2nd Lt. Pryor Bryan, Co. F, 5th Texas
Infantry, older brother of Captain James
W. Bryan. (Courtesy of Miss Velma Bryan)To access the December Calcasieu Greys, click the below green link:
CALCASIEU GREYS - December, 2015
|The South's Defenders War Memorial Monument|
(Photo by M.D. Jones)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Page 1 – Next Meeting, Commander’s Column.
|Camp Cmdr. Dr. Andy Buckley|
|Dr. Andy Buckley|
|Tex. Rep. James White|
|Representing Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 at the|
Confederate Heritage Rally in Shreveport were former camp
commanders Archie Toombs, left, Steve Lanier, Mike Jones
and Dr. Michael Bergeron, M.D., camp surgeon.
|Caddo Parish Courthouse Confederate|
Monument. (Photo by Mike Jones)
|Confederate Honor Guard fires salute. (Photo by Mike Jones)|
|Camp Cmdr. Dr. Andy Buckley presented the|
Capt. Bryan Camp U.S. History Medal to
Denasia Fontenot of Washington-Marion High
|Capt. Bryan Camp Cmdr, Dr, Andy Buckley|
presented the Bryan Camp's U.S. History Medal
to Bailey Payne of East Beauregard High School.
|Capt. Bryan Camp Cmdr., Dr. Andy Buckley|
Presented Bryan Camp's History Medal to
John Thomas Stewart of DeRidder High School.
|Capt. Bryan Camp Cmdr. Dr. Andy Buckley|
presented the Bryan Camp's U.S. History Medal
to Destiny Mock at DeQuincy High School.
Our Camp Namesake
CAPTAIN JAMES WESLEY BRYAN
Capt. James W. Bryan, circa 1890
[Excerpted from the Southwest Louisiana Biographical and
Historical by Wm. Perrin, New Orleans, La. 1891]
CAPT. J. W. BRYAN, Lake Charles Capt. J. W. Bryan is
descended from good old Irish ancestry, but the family has been
so long in this country, and become so thoroughly
Americanized, that few of the Irish traits now appear upon the
surface. One characteristic that remains, however, is that of
sterling honesty. His great-grandfather O'Brien immigrated to
America when a boy and settled in Virginia; married and raised
a family there. Luke Bryan, one of his sons, and the grandfather
of the subject of our sketch came to Louisiana early in life and
married Miss Rebecca W. Berwick, in 1802: from her family
Berwick's Bay derives its name. One of the sons born to them
was John Bryan, the father of Capt. Bryan, who was reared and
educated there. In early manhood he married Miss Nancy A.
Lyons, and, about 1832, settled in Calcasieu parish. In 1839 he
removed to Texas, and resided there until his death, in 1844,
when the family returned to Calcasieu parish. Here Mrs. Bryan
was married a second time, to Mr. Jacob E. Harmon, by whom
she had three children.
Capt. Bryan, whose name stands at the head of this sketch,
was born in this parish, December 28, 1834. Early educational
facilities were limited, and he belongs to that very numerous
class of prominent men who owe their education to their own
aspirations and unaided exertions to rise above the station in
which they were born to one of greater exertions and more
extensive and higher usefulness. Up to the time of his mother's
death, young Bryan spent his time farming and attending the
country schools, when here were any to attend, which in his
early days were few and far between. Not content with an
occupation in which his chances for development and
usefulness were so restricted, he determined to obtain a mental
discipline which would fit him for literary pursuits.
In this good republican country of ours, where organic laws
denounce hereditary patents to nobility most men indulge the
vanity of pride at achievements so marked and great as those
which lead and direct a Clay or a Lincoln from the humblest
walks of life to the highest position in the councils of the
nation. The great ambition of young Bryan was to fit himself
for literary work. To this end he attended school and
pursued a literary course, teaching and studying
alternately, until he attained the age of twenty-five years.
His course had not yet been completed when the civil
war came on and caused such confusion and
derangement in all the affairs of life. Laying aside all
selfish claims and personal desires, that he might serve
his country- unfettered, he quit school and in 1861
organized the militia of Calcasieu parish, for the purpose
of home protection. Early in 1862, being called on for
four companies, he organized the four volunteer
companies, and within twenty days from the time of
receiving the requisition, he was on the march to
Opelousas with these companies to report for duty,
from whence the command proceeded to New Orleans,
and thence to Camp Moore, and it was there that the
Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, under Col. Allen
Thomas, which distinguished itself in the Battle of
Chickasaw Bayou, and the memorable Siege of
Vicksburg, which began on the 21st of May and was
raised on the 4th of July. During the siege Capt. Bryan,
being the ranking officer of his regiment, commanded it.
Col. Thomas having been promoted to brigadier general.
Capt. Bryan sheathed his sword when the cause was lost,
returned home and cast about him for "ways and means
"" to repair the ravages of the war. He resumed teaching,
which he continued for about four years, the last three in
the town of Lake Charles, studying and improving his
mind in the meantime. In 1869 he opened a mercantile
business in the' town, which he followed up to 1884. In
1871 he became editor and proprietor of the Lake
Charles Echo, which he conducted with great ability
until the 14th of March, 1890, when he sold the paper
and retired from its editorship. Under his management
the Echo became one of the ablest and most popular
country weeklies in Louisiana and contributed greatly to
the building up and development of Lake Charles and
Calcasieu parish. For some time Capt. Bryan has been
engaged in the real estate business. He has always taken
an active interest in the local affairs of the town and
parish, and he is especially noted for the interest he has
manifested in school work. To him, perhaps, more than
any one man is due the credit of the efficient school
system of Lake Charles. At different times Capt. Bryan
has served as mayor and councilman of the town, and
several times has represented his parish in the board of
police jurors, as well as General Assembly of the State.
Capt. Bryan was married to Miss Delia K. Singleton,
September 9, 1869.
They have three promising sons and five bright and
lovely daughters. The eldest of the latter is the wife of J.
C. F. Kyger. President of the Commercial College, of the
Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
[Editor’s note: Capt. Bryan died June 17, 1897 in Lake
Charles, La. and was buried in Orange Grove Cemetery.
He was so beloved and honored by the community that
the businesses closed for his funeral.]