Collection: Stephen Griffin Collection >> Dick Dowling and the Jefferson Davis Guard / Michael Dan Jones.
Dick Dowling and the Jefferson Davis Guard /
Michael Dan Jones.
|Main Creator:||Jones, Mike, 1949-|
On cover: "Irish patriots, Confederate heroes."
Includes bibliographical references (pages 184-186) and index.
Dowling was born in Galway in 1837 but in 1845 he and his sister emigrated to New Orleans. In 1857, he moved to Houston where he continued his profession as a saloon owner and clever entrepreneur. By 1860, he owned a number of saloons, the most successful being the Bank of Bacchus. Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, he had been involved with a predominantly Irish militia company which served a more social than military role in Houston society. On Secession this militia company was mustered straight into the Confederate Army, with Dowling himself being elected First Lieutenant. Composed primarily of Houston Irish, many of them clients of his saloons, this unit named themselvest the "Jefferson Davis Guards" in honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In 1863, they were assigned to a newly constructed artillery post near the mouth of Sabine River called "Fort Sabine." Sabine Pass was important as a point of arrival and departure for blockade runners. With the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863 and the disaster at Gettysburg, an invasion of Texas appeared to be imminent. It was suspected that the Union Army would attempt an invasion of Texas via Sabine Pass. On September 8, 1863, a Union Navy flotilla of some 22 gunboats and transports with 5,000 men accompanied by cavalry and artillery arrived off the mouth of Sabine Pass. The plan of invasion was sound, but monumentally mismanaged, resulting in the retreat of most of the flotilla to New Orleans. With a command of just 47 men, Lieutenant Dowling had thwarted an attempted invasion of Texas, in the process capturing two gunboats, some 350 prisoners and a large quantity of supplies and munitions. Sadly, he was carried off by the Yellow Fever in 1867, while ministering to the sick. He was only thirty years old.
Physical description: 191 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
|Contained in:||Stephen Griffin Collection|
GR P 701: Stephen Griffin Collection
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|GR P 701||Main Reading Room||Griffin|