About Me

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I am a lifelong student of military history with particular interest in the Battle of Antietam. I work for the federal government in Washington DC and have two young adult children who I love very much. I currently volunteer at Antietam and devote much time to the study of this battle and the Maryland Campaign. I enjoy collecting notable contemporary quotations by and about the men of Antietam. Since 2013 I have been conducting in depth research on the regular artillery companies of the Union Army and their leaders. I hope to turn this into a book on this subject in the future. My perspective comes from a 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Travels took me to World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific where American valor ended the tyranny of Nazism and Empire. But our country faced its own greatest challenge 80 years earlier during the Civil War. And it was the critical late summer of 1862, when Robert E. Lee launched the Maryland Campaign. It is an incredible story of drama, carnage, bravery, and missed opportunities that culminated around the fields and woodlots of peaceful Sharpsburg MD. So join me as I make this journey South from the North Woods.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Getting the Guns Out Part 2

This is part two of a two part article on the story of William French an officer not generally know or highly regarded in the annals of Civil War, and his instrumental role in saving five valuable artillery companies located in secessionist Texas during the final weeks of the Buchanan Administration.  Part 1 covered French’s early military career.  Part 2 is the story of the story of his role in safely evacuating five artillery companies from rebel Texas in the weeks prior to Fort Sumter. 

U.S. Army garrisons on the Rio Grande River January 1861
As part of the Army’s periodic reshuffling of artillery companies, Light Company K was ordered to Texas in June of 1859.  Caroline and the children Frank age 17, William 15, Annie 6 and young George age 2 accompanied Major French on this journey.  Travelling by rail and river, the company reached Helena Arkansas on June 17.  The rest of the journey was an overland march of 700 miles to their new post at Fort Clark Texas that they reached on September 26.  In June of 1860 the company moved to Fort Duncan at Eagle Pass, 45 miles further down the Rio Grande.  This fort was established in 1849 with a mission to monitor the border with Mexico and protect settlers in west Texas.  It was named for Colonel James Duncan, the commander of Light Company A, Second Artillery and a hero of the Mexican War. 

French had three lieutenants present for duty with him.  First Lieutenant James Slaughter (USA 1846) from Virginia had been in the Army for 14 years.[1] A great nephew of James Madison, he left his studies at VMI in 1846 to accept an appointment as a lieutenant in the newly formed regiment of Voltigeurs and Foot Riflemen at the start of the Mexican War. Slaughter transferred to the First Artillery in 1848.   The 33-year-old Slaughter had been reporting sick for several months but remained with the company at Fort Duncan. 

First Lieutenant Samuel Chalfin (USMA 1847) was born in Illinois. The 35-year-old Chalfin served in Mexico as an assistant adjutant general and later in the Third Seminole War in Florida.  He spent much of the 1850s at West Point as a French and Spanish language instructor. The company second lieutenant was Frederick Childs (USMA 1855).  The 29 year old Childs was an Army brat.  His father was the legendary Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Childs, commander of a battalion of red leg artillery in the Mexican War.  Like Samuel Chalfin he served for much of the 1850s as an instructor at West Point where he taught geography, history and ethics.

The senior enlisted man in Company K was 24-year-old First Sergeant Redmond Tully.  Born in Galway Ireland, Tully immigrated to America in 1854.  One year later French enlisted the 18-year-old lad in Baltimore where the young Irishman was employed as a barkeeper.  Tully had been with Company K ever since.  At a full six feet in height, the First Sergeant towered over his soldiers.  The company’s monthly return for February reflected 3 officers, 79 enlisted men, 63 artillery horses, and four guns present.[2]  In the antebellum army, each gun section (of 2 guns) was likely equipped with different ordnance.  Company K may have had two Model 1841 6-lb guns and two Model 1841 12-lb howitzers.  It is not clear how much the secession crisis had affected the men of the company.  French was from Maryland and Chalfin was from Illinois but both Slaughter and Childs probably voiced support for the southern position. 

There were two foot artillery companies of the First Artillery at Fort Duncan that were not mounted with guns or horses. .  Company F’s captain was Samuel Jones (USMA 1841).  He was on detached service in Washington DC as Assistant to the Judge Advocate of the Army.  In his absence, First Lieutenant Henry Closson (USMA 1854) commanded Company F.  The 28-year-old Closson was from Burlington Vermont.  He had seen a great deal of border warfare and scouting service in his short career. After some frontier experience in California, Closson was detailed to accompany the Corps of Engineers under Lieutenant Michler, on the survey of the Mexican Boundary.  He participated in the pursuit and surprise of three parties of Lipan Indians in 1856. Later he was engaged against the Seminole Indians in Florida. 

Present with Closson was Second Lieutenant Douglas Ramsay (USA 1855).  He was the son of Captain William Ramsay, U.S. Navy and brother of Lieutenant Alan Ramsay of the Marine Corps. Ramsay was already 32 years old when appointed a second lieutenant in 1855 the year the Army created four additional regiments.[3]   First Sergeant William Morgan was the senior enlisted man in Company F.  Formerly a miner from Glamorgan Wales, the 35-year-old Morgan had been with “F” since 1857.  In total the company had 2 officers and 63 enlisted men present.

First Lieutenant James Robinson (USMA 1852) commanded Company L.  Captain Samuel K. Dawson (USMA 1839) was on an eight month extended leave of absence.  Robinson was born in Virginia but his family moved to Missouri when he was a teenager.  He enlisted for service in the Mexican War but his company was disbanded before it ever deployed.  Robinson entered West Point at the relatively advanced age of 21 graduating in 1852.  He served in the Third Seminole War in Florida and at Fort McHenry, Fort Monroe and in addition to various posts in Texas.

The only other officer with the company was Second Lieutenant Richard Jackson (USA 1860).  Born in West Meath County Ireland in 1830, Jackson enlisted in the Fourth Artillery in 1851.  He was one of the very few enlisted men before the war who made the jump to the officer ranks.  The former First Sergeant of Company L, Fourth Artillery, Jackson was appointed a second lieutenant in the First Artillery in July 1860.

The First Sergeant of “L“ was Lewis Keller.  Keller was born in Bavaria in 1830 and immigrated to the United States in 1850.  He enlisted at Baltimore in 1854 giving his occupation as a butcher. Keller had been with the company ever since.  Company L had 2 officers and 77 enlisted men present.  All told, Fort Duncan was very respectably garrisoned with a total of 8 officers, 219 enlisted men, 60 horses and 4 guns at the post.

Captain Bennet Hill
The other two artillery companies assigned to the Department of Texas were at Fort Brown 325 miles down the Rio Grande. The fort was just outside of Brownsville opposite the Mexican town of Matamoros and about 30 miles inland from the coast.  French’s West Point classmate and friend Captain Bennett Hill (USMA 1837), First Artillery commanded here.  Hill was 44 years old and a native of Washington DC.  He was a reserved scholarly type of officer who never married and by successful investment in railroad stocks over the years had done quite well.  Never in the best of health, he served only briefly in the Mexican War being present at the siege of Vera Cruz.  Hill commanded Company M continually since his appointment to captain in 1848.  He saw duty in Washington territory, Fort Monroe, and Florida before being assigned to Texas.  

With Hill and Company M in Texas were Lieutenants Morris and Graham.  First Lieutenant Lewis Morris was the son of Captain Lewis Morris (USMA 1820) of the 3rd Infantry who was killed in Mexico at Monterry in 1847.  Perhaps as a result, his son and namesake received an appointment to the First Artillery the same year.   At the age of 36, Morris was a very senior first lieutenant having served in that grade for nearly fourteen years.  The other officer in Company M was 26-year-old Second Lieutenant William Montrose Graham (USA 1855).  Like Morris, Graham’s father was a West Point graduate.  Major James Graham (USMA 1817) was a senior officer in the Corps of Topographical Engineers.  His mother was Charlotte Meade, sister of the future hero of Gettysburg.  William’s uncle and namesake Colonel William Graham of the Eleventh U.S. Infantry was killed at Molino del Rey. In September 1860, he married Mary Ricketts the daughter of Captain James Ricketts of the First Artillery.  Like Lieutenant Ramsay in Company ‘F’ this extremely well connected young man received an appointment during the Army’s expansion in 1855.  

The First Sergeant of Company M was Robert Hall.  Hall was a 34 years old native of Edinboro Scotland where he attended the University. Hall enlisted during the Mexican War and had been in the Army ever since.  A later commander thought so highly of the Scotsman that he called him the “best First Sergeant in the Army” when recommending him for an officer’s appointment.  Hall married a “respectable” women from Texas and had two young children.[4]  Company M had 3 officers and 71 enlisted men present.

The other company at Fort Brown was Light Company M, Second Artillery.  Light Company M’s guns were particularly valuable because they were the new Model 1857 Light 12-pounders eventually known as Napoleons – the only company in the army equipped with these advanced weapons.  It should come as no surprise that the captain of such a special light company was none other than Henry Hunt, one of the leading artillery innovators in the Army.  Hunt was French’s colleague from the Artillery Board.  Hunt had departed the company in December on leave in Washington to get married.  While there Secretary of War Holt ordered him to assume command of Harpers Ferry a strategic arsenal and armory on the Potomac River 60 miles northwest of the capital.  Holt feared that as the secession crisis worsened, pro-secession elements in Virginia would seize the arsenal.[5]

Light Company M had its full complement of lieutenants present in Texas.  First Lieutenant Edward Platt (USMA 1849) was in command in Hunt’s absence.  Like Lieutenants Chalfin and Childs the 31-year-old lieutenant from Burlington Vermont had spent a good part of the 1850s teaching at West Point.  Both he and Chalfin served together as French language instructors.  First Lieutenant James Thompson (USMA 1851) was the company’s other first lieutenant. The 32-year-old New Yorker also did a stint as an instructor at the Academy.  Thompson taught mathematics from 1854 – 1857. Rounding out the trio was Second Lieutenant Guilford Bailey (USMA 1856.)  Bailey, from Lewis County New York was 26 years old. He recently transferred to Light Company M from Fort Leavenworth. This was part of the Army’s policy of rotating artillery second lieutenants into light companies to get hands on experience with the guns.  Unlike several other artillery companies with officers of pro Southern sympathies, all of Light Company M’s officers were solidly for the Union. 

Leading the enlisted men was First Sergeant Terrence Reilly.  Reilly was another Scotsman.  Born in 1840, he enlisted in Company M in 1857 at the age of 17.  He must have been a good soldier because none other than Henry Hunt, a very demanding commander, appointed the young man as First Sergeant in September 1860.   ‘M’ had 3 officers, 62 enlisted men, 4 Napoleons and 64 horses present for duty.

With the election of Abraham Lincoln, the southern states began seceding from the Union.  On January 10th, 1861 Florida became the sixth state Florida to leave.  Almost immediately, the War Department took immediate steps to see to the security of two strategic forts in the Florida Keys.  Fort Taylor was situated at Key West and Fort Jefferson was in the Dry Tortugas 70 miles further west.  These posts commanded access to the Gulf of Mexico.  Fort Taylor was unoccupied and Fort Jefferson had only a small engineer detachment commanded by Captain Montgomery Meigs. 

The day after Florida voted to secede, Captain Lewis Arnold’s Company C, Second Artillery departed Boston bound for Fort Jefferson. The company came ashore at the nearly empty fort on January 18th. On January 13th, Captain John Brannan (USMA 1841), was ordered to move his 44 men of Company B First U.S. Artillery from Key West Barracks to Fort Taylor.  These two outposts were still very thinly garrisoned and could be easily overwhelmed by Florida secessionists.

On February 1, 1861 Texas became the seventh state to secede. There was great danger that the rebels would capture the men, guns and valuable artillery accouterments of the five artillery companies stationed along the Rio Grande.  While small in numbers of men and equipment, these artillery companies were extremely valuable.  In a future war, they could potentially form the nucleus of a powerful artillery arm if they could be saved.

Secretary of War Joseph Holt
In Washington President Buchanan appointed Joseph Holt to replace John B. Floyd as Secretary of War on January 18th 1861.  Holt was against slavery and strongly for the Union.  In a rare display of initiative and competence, the Buchanan administration under its new Secretary of War took steps to simultaneously evacuate endangered Federal forces in Texas, and strengthen the two strategic forts in the Florida Keys.  On February 7th, the War Department ordered Major French as senior artillery officer in the Department of Texas to move all five artillery companies to the port of Brazos Santiago for embarkation. The four First Artillery companies would reinforce the Florida garrisons at Fort Jefferson and Fort Taylor.  Light Company M, Second Artillery and its Napoleons would go to Fort Hamilton NY.  French was advised that Brevet Major Fitz-John Porter (USMA 1845) was on the way to Brazos with a steamer, a detachment of artillery recruits and $40,000 to expedite the withdrawal.   

Porter sailed from New York on February 15th aboard the steamer Daniel Webster.  The ship was loaded with recruits, supplies, and medical stores for the garrisons of Forts Taylor and Jefferson.  From there the ship would head to Brazos Santiago at the mouth of the Rio Grande, with additional provisions for the artillery troops scheduled to embark there.

At the beginning of February French and Chalfin were on court martial duty at Fort Clark.   Due to the illness of Lieutenant Slaughter, Lieutenant Childs was in command of Company K in their absence.  As tensions mounted, French and Chalfin concluded their business at Fort Clark and hurried back to Fort Duncan.  On February 14th after turning command back to French, Lieutenant Childs took a leave of absence bound for Charleston South Carolina.  He resigned from the Army on March 4, 1861 and took a commission as a captain of artillery in the Confederate Army on March 16.

French’s instructions from the War Department were followed up by Department Orders #25 from the Department of Texas on February 14th. They ordered the artillery garrisons at Forts Duncan and Brown to immediately march to Brazos Santiago for embarkation.  It also ordered Companies C and E, Third Infantry, then at Ringgold Barracks, to replace the Fort Brown artillery garrison and to take charge of the artillery horses.  Finally Company B, Third Infantry, was ordered to immediately repair from its home station at Fort Clark to relieve French’s command at Fort Duncan.[6]

Pennsylvania-born Major Williams Nichols (USMA 1838), the Departmental Adjutant General in San Antonio told French to “move quickly … the object of the authorities of Texas is to demand the surrender of the guns of the light batteries.”[7] Nichols was keenly aware of the machinations of General David Twiggs (USA 1812), the Department commander.  Twiggs a Georgian was already in negotiations with Texas authorities regarding the disposition of Army equipment and supplies in the state. 

French’s command wasted no time. The same day Major Nichols’ orders arrived, French ordered Lieutenants Chalfin and Robinson to gather up what few wagons and ambulances were available and take the officers’ families by way of San Antonio to Indianola for transportation home.  It must have been a difficult moment as William French said goodbye to Caroline and his four children as they began their own long journey back to Caroline’s father’s estate in Delaware. [8]

On February 18th, Twiggs surrendered the public property of the United States Army in the Department of Texas to state commissioners with the proviso that the troops, their personnel property and arms, and the light artillery companies with their guns would be permitted to leave the state.[9]  That agreement would hold up as long as no hostilities broke out between the Federal government and the newly organizing Confederate government in Montgomery Alabama.  On February 18 Twiggs received orders from the War Department relieving him of command of the Department of Texas and naming Colonel Carlos Waite (USA 1820) as his successor.  On March 1st, by the direction of the President of the United States, Twiggs was summarily dismissed from the Army of the United States, for his treachery to the flag of his country.[10]

As French was making preparations to leave Fort Duncan, Major Oliver Shepherd (USMA 1840) with Company B, Third Infantry arrived from Fort Clark to relieve him.  For reasons that are not clear, Shepherd seized three of French’s wagons for his own use at Duncan. This undoubtedly incited an acrimonious argument between the two officers.  French had just one wagon and a motley assortment of Mexican carts in addition to his forge and battery wagons.  He had no recourse but to throw out some of the ordnance stores to lighten his forge and battery wagons.[11]  At 3pm on February 20th he lead his column of artillerymen, guns, caissons, the forge and battery wagons and a few other carts out of Fort Duncan for the last time.  A large amount of company property including most of the officer’s personal belongings was left behind for want of transportation.  The command had a 320-mile journey ahead of them through inhospitable territory in unseasonably warm weather.[12]  No one knew how the Texans would react or if they would interfere with the move. 

By February 26th French’s command had marched 100 miles and arrived Fort McIntosh Texas.  The fort located outside the town of Laredo was home to Companies F & I of the Third Infantry.  Perhaps recalling his run ins with Major Shepherd upriver, French did not stay long.  Lieutenant Slaughter left the column at Laredo reporting himself sick.  He would soon have a commission as a lieutenant in the Corps of Artillery of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States.  Six months later Slaughter was facing his former colleagues of the First Artillery on the front lines around Fort Pickens Florida.  He was dismissed from the Army on May 15, 1861.  Private Robert Alexander from Company F also deserted at Laredo[13].  More desertions would follow in the days ahead.

At nearly the same time, 1,100 miles to the east of Laredo Major Porter was hurriedly offloading supplies at the Federal forts of Fort Jefferson and Taylor. Porter’s arrival brought sorely needed supplies and recruits.  If he could get the artillery out of Texas in the next several weeks, he would be back to the Keys with many more troops to further strengthen these still understrength garrisons.  Fitz John wasted no time in discharging his cargo and set out for Texas on February 26th. 

Meanwhile back in Texas, French’s next stop was Ringgold Barracks, 107 miles from Laredo.  He arrived there on March 3rd.  Ringgold was named after another artillery officer, Samuel Ringgold of the Third Artillery who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Palo Alto.  Until recently the fort held three companies of the Third Infantry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Electus Backus (USMA 1824). Department Orders #25 ordered Companies C and E at that post to replace the Fort Brown artillery garrison and to take charge of the artillery horses.  Backus sent these two companies off on February 25th.  When French reached Ringgold Barracks on March 3rd, Company A, Third Infantry was the one remaining infantry company at the post. French stayed one day at Ringgold before departing on March 5th.  As he left the post, the guns of Light Company K fired a final national salute.  Around noon an express rider from Fort Brown reached French with a dispatch from Major Porter. 

Major Fitz-John Porter
French knew Porter from Mexico where the young lieutenant from a distinguished naval family won renown serving in Light Company G, Fourth Artillery.  Just two years out of West Point, Porter in the space of a week earned two brevets for gallantry at Molino Del Rey and again at the Belen Gate. At the latter place on September 13th 1847 his company was horribly cut up and lost its commander Captain Simon Drum (USMA 1830) and Lieutenant Calvin Benjamin (USMA 1842) and four men killed.  Porter and 20 enlisted men were wounded attesting to the hot position of the battery.  Porter spent six years at West Point during Robert E. Lee’s superintendence in the early 1850s serving as an artillery instructor and as the adjutant.   In 1856 he was appointed to the Adjutant General’s branch. 

Armed with wide discretionary authority by General Scott, this very capable officer was now anchored at Brazos Santiago at the mouth of the Rio Grande River.  Porter was determined to sort things out and get as many Federal troops out as he could. After sizing up the situation he decided to use his discretionary authority to supersede Department Orders #25.  In addition to the artillery, Porter would attempt to and bring out five additional infantry companies from the Third Infantry.  They were:
  • ·      Companies C and E.  These companies had already moved to Fort Brown from Ringgold Barracks.  Under DO # 25 they had been designated to care for the artillery horses.
  • ·      Company A remaining at Ringgold Barracks
  • ·      Companies F and I at Fort McIntosh.

Porter acted decisively.  He fired off dispatches to the different infantry commanders as well as to French and Hill providing instructions for evacuating their forces.[14]  Porter knew he would need another ship if he were to get all the additional forces out of Texas. 

In his March 4th dispatch to French, Porter advised that he was sending additional wagons forward to meet him on the road.  Porter suggested that if French did not need all of the wagons, that he share some with Captain Bowman whose company remained at Ringgold. French met the wagons on the road near Camp LA Blanca just fifty miles short of Fort Brown and decided he needed all of them. In his reply to Porter French explained his reason for keeping all the wagons as the “heat of the weather and the lengthened marches”.  Who knows if there wasn’t a hint of payback as French recalled how Major Shepherd deprived him of wagons back at Duncan. French indicated that he would link up at Fort Brown with Porter and Captain Hill’s artillerymen on March 8th. 

Bennett Hill was experiencing his own problems with secessionists at Fort Brown. Early in February Lieutenant Graham returned from leave by way of New Orleans.  There he learned that it was the intention of General Twiggs to order all Army units in the Department to concentrate at San Antonio so that they could be easily surrendered to Texas forces.[15]  Graham duly reported this to Hill when he arrived back at Fort Brown.  (Major Nichols had already confirmed these same fears to French).  Hill notified the War Department that he would not obey any orders from General Twiggs who he felt was acting in bad faith.  On February 21st Hill learned that a large force of secessionists had departed Galveston bound for Brazos Santiago where a large supply of ordnance stores was located.  Brazos Santiago is about 30 miles from Hill’s command at Fort Brown.  Anticipating this, Hill had already sent Lieutenant Thompson and a detachment to Brazos to secure these stores on February 9th, With Graham’s intelligence, he sent a larger detachment of cavalry from Captain George Stoneman’s (USMA 1846) company under the command of Lieutenant Graham to join Thompson.  Graham had orders to destroy the stores if they were unable to secure them.  It was to late.  Before Graham arrived, a force of approximately 500 Texans appeared at Brazos demanding the surrender of the stores.  Thompson with only 12 men had no means to resist and sullenly complied with the secessionist demands on February 21st. 

On February 23rd, the same Texas authorities that made trouble for Thompson at Brazos now arrived at Captain Hill’s doorstep demanding the surrender of the public property at Fort Brown. Captain Hill and his adjutant Lieutenant Guilford Bailey met with the Texas delegation.  Hill summarized the meeting in his report to Colonel Waite at San Antonio.  In replying to the Texans, he declared “it would be impossible, without instructions from my Government, to accede to your request to deliver into your possession the public property, or any portion thereof, at this post.”[16] Hill felt that he dealt from a position of strength.  Not only did he have his own two companies of regular artillery at Fort Brown but Captain George Stoneman’s cavalry command of Companies E & G, 2nd Cavalry was in the vicinity.[17]  One of Stoneman’s lieutenants was Marius Manning Kimmel (USMA 1857).  He was the father of Husband Kimmel commander of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. [18]

Hill had just received Department Order #25, and was aware that French’s artillery battalion and two infantry companies of the Third Infantry were on the way to Fort Brown.  Assured of Stoneman’s full support, Hill curtly rebuffed the Texan’s demands.  He dismissed the rebels with intimation that he should feel it to be his duty to send traitors in irons to Washington.[19]  For their part, the Texans had no stomach for dealing with what we would today call a combined arms team of regular army infantry, cavalry and artillery equipped with 8 pieces of artillery.  The Texan forces remained around Brownsville but made no further efforts to interfere with the withdrawal.

On February 28th the first wave of troops dispatched under Department Order # 25 reached Fort Brown.  Companies C & E of the Third Infantry under the command of Captain William Johns (USMA 1836) arrived from Ringgold Barracks. They made the 100-mile journey arriving at Fort Brown in three days.  Originally under Department Order # 25 it was intended that these soldiers take charge of the artillery horses that were to be left behind.  However Porter using the broad powers vested in him by General Scott, directed that Captain Johns’ command should be evacuated with the artillery.  He ordered Johns to turn over command of Fort Brown to Captain Stoneman and prepare to move on to Brazos.    

French's Route from Fort Duncan to Brazos
French’s command began arriving at Fort Brown on March 8th.   Light Company K was the first to arrive.  The last part of the column arrived on the 9th.  The 320-mile march took 16 days. The average pace of 20 miles per day was respectable considering all of the equipment being hauled, the inhospitable terrain, hot temperatures and the constant watchfulness for interference by Texas forces that shadowed their every move.  Lieutenants Robinson and Chalfin were already at Fort Brown with the company trains after escorting the officer’s families to Indianola.  The fort was teeming with U.S. troops.  There were now five artillery companies, two infantry companies and two cavalry companies there.  Texas forces continued to assemble and organize outside the fort in nearby Brownsville. 

French had only one day to get up to speed with Hill about the overall situation.  Hill had been literally “holding down the fort” for over two weeks awaiting French’s arrival and was anxious to get to Brazos.   On March 9th, he set off with his company.   French’s battalion followed the next day.  Captain Johns’ two companies of the Third Infantry departed on March 11th.  The last to leave was Light Company M, 2nd Artillery under Lieutenant Thompson.  That company, hauling its four precious Napoleons departed Fort Brown on March 12th.[20]

By the end of the next day all the forces that were going to leave Texas under Major Porter were at the mouth of the Rio Grande.  The original plan was to embark from Brazos but the town was now crawling with armed Texan irregulars.  Porter judged it safer to conduct the evacuation from the mouth of the Rio Grande.  

The troops had a couple of days to rest as Major Porter made final arrangements.  With the additional infantry forces that he was taking, Porter needed another ship.  On March 13th he contracted with the agent of the Southern Steamship Company to charter the steamer Rusk.  Ironically this was the same steamship that two weeks earlier brought to Brazos the rebel Texans who made so much trouble for Lieutenant Thomas.  While Porter fully disclosed his planned use of the Rusk to her captain and the ship’s agent, Texas authorities later on were none to happy to learn that the ship was used to reinforce Federal garrisons in the Keys.[21] 

During the final days in Texas a wave of desertions swept through the companies being evacuated.  In the space of a week beginning on March 8th 41 enlisted men deserted from the seven departing artillery and infantry companies.[22] Fitz-John Porter in his report to the adjutant general said,  a few weak men yielded to temptation and persuasions and deserted their flag for another service.”  But 41 soldiers or about nine percent of the total force deserting in a week was a significant loss.  Perhaps some like First Sergeant Hall also started families in Texas that did not want to leave.  Hall however did not desert.  The commonly held view that the enlisted ranks of the regular army stood fast while a large number of officers went south does not bear up under scrutiny in this instance. 

Porter had his ships but bad weather referred to at the time as an “equinoctial gale[23]” prevented their departure until March 19th. [24] Porter’s plan was to load the artillery companies bound for the Florida forts on the Rusk.   Hunt’s Light Company M and the Napoleons, and the two infantry companies would load on the Daniel Webster. The ships would sail to the Florida forts together.  The Webster would continue on to Fort Hamilton.  As much as Porter wanted to get three additional infantry companies out of Texas, delays by these companies in reaching Fort Brown precluded their inclusion in the expedition.  He would be forced to leave without them.[25] 

By noon on March 19th the troops, guns, ammunition, and camp equipment was loaded.  For many of the soldiers, the hardest thing was abandoning their artillery horses. The unit could not perform its mission without them and much of an artilleryman’s day revolved around the care of the horses.  Around 120 of them were left behind.  The ships were not outfitted to handle the animals and War Department orders specifically directed that they be left behind.  

Reinforcing the Florida Keys 
At 4pm on March 19th, the two ships left the mouth of the Rio Grande bound for Fort Jefferson.  On the 24th, they dropped anchor there.  Captain Hill bid Major Porter farewell as he disembarked with Companies L & M.  Captain Lewis Arnold warmly greeted his old friend and classmate.  Arnold, Hill and French were all graduates of the West Point Class of 1837.  

The next day Major French joined Captain Brannan at Fort Taylor with Light Company K and Company F and assumed command there.  The Rusk returned to its unhappy southern owners who had unwittingly contributed to the successful reinforcement of two important Federal forts.  The Daniel Webster proceeded to New York arriving on March 30.  Henry Hunt rejoined his company there and just six days later was part of a large expedition organized by the new Lincoln administration to reinforce another key Florida port - Fort Pickens outside of Pensacola.

Fitz-John Porter had more than accomplished his mission.  The reinforcement of Forts Jefferson and Taylor tripled the number of soldiers at these key forts ensuring their security from Confederate attack.  Both installations played a crucial role in the blockade of southern ports and the interception of blockade-runners.  Not only did he safely bring out five critically important artillery companies, he also managed to extricate two infantry companies as well. These five artillery companies played important roles during the Civil War.

Company F, First Artillery

Company F moved from Fort Taylor to Fort Pickens in May of 1861 and fought at the Battle of Santa Rosa Island on October 9, 1861.  Upon Captain Jones resignation on April 21st 1861, Captain Richard Duryea (USMA 1849) assumed command of the company and remained its captain for the remainder of the war.  In September of 1862 ”F” was dispatched to Louisiana and participated in the Port Hudson campaign of 1863.  In July of 1864 the company was ordered to New York along with Company L for refitting as a light artillery company.  It was combined with Company A at Camp Barry and served in the Washington defenses at Fort Morton Virginia for the remainder of the war. 

Henry Clossen served with Company F until his promotion to Captain on May 14 1861 when he assumed command of Company L.  He commanded “L” for the remainder of the war.  Closson generally was not with his company usually serving as Chief of Artillery in the Department where he was assigned.  He earned brevets for gallantry for Port Hudson and the Battle of Fort Morgan Alabama.  Closson as a regular officer continued his career after the war and rose to the rank of Colonel of the Fourth Artillery. He retired in 1896 after 42 years service and died in 1917. 

Douglas Ramsay was promoted to First Lieutenant on February 25th, and transferred to Light Company I, First Artillery in May. Four months after leaving Texas, Ramsay was killed when his battery was overrun at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. 

First Sergeant Morgan of Company F reenlisted in August 1862 and served for the remainder of the war with his company.  It was reported at the naval bombardment of Pensacola in November 1861 that Morgan “behaved with admirable coolness.” [26] He was discharged from the Army on March 29, 1865.

Company L, First Artillery

Company L remained at Fort Jefferson until July when it also moved to Fort Pickens.  With the appointment of Captain Dawson to a majority in the new 19th Infantry, Lieutenant Clossen was promoted to Captain in December and assumed command of “L”.  It joined Company F in New Orleans and took part in the Port Hudson operations.  The company remained in Louisiana until August 1864 when it moved to Camp Barry in Washington DC. It became part of Phil Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah fighting at Cedar Creek in October of 1864. It served with that army for the rest of the war.

After delivering Company L safely to Fort Jefferson, James Robinson, due to “Southern associations” (he was born in Virginia and raised in Missouri), resigned from the Army on May 15, 1861.  Robinson however did not take up arms against the Union instead electing to sit out the war at Fort Jefferson as post sutler. After the war, he lived in Boston with his wife and six children. He became an author and publisher died there in 1918.

Richard Jackson was promoted to Captain in February 1862 and took command of Company D.  He accepted a volunteer commission as Major and Acting Assistant General in the 10th Corps in April 1863.  He was Chief of Artillery in operations against Fort Sumter in 1863.  Jackson served in that position in both the 10th and 25th Corps in the Army of the James and later was that Army’s chief of staff.  His last wartime assignment was commanding an infantry division in the 25th Corps.  Jackson won five brevets for gallantry during the war.  Entering the Army in 1851, this remarkable soldier ended the war as a brigadier general U.S.V with a brevet rank of Major General.  Jackson remained in the regular army after the war.  He was struck by lightning when he was on duty in the honor guard for Ulysses S. Grant’s body at Mount McGregor on July 30th 1885.[27]  Jackson reached the regular army rank of lieutenant colonel, Fourth Artillery in 1888.  He died on active duty at Fort McPherson Georgia in 1892. 

First Sergeant Keller of “L” obtained a volunteer commission in the Louisiana Volunteer Cavalry in December 1863.  After mustering out, he returned to the regular Army as an Ordnance Sergeant spending most of his postwar career at Camp Douglas Utah.  Keller retired from the Army in 1885 after 31 years service and died at Buffalo New York in 1907.

Company M, First Artillery

Company M remained at Fort Jefferson until June of 1862 when it moved to Beaufort South Carolina.  When Captain Hill was promoted to major, Captain Loomis Langdon (USMA 1854) received the command.  He served with the company for the remainder of the war.  “M” remained in South Carolina until February 1864 when it moved to Jacksonville Florida.  The company was badly cut up at the ill-fated Battle of Olustee on February 20th.  In late spring of 1864 as part of a general concentration of regular artillery batteries in Virginia, “M” moved to Fort Monroe and became part of General Butler’s Army of the James.  It eventually was sent to the Petersburg line and remained there until April 1865.  It is the only one of the five Texas companies that participated in the final campaign in the east fighting at the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865 

Bennett Hill remained with Company M until he was promoted to major in the 2nd Artillery in December 1862. He remained in command at Fort Jefferson until October of 1862.  Like many of the field grade officers in the artillery regiments, Hill was not well enough to perform active field service.  He served as Chief Mustering and Disbursing Officer, and Superintendent of Volunteer Recruiting Service, in West Virginia, from October 1862, to April 1863; thereafter he held a similar assignment for the State of Michigan from April 23, 1863, to July 31, 1865. In August of 1863 he was promoted a lieutenant colonel of the Fifth Artillery.  Hill received two brevets for Civil War service to the rank of brigadier general.  He retired in 1870 and died in 1886. 

Lewis Morris was promoted to Captain and command of Company C, 1st Artillery on April 21, 1861.   In August of 1862 he accepted a volunteer commission as Colonel of the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery.  His regiment served in the Washington defenses as heavy artillery until the 1864 Overland Campaign.  Like his father before him Lewis Morris was also killed in battle. He fell at the head of his regiment in the horrific fighting at Cold Harbor.

It was sent to the Army of the Potomac and saw its first action at Cold Harbor.  Lewis Morris was killed at the head of his regiment in the horrific fighting at Cold Harbor on June 4, 1864.

William Graham was promoted to first lieutenant in March and to captain in October 1861.  He assumed command of Light Company K and lead it throughout the Civil War.  William Graham was one of the premier artilleryman to emerge from the Civil War.  He was brevetted for gallantry in the Peninsula Campaign, and for Antietam and Gettysburg.  In August 1863 he assumed command of the 2nd Brigade of Horse Artillery, which he commanded until April 1864. Graham emerged from the war as a brevet brigadier general.  He returned to the regular army and after a long career in the artillery was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army on May 26, 1897.  At the start of the Spanish-American War in May 1898, he was promoted to major general of U.S. Volunteers. After brief service in command of the 2nd Corps, he retired from the regular army on his 64th birthday, and was honorably mustered out of the volunteers on November 30, 1898.  Graham died in 1916.

First Sergeant Robert Hall was appointed a lieutenant in the First Artillery in October 1861. He remained with Company M at Fort Jefferson and later at Beaufort S.C.  When his company moved to the Army of the James in April 1864, Hall transferred to Company B, First Artillery and became its commander In December 1864 Hall accepted a volunteer commission as Colonel of 38th USCT.  He received five brevets for gallant and meritorious service up to the rank brigadier general of U.S.V.   After mustering out in 1867 Hall returned to the First Artillery serving as adjutant and quartermaster.  He died on duty at Summerville South Carolina in 1874.

Light Company K, First Artillery

Light Company K remained at Fort Taylor until the end of 1861.  In Washington the new Army commander George B. McClellan wanted as many regular artillery companies as possible to be part of his new Army of the Potomac.  Light Company K left Fort Taylor in December under Redmond Tully, former First Sergeant and now a newly minted second lieutenant.  Upon arrival in Washington in January 1862, the company met its new commander, Captain William Graham who succeeded French when he was promoted to major in the 2nd Artillery.  “K” was assigned with other regular army batteries to the elite Artillery Reserve.  The company served at the Battle of Antietam in the Sunken Road under Captain Graham supporting Richardson’s attack.  After Chancellorsville it was converted to horse artillery and served with the cavalry corps through the Overland Campaign.  The company was transferred to the Army of the Shenandoah in August 1864 participating in all of that army’s principal actions through the end of the war.

William French was promoted to major, Second Artillery in October 1861.  Shortly after that he was appointed a brigadier general in the U.S.V.  French was assigned to a brigade command in Israel Richardson’s division of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac where he performed very well in the Peninsula Campaign.  Shortly before Antietam, a third division was formed in the Second Corps and French moved over to command it.  French lead his new division at the Sunken Road during the Battle of Antietam and again at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.  Reassigned to command Harpers Ferry during the Gettysburg campaign, French assumed command of the Third Corps on July 7th, 1863  He participated in the unsuccessful Mine Run campaign and gave up corps command in the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac that eliminated the Third Corps.  Mustering out of volunteer service in May 1864, French reverted to his regular army rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Third Artillery.  He served on several artillery related assignments for the remainder of the war.  During the war, French received brevets for gallantry at Fair Oaks, Antietam, and Chancellorsville and ended the war with a brevet rank of major general.  French went on to serve 15 more years reaching the rank of Colonel, Fourth Artillery in 1877.  He retired in 1880 and died less than a year later on May 20, 1881. 

Lieutenant Frank French 1842-1865
Perhaps with some help from his father, French’s eldest son Frank age 19 secured a commission in the First Artillery in September 1861.  He served with Light Company I and was wounded at Balls Bluff and again more severely at Antietam.  Like his father, he received brevets for gallantry at Fair Oaks and Antietam and also for Cold Harbor.  The younger French never fully recovered from his Antietam injuries and died at his grandfather’s Delaware estate on September 4 1865 at the age of 23.  His father was not present at his son’s deathbed having been sent to the Pacific coast with his new regiment one month earlier.

Samuel Chalfin accepted an appointment in the new Fifth Artillery Regiment in May 1861.  The next year he was promoted to captain in the Fifth Artillery in command of Battery L.  He served in the defenses of Fort Taylor, Fort Pickens and Baltimore before accepting an appointment as a major in the adjutant general’s branch.  From 1863 onward Chalfin served in Washington DC in various administrative positions.  He resigned from the army in 1869 and died in 1891.

First Sergeant Tully was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the First Artillery in November of 1861.  He commanded “K” in its transfer from Ft Taylor to Washington DC in December but was back at Fort Taylor by April 1862 to take his new position in Company D.  Tully spent the first half of the war in the Department of the South.  In April 1864 his battery was assigned to the Army of the James and Tully spent the last months of the war on the Petersburg front.  He earned a brevet for gallantry at Darbytown Road new Richmond on October 7, 1864.  After the war he transferred to the infantry and after a long and distinguished career retired from the Army in 1891.  He died in 1895.

Light Company M, Second Artillery

After a brief stint at Fort Pickens, Light Company M, Second Artillery returned to Virginia and fought at the First Battle of Bull Run under Henry Hunt.  When Hunt accepted a majority in the new 5th Artillery he was succeeded in command by Captain Henry Benson (USA 1848).  The company was one of the first organized as Horse Artillery after Bull Run.  Benson died of wounds suffered at Malvern Hill in August 1862.  Second Lieutenant Peter Hains (USMA 1861) briefly succeeded Benson and lead the battery at Antietam.   There it supported Pleasonton’s cavalry division at the Middle Bridge. For the rest of the war First Lieutenant (later Captain) Alexander C.M. Pennington (USMA 1860) commanded the company. Light Company M fought in all of the major campaigns with the Army of the Potomac until the Overland Campaign.  In September 1864 it was transferred to the Cavalry Division of the Army of the Shenandoah where it served for the remainder of the war.  Like “K”, this battery served with great distinction. 

Edward Platt fought with the battery at First Bull Run.  Promoted to captain on May 15, 1861, he commanded Company D, Second Artillery until elevated to Chief of Artillery for General Smith’s division in the Sixth Corps in May 1862. Platt fought on the Peninsula with the Sixth Corps.  In September of 1862 he was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Inspector General of the Sixth Corps; In March 1863 he was appointed Judge Advocate of the Army of the Potomac and served there until July 1864 when he returned to West Point as Acting Professor of Spanish.  Platt earned brevets for gallantry for First Bull Run and Fredericksburg.  After the war he served largely in staff positions in California, South Carolina the Gulf and Kansas.  He died on duty in 1884 at Fort Leavenworth.

James Thompson was promoted to Captain of Company G, 2nd Artillery on August 1861. He led the unit in the fighting of the Seven Days in June 1862.  After returning from sick leave in September 1862 he became Chief of Artillery in the defenses of Cincinnati and from that point served in the Army of the Ohio and Cumberland where he distinguished himself at Chickamauga.  Towards the end of the war, he served as a mustering officer at Louisville and Cincinnatti.  Thompson was retired for disability in 1869 and died in 1880. His son John born in 1860 would one day invent the Thompson machine gun known as the Tommy gun and rise to the rank of brigadier general. 

Guilford Baily accepted a volunteer commission as Colonel of the First New York Light Artillery Regiment in September 1861.  Baily capably organized and led the regiment.  Many of its batteries were among the best in the Army of the Potomac.   Charles Wainwright, one of his regimental officers said of Baily that ”there were few men of more promise among us.”[28]  Made Chief of Artillery in Silas Casey’s division of the Fourth Corps, Bailey was killed leading one of his batteries at the Battle of Seven Pines Virginia on May 31, 1862. 

First Sergeant Reilly served in “M” for the first two years of the war.  Successive commanding officers commended him in official reports for his actions at First Bull Run, Williamsburg, and the Seven Days.[29]  At Antietam the sergeant commanded the left section “with remarkable coolness.”[30]  Reilly finally received an appointment as a second lieutenant in the Fourth Artillery in March 1863.  He joined Company E, Fourth Artillery in August 1863. Reilly served with the company occasionally in command through the end of the war.  He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1864.  Reilly was awarded two brevets for gallant and meritorious service.  On December 21, 1865 Reilly was convicted in General Court Martial of several counts of intoxication, mutinous conduct, threatening a fellow officer and breach of arrest.  The court found him guilty of all but two counts and sentenced him to be cashiered from the Army.[31]  Reilly died in 1902 of Bright’s disease.

It is to Fitz John Porter that much of the credit goes for the successful escape of the artillery.  This exceptional officer demonstrated the leadership, organizational ability, drive, and negotiating skills, to perform this difficult mission.  He likely was chosen for these very reasons for this difficult assignment.  Upon completing his mission, Porter was assigned as the Chief of Staff for General Robert Patterson’s Department of Pennsylvania.  He was rewarded with a regular army commission as Colonel of the new 15th Infantry Regiment on May 14th, and Brigadier General, U.S.V.  on May 17th, and Major General on July 4th, 1862.  Successfully commanding a division and corps, it was General Porter’s leadership and courage that saved the Army of the Potomac in the Battle of Gaines Mill in the Seven Days.  But this protégé of George McClellan suffered just as dramatic a fall from power in the autumn of 1862 as his ascent had been a year earlier.  Porter’s Fifth Corps was dispatched to the Army of Virginia in August 1862.   They became John Pope’s scapegoat for the disastrous Union defeat at Second Manassas.  Now under a cloud McClellan convinced Lincoln and Halleck to permit Porter to remain in command of his corps during the Maryland Campaign.  However, with McClellan’s relief from command on November 5th, Porter’s departure from the Army followed a week later. Arrested on November 25th on charges brought by John Pope for his conduct at Second Manassas. Porter was convicted and dismissed from the Army on January 21, 1863.  He spent the next 23 years fighting to restore his name.  On May 6, 1882 President Arthur commuted Porter’s sentence and on July 1, 1886 a bill passed the Congress to restore Porter to his regular army rank of colonel. Porter died in 1901.

In his final report Porter said this about the artillerymen from Texas:                                                 

In testimony of the character of that portion of the army which came under my observation on the Rio Grande, I wish to state that I never saw a more orderly and better disposed and more easily controlled body of men, each man apparently seconding every effort and wish of the officers to sustain under trying circumstances a well-earned reputation for discipline and loyalty. “

[1] James Slaughter (1827-1901) from Virginia was dismissed from the U.S. Army on May 14, 1861.  He received a commission as a lieutenant of artillery in the Confederate Army rising to the rank of brigadier general.  Slaughter served as an inspector-general on various staffs in Alabama Mississippi and later as Chief of Artillery to General Magruder in Texas. (USA-1846) indicates the year that he was appointed as an officer and that he was not a graduate of the Military Academy. 
[2] Returns From Regular Army Artillery Regiments, June 1821-Jan. 1901; (National Archives Microfilm M727, 38 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.  Returns used here are the February 1861 reports.
[3] His brother Alan was appointed as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1857.  He served on the USS Richmond in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the campaign against Port Hudson in 1863.  Alan Ramsay died of small pox in 1864.
[4] Major Lewis Arnold, Second Artillery Letter of recommendation for an officer appointment for Robert Hall, July 17, 1861.
[5] Hunt married Mary Craig on December 27, 1860 in Washington.  His first wife Emily died in May 1857 of long-term complications from the birth of his second child.  Hunt’s two children were actually in San Antonio Texas being cared for by his brother in law Major Nichols and his family.  The separation from the children caused Hunt now in Washington no small degree of worry.  When Major Nichols was paroled after the surrender in Texas, he brought the children out safely with his family.  From The Man Behind the Guns – A Military Biography of General Henry J. Hunt by Edward Longacre (New York De Capo Press 2003)
[6] Special Orders, No. 25, Hdqrs.  Department of Texas San Antonio, Tex., February 14, 1861
Pursuant to instructions from the headquarters of the Army, dated January 31, 1861, received today, the following movements of troops will take place:
I. Companies F, K, and L, First Artillery, at Fort Duncan, Company M, First, and Company M, Second Artillery, at Fort Brown, will march, immediately upon receipt of this order, for Brazos Santiago, at which place a steamer has been directed to be in readiness to receive them for transportation out of Texas. The light companies will take their guns, ammunition, and equipments with them, but will leave their horses on embarkation. The other companies will move with their arms and ammunition, and all the companies with such camp equipage, as can be transported by the means within their command.
II. Companies C and E, Third Infantry, will move to Fort Brown without delay, to replace the garrison ordered out of Texas, and will take charge of the artillery horses of Companies K, First, and M, Second Artillery, for which purpose details from each company will be made.
III. Company B, Third Infantry, will repair at once to Fort Duncan, and relieve the present garrison of that station.
IV. The troops from Fort Duncan will carry provisions as far as Fort Brown.
V. The transportation will be taken from the means at the posts from which the movements will be made.
By order of Brevet Major-General Twiggs:
Assistant Adjutant- General
[7] Monthly Return for Company F, First U.S. Artillery February 28, 1861
[8] Haskin, William J., History of the First Artillery Page 136
[9] OR Series 2 Volume 1 page 5
[10] OR Series1 Volume1 page 591 General Orders No. 5, War Department dated March 1, 1861
[11] Series 2 Volume 1 Page 19, Letter from Major French to Major Porter, March 6, 1861
[12] French makes reference to “the heat of the weather” in his March 6 message to Porter.  OR Series 2 Volume 1 page 19.
[13] From March 1861 Monthly Return of 1st Artillery Regiment and Army Record of Enlistment Robert Anderson https://www.fold3.com/image/310824111?terms=Robert%20Alexander
[14] Porter in dispatches dated March 4th, 1861  “by authority and in the name of the general in chief” ordered Lieutenant Colonel Backus commanding Ringgold Barracks to order Company A, 3rd Infantry still at Ringgold Barracks to proceed to Fort Brown.  He also directed Major Sibley at Ft McIntosh to send Companies F&I to Fort Brown as well.  Porter was attempting to embark no less than five infantry companies to evacuation.
[15] OR Series1 Volume1 page 591 Letter from Captain Hill, First Artillery to Colonel Cooper, Adjutant General; February 19, 1861
[16] OR Series1 Volume1 page 540 Captain Bennet Hill to General Nichols Texas State Commissioner February 32, 1861;
[17] Stoneman’s command consisted of Companies E & G of the 2nd Cavalry.  With Stoneman were Lieutenants James Witherell (USA 1855), Manning Kimmel (USMA 1857) and 122 troopers.   This is based on the February 1861 return for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. Witherell drowned on March 20, 1861.  The evacuation camp set up at Brazos was named Camp Witherell in his memory.
[18] Kimmel (1832 – 1916) was from Missouri. He fought for the Union with the 2nd Cavalry at Bull Run but subsequently resigned his commission and served in the West under such Confederate commanders as Earl Van Dorn, Kirby Smith, Sterling Price and John Magruder.
[19] Haskin First Artillery Page 138
[20] All departure dates are from the regimental monthly returns.
[21] See OR Series 2 Volume 1 for Porter’s full report on chartering the Rusk.
[22] According to the March returns, 41 soldiers deserted while the command awaited orders to move to the coast:  1st Artillery:  Company F lost seven soldiers; Company K lost 9 soldiers; Company L lost 2 soldiers; Company M lost 9 soldiers; 2nd Artillery:  Company M lost 2 soldiers.  Additionally 12 men from the 3rd Infantry deserted. 
[23]An equinoctial gale is a storm of violent winds and rain occurring at or near the time of an equinox (i.e. March 21) and popularly, but erroneously believed to be physically associated with it.  Source:  dictionary.com.
[24] Haskin, First Artillery page 139
[25] Company A reached Fort Brown on March 11th as the artillery garrison was departing.  It did not depart Fort Brown for the coast until March 20th.  It missed Porter’s departure by one day.  Porter also planned to take out Companies F&I at Fort McIntosh.  Major Sibley in command there suffered numerous delays.  They reached the Mouth of the Rio Grande on March 26.  After marches and countermarches the three companies were caught up in the results of the attack on Fort Sumter.  They were compelled to surrender to Confederate forces at Saluria Texas on April 26th.  Held briefly the companies were paroled and allowed to depart Texas for New York where they finally arrived on June 1st.  Stoneman’s command was more fortunate.  They left their camp on the Rio Grande on March 20th arriving at New York on April 11th.  Source OR Series 3 volume 1 pages 24 and 25.
[26] OR Series 1 Volume 6 pg 476
[27] Eicher, John H. and David J. Civil War High Commands (Stanford CA, Stanford University Press 2001) 316
[28] Wainwright Charles S. A Diary of Battle edited by Allan Nevins  (New York, Da Capo Press 1998), 76
[29] OR Series 1 Volume 2 377 First Bull Run; "very efficient," Major Hunt;  OR 11:1 694 Peninsula; "intelligence, coolness, and bravery " Lieutenant Barlow;  OR 11:2 251 Seven Days "recommended for a commission" Henry Benson; Supplement-Army Official Records-Volume 3 page 525 Antietam "remarkable coolness" Peter Hains
[30] OR Series 1 Volume 19:1
[31] HQ Dept. of Washington Special Order 169, December 21, 1865

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