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[199] officers and men were all Irishmen, and the company was called the ‘Davis Guards.’ The captain, F. H. Odlum, was temporarily absent, so that the command devolved upon Lieutenant R. W. Dowling. Wishing to perpetuate the history of an affair, in which I believe the brave garrison did more than an equal force had ever elsewhere performed, I asked General Magruder, when I met him after the war, to write out a full account of the event; he agreed to do so, but died not long after I saw him, and before complying with my request. From the publications of the day I have obtained the main facts, as they were then printed in the Texas newspapers, and, being unwilling to summarize the reports, give them at length.

Captain F. H. Odlum's official report

headquarters, Sabine Pass, September 9, 1863.
Captain A. N. Mills, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Sir: I have the honor to report that we had an engagement with the enemy yesterday and gained a handsome victory. We captured two of their gunboats, crippled a third, and drove the rest out of the Pass. We took eighteen fine guns, a quantity of smaller arms, ammunition and stores, killed about fifty, wounded several, and took one hundred and fifty prisoners, without the loss or injury of any one on our side or serious damage to the fort.

Your most obedient servant,

F. H. Odlum, Captain, commanding Sabine Pass.

Commodore Leon Smith's official report

Captain E. P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Sir: After telegraphing the Major-General before leaving Beaumont, I took a horse and proceeded with all haste to Sabine Pass, from which direction I could distinctly hear a heavy firing. Arriving at the Pass at 3 P. M., I found the enemy off and inside the bar, with nineteen gunboats and steamships and other ships of war, carrying, as well as I could judge, fifteen thousand men. I proceeded with Captain Odlum to the fort, and found Lieutenant Dowling and Lieutenant N. H. Smith, of the engineer corps, with forty-two men, defending the fort. Until 3 P. M. our men did not open on the enemy, as the range was too distant. The officers of the fort coolly held their fire until the enemy had approached near enough to reach them. But, when the enemy arrived within good range, our batteries were opened, and gallantly replied to a galling and most terrific fire from the enemy. As I entered the fort, the gunboats Clifton, Arizona, Sachem, and Granite State, with several others, came boldly up to within one thousand yards, and opened their batteries, which were gallantly and effectively replied to by the Davis Guard. For one hour and thirty minutes a most terrific bombardment of grape, canister, and shell was directed against our heroic and devoted little band within the fort. The shot struck in every direction, but, thanks be to God! not one of the noble Davis Guards was hurt. Too much credit can not be awarded Lieutenant Dowling, who displayed the utmost heroism in the discharge


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F. H. Odlum (4)
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September 9th, 1863 AD (1)
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