Friday, February 26, 2010

THE SOUTH 150--YEARS--AGO

From [http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm]
DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], March 7, 1860, p. 2, c. 4
Correspondence.]

Letter from Vicksburg.

Pre-War Vicksburg, Miss.
Vicksburg, March 4th, 1860.

Dear Comet:--I have been in this place forty-seven hours and a half, and during all this time have not heard the crack of a pistol. This is a very bad sign, and I am afraid, points to the time, when Vicksburg will no longer be referred to for its high military and chivalrous spirit. Think of it! Forty eight hours in Vicksburg, and no duel, not even a street fight. The place is going down, even as fast as the eternal hills are washing away. Look at the newspapers, which are the abstract chronicles of the time, and you will perceive that Mr. Louis Hoffman, and others on Washington street, are compelled to resort to the expedient of very large pictures, in order to call attention to their pop-guns, pistols, and popping crackers. Well, we must submit to changes—and I may say, Vicksburg, is not what it was many years ago. The prospect of the railroad on the other side of the river, is an offset for the ill effect of the road, on this side—connecting Vicksburg with New Orleans. As soon as I can get shaved, I shall leave. The shops are crowded, under the impression that the fashion has shifted in reference to hairy faces.

As before, yours,
Poins.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BRIG. GEN. LOUIS HEBERT

By  Mike Jones
Historians have paid little attention to one of Louisiana's greatest generals in the War Between the States Louis Hebert. But this South Louisiana Acadian had an outstanding combat record in the war and even ''out-engineered'' Ulysses S. Grant during the Siege of Vicksburg.

His unpublished autobiography, housed in the archives of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, gives his first hand account of many historical events. He also has numerous descendants throughout South Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes.

Louis Hebert was born March 13, 1820, at Plaisance Plantation, about 5 miles south of Plaquemine in Iberville Parish.

The first half of his life followed a path that led to prosperity, fame and glory. He received the best education his state and nation could provide and he excelled in everything he did.

''I had previously imbibed the desire to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York,'' Hebert wrote.

He entered West Point in June 1841 and, academically, was one of the outstanding cadets in the history of the academy. In mathematics he amazed his fellow cadets.

President Ulysses S. Grant, who was an upperclassman at the time, stood in awe of Hebert's mathematical abilities. Grant later remarked, ''In mathematics I was rather apt after I got fairly imbued with the subject. But we had a man there during my term of four years who was really a mathematical phenomenon. He was from Louisiana, and his name was Louis Hebert.''

After four tough years, Hebert graduated third in his class in 1845 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the army's elite Corps of Engineers.

On Feb. 16, 1846, he resigned his commission to return home to run the family plantation. His father was in declining health and died on Christmas Eve, 1847.

Hebert prospered as a Louisiana planter and on March 6, 1848, he married Malvina Lambremont. In the 1850s Hebert served one term in the state Legislature, then as state engineer and as a colonel in the state militia.

His wife suffered from chronic ill health and died Aug. 10, 1860.

But his private grief was soon overwhelmed by national tragedythe secession of the Southern states and war.

In his autobiography Hebert states that in the election of 1860 he voted for the Northern Democratic candidate, Stephen A. Douglas, and had opposed secession.

But, like Robert E. Lee, when his state left the Union, he chose to remain loyal to it and defend Louisiana with his sword if needed.
With all hope of peace now gone, Hebert set about raising a 1,000-man regiment for the Confederate Army. His unit was officially designated the Third Regiment of Louisiana Volunteer Infantry.

Hebert's talent for command soon became evident. Wherever his regiment served it was recognized as being one of the finest looking, best disciplined and most expertly trained units in the army. His first fight came on Aug. 10, 1861, at the Battle of Oak Hills or Wilson's Creek, as the North called itabout 10 miles south of Springfield, Mo.

The Union forces struck first and drove the Confederates back. Hebert deployed his men in line of battle while under fire, a very tricky maneuver, and then counterattacked and drove the Northerners back.

Hebert's regiment captured an enemy artillery battery and helped turn the tide of battle in favor of the Confederates.

Hebert's first experience in leading men in combat went well and he was praised by his superior commanders for his coolness under fire and for the competence and reliability of his command. After the battle, though still in rank a colonel, he was given command of a brigade.

His next battle was the Battle of Elk Horn Tavern, Arkansas called Pea Ridge by the Northwhich occurred March 6-7, 1862. Hebert led his men in an attack on the Union line in which an enemy artillery battery was captured.

But the tide of battle turned against the Southerners and Hebert later wrote, ''I ordered a retreat, my own horse had received several wounds and was hardly able to stand up. I left him and suddenly a squadron of the enemy's cavalry cut off my retreat. I had with me 31 soldiers and sublatern officers. I had to go to the Mountains, the road being in possession of the enemy. At dusk we halted in a precipitous ravine for a moment. There we were surrounded by infantry and we surrendered.''

He was marched north into Missouri during which time he suffered from near starvation and exhaustion. But his suffering did not last long. Within two weeks of the battle he and another Confederate colonel were exchanged for two Union colonels, who were captives of the Confederates.

He had handled his brigade well under difficult circumstances at Elk Horn Tavern and was promoted to brigadier general on May 26, 1862.


After recovering from a bout with typhoid fever, his next fight, the Battle of Iuka, Miss. on Sept. 19, 1862, was one of Hebert's most brilliant performances in the war.

General Hebert led a furious attack that drove the Federals back. The Union Army suffered 825 casualties in the battle and the Confederates 693.

In this battle Hebert proved his ability to direct large numbers of soldiers in battle. However a short time later, Oct. 3-4, 1862 he would fight his most controversial battle at Corinth, Miss.

Major General Earl Van Dorn was overall commander of the western Confederate Army, who ordered a rash frontal assault on heavily fortified Union entrenchments at Corinth.

The first day's action was inconclusive and Hebert was ordered to lead his division in another frontal assault early on Oct. 4. However, the attack did not come off on time, and Van Dorn was informed that Hebert was sick. When the attack finally got under way, led by another general, it was a bloody disaster for the Confederates. Van Dorn soon withdrew his beaten army which had suffered 4,838 casualties, compared to 2,839 for the Federals.

The nature of Hebert's illness was never disclosed, and he never turned in an official report nor did he even mention the battle in his autobiography. Some historians however have speculated he could not bring himself to order his men into such an obviously suicidal attack.

His brigade was next assigned to Vicksburg, called the ''Gibraltar of the Mississippi.'' It was the key to control of the Mississippi River.

Hebert's brigade was placed in the center of the defense line guarding one of the most strategically important entrances to Vicksburg, the Jackson Road.

Approach to the Third Louisiana Redan
with Louisiana Monument in background
The anchor of Hebert's part of the line was the Third Louisiana Redan, a fort named in honor of his old regiment, which was located just north of the Jackson Road. A ''redan'' is a triangular fort.

As the 47 days of siege warfare got under way (May 18-July 4, 1863), Hebert's defenses became the main focus of Union General Grant's efforts to break the line. Siege warfare is a highly technical military science at which Hebert proved to be a master. He was able to successfully counter every move made by Grant as long as it lasted.

Grant's engineers started an underground mine to blow up the fort. Hebert had a counter-mine started, in hopes of blowing up their tunnel before they could blow up his fort.

Hebert also had a secondary defense line built behind the fort to serve as a back-up in case the Union diggers were ready first.

The Union engineers reported to Grant that Hebert's part of the defense line was resisting the Federal approach trench more vigorously than on any other part of the line.

The climax came on June 25 when the Federal engineers were ready to detonate their mine. They packed the tunnel with 2,200 pounds of explosives and lit the fuse.

Hebert, again out-thinking his enemy, had already withdrawn his men behind the fort to the secondary trench.

When the explosion was set off, it blew a crater in the fort that measured 12 feet deep and 40 feet in diameter.

A Union brigade poured into the yawning breech but instead of finding a clear path, encountered a wall of lead fired by the safely entrenched Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi troops under Hebert's command.

A war correspondent for the Vicksburg Whig newspaper, who was an eyewitness, said, ''General Hebert, himself present during this engagement, acted with his usual coolness and intrepidity.'' But what military engineering science could not accomplish, starvation could and on July 4, 1863, the garrison surrendered.

The Confederate government soon declared all the surrendered general officers exchanged and returned to duty, but not the enlisted men. So Hebert found himself on duty but without a command.

President Jefferson Davis was on an inspection tour and Hebert consulted with him as to his course of action. The president informed Hebert that Major General W.H.C. Whiting, a classmate of Hebert's at West Point, had requested the Louisianan be made chief of artillery in the Department of North Carolina. He was only too happy to accept the offer.

Whiting immediately put Hebert in command of the forts, batteries, troops and defenses at the two mouths of the Cape Fear River, which protected the important seaport of Wilmington the most important of which were Fort Caswell, where Hebert was headquartered, and Fort Fisher.

By the end of 1864 Wilmington was the only large seaport still open to the Confederacy. European goods were flowing through the Union blockade and being forwarded up to Richmond and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

When the Union finally got around to mounting a serious attempt to take Wilmington in December 1864 and January 1865, they concentrated on Fort Fisher and thus Hebert was on the sidelines at Fort Caswell when Fort Fisher fell on Jan. 15, 1865.


The end of the war soon followed and Hebert surrendered to Federal authorities and was released.


In the hard times that followed he lost his family plantation and took up teaching to support his family. He died Jan. 7, 1901, in St. Martin Parish.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY -- 150-YEARS-AGO

From http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
NATCHEZ [MS] DAILY FREE TRADER, February 22, 1860, p. 2, c. 1

Washington's Birthday.

This day one hundred and twenty-eight years ago George Washington was born. As an epoch in the history of the world, it is proper that it should be commemorated with an enthusiasm marked with all the ardour of our nature to one who was "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." The booming of cannon and pomp of parade with other manifestations of respect, will be, as usual accorded to the Father of his country. It is meet that a free people should extend to its saviour the ovations of willing hands and brave hearts—and that the plaudits of an admiring nation should ascend heavenwards on this glorious occasion.

DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], February 24, 1860, p. 2, c. 1
Another National Day Over.

It must be gratifying to all our National and Union loving people to know that the bright light of early patriotic desire has not altogether been smothered or quenched by the fire of fanaticism on one hand and fire-eating on the other.—Indeed fire-eating has come to be so common with some of our great political captains lf late years that it is no longer an attractive feature in the show of daily existence.—How such must quail at the reading of the "Farewell Address." It is the voice of a great spirit from the other world, talking to us again, and cautioning the people against the insidious wills of domestic and foreign demagogues. How it seems to have anticipated this day in the history of the nation! At no previous anniversary of the birthday has there been a more extended disposition on the part of the people of this city to celebrate the day.—The stores were closed and business suspended; whilst a large half of the town went into the country to take a whif [sic] at the pure fresh air. The military companies turned out in full feather, with fine music—calling into the street a happy smile of faces. At night there was a celebration in the Hall of the House, where Col. Waggman delivered an eloquent and patriotic address.—The interesting sight to us was the turn out of the boys of Magruder's Collegiate Institute; a noble looking band of fellows from all parts of the State, a string of over a hundred. As they passed our door we could not help but think this the greatest army of the two, we mean not to fight with weapons of destruction, but in the great battle of truth against error which shall wind up with a glorious conquest. If but ten out of the hundred, or even one come up to the full proportions of manhood, in moral principles of right and justice he is the conqueror, whom the world will yet recognize as the greatest of heroes with claims to the laurel. Principles boys! Principle. This is what is wanted to fight the battle of life successfully—this is armour of steel in which you may stand up against ignorance on one hand and bigotry on the other. With this you may take what little good there is afloat at this time of day, and hand it to those who shall come after you, when it becomes your duty to take the first part in the drama of life. At night the boys gave an exhibition of their acquirements in oratory at the Methodist church, where there was a house full to its last capacity. We were not only highly pleased with the manner but the method of the speaking, and every one present bore away a most favorable impression. If there is any one institution of which, or rather for which we feel more pride than another, it is Magruder's Collegiate Institute.

MOSS BLUFF REBEL -- Book Review


BY MIKE JONES
A slice of pioneer life in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana is told through the diary and letters of Willam Berry Duncan in “Moss Bluff Rebel: A Texas Pioneer in the Civil War” by Philip Caudill (Texas A&M Press, College Station, 2009).

The book is particularly pertinent to Southwest Louisiana history because Duncan, a native of St. Martinville, was a cattleman in Liberty, Texas, who drove cattle to market across this area to get them to their ultimate destination of New Orleans.

The time period covered by the book includes both his cattle drives before the war, his wartime activity — which was nearly all spent in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including Lake Charles — and the post-war struggle for survival for himself and his family.
Duncan was born in 1818 and moved with his family as a child to Liberty, Texas, which was still a part of Mexico.

During the Texas Revolution, he served at age 18 as a private in the Texas Army. He became a prosperous cattleman and expert at driving herds of cattle through this area. The book gives a good view of the cattle industry in this region at that time.

During the War Between the States, he became captain of the Moss Bluff Rebels, a cavalry company in Spaight’s Battalion Texas Volunteers.

His unit spent almost the entire war in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, so it is a valuable addition to the history of this area during that time period.

In the Battle of Calcasieu Pass on May 6, 1864, Duncan and his company were stationed in Lake Charles guarding the town. The battle took place on what is now Monkey Island in Cameron.

After the war, Duncan and his family struggled to rebuild their lives during the povety-wracked Reconstruction Era.

“Moss Bluff Rebel: A Texas Pioneer in the Civil War” by Philip Caudill; Texas A&M Press, (www.tamu.edu/upress), 211 pages, notes, index; hardback, $29.95.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

THE LAST BATTLE -- BOOK REVIEW

By Mike Jones
"The Last Battle of the Civil War: Palmetto Ranch" By Jeffrey William Hunt (University of Texas Press, Austin) is without a doubt one of the best battle books I've ever read. As the title sugggests, it is about the litteral last battle of the War for Southern Independence, which occurred May 12-13, 1865 near Brownsville, Texas along the Rio Grande River. What makes the book so good is the author does an excellent job getting down to the nitty-gritty of small unit tactics.

This was a very small battle, about 1,000 men on both sides, which gives the author the opportunity to get down to the lowest level of tactical maneuverings. In books about the larger battles and campaigns, the importance of individual decisions by lower ranking officers can get lost in the bigger picture. Not so here. Hunt did a good job in rooting out the officials records and first hand sources, such as letters, which really lay out the sequence of events clearly and concisely.

Col. John S. "Rip" Ford
(Lawrence Jones III Collection,
 SMU Library)
The battle occurred when a coastal garrison of Union troops decided to go on an expedition for reasons that are not completely clear. The Union forces consisted of the 62nd U.S. Colored Troopds, 34 Indiana Infantry, and the 2nd Texas Cavalry (Union), numbering about 500 men under the command of Colonel Theodore H. Barrett of the 62nd USCT. The Confederates involved included the Anderson's, Gidding's and Carter's battalions of Texas cavalry and Captain O.G. Jones' 3rd Texas Light Artillery, under the command of Col. John S. "Rip" Ford and Brig. Gen. James E. Slaughter, about 420 men altogether.

The Texas cavalry delayed the advance of the Union troops from the coast toward Brownsville on May 12. On May 13, Col. Ford had gathered his men and counterattacked and almost trapped and destroyed the entire Union force in a bend of the Rio Grande River on Palmetto Hill. But the Union forces just barely escaped the trap and retreated back to the coast with the Texans in hot pursuit.

The author makes it clear that Barrett's poor handling of the Union troops contributed to their defeat, while Ford's masterful control of the Confederates and the high morale of the Southerners were primary reasons for Confederate victory. The Federals lost 102 men captured, 2 killed and 6 wounded and 2 missing. The Confederates lost 1 killed and about 5 wounded.

"The Last Battle of the Civil War: Palmetto Ranch," by Jeffrey William Hunt; The University of Texas Press, P.O. Box 7819, Austin, Texas 78713-7819; 216 pages; photographs, maps, bibliography, index; trade paperback.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LETTERS FROM A LOUISIANA TIGER


By Michael Jones

Edward Auguste Seton, a 20-year-old Confederate soldier from Lake Charles, Louisiana was lying on the hard ground in a plain canvas army tent when he took his pen in hand on July 1, 1861, and began a remarkable series of 38 letters to his mother, brother and sister detailing his experiences in some of the nation's most historic events.

Confederate Prisoners of War
The letters were carefully preserved by his descendants, the late Mrs. Violet Stone and her son, Layne Stone, who donated them to the McNeese State University Archives, where they have been professionally preserved for future generations.

Lt. Seton was the brother of Mrs. Stone's grandmother.

Seton was born Aug. 20, 1840, in Opelousas, the son of Edward A. Seton and the former Bazilide Belome. His father, who died when Edward was a child, was reportedly related to the family of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born Catholic saint. His mother, Bazilide, was born Feb. 18, 1816, in Opelousas, the daughter of Gregoire Belome and the former Francoise Arnaud, both of New Orleans.

Edward had one sister, Fanny Charlotte Seton, who was born Dec. 15, 1845, in Opelousas. She married Amedie Farque on Dec. 20, 1860, and in the collection is also a wartime letter written by Farque, who served in Company B, 12th Battalion Louisiana Infantry.

Seton's mother had been previously married to Joseph Spence, who died in September 1836. There were two sons from this marriage, John A. and Joseph Spence. Some of Edward Seton's letters were addressed to John, who was the oldest child in the family.

John Spence, established the first newspaper and print shop in Lake Charles, the Calcasieu Press, in partnership with Judge B.A. Martel of Opelousas.

Young Edward worked as a clerk in this early Lake Charles print shop.

In almost every letter, Edward Seton mentioned his girlfriend in Lake Charles, Miss Doris Pithon.

Edward seems to have been a popular young man in the community, and when a company was formed in mid-1861 to fight for the South, he was elected 2nd Lieutenant. He was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

The unit became Company K (Confederate States Rangers), 10th Louisiana Infantry, and took part in all of the major battles in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Seton's first duty station was at a basic training camp, Camp Moore, in Tangipahoa Parish.

From there, on July 14, 1861, he wrote his mother, ''At present we have our tents and equipments and all are satisfied. The boys like camp life.''

But he learned that as an officer, he had to buy his own uniform and equipment, ''It (has) taken all the money I had to get my sword and uniform$95.''

Edward's 10th Louisiana regiment was sworn into the Confederate Army on July 22, 1861, and sent by rail to Richmond, Va., a trip which took seven torturous days. The regiment missed the first major battle of the war, the Battle of First Manassas, Va., on July 21, 1861, but he soon had his first encounter with the enemy while on picket duty.

In a letter dated Aug. 11, 1861, Seton wrote his mother, ''I (have) taken up a yankee last night, or at least he gave himself up to me. He was a deserter of the 4th Main Regiment. He said he was in the engagement on the 21st. I delivered him up to Capt. Johnston, officer of the day. They are all put in jail or confined. They are suspected of being spies.''

Seton also wrote an amusing account of an encounter he had with a Virginia native. ''The country men of Va. are much greener than our country boys. I asked one if he was an American and he said not, but he was a Virginian of some eastern county. I could not help laughing in his face.''

His regiment was assigned to guarding the Yorktown Peninsula, where the Revolutionary War battle was fought.

The 10th Louisiana received its baptism of fire at the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. Lieutenant Seton's letters dropped off drastically after this, as his unit was almost constantly marching and fighting for the next three months. Following Malvern Hill, they fought battles at Cedar Run on Aug. 10, Second Manassas Aug. 28-30 and Chantilly on Sept. 1, all in Virginia, and at Harpers Ferry on Sept. 15 and Antietam on Sept. 17, both in Maryland.

On Sept. 21, 1862, Seton finally got a chance to summarize his command's part in those great battles, ''We have been in all the battles & have lost our best men. In Friday's fight at Manassas Dave Hargrove was killed & L. J. Ryan was wounded in Saturday's fight. At Bull Run Sergt. P(ierre) Vincent was wounded (and later died) & Lt. Isaac Ryan, P. F. McCormick, W. C. Bollin, F. Sack all wounded Friday. We drove them (the yankees) across the Potomac. From there we were a week in Maryland & captured 14,000 men, 23,000 stand of small arms & 60 pieces of artillery. On 17th Sept. we had a battle in Maryland & our company had 15 men in the fight & but four came out safe...We held the field until the 19th and fell back across the Potomac, but we are expecting to cross again tomorrow. We have beat the enemy at every point.''

The armies in those days normally went into winter quarters, and waited until the following spring to resume any serious campaigning. Lt. Seton wrote many of his letters during these breaks, giving his views on life in the army, the progress of the war and the prospects for the future.

His next battle came in May, 1863, at a place now historic Chancellorsville. He was wounded there, and while recovering in a hospital, wrote the best battle description of all his letters.

On May 13, he wrote his mother, ''Ere you will receive this you may hear of my being wounded and probably in a worst light than it really is, for I am but slightly wounded through the calf of the right leg ranging upward. I will be alright in two or three months for another fray. I was wounded on the 3rd May, Sunday morning, in the first charge. After I was wounded, or at the time our brigade fell back some three hundred yards to the breastworks we had just taken, I was left between both fires for a long until a yankee came & got me out. I was very glad for not three hours after the woods caught on fire & burnt a great many. The yankees treated me kindly while I was in their hands.''

In his next letter, dated June 17, 1863, he gave more details of the fight, ''Dear Mama I expect you have been living in great suspense for these last six weeks on account of having heard of my wound & probably of my death for such was reported for I had been taken prisoner after being wounded. Our company stood on the field to the last & fought with the yankees at 30 yards distance.

''They (his own men) did not leave until I told them to go... Poor Jim Reeves was killed to my left & I went to get his rifle to give to F. Sack whose gun would not fire & at that moment I was wounded & when I looked around to give Sack the gun I seen, poor fellow, he was Killed also.''

Although his wound was worse than he first thought, and took longer to heal, Seton recovered and fought many more battles.

Seton's last letter, dated Feb. 9, 1864, was a short one in which he described a small skirmish at the Rapidan River. More serious fighting was to come at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6 and at Spottsylvania Court House on May 12, 1864.

At Spottsylvania Court House, Seton's entire division was over run and most of the men captured, including the Lake Charles soldier. He was confined to Fort Delaware, on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River.

Civil War POW camps, both north and south, were notorious for their high mortality rates due to disease. Many had death rates of 25 percent and higher.

Fort Delaware was one of the worst.

First Lt. Edward Auguste Seton died there on Feb. 11, 1865, of typhoid fever. His remains now lie in a soldier's grave at Finn's Point National Cemetery on the New Jersey shore, just across from Fort Delaware.

His name is inscribed on an 80-foot tall obelisk, along with the names of 2,435 other Confederate prisoners who died at Fort Delaware. It is the largest Confederate monument provided by the federal government.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A MOUNTED RIFLE COMPANY 150-YEARS-AGO

From http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
[FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.] THE ARKANSIAN, January 20, 1860, p. 3, c. 2
Mounted Rifles.
A Mounted Rifle company was organized by the citizens of this county, on last Saturday, by the election of the following officers:

Captain—J. M. Tuttle; 1st Lieu, P. P. Vanhoose; 2d Lieut, W. R. cunningham; 3d Lieut, J. R. Pettigrew.

Another meeting of the company will be held at the Court House, on Saturday the 4th prox. for the purpose of completing the organization. We understand that on that day the non-commissioned officers will be elected and other necessary arrangements will be made; a full attendance is required.

It seems that the desire among our citizens to join a mounted company is prevalent; and the rapid increase of members of the company bids fair to swell it to an unusual size. We would suggest that another mounted company be organized. We do not think that a company ought to number over 80 rank and file. Were there a call for active service, we have no doubt that Washington county would turn out 500 men.

In connection with this subject, we beg leave to remind our contemporaries that our Senior has been promoted to a Lieutenant in this company; he no longer occupies that respectable position of a "high private;" and hereafter he will wield the sword as well as the pen, if the editorials of the Arkansian lose their milky character and assume one more sanguinary, we hope our readers will attribute the fact to this new position of our Senior.

Monday, February 15, 2010

150th ANNIVERSARY REENACTMENT OF BATTLE OF OAK HILLS

A recent announcement by a coalition of reenactment groups representing 12,000 reenactors, recently announced a series of reenactments of the 150th Anniversary of  the War For Southern Independence, all east of the Mississippi River. Thankfully now a group, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation announced it will sponsor a reenactment of the Wilson's Cree/Oak Hills battle which occurred in Missouri 10 Aug. 1861. The battle was called Wilson's Creek by the North and Oak Hills by the South.

It is good to see some activity on 150th anniversary reenactments of Trans-Mississippi battles. Here is the information given on the group's web site:

Wilson's Creek Reenactment Planned for 2011


The Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation has begun planning a maximum-effort Civil War reenactment to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. The reenactment will take place during the weekend of August 12-14, 2011.

Excitement is already building for the Civil War sesquicentennial, and as the second major battle of the war, Wilson’s Creek compels a great deal of attention in the reenactment community. The Western Division of the Blue-Gray Alliance, a reenactor organization, will help design battle scenarios and handle all military aspects of the reenactment.

Due to the high level of interest, the Blue-Gray Alliance anticipates that this will be a well-attended event, with more than 3,000 reenactors and huge crowds of spectators. Although a location has not yet been selected, it will be held as close to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield as possible. Watch for more details and updates on the Foundation web site at www.wilsonscreek.com.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

BATTLE OF CALCASIEU PASS -- May 6, 1864

By Michael Jones

The Battle of Calcasieu Pass, May 6, 1864, was the only War For Southern Independence battle to be fought in extreme Southwest Louisiana. It brought together two determined foes - Union gunboats bent on “purchasing” stolen livestock and recruiting men - and a scrappy band of Confederates determined to expel the invaders.


One Confederate survivor of the battle, Captain Joseph A. Brickhouse, said years later, “While I would not pluck one feather from the plume of fame worn by Dick Dowling, yet I must say that the Battle of Calcasieu Pass and the victory achieved was in every way equal to that achieved by Dick Dowling and his immortal heroes of Sabine Pass.”

The Wave and Granite City received orders on April 15 to proceed to Calcasieu Pass to buy 250 head of cattle and 200 horses from Jayhawkers. The brigands had stolen the livestock from area farms. The Wave arrived on April 24 with gold for the purchase. It bombed an abandoned Confederate fort at the mouth of the river and was led to anchorage two miles upstream, opposite the home of Duncan Smith, a Union sympathizer. Smith was on board the vessel and acted as guide.

The Granite City arrived two days later and anchored around a bend, about 300 yards from its companion ship. Many of its crew were experienced gunners and survivors of the Hatteras, which had been sunk the previous year by the C.S.S. Alabama. Granite City disembarked 27 Union infantrymen brought along to round up the livestock. To secure the area, the sailors and soldiers destroyed the bridges over Mud and Oyster bayous and posted pickets around the perimeter.

All of this activity was communicated to the Confederate garrison about 40 miles west at Sabine Pass, Texas, by some unknown Southern “Paul Revere.” The local Confederate commanders quickly assembled a force to expel the invaders. The commander of the district, Brigadier General Paul Hebert, in Houston, was alarmed the Yankee gunboats might be the advance scouts of an invasion force and he ordered an attack.

The Confederate strategy was simple. Advance at night under the cover of darkness and launch a surprise attack. The artillery was to open fire at 1,000 yards, while the infantry and dismounted cavalry advanced to the shore line and open fire on the sailors as they try to man their guns on the ships. The cannons would then move in closer and finish off the vessels.

On the afternoon of May 4, the foot soldiers crossed the Sabine and commenced their 38-mile march to Calcasieu Pass. The artillery departed Fort Manhassett at Sabine Pass and was ferried across Sabine Lake and into Johnson Bayou on the Louisiana side. Traveling at night on May 5 to conceal their movements, the soldiers rebuilt the bridge over Mud Bayou and by 4:30 a.m. May 6 had reached their destination.

Aurelia LeBoeuf Daigle was a 15-year-old girl at the time of the battle. Her family’s farmhouse was right in the middle of the carnage. For the rest of her days she recalled how the Confederate soldiers had taken over her house and used it as a hospital.

Her parents, Louis and Pauline LeBoeuf, were scratching out an existence on the rough terrain when events they had no control over overwhelmed them and drove them from their home.

The Union ships had made the mistake of letting the Jayhawkers man the picket posts. When the Confederates approached in the darkness, the Union pickets faded away into the marsh, intent on saving themselves and not giving any warning to the waiting prey.

As the sun peaked above the misty horizon that morning the serene dawn was shattered with the roar of Confederate artillery. On the vessels, the blue-jackets came tumbling out of the hammocks. As they rushed on deck to man their heavy naval artillery, they were met by blistering musketry from the gray-clad sharpshooters. Nevertheless the courageous sailors manned their guns and returned fire with deadly accuracy. The Confederate artillery was caught in a deadly cross-fire between the two ships. One of the Southern artillery pieces was quickly hit. Three artillerymen lay severely wounded. Their cannon was demolished.

Lt. Charles Welhausen of Creuzbaur's battery commanded two 12-pounders and saved his cannons by ordering them moved in closer, thus avoiding the cross-fire from the ships. The Confederate sharpshooters were completely exposed on the open marsh. They began falling when the veteran Union gunners zeroed in on them. But despite their exposed position, the infantrymen bravely kept peppering the gunboat decks.

While the Southerners were taking their licks, the Northerners were also receiving punishment. The Granite City’s wheel house was demolished and a cannonball tore into the ship’s hull. Sixteen shells penetrated the vessel’s hull near the water line. No glutton for punishment, Lt. Lamson was to call it quits after he had fired 30 rounds. A white flag was hoisted and a boat lowered to take on the victors. Col. Griffin and his men boarded the ship and took charge. The blue-jackets were seen throwing pistols, swords and guns overboard. Griffin later learned that they had also thrown overboard dead bodies with weights attached to them.

Lt. Loring on the Wave, a tenacious fighter, was far from ready to throw in the sponge. Confederate artillerymen tried to shift one of their remaining pieces after Lamson’s surrender but it became stuck in the mud. The remaining two, however, turned their full fury onto the Wave. Although unable to bring all guns to bear due to being anchored, Loring’s gunners continued to wreak havoc among the Confederates with their 32-pound bow gun. Five of Griffin’s men were cut down and victory was tilting to the Union sailors.
It looked as though the gunboat was going to be able to get up enough steam to escape. But Maj. Felix McReynolds of Griffin’s battalion and Lt. Welhausen were credited with saving the day for the South by bravely rallying their men when things looked darkest. However, throughout the affair, one Confederate stood full length above the prairie, calmly loading and firing. His total disregard for the enemy fire completely unnerved the Yankee gunners and they later were eager to know who the intrepid marksman was that their bullets could not touch.
The Confederate gunners sent shells through the Wave’s pilot house, engine room and boilers. Then Brickhouse’s gun scored a direct hit on the gunboat’s 32-pounder, splitting the full length of the barrel. A white flag was soon seen flying from the mast. The warship had taken 65 direct hits. Perhaps stalling for time, Loring hesitated in putting over a boat for the victorious boarding party. To show he meant business, McReynolds told his men to fire a warning shot and to prepare to reopen fire. With this, the gunboat’s skipper lowered the boat and surrendered. The crew jettisoned valuables, including the ship’s safe which contained gold to pay for the livestock. The Army detachment, which was camped on shore, surrendered without firing a shot.
On May 8, ignorant of the battle, Union transport Ella Morse came up the river to meet with the other ships. But when it got close, the Granite City, now manned by Confederate gunners, opened fire. Southern sharpshooters on both banks shot up its decks. The transport carrying a detachment of the 2nd New Orleans Infantry (Union) reversed course and headed back into the Gulf. The ship’s pilot was wounded.
Two days later, not knowing about the capture, the Union blockader New London sent Ensign Henry Jackson and six men up the pass in a launch to deliver a message to the Granite City. Ensign Jackson saw the Confederate flag flying over the Granite City. Thinking it was some kind of sick joke; he borrowed a musket and fired at the flag. But Confederate sharpshooters returned fire and instantly killed Jackson. The six crewmen were added to the prisoners.
Lt. Col. Griffin reported that eight of his men were killed in action and 13 wounded. Later, two of Creuzbaur's artillerymen, one of Daly’s cavalrymen and one of Spaight’s infantrymen died of wounds. The Union casualties never have been fully accounted. Lamson admitted to 10 wounded on the Granite City, and two later died. Loring said he had 24 wounded on the Wave, four of whom later died. The Confederates also took a total of 174 prisoners, 16 cannons, the stolen livestock and a large quantity of food on which the weary gray-clad infantrymen delightedly feasted. To their disgust, Creuzbaur's artillerymen were sent back to Sabine Pass before they could join in the feast. Wounded from both sides were taken to Lake Charles and from there to Goosport where they received the best of care in Capt. Daniel Goos’ home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SIGN OF THE TIMES -- 150-YEARS-AGO


From http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], January 20, 1860, p. 2, c. 1
            A Bad Omen.—Yesterday morning when the "Star Spangled Banner" was hoisted to the mast head on the round tower at the Capitol it did not fling itself out the breeze, as it has so often done before on less momentous occasions.  It did not stand out stiff, but crouched about the pole in a very cowardly and unstar-spangled-banner-like manner.  Others noticed it—we noticed it and heard our friend Jones offer as an apology the fact that the wind was not blowing; but this is not satisfactory.  What has the wind to do with the stars and stripes of the country?
            It is a small matter, this, but big with some unborn event, that is even now getting ready to turn up.  It is a small matter this—as before said—a mere circumstance; but let us not despise small matters.  Have we forgotten the story founded on facts, of the sentinels falling asleep on the tower of liberty and being aroused and advised of the approach of the enemy by the cackling of geese?  If not, let us not despise small things, but take warning by the ominous signs of the times. 

DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], February 15, 1860, p. 2, c. 4
            Shall We Make Our Own Paper?—That it can be done is a settled question.  Mr. Thos. J. Spear, of New Orleans, who is now here, bears with him samples of paper made from bagasse, or the refuse of the sugar crop; cotton stalks, the wild indigo, and other indiginous [sic] plants heretofore supposed to be worthless.  The samples are good and will do; besides this he has samples of hemp from the banana and other plants and a good article of rope from the same.  Gentlemen who make a considerable fuss in favor of resolutions to put the South on an equality with the North in manufacturing at home, could very well find room in this direction to test their sincerity.  Let them turn their attention to home industry and home interests, and instead of appropriating to arm military companies and equip the State for mere buncomb [sic]; let them offer a bonus on paper or hemp, or any thing else calculated to develope [sic] our latent resources. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

VICKSBURG -- A GREAT VACATION DESTINATION

Louisiana Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park

By Michael Jones
VICKSBURG, Miss.  For a weekend outing or a major vacation destination, Vicksburg has every ingredient for a memory making experience.

Charming Old South mansions and museums, restaurants with the finest in Southern cuisine and the Vicksburg National Military Park are just a few of those memory-making ingredients.

And Lake Charles has an enduring historical link with Vicksburg. A company of Confederate volunteers from Calcasieu Parish was among the South's defenders who shed their blood in defense of the Mississippi city during the crucial 47-day 1863 siege that Abraham Lincoln called the ''key'' to victory for the North.

That group of volunteers, Company I (Calcasieu Tigers), 28th Louisiana Infantry Regiment was led by Captain James W. Bryan, who after the war became the first mayor of Lake Charles and was a leading citizen of the area until his death in 1897.

During the siege 16 of the regiment's men were killed and 57 wounded. At the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou on Dec. 28 and 29, 1862, the 28th Louisiana had 9 men killed, 25 wounded and 9 missing.

The Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates that historic event and has the exact location marked where the Calcasieu Parish men fought.

The park gives visitors a complete appreciation for what happened there 129 years ago with audio-visual programs and life-size dioramas at the visitor center, as well as with a very active living history program and an excellently marked 16-mile self-guided driving tour of the battlefield.

The park's hundreds of magnificent monuments and cannons, spaced out along the 16-mile driving tour, make it one of the crown jewels of the National Park Service system. Louisiana had the distinction of becoming the first state to erect a monument at Vicksburg in June 1887.

Living historians, authentically uniformed, give demonstrations of rifle firing, cannon firing, talks on fortifications and on the life of the soldiers during the siege.

But making Vicksburg National Military Park truly unique is the U.S.S. Cairo Museum. On display is the ironclad ship itself, which was salvaged from the Yazoo River in the 1960s, and an adjacent Naval museum housing many of the artifacts of the crew, naval stores and armaments.

The Cairo was sent to the bottom of the river on Dec. 12, 1862 by an electrically detonated mine, the first such sinking in Naval history. The ironclad's firepower included 32-pounder smoothbores, 8-inch smoothbores, a 30-pounder Parrott rifle and 42-pounder rifles.

In the city of Vicksburg are numerous historic buildings and homes, many open for tours, and which have their own individual stories to tell about the siege.

The Old Court House Museum was used as a Confederate signal station and housed Union prisoners. Now the building features one of the finest historical museums in the nation. Among the displays are original Confederate battleflags, uniforms, weapons and artifacts from the siege.

The McRaven House, open for tours, tells the tragic effects of the war and siege on the city's civilian population. Taken over as a Confederate headquarters and hospital, it was caught in the crossfire between Union gunboats and Confederate batteries. It suffered heavy damage.

About a year after the siege the owner of McRaven House was murdered by drunken Union occupation troops. Now fully restored, the tour guides give visitors a walk through the history of Vicksburg from Colonial times to the 20th Century.

To really get the ''feel'' of the city's history, visitors have a good selection of bed-and-breakfast inns. Such magnificent homes as the Duff Green Mansion, Anchuca, Cedar Grove, Grey Oaks, Balfour House and Bell of the Bends offer unique atmosphere and each has a fascinating story.

The Duff Green Mansion was built in 1856 by Duff Green, a prosperous Vicksburg merchant, and is conered one of the finest examples of Paladian architecture in Mississippi. In antebellum days the home was the center of social activity and parties.

During the siege, the Greens turned the mansion over to the army for use as a Confederate hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Green sought refuge from the deadly Union bombardment in nearby caves.

While the fighting was going on, Mrs. Green gave birth to a son in the cave and named the boy Siege.

Vicksburg is also a city known for its excellent Southern cuisine and a wide variety of ethnic cooking.

Mississippi is world renowned for its catfish and such restaurants as Top O' The River and Walnut Hills Round Tables Restaurant serve it in true gourmet fashion.

The Old Southern Tea Room specializes in plantation cooking, prime steaks and fine seafood. Eddie Monsour's Restaurant has fresh seafood and Lebanese cuisine.

Historic downtown Vicksburg, along Washington Street, has been renovated and contains an array of shops, stores and attractions.

Driving straight through to Vicksburg is about a five hour drive from Lake Charles. But if you have the time for a liesurely journey, there are numerous sites to see and things to do along the way.

From Lake Charles, take Interstate 10 to Baton Rouge and from there go north on U. S. 61, which goes all the way to Vicksburg.

Among the things to do along the way, on U.S. 61, are Port Hudson State Commemorative Area 14 miles north of Baton Rouge; numerous plantation home to tour in the St. Francisville area; Rosemont Plantation, Jefferson Davis' home in Woodville, Miss.; in Natchez numerous antebellum homes; Grand Gulf State Park, which has a fine War Between the States museum and between Port Gibson and Vicksburg is a stretch of the historic and scenic Natchez Trace Parkway.

Monday, February 8, 2010

BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS ANNIVERSARY -- A GLORIOUS DAY -- 150--YEARS--AGO

From http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], January 10, 1860, p. 2, c. 1


The Eighth.—As the "Glorious Eighth" did not come until the 9th, the demonstration was given us yesterday, in a very neat and creditable manner. The Pelican Rifles made their first regular turn out—armed and equipped. How the times have changed! Twenty years ago, Sunday would have been the day of all others for the Anniversary. Indeed, when such events came by appointment of the Almanac, in the early time, then the gallant Chasseurs, and the Guards, would fix Sunday for the parade, and come down early in the morning with an assault on Old Michael's; firing, but not falling back, until the going down of the sun. We have improved in more than one respect since the early time; though on the backward track in many things. Music came up from below by appointment, and at 12 o'clock every thing was in readiness to move from the head quarters of the company in Third street. So dense was the throng of men, woman [sic] and children who took possession of the capitol to witness the ceremony of presenting the banner, that the idea was abandoned of getting into the Senate chamber, which had been prepared for the purpose. The presentation took place on the steps of the east gate of the building.—Miss Phillie Nolan, presented it, in the name of the donor (our fellow-citizen Wm. S. Pike, Esq., and the citizens of Baton Rouge.) The speech was an elegant and appropriate one, and responded to by Capt. W. F. Tunnard, Commander of the company. After the presentation—and after parading through town, the company marched to the Harney House, where a sumptuous repast was spread for them, under the direction of the host of that establishment, Col. Rhodus. A long life to the Pelicans say we; may they prosper and grow strong with age, and turn out, long after many of us have turned under and gone to the great rest, that knows no waking. Where pray, was Col. Peirce and the Dragoons, on this occasion? Certainly they are not already hors du combat. Will the Col. drop us a line on this subject from Fort Hamilton?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

SEVENTH STAR OF THE CONFEDERACY -- Book Review

This book is a group of essays that cover all aspects of the War For Southern Independence in Texas. Chapters cover the secession of Texas, the role played by  the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) in the pre-war secession movement and the seizure of U.S. Army property in San Antonio early in the war, the various military operations and the social and cultural aspects of the war in Texas.

On February 1, 1861, delegates at the Texas Secession Convention elected to leave the Union. The people of Texas supported the actions of the convention in a statewide referendum, paving the way for the state to secede and to officially become the seventh state in the Confederacy. Soon the Texans found themselves engaged in a bloody and prolonged civil war against their northern brethren. During the course of this war, the lives of thousands of Texans, both young and old, were changed forever.

The book is edited by Kenneth W. Howell, assistant professor at Prairie View A&M University.   

The chapters are written by some of the best historians on the Trans-Mississippi, including Alwyn Barr, Archie P. McDonald, James M. Smallwood, Linda S. Hudson, John W. Gorman, Mary Jo O'Rear, Donald Willett, Edward T. Cotham Jr., Charles D. Spurlin, Charles D. Grear, Gary D. Joiner, Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr., Vicki Betts, Ronald E. Goodwin and Bruce A. Glasrud, Carol Taylor, and Bill Stein.

The chapter by Linda Hudson on the KGC's role in secession and early war military actions was fascinating and very illuminating.  I also particularly enjoyed the chapters by Edward Cotham on the battles of Galveston and Sabine Pass, and Gary Joiner's on the Texas Cavalry in the Red River Campaign.

The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas During the Civil War; University of North Texas Press, Denton, Texas, www.unt.edu/untpress, $34.95.

Friday, February 5, 2010

HUNLEY UPDATE

CSS Alabama Cannon Shipped to Namesake State
Hunley Conservators preserve artifact recovered of the coast of France

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The CSS Alabama sailed the globe but never once docked on the shores of its namesake state.  Though that historic fact can never be changed, today a significant piece of history from the famed confederate raider will finally make its way to Alabama.

For the past six years, Hunley conservators have been working to preserve two cannons recovered from the Alabama’s wreck site off the coast of France.  With the work finally complete, one of the cannons was shipped Feb. 4 and arrived today at the Museum of Mobile, where it will serve as the centerpiece of a CSS Alabama display.  Mobile is also the birthplace of the H. L. Hunley.

Head Hunley Conservator Paul Mardikian has worked on Alabama artifacts both on American and French shores. Though the cannons were preserved using effective methods, Mardikian is quick to point out that the “subcritical” conservation technique currently being developed, researched and tested at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center could have saved a substantial amount of time and dollars. “Perhaps in the near future, the subcritical testing we have been doing on a small scale will provide us the opportunity to treat similar cannons in a fraction of the time required for these.  Soon, what took us 6 years may take us six months,” Mardikian said.

European waters may seem a strange place to find a confederate ship.  A brief look at history, however, shows it not surprising.  Having patrolled waters around the world, the CSS Alabama truly is the stuff of legends. 

The ship was built in England in 1862 by British sympathizers to support the Confederacy’s strategy to block Union supplies from abroad reaching American shores.  During the raider’s two years at sea, over 60 Union and merchant ships were intercepted by the Alabama and 600 million in prizes taken. Through all its adventure, not one of the Alabama’s crew – nor any of the ships it captured – were ever mortally wounded.

After such a successful run, the Alabama had suffered substantial damage. In June 1864, the ship’s captain, Raphael Semmes, requested to port in Cherbourg, France to make desperately needed repairs.  Once there, Semmes quickly learned he was cornered by USS Kearsarge, a Union sloop-of-war that had been in pursuit of the infamous raider.

 Though the odds were against the Alabama, Semmes refused to let his ship’s reputation be tarnished with surrender. On June 19th, the battered Alabama gave the Kearsarge a gallant fight, but already at a disadvantage, the Confederate’s most successful raider ultimately lost and succumbed to French waters. The courage of the against-all-odds battle earned Semmes and his ship an important place in Alabama history.

The wreck site would remain untouched for over 120 years, until exploratory and recovery efforts were conducted by a Franco- American expedition.  The cannons were among many artifacts picked up from the site.  Human remains were found fused to the cannon and were buried over a century later during a ceremony at Magnolia Cemetery in Alabama. “This is a beautiful gun with an incredible history.  We are lucky it survived,” Mardikian said.

The completion of the preservation work on the cannons marks the first major artifacts finished by Warren Lasch Conservation Center. Clemson Professor Michael Drews, Director of the facility, says they are the first of many non-Hunley artifacts that will ultimately be conserved at the Center.  “The lab has become internationally recognized in the fields of corrosion science and conservation. We intend to ensure the facility will continue to use its specialized skills to save other important aspects of our world’s history long after the Hunley has left and moved to a museum,” Dr. Drews said.

The Hunley Project
On the evening of February 17th, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval Historical Center, and Friends of the Hunley.


Capt. Raphael Semmes, foreground, and Lt. John M. Kell 
on board C.S.S. Alabama.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

K.G.C. Meeting -- 150 YEARS AGO

From http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/newspaper_titles.htm
LOUISIANA DEMOCRAT [ALEXANDRIA, LA], March 21, 1860, p. 4, c. 2
Here is something new under the sun, taken from the N. O. Courier, of a recent date.

Secret organizations seem to be the order of the times:

The K. G. C.
We observe a call for the K. G. C.'s to meet at the hall over the Carrollton R. R. Depot, on this evening, at 7 o'clock. In conjunction with this call we observe that many of the leading members of this organization are now in our city. Gen. Bickley, the Commander-in-Chief, Col. Temple and Surgeon Semple, are at the St. Louis Hotel; Gen. Greer, who is well-known as one of our bravest Volunteer Colonels from Mississippi during the recent war, and who now commands a division of the K. G. C., together with Major Richardson, one of his staff-officers, and Col. H. C. Young, of Memphis, who commands the First Tennessee Regiment are at the City Hotel; while others, as Captain Scott and Lieutenant Breese, are at the Merchants'; Captain Gay, the wagon-master, is at the "Texas Home;" and still many others of note and character are at the St. Charles, or quartered with private friends in the city. Besides, there are hundreds of our own citizens in hourly contact with these gentlemen, so that one cannot but inquire, "What's in the wind?"

As our readers must feel some interest in whatever is likely to create excitement we feel ourselves justified in making the following statement respecting this powerful organization, from sources of information, which, from the character of the parties from whom we have derived it, we deem worthy of respectful consideration. The K. G. C., or "Knights of the Golden Circle," was organized in 1854, more to cultivate the martial spirit of our people, than anything else; since then it has steadily grown, until now it numbers over 30,000 members, who are scattered over the Southern States, and holding within its charmed circle many of our most influential men and best soldiers. No organization of the kind has in this country ever combined so much talent with such immense financial resources, and under the present aspect of political affairs, we do not deem it too much to say that the whole nation may soon become deeply interested in the ultimate labors of the K. G. C.

It is generally understood that the K. G. C. are preparing to operate in the broad field which civil war has opened in Mexico to American enterprise and industry, and the first thought of the great public is that it is to be a grand "filibuster" operation, destined to meet the same reverses which have befallen all similar expeditions. But, for our part, if our information in the main be correct, the gentlemen who stand at the head of the movement are of an entirely different intellectual calibre from those whom we have heretofore seen directing these military operations. If we were allowed to guess, we should say that these gentlemen are about embarking in a scheme not unlike that in which Lafayette, Kosciusco, DeKalb, and their compatriots so generously engaged in when we were striving to shake off the shackles of British despotism; and we are assured that it is their steady determination to place the "Liberal" or Juarez party in the full and peaceful occupation of the City of Mexico, and thus prove to the world that Americans will never refuse to other struggling peoples the aid so opportunely rendered us by the French in 1777. This noble work is one that we have frequently advocated, and the necessity of which is truly felt by the masses in this country, as well as of the Republic of Mexico. We say God speed to the K. G. C.! Should they fail, they will have fallen in a noble cause.