The next meeting of Captain J.W. Bryan Camp will be from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, at Joe’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant, 1601 Ruth St. in Sulphur. This is a new meeting place for us and they have a large room capable of seating up to 60 people with it’s own restrooms separate from the main dining room facilities. The menu has an adequate selection with reasonable prices. The food is quite good also. We need a good number in attendance for this meeting. Please come if you can possibly make it. Fred Adolphus Commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans Major Jesse M. Cooper Camp #1665 De Ridder will present the program entitled “Confederate Uniforms of the Trans-Mississippi.”
The new camp flag of Captain James W. Bryan
Camp 1390 is being displayed here by Mike Jones.
It is made to the same specifications as an authentic
Confederate Battle Flag and has the camp name and
number hand painted on it.
Finding Your Way Home
Commander’s Column May, 2014
Dr. Andy Buckley
Since January our Captain James W. Bryan Camp has experienced a high level of participation at our monthly meetings. In addition to camp members and spouses, which average about twenty or so, we have had four to five visitors and guests almost every month. Most of the guests are prospects to join the Sons of Confederate Veterans and have been cultivated by our members. This does not happen by accident. We are blessed to have an excellent camp with good attendance at meetings and informative, inspirational program speakers. Thanks to all who attend regularly and I invite all members that haven’t attended in a while to come back and join us.
The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Calcasieu Pass is scheduled for Saturday, May 10th on the grounds of the Cameron Parish Court House. It is my hope this event will be a commemoration service that Southwest Louisiana will remember for many years to come. We only have one chance to celebrate this significant milestone in the history of Southwest Louisiana and to honor the brave Southern soldiers who won this great victory. I hope every camp member will participate.
Because the Calcasieu Pass Commemoration service is such a huge event with the potential to attract new members and draw large numbers from the general public we need every member of the Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 to make this a successful venture. Frankly we cannot do the Calcasieu Pass commemoration without your involvement. The primary steering committee, which has taken the lead in planning this strategic event, is composed of Mike Jones, Luke Dartez, Archie Toombs, Scott Romero, and myself.
The job of planning this event has been overwhelming. We have tried to involve as many of our members as possible. We have included a tentative copy of the program and still need one or two color guard members and someone to read the proclamations. We also need additional financial support to rent chairs and pay for any additional expense which may occur, as our camp financial base is limited. I know you will do what you can and the commemoration will be a successful event. We’ll be setting up the chairs, speaker stand, sound system, and tables for the refreshments for the program at 7:00 am Saturday morning at the Courthouse. Please come early and assist these efforts.
Our May SCV monthly program will be at Joe’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Sulphur, Ruth Street on Tuesday May, 13. Luke Dartez met with the owner personally, and everything is ready to go. This restaurant has a large room capable of seating up to 60 people with restrooms separate from the main dining room facilities. The menu has an adequate selection with reasonable prices. I hope that we have a good number in attendance for this meeting. Fred Adolphus Commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans Major Jesse M. Cooper Camp #1665 De Ridder will present the program entitled “Confederate Uniforms of the Trans-Mississippi.” Fred is currently Director of the Fort Polk Army Museum. Fred earned the BA History, Texas A&M University and the MA American Strategic Studies, LSU University and has authored numerous publications about Confederate uniforms which have been featured in the Confederate Veteran magazine and the Military Collector and Historian Journal.
Dr. Andy Buckley, Commander
Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390
Pvt. William Guehrs State History Marker that was in front
of the Cameron Parish Court House. It was vandalized and
stolen after Hurricane Rita.
Greg Newton and Michael Wayne Clanton at the April
Gun Show at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Capt. J.W. Bryan Camp Cmdr. Dr. Andy Buckley presneting
the Hunley Award recent to Chief Francis at Washington-
Marion Magnet High School in Lake Charles, La.
Former Capt. J.W. Bryan Camp
commanders Archie Toombs and
Mike Jones at the Mansfield 150th
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Andy Buckley Commander at email@example.com.
Mansfield battlefield expanded
During a ceremony held in conjunction with the Battle of Mansfield 150th anniversary reenactment this April 26, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, joined by a representative of the Civil War Trust,announced a trio of exciting battlefield preservation achievements. First, the Trust launchd a national fundraising campaign to purchase 282 acres of battlefield land destined for eventual inclusion in the state historic site. The event also made public the Trust’s intention to donate to two already-acquired battlefield properties to the State of Louisiana — a one-acre parcel with frontage on Route 175 contiguous to Mansfield State Historic Site, and a 4-acre parcel that includes the historic Allen House.
“Quite frankly, if you had told me ten years ago we would ever have a chance to save this much additional land at Mansfield, I would have been incredulous,” said Trust president James Lighthizer. “But now, thanks to some forward-thinking, preservation-minded business leaders and landowners, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build significant momentum for preservation associated with this often-underappreciated campaign.”
The 282-acre tract northeast of the current state park was the site of the advance of Confederate Brig. Gen. James P. Major’s cavalry division (part of Maj. Gen. Thomas Green's cavalry corps) against the Union forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks. During the morning, overall Confederate commander Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor positioned Confederate Brig. Gen. Jean Jacques Alexandre “Alfred” Mouton’s division on the east side of the clearing. Maj. Gen. John G. Walker’s division arrived in the afternoon and formed on Mouton’s right. In the early afternoon, prior to the Confederate attack, Green’s cavalry fell back from the advancing U.S. forces and Major’s division took up position on Mouton’s left flank, while a brigade of cavalry moved to Walker’s right.
Thanks to a generous matching grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program, in order to complete the 282-acre acquisition, the Trust must raise $100,000 in private donations. After that funding is secured and the Trust closes on the property, the land will be donated to the State of Louisiana for inclusion in Mansfield State Historic Site. Once completed, the purchase will mark the largest-ever preservation effort at a Red River Campaign battlefield. Learn more at www.civilwar.org/fourbattlefields2014.
Although smaller, the two already acquired properties are no less historic. The one-acre parcel witnessed extensive troop movements by both Union and Confederate forces. The 2nd Illinois Cavalry formed near this area before launching a series of counterattacks on the Confederates to cover and protect the withdrawal of Union units atop Honeycutt Hill. Moreover, protection of this property allows access to a 30-acre portion of the park that was acquired by the Trust in 1993 and transferred to the state. The Trust’s purchase was made possible through the assistance of a matching grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the National Park Service.
During the Battle of Mansfield, the ante-bellum Allen House served as a Federal field hospital. It is one of the few remaining Civil War-era structures in the vicinity. The Calhoun Family donated the Allen House and surrounding property to the Trust, which is performing stabilization and restoration work before conveying it to the State.
“Being able to more formally ensure the long-term protection of this historic building has long been a goal for us,” said Carolyn Calhoun Huckabay. “We are so pleased to see the growing public interest in our wonderful community’s dynamic past and are proud to have played a role in that process.”
The Battle of Mansfield, fought April 8, 1864, was the decisive battle of the Red River Campaign. The 4,400 casualties inflicted there convinced Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks he could not wrest Louisiana and Texas from Confederate control.
Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, it has preserved more than 38,500 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.
Battle of Mansfield
(Article courtesy of Civil War Trust)
In March of 1864, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, led roughly 30,000 men up the Red River in a movement that had been conceived in part by former General-in-Chief, Henry Halleck. Banks’ mission was to destroy the Confederate army under Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor and capture Shreveport, Louisiana, thus seizing control of the Red River, and further tightening the Federals’ grip on the Confederacy. Though this movement was not line with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s unified strategy for the Federal army, the plan was approved and Banks’ expedition began.
Retreating up the river for most of March, Taylor was slowly collecting reinforcements from Texas and Arkansas, while he looked for a place to make a stand. Finally, in April, Taylor chose a clearing just south of Mansfield as an idea location to strike a blow at the Yankees, and possibly turn the tide of the campaign. Fully aware that his Confederates were outnumbered nearly two to one, Taylor said he would "fight Banks here [Mansfield] if he has a million men."
Taylor knew the Union force would not be routed easily. He created a trap, stationing his men across Mansfield Road in an arc formation, just on the north side of an open field. Maj. Gen. John G. Walker’s three brigades were then placed in a battle line approximately 500 yards on either side of the road. Walker’s force was to take the first hit, with Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton’s two brigades on Walker’s left there to attack once the Union forces were engaged. Brig. Gen. Thomas Green’s cavalry edged out both flanks. Upon the Union’s arrival, Brig. Gen. Thomas Ransom led a brigade forward but, concerned about hidden Confederate forces, halted. Banks ordered an advance that afternoon, but was rebuffed by Brig. Gen. Albert Lee, who insisted their position was too precarious. Banks reconsidered and called for additional cavalry reinforcements. While Banks waited, Taylor sent his infantry and a battery of artillery forward in an effort to draw the Federals into battle.
After the Yankees failed to take the bait, Taylor ordered the advance of the entire Confederate line. Immediately, Mouton’s division encountered difficulties in the center of the line. Though Mouton managed to rally his men, he was mortally wounded. Walker, however, fared better on the Federal left, and forced a Union retreat in that sector. Very soon, the collapse on Banks’ left led to withdrawal along the whole line, and eventually devolved into a rout in which the Yankees left three pieces of artillery in Confederate hands.
Banks, finally understanding the gravity of the situation, called for additional reinforcements. Brig. Gen. Robert Cameron’s division of the Thirteenth Army Corps hastened to the front to bolster the line, but was delayed by the Federals’ own supply trains. After extricating his troops, Cameron established a battle line approximately one mile south of Moss Plantation. Once more, the Confederates rolled up the Union line. Flush with success, Taylor pushed Walker’s, Polignac’s (who had taken command of Mouton’s division), and Green’s divisions forward, adding to the confusion of the Union retreat.
Federal reinforcements, however, were coming to stem the flood. Without orders, Brig. Gen. William H. Emory quickened his pace to the front, leading his Nineteenth Corps towards the battle. Emory knew a defensible post was vital to support the retreating Federals and to prevent additional Confederate advances. He found a hill bordered by Chatman Bayou Creek and a small orchard, called Pleasant Grove, and decided to make his stand there. He placed approximately 5,000 men across Mansfield Road, forming a wall of soldiers with their rifles aimed at the advancing Confederates. When the Rebels tested this line, Emory’s fire sent them back in a brief retreat.
Refusing to surrender their progress for the day, the Confederates again attacked, this time on the flanks in hopes of rolling up the line as they had done earlier. Seeing this, Emory refused his line, bending it back to repel the Confederates again. Unable to break through, Though Taylor was frustrated with the outcome of the day, Mansfield was still a strategic victory for the Confederates. Taylor displayed excellent generalship, maneuvering his force to overwhelm individual parts of the larger Union army.
Taylor and his Confederates also captured more pieces of Union army equipment and artillery, and sustained approximately 1,000 casualties. In comparison, the Union army sustained 2,800 casualties and was unable to seize nearly as many Confederate the Rebels retreated as darkness fell.
Allen farm house, used as a hospital during the battle. It has been donated
to the state battlefield park by the Calhoun family.
(Photo courtesy of Civil War Trust)