The Battle of Calcasieu Pass
the mouth of the pass Loring steamed in and anchored opposite
a house owned by one of his passengers, a unionist named Smith.
On April 27, three days later, Lamson appeared with the Granite
City, anchored lower down the pass and landed twenty-five sol-
diers on the east bank.15
From April 27 through May 5 Union soldiers, sailors and refu-
gees collected horses, saddles, arms and cattle. The bridges over
Mud Bayou and Oyster Bayou on the west toward Sabine Pass
were destroyed with Smith's assurance that no enemy could then
approach the gunboats. A courier boat, the Ella Morse, was sent
back to Brashear City (now Morgan City) with dispatches, and
on May 4 Commodore Palmer forwarded orders for the return
of the expedition when its limited objectives had been fulfilled.
Those instructions had not arrived on the night of May 5 when
four Federal pickets were posted at Calcasieu Pass, two on the
roads leading east and west from the pass and two above and below
the warships on the narrow waterway itself. A scouting party was
also sent out toward the Mermentau River to the east. Lieutenant
Loring took a turn around the decks of the Wave to check his own
sentries; every precaution seemed to have been taken although the
post had been a quiet one for almost two weeks."
The thunder of Creuzbaur's field guns at dawn on May 6, 1864,
ended the peaceful repose of the Union sailors. Griffin's men had
rebuilt the bridge over Mud Bayou during the night and moved
into position by 4:30 A.M. Opening at i2oo yards Lieutenant
Charles Welhausen's section of two twelve-pounders hit the Granite
City with one of its first rounds, while Lieutenant Micksch's
section of two six-pounders concentrated on the Wave which
was farther up the pass. The warships returned the fire from oppo-
site sides of a bend in the pass which helped them set up a natural
crossfire on the German gunners. The artillerymen stubbornly
maintained their hot position, with a loss of four killed and
wounded and one gun disabled, while covering the advance of
the Confederate infantry. Led by Major Felix C. McReynolds of
Griffin's battalion, the Texans rushed forward at the double quick.
l5Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Loring, February 28, 1865, Oficial
Records, Navies, Series I, Vol. XXI, 256.
lOIbid., 256-258; Commodore James S. Palmer to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant
Benjamin W. Loring, May 4, 1864, ibid., 246.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 29, 2016.