans, Major General Dick Taylor was sent to bolster Confederate resistance to the Yankee presence there. He reported to General Edmund Kirby Smith, Commander of the Trans Mississippi District. General Smith was a Celt and a Texan. With hit and run tactics, Taylor was able to keep the Union forces always on alert. He was ably assisted in these tactics by the excellent efforts of a cavalry unit under Thomas Green. Tom Green is pictured to the right. Green a veteran of San Jacinto and of the more recent Confederate Arizona/New Mexico campaign, rose to the rank of Major General in the Confederate Army. Most of Taylor's and Green's efforts were in the Bayou La Fourche country. Another Celtic commander of note in this theater was Lieutenant Joseph Draper Sayers. Lieutenant Sayers commanded the Valverde Battery so named for the part they played in the Battle of Valverde.

There were other Celtic Texans in Taylor's command. Captain Leander H. McNelly, who was recognized for conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Valverde, was assigned, with his unit, to the Louisiana operation. In Louisiana he was again outstanding in the taking of Brashear, Louisiana.

Nathaniel Sykes Allen was another Irish Texan in Louisiana under Taylor. He liked Louisiana and stayed after the war. He became an important architect working from Shreveport. Colonel Henry C. McNeill and Captain W. A. McDade were two other Irish Texans serving with Dick Taylor in Louisiana. Still more Celts included: Lieutenant Colonel Arthur P. Bagby, he became a Brigadier General; Captain Edward F. Conway, who was an infantry officer, Colonel Oran Roberts, Colonel George W. Baylor, Colonel James H. Jones and the men of Spaight's Battalion mentioned earlier including Captain K. D. Keith of Sabine Pass and Captain George W. O'Brien.

O'Brien was an important political figure before and after the war in Beaumont. A large oak tree in front of his home became known as the "O'Brien Oak" and was an important Beaumont landmark for years. Captain O'Brien's war service included time with Hood's Brigade. In Chapter II, Mexican Texas, you read of an O'Brien family who changed their name to Bryan so as not to appear too foreign. George O'Brien was a member of this family. His father was known as George Bryan. George O'Brien went by G. W. Bryan and then O'Bryan in his early years that included a stint as a District Clerk, and then County Clerk in Chambers County. All during his service in the war, he was known as George O'Bryan. In 1868, he brought the family name full cycle and restored the original spelling to O'Brien.

< George W. O'Bryan/O'Brien

OTHERS, HERE AND THERE

Another O'Brien, W. G. O'Brien organized a company that became the 46th Texas Calvary. Samuel Bell Maxey organized a unit known as the Lamar Rifles of Light Infantry which formed the basis for the Texas 9th Infantry Regiment. Maxey shown to the right became a Major General in the Confederate army. Many more Celts organized or were a part of companies raised throughout Texas. There are too many to name them all, representative examples follow.

Samuel B. Callahan, an Oklahoman rancher, was elected Chief Justice of the Indian court system of the Creek Nations. He was a delegate of the Creek Nations to Richmond. Callahan organized a company of the Creeks for the C. S. A.. After the war, Samuel Callahan settled in Texas.

William Leslie Black, whose mother was Scottish, served in both the Confederate Army and Navy. He was in the Battle of Shiloh as an infantryman. Later he served on blockade runners bringing cotton to England.

Charles De Morse, whose mother was Mary Denny, served as an officer in both the Texas Army and the Texas Navy. He organized a cavalry company which became the Texas 29th Cavalry and played an important part in the Battle of Elk Creek.

Richard Bennett Hubbard, who would later be a governor of Texas, together with Ambrose Fitzgerald the first County Clerk of first Van Zandt and then Wood County, organized the Texas 22nd Calvary Regiment.

Another Irish Texan who was working for the Confederacy while away from Texas, was John H. Reagan. Reagan served in Jefferson Davis' cabinet. John Reagan was one of only three who served on the Confederate Cabinet from the beginning of the war to its bitter end. He served, for the most part, as the Postmaster of the Confederate States of America.

< John H Reagan

Interestingly, all the stamps issued by the Confederate Post Office were of Celts: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, and Jefferson Davis. The last was something the United States Post Office never did -honor a living person with a stamp! Reagan's postal department was the only department in either government to make a profit during the war. In the last days of the Confederacy, John H. Reagan also served as the Treasurer of the Confederate States of America.

Another Celt in the Civil War was Samuel May Williams, in a journal he kept of his experiences in the war he often wrote of the exploits of hometown friends, the Bergin brothers of Galveston. Lieutenant John W. Bergin and William R. Bergin both fell at Vicksburg. Williams wrote of Lieutenant Bergin, he was a "noble son of the Emerald Isle, gone but not forgotten." When Samuel May Williams was able to get back to Texas, among those greeting him at the Sabine River and escorting him back to Galveston was Mrs. Bergin.