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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CALCASIEU GREYS -- JANUARY, 2013

LEE-JACKSON 2013

          Please make plans to come to Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390’s annual banquet honoring our great Southern heroes, generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. It will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, January 19, at Pat’s of Henderson, 1500 Siebarth Drive, Lake Charles, La. The evening is a celebration of the two great generals, who were both born in January, as well as our own Confederate ancestors. It is a very special event celebrated across the Southland to show the world that the Confederate States of America is alive and well in spirit in this 21st Century, and is the bastion of true Southern American history & heritage. The evening is packed with special events that we do only once a year.        We have a very special guest speaker, Louisiana Division Commander Ted Brode of West Monroe. We will also install our 2013 camp officers, have a candlelight roll call of our Confederate ancestors, and door prizes. We have also had good food and great service at Pat’s of Henderson. Our menu will be:
Appetizer
Bite size Catfish and Popcorn Shrimp.
Main Entrée - (Select One)
Fried Shrimp
Crawfish Fettuccine
Stuffed Red Snapper
Broiled Italian Chicken Breast
10 oz. Rib eye (cooked medium)
Dessert – (select one)
Pecan Pie
Cheese Cake topped with blueberries or
strawberries.

            The cost of the meal will be the same as last year, $30.00. Please have your reservation and check to Camp Adjutant Luke Dartez by January 15. Make checks out to Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 and mail them to Luke Dartez, 908 Henning Road, Sulphur, La. 70665.

CAMP COMMANDER'S COMMENTS
                Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Now it is time to reaffirm ourselves and try to do more to make us grow as a camp. We have our Lee-Jackson Banquet on Saturday the 19th our speaker will be our State Commander Ted Brode. He will do a talk on Lee and Jackson. We will have several guests that are planning on joining our fine organization, some are descendants of Capt. James Wesley Bryan himself, if everything goes right we will vote on three new members.
     We also have the 150th  anniversary battle reenactment at Galveston going on the weekend Jan. 12, 13. It should be a good one. If you can make it by all means do. They are going all out for the 150th.
      It has been a pleasure to be the Commander last year and I'm looking forward to the best year we have ever had.  With the good Lords help we can make it happen. I want to thank all the officers, past and present, for their work in the camp. We would not be where we are without all of your support. I would also like to thank our past commander Mike Jones for his tireless efforts with the Newsletter and always helping me when I need an answer or help, and Luke Dartez thanks for putting up with me through last year. I couldn't have gotten through it without you two and the support of the camp.
 
Confederately Yours,
Archie Toombs
Commander of James W Bryan#1390


Captain James W. Bryan
CAPTAIN BRYAN WAS A MAN OF MANY TALENTS
          Not only was Captain James W. Bryan the first mayor of  Lake Charles, Louisiana, he was also a soldier, a state representative, a police juror, a school board member, a businessman, a newspaper publisher/editor, an educator, a firefighter, policeman, and a Mason.
           Bryan was born December 28, 1834 in what would become Calcasieu Parish, which was established in 1840 from St. Landry Parish. In the War for Southern Independence he became captain of Company I (Calcasieu Tigers), 28th Louisiana Infantry. He fought valiantly at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss. and in the siege of Vicksburg. After the war he married Delia K. Singleton and they had eight children, three boys and five girls. He served as first mayor of Lake  Charles after it was incorporated in 1867. He later represented the area in the state legislature as well as such local positions as alderman, police juror, school board members. Bryan also performed the duties of policeman and volunteer firefighter.
        Captain Bryan was the publisher/editor of the Lake Charles Echo newspaper, was the head of the local Masonic Lodge for a while and was a charter member of United Confederate Veterans, Calcasieu Camp 62. He died June 17, 1897 and is buried at Orange Grove/Graceland Cemetery.

CAMP MEETING SCHEDULE FOR 2013
          Please see the list below for meeting dates and places for 2013. The restaurants have been contacted and their calendars marked accordingly.Meetings last from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
          Amazen Seafood Restaurant (Lake Charles) - February 12, April 9, June 11, August 13, and October 8 (Nomination of officers).
           Pitt Grill (Sulphur) - March 12, May 14, July 9, September 10, November 12 (elect officers).
           The camp Christmas party date would be December 10 with the location to be determined.        



150-Years-Ago -- THE BATTLE OF GALVESTON
          
           By Mike Jones
Maj. Gen. J. B. Magruder
(Author's collection)
       The Battle of Galveston, Texas, January 1, 1863, was a resounding Confederate victory after a string of stunning losses on the Louisiana and Texas gulf coasts in 1862. New Orleans was lost in April 1862 and Galveston October 4, 1862. A series of successful raids along the coast also demoralized the Confederate populace even more. But President Jefferson Davis had sent a man to Texas who would dramatically turn things around -- Major General John Bankhead Magruder. Magruder was a fighter. He was also very innovative, crafty and aggressive. A native Virginian, West Point graduate, and veteran of the Seminole and Mexican Wars, Magruder arrived in Texas in November, 1862 and immediately went about developing a plan to take back Galveston. He knew he didn't have much time. A U.S. Navy flotilla had taken the city without resistance October 4, but occupation troops had not yet arrived, so it had a very tentative hold on the city. When the Federal Army arrived in force, it would be practically impossible to dislodge them or prevent an invasion of the Texas mainland. The target for the Federals was Houston, which was an important railroad hub for the state, much like Atlanta was for Georgia. Whoever controlled Houston, effectively controlled Texas.
           The bulk of the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi was then tied up in Louisiana dealing with the Federal build up at New Orleans. Magruder had to cobble together the meager troops available to him to take back the important port city of Galveston. He was able to assemble some Sibley's Texas cavalry which had returned from its failed New Mexico Campaign, some of the coastal defense forces, mainly 1st Texas Heavy Artillery Regiment, Pyron's Texas Cavalry Regiment and portions of the Griffin's 21st Texas Infantry Battalion and the 20th Texas Infantry Regiment. He also had two riverboat steamers, the Neptune and Bayou City, fitted out with a few artillery pieces and cotton bales were stacked around the decks, thus transforming them into "cottonclad" gunboats. The two vessels were manned by portions of the 5th Texas Cavalry and the 7th Texas Cavalry to serve as boarding troops, thus transforming the cavalrymen into "horse 
marines.” He also had 14 light artillery pieces and 6 pieces of heavy artillery for his innovative land-sea attack. Altogether there were about 1,500 Confederates for the operation. The Confederate cottonclads were under the command of Major Leon Smith of the Texas Marine Department and the Confederate land forces under Brig. Gen. William Scurry. Magruder was the overall commander.
            Magruder's plan was to launch a surprise attack early in the morning of New Year's Day, 1863. The land troops would get in place in the Galveston city, then the cottonclads would attack the Federal fleet in the harbor when they heard the land attack beginning. About 500 Confederates would storm the Federals lodged on Kuhn's Wharf.

          The Federal fleet had been reinforced on Christmas Day by several companies, about 260 men, of the 42nd Massachusetts Infantry under Colonel Isaac Burrell. They set up a defensive position on Kuhn's Wharf, under the protection of the navy gunboats. Burrell could send out patrols in the daytime, but had to withdraw into his defenses on the wharf at night. The gunboat fleet in the harbor at that time consisted of the U.S.S. Harriet Lane, U.S.S. Clifton, U.S.S. Westfield, U.S.S.Oawasco, and U.S.S. Corysephus. Commodore W.B. Renshaw on his flagship, the Westfield, was in overall command. Although outnumbered in manpower, the Federals had a decided advantage in firepower with the heavy guns on the gunboats. 
           Magruder's plan was to launch a surprise attack early in the morning of New Year's Day, 1863. The land troops would get in place in the Galveston city, then the cottonclads would attack the Federal fleet in the harbor when they heard the land attack beginning. About 500 Confederates would storm the Federals lodged on Kuhn's Wharf.

          The Federal fleet had been reinforced on Christmas Day by several companies, about 260 men, of the 42nd Massachusetts Infantry under Colonel Isaac Burrell. They set up a defensive position on Kuhn's Wharf, under the protection of the navy gunboats. Burrell could send out patrols in the daytime, but had to withdraw into his defenses on the wharf at night. The gunboat fleet in the harbor at that time consisted of the U.S.S. Harriet Lane, U.S.S. Clifton, U.S.S. Westfield, U.S.S.Oawasco, and U.S.S. Corysephus. Commodore W.B. Renshaw on his flagship, the Westfield, was in overall command. Although outnumbered in manpower, the Federals had a decided advantage in firepower with the heavy guns on the gunboats.
Cottonclads Neptune and Bayou City head to Galveston
to attack the Federal fleet. (Six Decades in Texas)
            The Bayou City attacked first, trying to ram and board the Union vessel, but just grazed it and damaged its wheelhouse. It had to turn around for another try. Captain Wier, commanding the heavy artillery piece on the Bayou City, was killed when the gun exploded. The Neptune succeeded in ramming the Harriet Lane, but it also suffered the most damage and received a blast from the gunboat's heavy guns and was beginning to sink. The Neptune pulled away and partially sank near the shore in 8 feet of water. The sharpshooters on board were able to keep up their fire from the steamers upper deck. The Bayou City came around and also turned the battle around by successfully ramming the Harriet Lane. Smith led the boarding party onto the Federal ship and successfully took it over. The Harriet Lane's commander, Captain Jonathan Wainwright was killed, as was his executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lea. The rest of the crew surrendered. The two were buried with military and masonic honors in Galveston's Episcopal Cemetery. Lea's father, Lt. Col. A. M. Lea, on Magruder's staff, was at his son's side when he died.

      Meanwhile, the Westfield had grounded and never got into the fight. Renshaw thought he was being attacked by ironclads and so ordered the fleet out to sea. Captain Lubbock of the Bayou City bluffed the Federals into a three hour cease fire and demanded surrender. Before the Confederates could get to Renshaw, the fleet commander tried to blow his ship up to prevent its capture, but was himself blown up with it when the demolition charge went off too soon. The rest of the fleet skulked out under the truce flag. The Confederates had won and recaptured Galveston. With the fleet gone, the 42nd Massachusetts surrendered.
     The Southerners lost 26 men killed and 117 wounded. The Federals lost about 370 men captured, including 150 battle casualties, killed and wounded. The Harriet Lane was captured intact, the Westfield was destroyed and some auxiliary ships captured. It was a great victory for Magruder and the Confederates. The triumph was the first and only time the Confederacy would recover one of its captured ports and hold it until the end of the war.

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