War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0308 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

from which direction I could distinctly hear a heavy firing. At 3 p. m. I arrived at the Sabine Pass, and found the enemy off and inside the bar, with nineteen gunboats and steamships and three sloops of war, carrying, as well as I can judge, about 15,000 men. After learning the state of affairs, I proceeded with Captains [F. H.] Odlum and [W. S.] Good to the fort, where I found Lieutenants [R. W.] Dowling and N. H. Smith, with 42 men, defending the fort. During the day until 3 p. m. our guns were not opened on the enemy, as the range was too distant, the officers coolly holding their fire until the enemy had approached near enough to reach them; but the enemy arriving within good range, our batteries wee open, and gallantly replied to a galling and most terrific fire from the enemy. As I entered the for, the gunboats Clifton, Arizona, Sachem, and Granite City, and several others came boldly up to within 1,000 yards, and opened their batteries, which were gallantly and effectively replied to by the Davis Guards, commanded by Captain Odlum and Lieutenant Dowling. For one hour and a half a most terrific bombardment of grape, canister, and shell was directed upon our devoted, heroic little band within the fort. The shot struck in every direction, but, thanks be to God, not one of that noble Davis Guards was hurt.

Too much credit cannot be rendered Captain odlum and his gallant lieutenant (Dowling), who displayed the utmost heroism in the discharge of the duty assigned him-the defense of the fort.

The Davis Guards, one and all, God bless them. The honor of the country was in their hands, and they nobly sustained it. Every man stood at his post, notwithstanding the murderous fire that was poured upon us from every direction.

In consequence of the small number of officers, Lieutenant N. H. Smith, of the Engineer Corps, was placed in command of two 32-pounders, and displayed the utmost gallantry and ability in the discharge of that duty.

I would also mention the conduct of Captain [R. V.] Cook and 30 men, of Company D, Griffin's battalion; Lieutenant [Joseph M.] Chasten, of Company F, and his men (Griffin's battalion), both of whom rushed immediately to the scene of danger, to participate in this gallant affair.

Lieutenant [Joseph O.] Cassidy and men of Company B, [A. W.] Spaight's battalion, and behaved like soldiers of Texas-gallantly and nobly-their position being on board the steam gunboat Uncle Ben, which boat run down to the Sachem and brought her into port.

I would also recommend the gallant conduct of Lieutenant [N. H.] Smith, of Company B, Spaight's battalion; also Lieutenant [Charles] Harris, of Captain [Andrew] Daly's company, his command acting as scouts and couriers.

I would also mention the energy displayed by Lieutenant-Colonel [L. A.] Abercrombie, of [H. M.] Elmore's regiment, stationed at Orange and Niblett's Bluff, in conjunction with Captain L. C. Irwin, of he Marine Department; Captain John Payne, commanding gunboats on Sabine River; Captain G. Hall, commanding gunboats Uncle Ben, is hastening forward re-enforcements from Orange and Niblett's Bluff, and coming themselves to participate in the defense of this post; also to Captain John Price, of the steamer Florida, and his officers, who assisted in placing the re-enforcements at disposal in time to effectually intimidate the enemy from further attack.

The result of this battle, which lasted from 3.30 till 5 p. m., is the capturing the steamer Clifton, carrying eight guns, and the gunboat Sachem, carrying five guns, our prisoners numbering nearly 400, and the driving off outside the bar most of the enemy's fleet in a crippled condition, comprising twenty sail in all.