Dowling and His Men Fought For Freedom in Galveston and Sabine Pass
A new book addresses the war on the upper Louisiana and Texas coasts of the Gulf of Mexico in the new book, Dick Dowling and the Jefferson Davis Guard by Michael Dan Jones.
Dowling and his men were part of Company F of the 1st Texas Heavy Artillery which spent the entire war in the Houston, Galveston and Sabine Pass areas, which was their home area also.
Richard William "Dick" Dowling was a native of County Galway, Ireland, and survivors of the Great Famine that ravaged the Emerald Isle in the 1840s. Immigrating first to New Orleans, then to Houston, Texas, he became a successful businessman in the saloon business before the war.
The Jefferson Davis Guard, more familiarly called the Davis Guard or the Davis Guards, was made up mostly of Irish immigrants from the Houston-Galveston area. Many were working on the railroad complex being built in Texas, as well as working as laborers on the bustling docks of Houston and Galveston.
The company was commanded by Captain Frederick Odlum, who had extensive military experience in the 8th U.S. Infantry and the 2nd U.S. Artillery before the war. He was Dowling's wife's uncle.
The men were mostly Roman Catholics who had suffered religious persecution in their native land, and were very protective of their rights in Texas. This led to some trouble early in their military career, but was soon alleviated by their fighting qualities.
The book details the life of Dowling and some of the enlisted men and has a roster of the men who served in the unit during the war. The Davis Guard gained fame in the Battle of Galveston, the capture of two Union blockade ships off Sabine Pass, and the Second Battle of Sabine Pass.
They were greatly celebrated in Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, where there are streets, schools and/or monuments named in their honor.
The book is available on CreateSpace.com, Amazon.com and other online booksellers. It has photographs, maps and illustrations, footnotes, bibliography, and index; 192 pages, trade paperback.