Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 124
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
his behalf? Ain't he mine, and ain't I his? and
if I have not the right to abuse him, then I'd
like to know who has? But I don't want to abuse
him; still his account of the battle of Sabine
Pass would more properly grace the columns
of a novel than the pages of a history. Now, I
say that he took the account of the gentleman
of the tan vat, but I don't know this to be true;
but I do know that he of the tan vat was trying
to get up an account for him, and I know that
he did not publish either my account or Capt.
Now, I have said that some of the brigade
was there. Is there one on this earth brazen
enough to deny that F. W. Trimble was one of
us? and he was there, and we all know he al-
ways stayed "there" when once he got there;
and I'd like to know if Vic LeTulle wasn't there?
Of course, he was. I, with a great big I, was
there, just got thery the night before under ar-
rest, for expressing my opinion's little too
plainly of some persons, then denominated my
superior officers. Yes, and John L. Henry as
judge advocate worked like a Trojan to convict
me-but God bless his old true heart we beat
him to death on the trial. The court wouldn't
believe his witnesses-but he wasn't to blame.
But, John, wouldn't you have played the mis-
chief if you had convicted me, and had me shot?
Well, John, I hope you'll be elected supreme
judge, and I shall vote for you; but if you had
convicted me, and had me shot by a squad of
our own men, you see you would have lost my
The great effort since Capt. Odlum died,
and which effort President Davis tries to sus-
tain, is to show that Odlum was absent, and
that Dick Dowling commanded the battle; and
to further this President Davis says in his his-
tory that there "has been some talk about con-
tiguous forts, etc. I say and I say emphatically,
that there were no contiguous forts; that F. H
Odlum was not temporarily absent; but that he
was present and commanded the battle, though
Dick Dowling, assisted by Lt. N. H. Smith,
commanded Fort Griffin and the Davis guards.
That the reader may understand, I will state
that the post of Sabine Pass consisted of the
town Sabine Pass, where the infantry was sta-
tioned, Fort Griffin, one thousand yards be-
low, where Capt. F. H. Odlum's artillery was
stationed, of which company (the Davis Guards)
Dick Dowling was a lieutenant. Three gunboats
lying in the stream opposite the town, and a
little fort six miles below on the beach where
the cavalry about one hundred men under first-
Lieut. Victor deLeTulle, of Co. C, Davidson's
battalion, and ten men of Co. B, under second-
Lieut. F. W. Trimble, were stationed; a fort
was afterwards built there called Manhassett.
All these stations reported hourly to headquar-
ters, which was in the warehouse at the wharf,
and whoever was the senior officer had to be at
the warehouse. Capt. Odlum, on the morning
the enemy appeared, happened to be the senior
officer was present, and of course, he com-
manded the whole, while it left Lieut. Dowling
in command of his company.
When the enemy appeared, Capt. Odlum
called a council of war, and a good many offic-
ers were in favor of spiking the guns and re-
treating. I do not know how many men there
were on the gunboats, or in the fort. LeTulle
and Trimble had eighty-six (though LeTulle
claimed a hundred) in the sand hills along the
waters edge below the fort. I am satisfied, how-
ever, that there were not over six hundred men
all told there.
As I have said many of the officers were in
favor of an immediate retreat. Dowling was in
favor of giving them a brush before retreating,
while LeTulle was in favor of "whaling" them
out, and he and Trimble both said that no man
from either of these boats should ever reach
the land save as prisoners. LeTulle contended
that they could not land; that they might have
landed five or six miles back, but having passed
that point, it was impossible for them to land.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/76/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.