Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CALCASIEU GREYS September 2012

              NEXT MEETING

Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will meet from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Pitt Grill Restaurant in Sulphur. The  business and program part of the meeting will get underway promptly at 6:30 p.m. The program will be on "Defending Confederate Heritage." We will discuss the best ways to defend our precious heritage, which always seems to be under attack on many fronts. We'll concentrate on giving you the information you need to effectively defend your heritage.


Ronnie Fox
             Ronald Edward "Ronnie" Fox
         (September 29, 1939 - August 16, 2012)

                Compatriot Ronald Edward "Ronnie" Fox, age 72, died Thursday, August 16, 2012, at his residence in DeQuincy, Louisiana. Funeral services were held Aug. 20, 2012 at Christensen Funeral home in DeQuincy and burial in Mimosa Pines in Carlyss. Graveside services included SCV memorial rites.
             He was a Christian by Faith and a member of The Refuge Church. He loved motorcycles and was a member of "MAC" -- Motorcycle Awareness Campaign. He was a State Captain of The Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanized Cavalry. He will always be remembered as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He was a man who was loyal to his friends, very giving and never met a stranger. He was the son of the late Joseph Fox and the late Myrtie (Hallie) Fox.
             He is survived by his Son, Troy S. Fox and his wife, Patsy of Quitman, La.; Two Sisters, Shelby Kile and Pat Dees of Westlake, La.; Two Brothers, Glynn Fox and his wife Pat of Gaithersburg, Md. and Ken Fox and his wife, Pat of Chattanooga, Tenn. One grandson- Steven Fox of Lake Charles, La. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Myrtie (Hallie) Fox, his wife of 30 years, Jerri (Collins) Fox and daughter, Donna Swaggart.


                Cmdr. Archie Toombs announced the first annual Ronnie Fox Memorial Ride will be Saturday, Sept. 8, and leave from the Pitt Grill in Sulphur at 7 a.m. and the destination will be the  Sabine Pass Reenactment in Sabine Pass, Texas.
                Cmdr. Toombs said the ride is open to anyone who wants to go by bike (motorcycle), car or truck.
               "If you can make it please do,and bring a friend or two and let's remember our old and dear friend with a ride he loved to make.If you can make it give me a shout are e-mail,are give me a call," Cmdr. Tooms said.

Major Richard W. "Dick" Dowling

The Battle of Sabine Pass

September 8, 1863

The Battle of Sabine Pass, on September 8, 1863, turned back one of several Union attempts to invade and occupy part of Texas during the Civil War. The United States Navy blockaded the Texas coast beginning in the summer of 1861, while Confederates fortified the major ports. Union interest in Texas and other parts of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi River resulted primarily from the need for cotton by northern textile mills and concern about French intervention in the Mexican civil war. In September 1863 Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks sent by transport from New Orleans 4,000 soldiers under the command of Gen. William B. Franklin to gain a foothold at Sabine Pass, where the Sabine River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. A railroad ran from that area to Houston and opened the way into the interior of the state. The Western Gulf Blockading Squadron of the United States Navy sent four gunboats mounting eighteen guns to protect the landing. At Sabine Pass the Confederates recently had constructed Fort Griffin, an earthwork that mounted six cannon, two twenty-four pounders and four thirty-two pounders. The Davis Guards, Company F of the First Texas Heavy Artillery Regiment, led by Capt. Frederick Odlum, had placed stakes along both channels through the pass to mark distances as they sharpened their accuracy in early September. The Union forces lost any chance of surprising the garrison when a blockader missed its arranged meeting with the ships from New Orleans on the evening of September 6. The navy commander, Lt. Frederick Crocker, then formed a plan for the gunboats to enter the pass and silence the fort so the troops could land. The Clifton shelled the fort from long range between 6:30 and 7:30 A.M. on the 8th, while the Confederates remained under cover because the ship remained out of reach for their cannon. Behind the fort Odlum and other Confederate officers gathered reinforcements, although their limited numbers would make resistance difficult if the federal troops landed.

Dick Dowling Monument
Sabine Pass Battleground

Finally at 3:40 P.M. the Union gunboats began their advance through the pass, firing on the fort as they steamed forward. Under the direction of Lt. Richard W. Dowling the Confederate cannoneers emerged to man their guns as the ships came within 1,200 yards. One cannon in the fort ran off its platform after an early shot. But the artillerymen fired the remaining five cannon with great accuracy. A shot from the third or fourth round hit the boiler of the Sachem, which exploded, killing and wounding many of the crew and leaving the gunboat without power in the channel near the Louisiana shore. The following ship, the Arizona, backed up because it could not pass the Sachem and withdrew from the action. The Clifton, which also carried several sharpshooters, pressed on up the channel near the Texas shore until a shot from the fort cut away its tiller rope as the range closed to a quarter of a mile. That left the gunboat without the ability to steer and caused it to run aground, where its crew continued to exchange fire with the Confederate gunners.

Another well-aimed projectile into the boiler of the Clifton sent steam and smoke through the vessel and forced the sailors to abandon ship. The Granite City also turned back rather than face the accurate artillery of the fort, thus ending the federal assault. The Davis Guards had fired their cannon 107 times in thirty-five minutes of action, a rate of less than two minutes per shot, which ranked as far more rapid than the standard for heavy artillery. The Confederates captured 300 Union prisoners and two gunboats. Franklin and the army force turned back to New Orleans, although Union troops occupied the Texas coast from Brownsville to Matagorda Bay later that fall. The Davis Guards, who suffered no casualties during the battle, received the thanks of the Confederate Congress for their victory. Careful fortification, range marking, and artillery practice had produced a successful defense of Sabine Pass.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alwyn Barr, "Sabine Pass, September 1863," Texas Military History 2 (February 1962). Andrew Forest Muir, "Dick Dowling and the Battle of Sabine Pass," Civil War History 4 (December 1958). Frank X. Tolbert, Dick Dowling at Sabine Pass (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962). Jo Young, "The Battle of Sabine Pass," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 52 (April 1949). Alwyn Barr
Alwyn Barr, "SABINE PASS, BATTLE OF," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed September 03, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association

150th Anniversary
                BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG, MD
                            September 17, 1862
On September 16, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan confronted Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland. At dawn September 17, Hooker’s corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee’s left flank that began the single bloodiest day in American military history. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller’s cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. Late in the day, Burnside’s corps finally got into action, crossing the stone bridge over Antietam Creek and rolling up the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, A.P. Hill’s division arrived from Harpers Ferry and counterattacked, driving back Burnside and saving the day. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout the 18th, while removing his wounded south of the river. McClellan did not renew the assaults. After dark, Lee ordered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw across the Potomac into the Shenandoah Valley.     
(National Park Service)
Casualties at the Battle of Sharpsburg:
Confederates, out of 38,000 engaged;
10,316  total
1,546 killed
7,752 wounded
1,018 captured/missing
Union, out of 75,000 present for duty:
12,401 total
2,108 killed
9,540 wounded
753 captured/missing

Brig. Gen.  William E. Starke
Killed in Action commanding the 2nd La. Brigade
(Library of Congress)



          Two Louisiana infantry brigades fought at the Battle of  Sharpsburg 150-years-ago.

            Brigadier General Harry T. Hayes 1st Louisiana Brigade consisted of: the 5th Louisiana: Col Henry Forno; 6th Louisiana: Col Henry B. Strong (k); 7th Louisiana; 8th Louisiana: Ltc Trevanion D. Lewis (w); 14th Louisiana.

            Brigadier General William E. Starke, who was killed in action in the battle, led the 2nd Louisiana Brigade, which consisted of: 1st Louisiana: Ltc Michael Nolan (w), Cpt William E. Moore; 2d Louisiana, Col Jesse M. Williams; 9th Louisiana, Col Leroy A. Stafford, Ltc William R. Peck; 10th Louisiana, Cpt Henry D. Monier; 15th Louisiana, Col Edmund Pendleton;  Coppens' (First Louisiana Zouaves) Battalion, Cpt M. Alfred Coppens.

            The 10th Louisiana Infantry included Company K, Confederate States Rangers, which  was partially from Calcasieu Parish.

            Louisiana artillery at Sharpsburg included Madison (Louisiana) Light Artillery: Cpt George V. Moody, Louisiana Guard Artillery: Cpt Louis E. D'Aquin, and the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, Col. James B. Walton.


By Mike  Jones
Confederate dead of Starke's Louisiana Brigade along the Hagerstown Pike.
(Library of Congress)
        At least two Lake Charles soldiers fought in the Battle of Sharpsburg and were both among the 10,000 Confederate casualties there. Private Asa Ryan, 27,  was severely wounded and captured by the Yankees and Private Joseph Auge  Jr., 24,  was killed in action. They both served in Company K, Confederate States Rangers, 10th Louisiana Infantry. Ryan was born March 5, 1836, the oldest son of John Jacob Ryan Jr., the "Father of Lake Charles," born about 1838 and was the son of Joseph Auge Sr. and was listed in the household of Joseph Sallier Sr. on the 1860 census. Both men listed their occupations as farmer. Ryan and Auge received their wounds in the fighting, either along the Hagerstown Pike or in Miller's cornfield, with Stonewall Jackson's Corps. Ryan was wounded in the left leg and after his capture his left leg was amputated, disabling him permanently. He was eventually exchanged and released by the Yankees, but his war was over. Auge was apparently killed instantly during the battle. Ryan finally got home, on crutches, after the war and resumed his life. He was married twice and had six children in all. Ryan died March 16, 1878 and is buried in the Bilbo Cemetery. Auge was single and his final resting place is unknown.
      Two other men of Company K were killed in action at Sharpsburg. They were Private Justice H. Jackson, 34, St. Landry Parish, and Corporal James McKinney, 25, of New Orleans. Private Armelin Lincicome of Vermilion Parish was 20-years-old at the time he was shot in the neck by a Yankee, permanently disabled and captured. He was held at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md. until his release and exchange. He returned home, married and had seven children. He died in 1914. Also wounded from the company was Private Easton Hoffpauir. of Vermilion Parish. He received a sick furlough and returned home.
       First Lieutenant Edward A. Seton of Lake Charles wrote home about the battle in a letter dated Sept. 21, 1862. He wrote, "On the 17th Sept, we had a battle in Maryland & our company had 15 men in the fight & and but four came out safe. .. . We held the field until the 19th and fell back across the Potomac, but we are expecting to cross again tomorrow. We have beat the enemy at every point."

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