J. The Jefferson Davis Guard

There is no source available definitively identifying the names of the members of the Davis Guard who participated in the Battle of Sabine Pass on September 8, 1863. A search was made of records and contemporary personnel's recollections to identify anyone who might have served with the unit from its creation in 1861 up to and after the battle in September of 1863. The following is a compilation that began with a list from Davis Guards: Michael Carr, William Hardin and Richard O'Hara dated June 6, 1900; to which were added information from other veteran's testimony or accounts of the Davis Guards, official Confederate records, death and internment records. The list below is the company roster of everyone known to have served in the unit and the highest rank attained up to the battle (which may not have been their rank at the time of the battle). To the right of each name are comments including variant spelling on some lists of different first and/or last names.

THE ROSTER

COMPANY F, FIRST TEXAS HEAVY ARTILLERY

"The Jefferson Davis Guard"

The official name taken by what became Company F of the First Texas Heavy Artillery when it was formed was the Jefferson Davis Guard. This was shortened in conversation to the Jeff Davis Guard or Davis Guard. The men in the unit were known as the Jeff Davis Guards, Davis Guards or Davies. Somewhere the distinction between the two got lost and the unit and men were called the Jeff Davis or Davis Guards. There were other units in the Confederate Army called the Jefferson Davis Guard(s): The 18th Georgia Infantry Regiment had a company called the Davis Guard Company; Company G of the 48th Mississippi Infantry Regiment was called the Jeff Davis Guards. Company C of the 38th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was called the Jeff Davis Guard as were Company F of the 20th Virginia Infantry and Company A of the 57th Virginia Infantry. Company D of the 21st Mississippi Infantry Regiment was named the Jeff Davis Guards. The 34th Tennessee Infantry Regiment had a company, Company H, later desigated Company A, made up of men from Bridgeport, Alabama called the Davis Guards. In Texas, in Refugio County, there was a unit called the Jeff Davis Home Guard. There were many other units called Jeff Davis Rifles, Jeff Davis Rebels etc.

Officers of the Davis Guard

Captain Frederick H. Odlum in command at Sabine City

* First Lieutenant Richard W. Dowling

Second Lieutenant Patrick H. Hennessey on furlough

Second Lieutenant William P. Cunningham on furlough

Acting Officers of the Davis Guard on September 8, 1863

* Captain George H Bailey

* Lieutenant Nicholas H Smith

Non Commissioned Officers of the Davis Guard

* Sergeant Timothy McDonough^

* Sergeant David Fitzgerald

* Orderly Sergeant Thomas Dougherty (Doherty, Daugherty)

* Corporal John Hasset (Masset, Wasset) (Thomas)

* Corporal Michael Monohan (Monaghan, Monahen)

* Corporal John McKeever (McKeefer)

Color Bearer William Gillespie

Privates

Name / Comment --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Patrick Abbott

Daniel Ahern, Third Sergeant

Andrew Bailey, Orderly Sargeant

Peter Bergan^

John Carper died December 26, 1861

* Michael Carr

* Abner R. Carter (Albert)

* Patrick Clare (Clair)

* James Corcoran^

John Coughlin^

William Crowley

Curran, Michael

* Hugh Deagan (Dugan, Dragan, Degan)

* Michael Delaney^ (shown as William on Magruder report)

James Dewire died March 3, 1862

* Daniel Donovan (Dunnoven)

Dennis Donovan (Dunnoven)

* John H. Drummond enlisted as John Anderson

Dennis Eagan

Gilbert Eagan

* Michael Eagan

Michael Fitzgerald, First Corporal

* Patrick Fitzgerald

John Fitzpatrick joined after the battle

* James Fleming, First Sergeant

* John Flood^

Michael Foley, Second Corporal

John Gallagher

John Gardner

John Gleason

* William Gleason

John W. Grogan joined after the battle

John Guinn

* Thomas Hagerty (Haggerty)

William Hammond

William Hardin (Hardy)

John Hennessey (Hennessy, Henesy)

Maurice Hennessey (Morris)

James Higgins

Dennis Hugan died January 28, 1862

Edward Hughes

* Timothy Huggins

* Timothy Hurley

William L. Jett (Livingston)

John Keegan

James Kelly Fourth Sergeant

Frank Lawlor

A. B. Lowe died November 28, 1861

Thomas Lyons

John K. Madden died January 1, 1865, joined after the battle

James Maitland

* Patrick Malone^

William Maner died November 2, 1864, joined after the battle

Patrick Martin joined after the battle

Patrick Moran died March 28, 1862

Robert Moore

* Alex McCabe (Abram)

* Patrick McDonnell^ (McDonald)

Patrick McErrel

John McGraw

* John McGrath

John McGuire

Thomas McGuire

* Michael McKernan (McKernon)(Tom), Second Sergeant, Corporal

* Dan McMurray^ (Daniel, Michael)

* John McNealis (also McNealus, McNeelis)

* Terence Mulhern (Joinse Mulhorn?) not in fort during battle

John Mulcahy

William Murray

John O'Connor

Peter O'Hara^, Third Corporal (O'Hare, O'Hara) same as Richard

James P. O'Neil joined after the battle

John O'Rourke

Laurence Plunkett (Puckett) (Lawrence)

* Maurice Powers (Morris)

* Edward Pritchard (Prichard)

* Charles Rheins (Rains, Rheine, Reins)

Patrick Roach

John Rourke

Edward Scott died September 1, 1862

James Scully

Henry Sholibo? died February 22, 1865, joined after the battle

James Stevenson

* Thomas Sullivan

* Michael Sullivan

* Patrick Sullivan

? Twoomey

* Mathew Walsh

Nathan Welch

James Welsh

* John Wesley (Westley, Westly)

Jack W. White (John T) a color bearer

* Joseph Wilson

* These are the men I submit were in the battle or part of it based on a process of elimination using the thirteen lists described below and correspondence from veterans and the previous work of other historians.

^ These men deserted.

Patrick Mulhern and Patrick Sullivan were not in the fort during the battle, they were there for part of the shelling and events immediately after the surrender and capture of the prisoners. Dowling sent them back to Kate Dorman's hotel with her dishes from the dinner prepared for The Davis Guard by the towns people of Sabine Pass. Also known to be on detailed assignments that had them out of the fort during the battle were: Richard C. O'Hara, William Hardin and John White. In preparing the final list for placement on the 1905 Dowling monument, there was much discussion as to whether these men should be included on the list of men in the battle, as they were official members of the unit on official duty elsewhere. Some of the surviving veterans listed some of these men, some listed others. It is clear from the correspondence between them and monument officials, they wanted them listed.

Mention should also be made of two men who while present during the battle did little during the battle. They were told by Lt. Dowling they were the reserves and to keep themselves safe in the bombproofs until called. They were never called. Agreement can be found on the name of only one of these men by the veterans, that of Patrick Abbot. The other was most probably William Jett.

While there is disagreement on exactly who was there at the time of the battle, we can come closer to how many were there. We know there were three officers each assigned to command a battery of cannon. Sergeant Fitzgerald was with Doctor Bailey actually doing the work of the officer in charge of the battery. Dick Dowling served as the officer in charge of the 32 pounders and as a gunner of one. There were three batteries of cannon: the 32 pound smooth bore cannon, the 24 pound smooth bore cannon, and the brass 32 pound, wheel-mounted cannon. Each battery had two cannon. There was a total of six cannons. Dowling had more than enough men to assign an equal number of men to each cannon. He could send Mulhern and Sullivan back to town, when the firing began, with Kate Dorman's dishes and still keep two men in reserve. After the 32 pounder on wheels was knocked out early in the fight, he had additional men available. Doran reported that Leon Smith told him that when he, Smith, was at the fort, Dowling told him "...he had enough men." If each cannon had the same number of men assigned (noting that Bailey being extra at his battery and Dowling serving as officer and gunner offset the possible exceptions), we can get to a series of possible numbers based on the range in the literature. Published accounts state that there were from 36 to 54 men in the fort. Using the numbers 3,4,5,6,7 and 8 as the possible numbers of men assigned each cannon gives us: 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 48 men. Adding the two men held in reserve to each number totals: 20, 26, 32, 38, 44 and 50 men. Adding in Mulhern and Sullivan makes the numbers: 22, 28, 34, 40, 46 and 52. Adding the three officers makes the totals: 25, 31, 37, 43, 50 or 56 men. Only the numbers 43, 50, and 56 fit in the range described.

The noted Civil War historian, Bruce Catton in a Life magazine article dated January 6, 1961 wrote in an article entitled "Unruly Irishmen Who Ruined a Yank Invasion" that there were Dick Dowling and 47 other rugged Irishmen in the fight.

V. G. Jackson in her Masters Thesis for the University of Texas in 1930 entitled "The History of Sabine Pass", cites articles in the September 14th and 16th editions of the Houston Telegraph to say there were 42 in the fort plus officers.

Frank X. Tolbert in His book, Dick Dowling At Sabine Pass, notes 41 men.

General Magruder in his General Order of 13 September makes mention of the "band of fourty men."

The Southeast Genealogical and Historical Society in its journal dated August, 1975 has an article entitled "Pioneer Reminiscenses of Jefferson County" that notes there were 41 men in the fort. The article was taken from remarks made in March of 1906.

J.M. Chasten was a Lieutenant on board the Roebuck who arrived at the site of Sabine Pass during the battle. He stated there were 40 men in the fort.

Former Governor O. M Roberts who was the first President of the Texas Historical Society also commanded Spaight's Battalion during the war. This unit had several men in the battle. Robert's counted Dowling and 41 men.

There is an article in The New Texas Reader designed as a textbook for the school children of Texas. The textbook was published by E. H. Cushing in 1864. Cushing was a contemporary. He was the Editor of the Houston Post at the time of the battle and was in correspondence with F. H. Odlum as early as in November of 1861. The article entitled Lesson 43, The Battle of Sabine Pass, was according to an article in the Houston Triweekly Telegraph on November 4, 1863, written by a participant in the battle. In the article it states the number of men as "forty in number," and officers.

Major Leon Smith filed an official report on September 8, 1863 in which he states when he entered the fort; " ... I found Lieut. Dowling and Lieut. N. H. Smith, with forty-two men...." That totals 44 men. Smith does not mention Dr. Bailey in his report.

In a report filed on 13 September, from Sabine Pass, a correspondent who signed his name, Uncle Ben, wrote an article printed in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph on September 16, 1863 that states 54 men played a part in the battle. Uncle Ben goes on to list eleven officers including, Leon Smith, Odlum, Good, Dr. Murray as well as the commanders of the steamboats and the commanders of the army men on board. When all these men are subtracted that leaves: Dowling, Bailey, Smith, and 38 others for a total of 43.

Tom J. Russell writing in March of 1906 in the "Yellow Pages", the newsletter of the Southeast Texas Genealogical and Historical Society in an on-going series entitled "Pioneer Reminiscenses of Jefferson County", wrote "First Lieutenant Dick Dowling commanding forty men and First Lieutenant N. H. Smith ..."

Charles Bickley, whose company had men at the scene immediatly after the battle, writes in a September 26, 1863 article in the Houston Telegraph that the number was 43. In another article dated September 26, 1867 just after Dowlings death, Bickley stated the enemy was driven away by Dowling and "forty-two irish artillerists."

William Jeffers Tomerlin who was aboard one of the cottonclads that arrived just after the battle stated "We were informed by those who took part that there were only 35 men actually in the battle on the Confederate side."

Thomas W. Malone, who was aboard the Roebuck, stated "Dowling and less than 40 men were in the fort." Malone's comments were in a newspaper article written in September of 1863.

In a poem titled Sabine Pass and dedicated to the Davis Guards - (The Living and the Dead), Mrs M. J. Young wrote September 8, 1868 -

Dark storms have since o'erswept our land.

And tyrants do our souls harass,

But glory shines on DOWLING'S band -

The forty-two heroes of the Pass.

Adding Dowling makes 43. This poem is found in Frances Robertson Sackett's book.

Jack McGuire, longtime director of the Institute of Texan Culture wrote in a magazine article entitled "The Fighting Irish" there were 41 of the Davis Guard with Bailey and Smith for a total of 43.

A contemporary source places the number of men in the fort at 38 men and three officers, this source was a much admired and respected local historian, Adele Looscan, wife of Major Michael Looscan, C.S.A., later a judge. He was born in Ireland. Her report of the battle is from first hand interviews with the participants.

Doran wrote in his account of the battle there were three officers and 42 men. He then goes on to list 43 enlisted men. He includes Hennessey, O'Hara and White. Removing these three (they were on detail elsewhere during the battle) leaves 40. Adding in the officers makes 43.

A resolution passed by the Confederate Congress in February, 1864 gave thanks to Lieutenant Richard Dowling and the 41 men who comprised the Davis Guard.

Engineer Getulius Kellersberger in a book published in Zurich in 1896 wrote "The garrison consisted of forty Irishmen under a most energetic lieutenant...."

One man who should know was Dick Dowling. On two occasions he gives the number of men in the fort. In his official report dated 9 September, 1863, he states "...with 47 men...." In the report he lists Captain F. H. Odlum, Major Leon Smith, Captain W. S. Good, and Dr. Murry (sic). Removing these men from the number makes 43. Lieutenant Henry Dane, the Union Communications Officer captured from the Sachem was interviewed by a New York newspaper when he got back home. He reported a converstation with Dowling after the battle in which he asked Dowling how many men were in the fort, to which Dowling replied, 43.

Andrew Forest Muir in his article Dick Dowling and The Battle of Sabine Pass which appeared in the December 1958 magazine "Civil War History" wrote: "In addition to the three officers, forty enlisted men were in the fort." Historian Muir goes on to tell the story of Mulhern and Sullivan.

One of the survivors, John Drummond wrote there were 36 enlisted men in the fort at the guns and two men in the bombproofs as reserves.

A search was made for all lists that were ever published. Those that were duplicates of another, earlier list, were eliminated. Examples of this is the list of Jefferson Davis which he used in his book, The Rise And Fall Of The Confederate Government, 1881 which he took from the Houston Post article of 1880; or the list in Mrs. E. F. Pray's book taken from the Memorial window in the Confederate museum at Richmond. Mrs. Pray was the President of the Dick Dowling Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy in Beaumont in 1939. The thirteen lists that remained, differed in at least one name. The Drummond/Anderson (John Drummond admitted he enlisted as John Anderson for personal reasons) and McDonald/McDonnell names were not considered in making a distinction between lists nor were variants of the spelling of a person's last name such as Dragan for Deagan or Masset for Hassett. Variants with first name differences also were not used if it was obvious the lister had a nickname or was misinformed, thus Maurice/Morris, John/"Jack", were given leeway. A little more license was taken in counting Dugan and Dragon for Deagan. This was done because of the unsusal first name, Hugh, being the same. Likewise Masset for Hasset, Harley for Hurley, McNele for McLealis. There are others and they are shown in the grid.

Lists compared:

1. General Magruder General Order 149 issued September 13, 1863 at Sabine Pass.

2. W. P Doran, correspondent for the Houston Telegraph. He was present on September 9.

1863. Wrote several articles about the battle.

3. Affidavit of David Fitzgerald and R. C. O'Hara, Davis Guard veterans, January 13, 1905.

4. Houston Post article, August 22, 1880.

5. Houston Post article, December 6, 1900

6. Richard C. O' Hara List, February, 1905

7. John H. Drummond List, 1905

8. John H. Drummond Revised List with additions from William Hardin, 1905

9. A "final" list for the statue in 1905 from Drummond, Hardin and O'Hara with additions and corrections by D. D. O'Bryan of the Dick Dowling Camp, U.C.V. who was responsible for determining the names on the statue for the Dick Dowling Monument Association.

10. Kate Alma Orgain, Historian Texas Division, United Confederate Veterans List, assisted by John Drummond and Richard O'Hara, two Davis Guard veterans, February, 1905.

11. The Confederate Museum, Memorial Window, Richmond, Virgina.

12. O. M. Roberts' List from "Texas" in Volume VXI, Confederate Military History published in 1887. Roberts commanded elements of Spaight's Battalion a unit that had personnel in the battle. He later was a governor of Texas, a Chief Justice of Texas, and the first president of the Texas State Historical Association.

13. Frances Robertson Sackett List from her book Dick Dowling, published in Houston by Gulf Publishing Company in 1937.

Each possible battle participant are found on a number of lists, these lists and each person listed are shown in the table below.

As there is agreement on the officers present, they are excluded from the table.

Only Davis Guards shown on four or more of the lists used to determine who was at battle are shown

 

Name

W. P.

Doran

9/1863

General

Magruder

1863

Hou.

Post

8/1880

O.M.

Robts.

1887

Hou.

Post

1900

C.S.A.

Memrl .

R.C.

O'Har a

1902

Drmnd

1903

Drmnd /Hrdn

1903

Fitz/

O/Hara

1905

Kate

Org.+

1905

O'H/D/H/+

1905

Mrs.

Sacktt

TTL

Abbot,

Patrick

Pat

X

X

X

X

X

X

Abbot,

Patt

Abbot,

Patric

X

X

X

Pat

13

Anderson,

John

X

X

X

X

X








X

6

Carr,

Michael

Mike

X

X

X

Mike

X

X

Mike

Mike

X

X

X

Mike

13

Carter,

Abner

X

X

X

X

X

X

Albert

X

X

X

X

X

X

13

Clare,

Patrick

Pat

X

X

X

X

Clair

Care,

Pat

Clair, Pat

Patric

Clair

Clair

Clair1

X

13

Corcoran,

James

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

13

Deagan,

Hugh

X

Dugan

X

Deagon

X

X

Degan

X

X

X

Dragan

Dragan1

X

13

Delaney,

Michael

Mike

William

X

X

Mike

X

X

Mike

Mike

X

X

X

Mike

13

Dougherty,

Thomas

X

Doherty

X

X

Thos.

X

X

Dohert y

X

X

Dohert y

Doherty

X

13

Donovan,

Daniel

Dan

X

X

X

Dan

X

O

X

Dan

X

X3

X

X

12

Drummond,

John






X

X

X

X

X

X

X


7

Eagan,

Michael

X

Aegan

X

X

O

X

Eagen

O

X5

X

X

X

O

10

Fitzgerald, David

X

X

X

X

Dave

O

X

Dave

Dave

X

X

X

Dave

12

Fitzgerald,

Patrick

Pat

X

X

X

Pat

Pat

X

Pat

Pat

X

X

X

X

13

Fleming,

James

X

Flemming

Flemm ing

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

13

Flood, John

O

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

12

Gleason,

William

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Gleson

Gleson

X

X

X

X

13

Hagerty,

Thomas

Tom

X

X

X

Tom

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Hagge rty

13

Hardin,

William

O

O

O

O

O

Hardy

O

X

X

X

X3

X3

O

6

Hassett,

John

Massett

X

X

Masset

Masset

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Masset

13

Hennessey,

John

sy

sy

X

X

X

Tim

sy

Henesy

O

X

X

sy

X

12

Higgins,

James

O

O

O

O

O

X

O

X

O

X

O

X3

O

4

Huggins, Timothy

Tim

O

X

X

Jim

X

X

O

X

X

X

X

Jim

11

Hurley,

Timothy

Tim

O

X

X

Tim

X

X

X

X

X

X

Harley1

Tim

12

Jett, Wm.

Livingston

O

X

O

O

O

X

X

X

X

X

X3

X3

Jetts,

L.W.

8

Malone,

Patrick

Pat

X

X

X

O

X

X

O

O

X

X4

X4

O

9

McCabe, Alexander

X

O

X

Abram

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

12

McDonald,

Patrick

Pat

O

O

X

Pat

O

X

X

X

O

O

O

Pat

7

McDonnell,

Patrick

O

X

X

O

O

X

O

O

O

X

X

McDonald1

O

13

6

McDonough ,

Timothy

X

X

X

X

X

Tim

X

Tim

Tim

X

X

X

nn

Tom

13

McGrath,

John

X

McGraw?

John

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

12/13?

McKeever,

John

fer

s

fer

fer

fer

X

X

fer

fer

X

X

X

fer

13

McKernan, Michael

on,

Tom

X

on

X

X

X

on

X

O

on

on

on

on

12

McMurray,

Daniel

X

Michael

X

X

O

X

X

O

X5

X

McMur ry

X

O

10

McNealis,

John

X

McNeelis

X

lus

O

X

X

O

McNele5

X

X

X

O

10

Monohan,

Michael

Mike

X

X

X

X

ghan

aghen

Mike

Mike

ghan

ghan

ghen1

Mike

13

Mulhern,

Terrence

X

ance

X

X

X

O

O

O

O

O

Mulhor nJoinse

X2

X

8

O'Hara, Peter

X

X

O'Har e

X

O'Har o

X

X

Peet

Peet

X

X

Dick&

Peter

listed

Dick

11

Plunkett,

Lawrence

O

Lawrence

O

O

O

X

O

O

O

Lau

Puckett

X2

O

5

Powers,

Maurice

X

X

X

X

X

X

Morris

Morris

Morris

X

Morris

X

X

13

Pritchard,

Edward

X

X

X

X

Ed

X

X

Edd

X

Prichar d

X

X

X

13

Rheins,

Charles

X

Rains

X

Rheims

X

X

X

Reins

X

X

Rheine

X

X

13

Sullivan,

Patrick

Pat

X

X

X

Pat

Pat

X

X

O

Pat

X

Pat

Pat

12

Sullivan, Michael

Mike

X

X

O

Mike

X

O

O

O

X

X

X2

Mike

9

Sullivan,

Thomas

X

X

X

O

Tom

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Tom

12

Walsh,

Matthew

X

O

e

e

e

Mathe w

X

e

Mathew

X

Mathew

X

e

12

Wesley,

John

X

Westley

X

X

X

Westle y

X

Westly

Westley

X

X

X

X

13

White,

John

Jack

X

Jack

X

Jack

X

X

X

Jack

Jack

Jack

Jack

Jack

13

Wilson,

Joseph

Joe

X

X

X

O

X

X

O

X5

X

X

X

O

9

Mention should be made that three of the lists: Doran List, Fitzgerald/O'Hara List and the Drummond/Hardin/O'Hara List differed only in the additions made to the lists. Before the additions, they were all alike.

O'Hara and Drummond each participated in the making of four of the lists, three together and one each of their own. Both of these men served under different names than their own.

General Magruder's list has several names no other list has, that and the fact that he lists people known to be on furlough or detailed elsewhere during the battle leads me to believe it was the latest roster on file with his headquarters and not a rooster reflecting who was actually on duty at the time of the battle.

W. P. Doran was a newspaper correspondent trained to remember details and names. He was at the scene of the battle on September 9, 1863. Unlike the veterans and official reports his list does not include names of friends or higher ups that are present in the other lists. His list does contain Hennessey, Mulhern and O'Hara. Doran's list includes the following not on Fitzgerald/O'Hara - Eagan, who is on all the others; McMurray, who is on all the others; Wilson, who is on all the others, McNealus, who is on all the others and Malone, who is on all the others except lists Drummond participated in making.

O'Hara's memory is in question. His name is associated with four lists. There are names on each list not on the others. His own list shows the only O'Hara as Peter, leading us to believe this was the name he was known during his enlistment in the Davis Guard.

The Fitzgerald-O'Hara list has only one name not on Doran's list, and that is Jett. Richard O'Hara is only on two lists both of which he was a party to constructing. Fitzgerald was a non-commissioned officer present at the battle, O'Hara was detailed to duty elsewhere at the time of the battle. Both Drummond and O'Hara served under David Fitzgerald and both acquiesced to Fitzgerald, when he was still active in the process, in questions regarding who was present. O'Hara wrote that Fitzgerald was better placed to know all that were there. In a letter dated July 8, 1903, Drummond says that "Fitzgerald is a more reliable witness."

The roster in Mrs. Sackett's book is from an earlier day than the fight at Sabine Pass. It includes the names of officers and men known to be away from the fort at the time of the battle. The list is later than September 1, 1862 because known members of the company: Dennis Hugan, James Dewire, Patrick Moran and Edward Scott are not listed. These men are listed as members of the company and the date of their deaths given in a Record of Interments of the City of Galveston found in the Rosenberg Library found by historian Andrew Forest Muir.

There is also the problem regarding two men who did not man the guns during the battle. They were told by Dowling they were the reserves and to keep themselves safe in the bombproofs until called. They were never called. Agreement can be found on the name of only one of these by the veterans, that of Patrick Abbot.

There was one more factor to note in the attempted reconstruction of the names of the Davis Guard at the Battle of Sabine Pass. Several Davis Guards deserted and those that remained felt they had brought dishonor to the unit. Well before the battle, during the time the unit was in South Texas: Bergan, Coughlin, and Twoomey deserted. Twoomey was killed attempting to rob a home in Matamoros. The Davis Guard was very embarrassed by the desertion of their fellow men, and in Twoomey's crime. As Irishman and Catholics, they felt they had to prove themselves to a stronger standard than other units because of the veil of prejudice that hung about them, put there by other Texans. When after their most glorious hour at the Battle of Sabine Pass, five more deserted including a sergeant, the unit was not only embarrassed but very angry at the men they considered traitors. These men were: McDonough, Corcoran, Delaney, Flood, Malone, McDonald/McDonnell, McMurray, and Peter O'Hara. Many of the veterans and the people responsible for making the lists did not want to list those who were in the battle but who later deserted. Others argued the desertion occured after the battle, that it was the battle that was to be commemorated and that since they were there fighting valiantly at the time they should be included. It was also pointed out that almost everyone deserted the Confederacy before the war was over. In the end some of the names were put on one list or another, others were not. The names of those who deserted the Davis Guard are marked in the list above with the symbol ^ after their names.

The Post-1880 list calls the fort, Fort Grigsby as did General Magruder.

The Doran, Roberts and the two Post lists were not originally published in alphabetical order. This revealed some similarities. The Doran and Roberts list are listed in identical order except for the fact Roberts does not list Mike or Tom Sullivan. Doran used familiar names where Roberts did not. Also, Roberts has McCabe's first name as Abram and differs in the spelling of Deagon and McKernan from Doran's Deagan and McKernon. There are strings of names in the same order on the other lists with different people added in or taken out and then repetitive strings again.

Looking at the 1900 and earlier lists (Doran, Magruder, Post 1880, Roberts and Post 1900) for anomalies (Mrs. Sackett's list nor the C.S.A. Memorial Window lists were not considered as we do not know who participated in making them or when they were made).

This group consistently listed Anderson while the survivors all listed him as Drummond.

Eagan is not listed by Post, 1900 but is by all the others in this group.

Flood is not on Doran's list.

Hardin is not on one of these lists.

McMurray, McNealis and Malone, three who deserted after the battle, are not on the Post, 1900 list but are on all the others in the group. Wilson also is not on the Post, 1900 list.

Looking at all the survivor lists, including Mrs. Orgains since she got help from them, shows that on all lists that Drummond helped make there are names missing he was strongly opposed to being listed.

There is also some similarities of interest with regard to these exclusions when you compare Drummond's list to that of the Post, 1900. The names of Eagan, Malone, McMurray, McNealis and Wilson are on neither list. The Post, 1900 does have names Drummond doesn't: Hardin and Mulhern; while Drummond has some the Post, 1900 does not: Higgins and Jett.

Mrs. Orgain's list said to incorporate lists of Drummond and O'Hara versus the lists of Drummond, his revised list and O'Hara's show differences and similarities.

Clair as on original Drummond list Dragan for Deagan as on Drummond/O'Hara List

Doherty as spelled by Drummond Gleason as spelled by O'Hara

Hassett as spelled by O'Hara Henesy as spelled by Drummond

McKernon as on O'Hara McDonnell

McNealis from O'Hara (not on Drummond list) Mulhorn, Joise ? (thought to be Mulhern)

Monoghan as in O'Hara list Pritchard as in O'Hara's list

Chas, Rheine Wesley as in O'Hara's list

McMurry spelled differently Peter & Richard O'Hara?

Puckett? Higgins is on Drummond's but not on O'Hara list

Patrick Mulhern and Patrick Sullivan were not in the fort during the battle, they were there for part of the shelling and events immediately after the surrender and the capture of the prisoners. Dowling sent them back to Kate Dorman's hotel with her dishes from the dinner prepared for the Davis Guard by the townspeople. Correspondence between the survivors of the battle (found in the Dick Dowling Monument Association scrapbook kept by Mrs. Neta S. Taylor and located in the Texas History Room of the Houston Public Library in the Julia Ideson Building) leading up to the dedication of the statue in 1905, show that several men listed on different lists were not actually present during the battle). Richard O'Hara in a letter dated March 26, 1903 quotes Doctor Bailey as saying John Hennessey was in the hospital at the time of the battle. In another letter, November 26, 1902, O'Hara states White was assigned on a detail elsewhere during the battle. This is confirmed by Drummond in a letter dated March 7, 1904 where Drummond states David Fitzgerald told him White was not at the fort during the battle. Despite the fact that Richard C. and Peter O'Hara are listed on at least one list. O'Hara himself does not list a Richard O'Hara, but does list Peter O'Hara. In a letter dated March 26, 1903, O'Hara says he was not in the fort during the battle. David Fitzgerald writes in a letter, November 4, 1904 that O'Hara was in Houston at the time of the battle. Also known to be on detailed assignments that him out of the fort during the battle was William Hardin. In preparing the final list for placement on the 1905 monument, there was much discussion as to whether these men should be included on the list of men in the battle, as they were official members of the unit on official duty elsewhere. Some listed some of these men, some listed others. It is clear in the correspondence from the veterans, they wanted them listed.

O'Hara in a letter dated April 13, 1903 says Hardin, himself or Carr never knew Jett. Drummond in a letter dated March 7, 1904 says that Michael Sullivan was in the fort.

Some men would have been on more lists. The fact they were left off some lists is, almost certainly, an oversight. An example is Michael McKernan who fired the shot that stopped the Sachem. Dave Fitzgerald is not on one list despite the fact he received a battlefield commission for his action in the fort during the battle.

Patrick Malone would have been on twelve lists were it not for the personal determination of John Drummond, who for some reason would not list him despite the fact that he appears on the Fitzgerald/O'Hara and Doran Lists.

The total number of men agreed to on all thirteen lists is 21 men. John White is one of these. removing his name leaves 20. There are eleven more men listed on twelve lists. Included in those names is Patrick Sullivan and John Hennessey. Removing their names makes nine . Added to the 20 on thirteen lists makes 29. There were eight more names on more than nine lists (9-11), one of whom was O'Hara. Removing him leaves seven to be added to the total of 29 for a new total of 36. Seven other names are listed on at least seven lists but they include Jett, who several survivors: Carr, O'Hara and Hardin say was not there; Hardin, Mulhern, Anderson/Drummond and McDonnell/McDonald. Adjusting for them we add just two more to the total, making 38 men in the fort. Adding back Mulhern and Pat Sullivan make the number 40 and the three officers brings the total 43.

It would appear from the discussion above and through a process of elimination and deductive reasoning with the names recorded on the different lists found in the literature.From all you read above it is reasonable to conclude there were 38 men in the fort with the officers, and that Dowling felt Mulhern and Sullivan were particpants in the battle as they were there for the early shelling, left the fort on orders from him, and returned to participate in the capture of the prisoners. That makes a total of 40 men. Only three other men can really be considered as possibly included. They would be Jett, Plunkett and Higgins.

In the end, the Monument Association decided to list all who had any chance of being involved plus those who were on assignment elsewhere or were in the hospital. Oddly, they excluded Patrick Sullivan and Terrence Mulhern who were sent from the fort to Sabine City during the battle. The monument listed 45 men plus the three officers. Those beyond the 38 listed above, taking into consideration Sullivan and Mulhern, as being there are Hennessey, Hardin, Peter O'Hara and White all known to be on detail elsewhere or in the hospital. They also listed Higgins, Jett and Plunkett on the monument.

If I were asked to remove a name, I could not chose, if I were asked to add a name it would be Jett or Plunkett because Fitzgerald lists them both.

The Davis Guard Survivors (1900) who participated in the building of many of the lists:

Michael Carr..........................................................William Hardin...........................................................R. C. O'Hara

There were most certainly others who played an important part in the Battle of Sabine Pass. First among these would have to be Commodore/Major Leon Smith. The rank of Commodore was used as often as Major when people referred to Smith because of his action at Galveston. General Magruder called him Commodore. Captain Dick Dowling referred to him as Major Leon Smith. Smith is important because he sent the necessary signals to bring reinforcements to Sabine Pass. They arrived at a critical time to relieve the 40 Irishmen of the close to 400 prisoners. It was a noble act to allow Dowling to remain in command of the fort rather than to direct Odlum to assume command, or for himself to take that command. Captain Frederick Odlum should be recognized for his trick with the ever arriving reinforcements, the impact of which will never be known. Captain W. S. Good volunteered to assist Smith in organizing the reinforcements. Doctor J. G. D. Murray, likewise, assisted in this task at the fort and Sabine City. Others to be recognized are the Captains of the steamboats and their crews that hurried to pick up men and rushed to the fort. They came from Beaumont, Orange and Nibblett's Bluff. The soldiers were under the overall command of Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie of Elmore's regiment, 20th Texas Infantry and the steamboats under Marine Department Captain L. C. Irwin. They came to Sabine Pass and lent assistance with the handling of the prisoners and captured equipment including the Clifton and Sachem which were repaired and became Confederate ships. Those steamboats, their Captains and the commanders of the men aboard were:

Captain G. Hall was captain of the Uncle Ben with the troops of Captain Keith's Company of Spaight's Battalion on board commanded by Lieutentant Joseph O. Cassidy.

Captain Richardson was captain of the Roebuck with Captain Richard V. Cook and thirty men from Company I, Lieutenant Chester with men from Company F, Lieutenant J. M. Chasten in command of about 40 men from Captain Charles Bickley's Company and Lieutenant Castro with elements of Captain Richeley's Company of Griffin's Battalion.

Captain John W. Payne was captain of the Josiah H. Bell and Lieutenant Joseph O. Cassidy commanded the members of Captain R. D. Keith's company that were aboard while Lieutenant Castro commanded other members of Captain Richeley's Company that were aboard.

Captain John Price was captain of the Florilda, which was owned by the T. & N. O. railroad (Texas and New Orleans).

On the ground were the troops of Captain Andrew Daly's Company of calvary led by Lieutenant Harris.

Mention should also be made of the efforts of Colonel V. Sulakowski, and Getulius Kellersberger. The former's design of the fort proved excellent, and the latter's construction of the design and reconstruction of the 32 pound smooth bore cannon proved critical.

The next day the Confederate transport, Grand Bay, with men under Captain Clepper on board came from Niblett's Bluff to give a hand as well.

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Go to "Particpants In The Battle O Sabine Pass September 8, 1863,

.................................... and A List of those With An Interest In The Battle" >