Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 125
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Reminiscences of the Old Brigade
Capt. Odium then ordered the troops to their
respective places, moved his headquarters upon
the gunboat Uncle Ben, and took his position
aboard of her, the infantry in town, LeTulle
and Trimble below the fort in the sand hills
near the waters edge.
The enemy now advanced the Sachem lead-
ing in one channel, the Clifton leading in the
other, they opened a terrific fire on the fort and
town, and bursting an occasional shell over the
heads of LeTulle and Trimble. As soon as the
enemy got within range of the guns of the fort,
Dowling opened upon them. Now, my friend
Laughter has criticized severly the markmanship
of the artillerists who fired on the Owasco as
she ran out of Galvestion bay. While it has been
said that our Val Verde battery fired with the
accuracy of a refleman shooting at a squirrel;
but if Dowling and his company always shot as
well as they did that day, Seyers Hume and
Nettles with the Val Verde could not have beaten
them. It did seem to me that they planted every
ball exactly where it was aimed as a man could
have lain his finger.
One shot from the fort cut the machinery
of the Sachem and rendered her useless and
blocked up that channel, while the Clifton in
trying to thread the other channels in one of its
sudden turns, got aground right across the chan-
nel, and could get neither forward or backward.
This effectually blocked up both channels and
the enemy seeing that it was utterly impossible
for them to land any troops abandoned both
vessels and took themselves off.
They had twenty vessels, and it is said ten
thousand men. I have already stated what troops
our side had-but none but the Davis Guard on
our side ever fired a shot; and too much credit
cannot be bestowed upon them, for the cool
and intrepid manner in which they stood to their
guns under that terrific fire, but in giving them
the credit due them. I do not propose to rob the
dead, and gave Odlum all of the praise due him
for the part he took in that affair. Odlum,
Trimble and Dowling have long since gone to
that better land; but on that day each heroically
stood to his post and did his duty. Let them rest
in peace, and grant that each one of them is
enjoying the happiness that the patriot deserves,
for they were patriots.
But, while giving to the dead the just mead
of praise due them, we must also not forget the
living. LeTulle still lives, and while the Davis
Guards were so heroically serving their guns
under that terrific fire, and returning with vigor
every blow, LeTulle, Trimble and their eighty-
six were on that barren shore, with bare breasts
and unprotected bodies, defying the foe to come
ashore, and every shot that went tearing over
the works of Fort Griffin; ever shell that went
shrieking through the town had to pass first over
their devoted heads.
We captured both the Sachem and Clifton
with their armament and lost not a man. I think
the enemy were hastened in their withdrawal
by the fact that away towards Beaumont heavy
columns of smoke could be seen which was
interpeted to mean boats and men coming to
the assistance of the beleagured fort.
In President Davis' history is a report of
Commodore Leon Smith, of this battle, the
Commodore did not get there until after the
battle was over, and modesty, if nothing else,
should have prompted him to remain silent about
But, reader, you ask what I did? I tell you
I was under arrest. I set on the second story
gallery of a two-story house, facing the bay. A
cannon ball went through that house and I cried
unto the enemy in a loud voice, "Thou fool,
canst thou not see that I am no general, but a
poor officer whom the Confederates intend to
shoot, soon wherefore waste thou thy shot on
me." And they fired not again at that house
and the owner thereof oweth me to this good
day for saving his property from destruction.
That's what I did, "only that and nothing more."
But I have always been under the impression
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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/m1/77/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.