Wednesday, May 2, 2012


May 2012


Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will meet at the Pitt Grill Restaurant, 102 Benoit Lane, Sulphur, (near the intersection of I-10 and Ruth Street), from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 8. Cmdr. Archie Toombs will give  the program on  Robert Toombs of Georgia, an important Confederate military and political leader. We'll have a great Confederate fellowship and plenty  of food so please come to this most important meeting. We'll also be discussing the upcoming State Reunion May 12  and the National Reunion in July. Please make every attempt to attend this important meeting.

Camp Historian Al Cochran his Confederate
ancestor's grave marker (for William Alfred
Cochran Sr.) at the April 28 dedication ceremony
in the Bivens Cemetery. (Photo by Luke  Dartez)
          BIVENS, La. -- A busy Confederate history month for Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, reached its zenith with the grave marker dedication ceremony for William Alfred Cochran Sr. of Company H, 13th Texas Cavalry, in the Bivens Cemetery on April 28. The ceremony was organized by his  descendant, Al Cochran, who is a member of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390.
          At the event, State Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill read a proclamation authored by her proclaiming April as Confederate History Month in Louisiana. The Hood's Southeast Texas Brigade of the Texas SCV conducted the ceremony and the Worth Camp 1790 of Woodville, Texas provided the musket and cannon salute. Captain James W. Bryan Camp's color guard and many members supported the event. Camp Color Sergeant Greg Newton read a history of the 13th Texas Infantry and Compatriot Al Cochran read biographical summary of his ancestor. The United Daughters of Confederacy laid roses at the newly dedicated grave marker.
            Also during Confederate History Month, Camp 1390 manned information tables at the Civic Center  gun show in Lake Charles, the Spring Festival at Niblett's Bluff Park and the Pleasant Hill Reenactment.

Funeral Arrangements for
Compatriot's Daughter

     Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390's Second Lieutenant Commander Ronnie Fox recently lost his daughter, Donna Rene Fox Swaggart. Our camp expresses its most sincere condolences to Compatriot Fox and his family. Below is the full obituary from Christensen Funeral Home in DeQuincy.

Donna Rene Swaggart
(February 7, 1959 - April 29, 2012)
            Donna Rene Fox Swaggart, age 53, a native of Lake Charles, La and a resident of DeQuincy, La., died Sunday, April 29, 2012 at her residence. She was a Christian and a member of The Refuge Church.
            She is survived by her father, Ronald Fox of DeQuincy, Louisiana, one brother, Troy Fox, Sr. and wife Patsy of Quitman, Louisiana, one nephew, Steven Fox of Lake Charles, La. along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.     She was preceded in death by her daughter, Tana Marie Fox Dautriel and her mother, Jeraldine Collins Fox.
            The family will receive friends from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P. M. on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at Christensen Funeral Home, 1810 West Fourth Street, DeQuincy, Louisiana and a funeral service will be held beginning at 5:00 P.M. at Christensen Funeral Home with Bro Matthew Myers officiating. Family and friends are invited to leave condolences at

Louisiana Division Reunion
May 12, 2012

      Members of the Louisiana Division SCV; I would like to remind you that our Division Reunion in Shreveport is fast approaching. If you are planning to stay the night at the Holiday Inn I would like to remind you that the cut-off date for a guaranteed room is April 27th. After that date rooms will be available on a first come basis. With the gas & oil boom in Shreveport rooms fill up months in advance so I would suggest you do not delay.
      If you have not sent in your registration yet, I hope you will please do so. The cut-off date for registrations
will be Saturday May 5th. Your registration must be in our hands by then so that we can tally the number of meals ordered and get the information to the hotel.
      You will still be able to register at the door to attend the Reunion for the same fee of $15, but you will not be able to participate in the lunch or banquet.
      For your convenience a link to the Registration Form and Lodging Information is listed below.
      If you have any question you may contact me at or 318-422-3663.


            Shiloh, Tenn. – The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s annual signature event commemorating 150th anniversary the Battle of Shiloh, the Civil War Trust joined with the National Park Service and State of Tennessee April 5 to make announcements regarding the permanent preservation of 925 acres on the Shiloh Battlefield.         The achievements discussed were threefold: the transfer of 167 acres from the Trust to the park; the launch of a $1.25 million campaign to preserve an additional 491 acres inside the park; and the successful completion of efforts to purchase 267 acres at Fallen Timbers.
                “We believe that every acre we save is an investment in our country's future. There can be no more lasting and fitting tribute than protecting the sites where the war’s outcome was decided — the battlefields themselves,” said Trust President James Lighthizer.  “As a permanent and meaningful legacy of the sesquicentennial, we give our children and grandchildren the opportunity to walk these same fields unblemished and undisturbed.”
                The Battle of Shiloh, fought April 6–7, 1862, at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that point, with more than 23,000 men falling as casualties. Although the Confederate attackers met with initial success, the arrival of Union reinforcements left the Southerners outnumbered and unable to carry the field and sent them retreating to the vital rail hub at Corinth, Miss.  This Union victory, following on the heels of the surrender of Confederate Forts Henry and Donelson, led to Northern domination of Tennessee which and played a role in the ultimate surrender of Vicksburg, dividing the Confederacy in two along the Mississippi River.

                To learn more about current fundraising projects and the Trust’s ambitious sesquicentennial preservation effort, Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy, please visit

Bivens Cemetery ceremony group 1.

Bivens Cemetery ceremony group 2.

Confederate's Last Letter Found by Oakdale Resident
          OAKDALE, La. - A letter written May 10, 1862 by a Confederate soldier following the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi, May 9, 1862 gives a fresh eyewitness glimpse of what battle was like for soldiers in the War For Southern Independence. The letter was first published in the Lake Charles American Press on April 11, 1962 soon after the centennial of the  Battle of Shiloh.
            The letter was written by Private Silas Griffith of Company H, 16th Louisiana Infantry to his brother John in Bayou Chicot, St. Landry Parish (modern day Evangeline Parish) Louisiana:

May 10, 1862

A solider of the 16th Louisiana Infantry,
identification lost.

          Dear Brother: I  take these few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living and enjoying good health and hope this finds you the same. John, I was in a fight yesterday [the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi], it lasted about an hour and there was but one of our  company who got wounded and he was  shot through the hand.    I, and C. K. O'Neal, old Burns' son-in-law, were detailed as infirmary corps to carry off the dead and wounded. There was about 15,000 Yankees and our force was about 2,500 when we charged on them. I never saw fellows run so in my life
                It was one of the awfulest sights I ever saw . . . to see the poor fellows dying on the field. There were two men shot dead within ten feet of me but I never got a scratch. O'Neal got his canteen shot all to pieces and he had his overcoat rolled up and tied in front  of him and a ball struck it and went  through two doubles of it. It would have killed him but the coat was all that saved him. All of our company stood fairly well but about four who left when the balls began to come pretty thick. There was a Mississippi regiment that ran when the enemy was pouring the fire in on us. I expect they will be brought up today.
                General Ringgold took the flag and rode ahead of us and hollered "Hooray for the Louisianians." I tell you we made them Yankees kick up the dust. The Colonel of the 11th Louisiana [Colonel Samuel F. Marks] run up and down  the lines when the balls were coming as thick as hail and he would tell us to give them boys hell. I thought once that he was struck and I asked him if he as hurt. He answered, "no . . . a damn Yankee" could not kill him. He is just as brave a man as I have ver seen on a battle field.
                John Montgomery stood  right up to them. It is the first battle that he and I was ever in, but John and I never expect to get that close again and come out alive. There were somecertain, that did not  land more than two  inches from my head. I am telling you actual facts. I was a little scared about that time . . . but after they fired several rounds, I did not mind at all.
                The Yankees had the advantage of us in one respect. They were all in deep  washes and it was an old field about six miles from here where the fight began from a little town called Farmington. We set fire to that place and came back. Everybody  had left there, sometime. The Yankees had just put them up a telegraph from there to the river so they could telegraph back to their  main force but we tore it down as we came back night before last.
                The enemy was within a mile  of our breast works and we thought by our going outside of breastworks and attacking them, that they would come up and give us a fight so we could use our big guns on them. But they  know we are fixed here and I don't think they will ever attack us here. I know that was their intention, to starve us out and which I don't think it would take more than six months. They  say we have got provisions enough to last about that long.
                Cyrus  is at the hospital yet but I have not  heard from him since he left camp. There is no way to get a letter to Louisiana without sending by somebody out there. There are two men out of the Big Cane Company that we are going to start for  Washington [La.]  tomorrow. I thought I would write you a few lines tolet you know that I am not killed yet.
                You must write to me if you have any chance of  sending a letter. I must bring my letter to  a close as I have to cook.
                Give my  respects to all
Yours most truly,
Silas Griffith

                The  letter was found in the old abandoned O. C. Griffith home at Bayou Chicot by Mrs. Josie Griffth Horne of Oakdale. The Griffith family settled in the Bayou Chicot area in the late 1790's. Silas Griffith was captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro,  and died Dec. 31, 1862 at Murfreesboro as a prisoner of war.

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