Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Next Meeting

          The next meeting of Captain J.W. Bryan Camp will be from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, at Logan’s Road House, 3509 Gerstner Memorial Blvd, Lake Charles LA 70607. Ed Sherwood will present the program “Benjamin Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans.” Please make every effort to be in attendance.

       Monthly camp meetings in Lake Charles have been scheduled and confirmed for:; Tuesday, June 10; Tuesday. August 12;Tuesday October 14.


Commander's Column, April 2014

Dr. Andy Buckley
Camp  1380 Cmdr.
Colonel William Henry Parsons commanded the Texas unit, which served as the primary cavalry for the Army of Trans-Mississippi in Arkansas and Louisiana in 1862-1863. Parson’s commanded the 19th Texas Calvary, Morgan’s Texas Battalion, and the 10th Texas Artillery. My own great-great grandfather, J.T. Garrett served under Parsons in the Alf Johnson Spy Company organized in McKinney, Texas.

W.H. Parsons was a man of honor, conviction, courage, and Christian faith. The following letter, written from Chicago some two months before his death, was read at the Brigade’s reunion in Hillsboro, Texas on August, 1907. It reminds all of us why we are a part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“Leaf by leaf the trees are falling
Drop by drop the streams run dry
One by one beyond recalling
Summer roses droop and die.

Your Letter, dear comrades in arms, finds me still among those who witness the falling leaves, while I wait the bugle call of my Great commander. I find
that it is in strict military order that he who was your superior officer during those thunderous days from 1861 to 1865, should remain on the field until the last man utters his response to the earthly roll call.

Those of us who survived the shock of battle and have since encountered the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, are conscious of Providential care and are correspondently thankful. When the old guard gather at Hillsboro, read them this letter from the man who loves hem and hopes to join them in the activities of the future life where we are assured there shall be no more nights nor tears. Endless day and ceaseless joy shall be the portion of those conscious of duty well  performed according to their light.

You have from time to time received from my pen words reminiscent of those Stirring days of civil strife, but now I feel that we should for the remaining years Live in the present and contemplate the future.  The years are big with promise  for our great country, and I have always been among those who, while ready to
oppose wrong, yet never uselessly antagonize the inevitable trend and was ready  to accept the situation, as you know I did return from South America just after the war.

It takes more courage to stand alone than to battle among your fellows, and you Recall my stand for reconstruction. The grant old state of Texas flourishes and I am conscious of my part in its present greatness and prosperity. Let the youngest Generation join with us in our enthusiasm and say to young and old in the hearing of your  voice at the coming reunion of Parson’s Brigade, that your old commander
still lives and loves.”
W.H. Parsons, Waxahachie Daily Light Newspaper, Saturday, August 10, 1907.

W. H. Parsons is but one great example of the values and positive character traits of our Confederate ancestors. I am truly grateful to be a member of a national organization like the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which proudly honors the sacrifices of our brave Confederate ancestors and celebrates the true and accurate history of the War Between the States. At our March meeting our program speaker Joe David Pool reminded us of the distinctive characteristics of Southerners and the uniqueness of our Southern culture. I am unapologetically a Southerner and an ancestor of men who fought bravely and courageously against the Yankee invasion of our home and for the cause of Jeffersonian small government, states rights, strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and economic opportunity for all.

Tommy Curtis has served our Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 with distinction as our Camp Commander and as Commander, Southwest Brigade, Louisiana Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Tommy, who currently serves as our chaplain, recently shared with me these thoughts concerning the unique role of our organization:

“At this critical time, when the twin scourge of political correctness and revisionist history has created a climate hostile to any flag, symbol, or monument that would honor the Confederate soldier, we need the support of every Southerner, more than ever. With our heritage under attack we have much to fight for, defend, and preserve. Like our forbearers of 1861, we must answer the clarion call and come to the defense of our Southland. I have found the SCV to be the perfect organization for defending the honor of our Confederate heritage. The rank and file of our membership are honorable, high-minded, and seekers of the truth with regard to the historical record of the War for Southern Independence. Just being a member of the SCV is a proclamation of our heritage and an important defense of our way of life.”

Thank you Tommy Curtis. I could not have said it more eloquently. It is my hope Tommy’s words challenge each of us to reach out to men in our community who would join with us in celebrating, defending, and promoting our heritage through the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Because of the war being waged against our ancestors, our history, and our memorials, we need to increase dramatically the membership of the Captain James W. Bryan Camp. There is strength in numbers!

We are grateful for the return of one of our own, U. S. Army Lieutenant Evan Ellis, who has served our nation as the executive officer of an engineering company deployed in the Middle East for the past 14 months. I hope you will read  Lt. Ellis ancestor’s story in the Confederate Grays newsletter. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th at Logan’s Road House on Highway 14 in Lake Charles. Ed Sherwood will present the program “Benjamin Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans.” Please make every effort to be in attendance.

Dr. Andy Buckley

Commander Dr. Andy Buckley has a UCV Stamp in his personal collection like the one seen here. 
The U.S. Post Office issued this special commemorative stamp in 1951 to commemorate the final reunion 
of the United Confederate Veterans. There were only a small number of  Confederate  veterans alive 
at that time.

My Confederate Ancestor
          Qur Captain James W. Bryan Camp features the stories of camp member’s Confederate ancestors in our monthly newsletter Calcasieu Greys. We would like to invite members to submit a brief biography of your ancestor for our upcoming issues.  The biography should be 750 words or less and include all service information, rank, place of enlistment, branch and unit, the battles in which your ancestor fought, final resting place, family information, and any anecdote concerning your ancestor. Please include a photograph of yourself and your ancestor. Send your biography to Mike Jones, Editor at or Dr. Andy Buckley Commander at

Lieutenant Evan Ellis, a descendent of the Alanson,
 resides in Texas and, following tradition, is a Cavalry Officer 
and Horse Trainer. 

By Evan Ellis
Alanson Dawdy was one of the first settlers of Dallas County, Texas. He was the son of Alanson Dawdy, and grandson of Irish indentured servant Howell Dawdy. The family name was variously spelled Dawdy & Dowdy throughout the centuries, literally changing back and forth from one generation to the next. The subjects Grandfather fled from his servitude in 1771 and headed south. A wanted listing for a reward of four pounds was listed for his grandfather on November 18th, 1771 with the following description:
“Howell Dawdy, about 26 years of age, about 5'9" high, of a sandy complexion, red beard, with a hair mole on the right side of his chin, sandy hair which he wore tied, thin visaged, he pretends to be a carpenter, is a well made fellow, sings a good song, and is very fond of company; he took with him a light coloured  saggathy coat, nankeen jacket and breeches, a pair of leather breeches, an old green lappelled jacket, ribbed worsted hose marked I.B. on the top of each stocking; it is supposed he stole a light coloured surtout coat; he plays a little on the violin; he went away on the 14th of this month and is supposed he is gone to the eastward. Whoever apprehends the above described persons shall receive the above reward, or Four Pounds for either, from Samuel Dick and Curtis Trenchard.”
         His Grandfather went on to fight in the American Revolution in the North Carolina Militia, and moved on to Tennessee where he died a free man in 1830. Thus the family began its westward journey toward its destiny in Texas. The subject’s father of the same name was thus born in Tennessee in 1786 and from there the family moved to the Illinois Territory. Alanson was born there on December 15th, 1826 and raised there until in 1846 the  Mexican War beckoned the young man to greater adventures. He joined Company H, of the 1st Illinois Volunteers. It was with his Kentucky Regimental commander Colonel John J. Hardin he fought at the Battle of Buena Vista. In this famous battle Colonel Hardin was killed.
         Returning from the Mexican War Alanson decided to join other members of his kin in settling around Dallas County, Texas. It was here on the Trinity River that he started Dowdy’s Ferry. The Ferry charges included one dollar for a wagon with four or more animals, ten cents for a man and horse, and five cents for a person on foot.
Alanson continued to manage his ferry, train horses eventually and purchased his farm in Dallas County after profiting from his various endeavors. He became a prominent citizen within the county.
In March of 1862 the 18th Texas Cavalry was organized and Alanson was elected 1st Lieutenant of Company I under Capt. William H. Perry.  The unit was soon assigned to the Indian Territory that same month. In April the unit was dismounted and its horses were taken away. This did not sit well with the Texans and family tradition states that Alanson resigned his commission rather than be transferred to the Infantry.
His unit was sent to Arkansas Post where it was later captured in January of 1863. Not much is known of the rest of his military service to the Confederacy although the Memorial & Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas (Chicago: Lewis Pub Co. 1892), page 639   mentions that he was involved in numerous skirmishes and at the time of Lee’s Surrender he was in Tyler, Texas on duty. It is quite possible that he was a member of the Texas State Forces at that time.
          Alanson was a deacon in the Christian Church, a Mason and a Southern Democrat. He died on Jan. 23, 1901 in Dallas and is buried in the Hutchins Cemetery in that city.  Alanson’s legacy still lives on in Dallas, Texas, and anyone familiar with the city will know of Dowdy Ferry Road in the Southeastern portion of the city. 
Dowdy's Ferry Exit in Dallas, Texas

Dawdy's Ferry Historical Marker
(Photos courtesy Lt. Evan Ellis)

Mansfield 150th Re-enactment Schedule
( subject to updates)
Mansfield State Historic Site, 15149 Highway 175,Mansfield, LA  71052
* GPS coordinates     32.011096, -93.665964
On April 26-27, 2014, Mansfield State Historic Site, in conjunction with the 11th Louisiana Infantry, will host a 150th anniversary reenactment.  The event will be held on 134 acres of the actual battlefield, regarded as some of the best preserved battlefield land in the country. Two full battle scenarios will be
reenacted:  Saturday will feature the overwhelming assault of Mouton’s and Walker’s Divisions, in concert with Green’s Confederate cavalry, on the initial 13th Army Corps line at the battle’s opening phase. Sunday’s scenario will feature the attack and repulse of General Taylor’s Confederate forces as they attempted to destroy the 6,500 men of General William H. Emory’s 19th Corps division at the battle’s third and final phase.
Thursday-April 24th :
                Sutler and Vendor set-up
Friday-April 25th :
                Reenactor set-up
                9 am. - 10 pm.  on site registration
                8 pm.  Battalion Commander Meeting (CS/HQ area)
Saturday- April 26th :
                7 am. Reveille
                8 am on site registration opens
                9 am Camps open to the public
                8:30 am Infantry weapons inspection
                8:30 am Battalion Commanders meeting
                9 am Artillery Inspection
                ( mandatory-all crew members and         Commanders present)
                10 am ALL vehicles out of camp until end    of  the event
                11 am  Ladies' Tea
                12 noon registration closes
                2 pm Battle of Mansfield
                4:30 pm- 6:30 pm Supper for Registered               Reenactors
                5 pm Camps closed to the public
                7 pm-10 pm  Dance
Sunday- April 27th
                7 am Reveille
                9 am Battalion Commanders meeting
                ( CS/HQ area)
                9 am Camps open to public
                10 am Church Service
                2 pm. Battle of Mansfield
                After Battle camps open to vehicles

April 4-5 Battle of Pleasant Hill Commemoration
April 25-27 Battle of Mansfield Commemoration
May 10 Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Calcasieu Pass.
May 23-24 SCV Division Reunion DeRidder

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