The Diary of H. N. Conner


'May, 1861 (error): Entered Confederate States service (actually Texas militia) for term of three months, Z. W. Eddy, captain of company of infantry.

Aug., 1861: Reenlisted for three months in Capt. J. B. Likens company.

Sept. 14: Enlisted "for the war" in Capt. (Dr.) J. M. Blair's company of cavalry. By the 21st we built (cavalry) barracks on the (Front) ridge, 4 miles from Sabine Pass. Companies organized and sworn in on 20th September.

Oct. 1861: Went with detail under Lt. Marsh to Galveston on beach for guns and ammunition. Succeeded in getting 120 carbines. U. S. frigate Santee blockading off Galveston. We have kept up a (permanent beach) picket and scouts on the beach since Sept. 20th, connecting at High Island, 38 miles (distant) with Capt. Menard's pickets.

Nov. 1861: A 3-masted schooner shelled our scouts on the beach.

Dec. 1, 1861: Appointed sergeant major of Col. J. B. Likens' battalion, also acting ordnance sergeant.

Dec. 12, 1861: Capt. Blair resigned. Lt. O. M. Marsh promoted to captaincy. Sent to Galveston for cannon munitions.


Jan. 9, 1862: Resigned as battalion sergeant major and went back to my company

Feb. 1862: Was sent to Jasper County after deserter, was corporal of the detail.

June 25, 1862: Was elected 2nd sergeant of Co. A. of Spaight's Battalion, formerly Likens' who resigned.

June 29, 1862: Storm. Our quarters blown down tonight, one man wounded and a general smashup.

July, 1862: Yellow fever season set in.

Aug., 1862: First case of yellow fever in our company. L. E. Kellogg of the commissary died.

Sept., 1862: More cases of fever. Citizens and soldiers dying daily. The battalion has been disbanded for a short period. All left but some 18 of our company and 15 of Co. B (artillery), all of whom have been or are now confined. I have had it (yellow fever) myself. Soldiers are waiting on citizens (civilians) until at last there are not enough well ones to wait on the sick ones. It is with great difficulty that a grave can be dug. This place has been quarantined, no communication allowed with the upper country. Medicines and doctors have run out, and unless something takes place soon, we will all "go up the spout."9

Sept. 24, 1862: One steamer Kennebec (error: U. S. S. Kensington), Crocker, cmdg.; one mortar boat No. 19 (Henry Janes), Pennington, cmdg.; one schooner Rachel Seaman, Hooper, comdg.; off the bar and demand surrender of the place. Convalescents ordered to the fort (Sabine) under command of Maj. J. S. Irvine. Total number: 18 of Co. A and 10 of Co. B. During morning, gunboats shelled the fort at long range. Fort replied but distance too great to accomplish anything. In evening two vessels took up position nearer. Fort opened fire again, and replied to by vessels. This was about 4 o'clock PM. In course of half hour, they got the exact range of our battery, and began to drop 13-inch shells all around us. Finding that our guns did no damage, we ceased firing, and until dark we sustained a heavy cannonading from 13 inch and 8 inch shells and shot, partly tearing away our walls, injuring barracks in fort, and tearing up the breastworks dreadfully. The men took refuge under shelter of the walls, and lie close, and "hope for a better time coming," which came about 7:30 o'clock PM in the shape of a storm of wind and rain. And also 30 volunteers of Co. E from Beaumont, all of which together seemed to cause the firing to cease. A council was held tonight until about 2 o'clock AM.

Sept. 25, 1862: It was decided to evacuate the works, which began in a heavy rainstorm, and by daylight nearly all, save the guns, were taken away, and by sunrise the enemy again opened fire on the fort, while the few men who were there left it. Yesterday a "dog soldier" who had long been with us was 'upset' by a 13 inch shell. Today we evacuated our barracks, and with our sick started to run the quarantine blockade. Crossed Taylor's Bayou in the evening and slept in Sparks' corn crib on the banks of Sabine Lake.10

Sept. 26, 1862: Reached Beaumont, which had been evacuated by nearly all the citizens for fear of yellow fever, upon hearing of our approach. Here we met Captain Marsh, who had been in Houston on court martial cases, and we formed ourselves into a convalescent camp.

Oct. 1, 1862: I received permission to visit Houston for one week.

Oct. 7, 1862: Returned to Beaumont, found the battalion reorganizing at (Hillebrandt) "Cowpens," below Beaumont 8 miles. Was here promoted to orderly sergeant dating from Sept. 1, 1862. A detail under Lt. Bolton sent to the Pass as spies. After they returned, our entire company were ordered down, and reached Taylor's Bayou about 1 AM of next morning. Struck camp in mesquites 4 miles from town (Sabine Pass). At daylight pickets sent near town, and for several days we were engaged in reporting movements. Gunboats lying near the fort. In a few days they made preparations to visit the town with the vessels.12 Being delayed, they (the vessels) did not get up until about dark, and as they passed Wingate's (saw)mill,13 we opened on them with small arms, doing some little damage and frightening them badly. By bringing their guns to bear on us, we were soon compelled to retreat with no loss. The town (Sabine Pass) was then shelled, a wanton outrage, as we were not near any occupied buildings. The next morning, under cover of the vessels, a party landed and burned the mill, dwelling house, and 700,000 feet of lumber belonging to Judge Wingate, and two dwelling houses belonging to Judge Stamps, total loss about $150,000. All of which was wantonness as we did not fire on them from the houses, but from the bank at the water's edge.

Nov. 1862: Scouts reported small parties from gunboats in Galveston Bay in habit of landing on Bolivar Point for beef (to kill range cattle). So we started down to 'visit them,' distant 70 miles, but on reaching High Island, 38 miles away, met 2 companies of (Col.) DeBray's regiment, who had been down on the same object, and had killed and captured one cutter's crew. So we turned back, and in a few days went up to our old camp at "Cowpens." In October while I was absent, a gunboat had come up and destroyed Taylor's Bayou (railroad) bridge, shelled our battalion, and stirred up matters in general.

Dec. 1862: Ordered back to the Pass, camped in south edge of town. Small boat of Yankees visited Taylor's Bayou, and burned whatever was left of the bridge and a house. The company donated $500 to buy a little rifled cannon at Houston. Others and myself left the Spindle Top camp14 to get it. We succeeded and brought it over. The Yankees have fell back to the bar, having heard that cotton boats (Josiah Bell and Uncle Ben)15 were preparing to come down the lake. Scouts were sent across the Pass to Johnson's Bayou, La. The gunboats shelled them from the gulf. Crossed the Pass near the gunboats after dark and captured two men charged with being spies. Several prisoners brought in from Johnson's Bayou by scouts.


Jan. 1, 1863: Heavy cannonading at 4 o'clock AM in the direction of Galveston - Battle of Galveston.

Jan. 8, 1863: A detail of myself and nine men set on fire and destroyed the little steamboat Dan, used as a gunboat, by the enemy lying (anchored) near the lighthouse. Heavy mist and fog veiled our movements, and in two hours she was left a wreck on the mudflat, the balance of the fleet instead of coming to her aid, put to sea. This has been our third attempt we have made to capture or destroy this boat.

Jan. 12, 1863: Cannonading in direction of Galveston. The C. S. gunboat Alabama, Commodore Semmes, destroying the U. S. gunboat Hatteras.

Jan. 20, 1863: The Confederate States gunboat Josiah H. Bell, one rifled 32-pounder (error: it was a 64-pounder); C. S. gunboat Uncle Ben, two smoothbore 12-pounders, came down tonight. Twenty-five men called for from our company to go aboard the Bell as sharpshooters, there being about 100 men from other regiments already aboard. (We) drew for the privilege of going. I myself among the fortunate one (who) drew prizes.

Jan. 21, 1863: At daylight went on board the Bell and the two steamboats steamed out toward the bar. Saw the U. S. frigate Morning Light, of guns, eight 32-pounders and 1 32-lb. rifled cannon, and the schooner Velocity (formerly Fairy), two 24-pounders, standing out to sea. Gave chase, the sea being smooth and 25 miles from the bar, succeeded in bringing on the action. And after an engagement of about one hour, we closed the fight by opening with our small arms, and closing and boarding when both vessels struck their colors. We had one man wounded; the enemy's loss was one killed and quite a number seriously wounded, some mortally. Among the crew were 29 Negroes. Took the prizes in tow and went into the Pass, being obliged to leave the Morning Light on the bar, she drawing too much water to come in.16

Jan. 22, 1863: Have nearly dismantled and unloaded the ship (Morning Light). The sea being so rough, we can work but slowly. U. S. transport Tennessee hailed her tonight, and finding she was in Confederate hands, she left in a hurry. "Bad management." Or else we would have captured her and have had her clear of her guns and over the bar. Too much whiskey aboard (inside) of Maj. Watkins, commanding.

Jan. 23, 1863: Three gunboats in sight from Galveston. Morning Light set on fire by the Bell and she steamed into the harbor. It was quite a beautiful scene. The gunboats coming rapidly from one point; the flames springing from all parts of the beautiful ship, and the Bell steaming in with a heavy column of black smoke from her chimney. Also the discharges of the Morning Light's guns as they became heated. Engaged in an artillery duel with the Yankee gunboats and our vessels, and one little cannon, "Aunt Jane." No damage.17

Feb. 1863: Engaged in scouting and picketing. A party from the blockading vessels attempted to surprise our pickets at the old fort, and partly succeeded, wounding a horse; all hands turned out, expecting an attack. Daylight came, but no enemy.

March, 1863: Ordered to Galveston and (to be) dismounted. On passing through Beaumont, purchased 75 black, high-crowned beaver hats (damaged and smashed up), and we uniformed ourselves with them from the captain down. Made quite a show on parade. Reached Galveston and were quartered in tents at Eagle Grove.

May 8, 1863: Ordered to Louisiana to assist in upsetting (Gen. N. B.) Banks in his advance towards Alexandria. Went by way of Houston, Beaumont and Niblett's Bluff, (La.). Here we were remounted and went back for our horses.

May 21, 1863: Co. A left Niblett's Bluff for Opelousas and Lafayette with a provision train (of wagons).

June 1, 1863: Arrived at Lafayette. (Name of Lafayette was synonymous with Vermilionville.)

June 3, 1863: Lieut. Jackson and 43 men sent back to (Niblett's) Bluff with train (of wagons).

June 14, 15, 1863: Left Lafayette and reached Washington.

June 21, 1863: Detail and train returned to Washington.

June 23, 1863: Left Washington and ordered to Port Hudson on Mississippi River, 30 miles distant. Order was countermanded and (we were) ordered 'below.'

June 25, 1863: Camped at New Iberia, awaiting orders.

June 28, 1863: Left New Iberia and the train passed through Franklin, Centerville, and Pattersonville (now Patterson).

July 1, 1863: Crossed Berwick Bay, and entered Brasher City (now Morgan City), captured a few days ago by Gen. (Tom) Green.18 1,400 prisoners (taken) here. Ordered out on Bayou Bouef, picketing, scouting, and guarding railroad bridges.19 Captured hundreds of Negroes from the swamps, all in a state of starvation. There we saw Negro freedom and Yankee cruelty in its prime. We found them dead and dying, in the outhouses, fields, swamps, and by the road side. And those who had died before their capture were found buried in slight ditches, and the rain had washed off the dirt and left them exposed.The sugar houses were filled with them, dead, dying and rotting, until the stench was such as to be nearly impossible to be borne, (even) for a few seconds. And such, they said, had been their condition ever since (Gen.) Banks had brought them there. Disease and starvation was what they had found in place of freedom. Some poor wretches had been told such frightful tales of our cruelty to them, in case we caught them, that we were compelled to hunt them down in the swamps. After we caught them and they found we did them no harm, but gave them provisions, they appeared to be very happy, and wanted to go to their homes, or ours if we chose to take them.

July 21, 1863: We are the last troops, the rear guard, to evacuate Brashear City, crossed over after burning railroad bridges and cars. We went up to old Camp Bisland, where the late battle of that name was fought.

July 23, 1863: Struck camp at Mossey's (Moses?) Hill on the banks of Grand Lake. (There was) much sickness among us, and no physician or medicines. We have been put in Major's Brigade,20 as "Marsh's Squadron." I have been temporarily appointed adjutant of the squadron.

Aug. 25, 1863: Much sickness, nearly all down at once. Four men fit for duty out of forty of Co. A.

Aug. 29, 1863: Ordered to Camp Bisland, below Centerville. Co. F (Spaight's cavalry) went below Pattersonville on outpost duty, where they came very near being surprised and cut off by some gunboats.

Sept. 8, 9, 1863: Ordered from Bisland, being relieved by the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry. Encamped at Frugia's sugar mill on (Bayou) Teche, 8 miles above Franklin.

Sept. 11, 1863: Moved up to Sorrell's plantation below Jeanerett. The infantry portion of our battalion was under Lt. Col. Spaight, engaged in the Battle of Fordoche (Bayou), at or near Morgan's Ferry on Atchafalaya River, where they did good service, but lost quite a number of good men, among them the son of our Major (J. S.) Irvine.

Sept. 17, 1863: Dispatch reported enemy advancing in force from Brashear City. Having a great many sick, we were compelled to fall back, which we commenced to do in a rain about 11 o'clock at night, leaving Capt. Marsh behind, he being too sick to be moved. The roads were terribly bad, and the wagons stalled. We commenced on and by the time we had gotten 5 miles, our mules gave out, and we were compelled to throw off a quantity of salt, which was very valuable then. And (we) got down in the mud and rain and pulled and shoved the wagons along. We passed through Jeanerett about 2 o'clock AM of the 18th, where a number of our boys left us and put up for the night on door steps and in outhouses. We shoved on with the wagons until about daybreak, two miles below New Iberia. I quit the layout and unsaddled my horse. Found a soft place on the road side and soon slept finely, 'rain or no rain, Yankees or no Yankees.' Woke up about sunrise and went into New Iberia. Here I found several of our command searching for something to eat. Went on 5 miles to Camp Pratt and found headquarters there. And so ended this grand retreat, noted in the annals of our squadron as "Mudwall Jackson's grand strategic movement,' flanking to the rear, and will take precedence over any performed by his illustrous (unreadable) 'Stonewall' in the valley of Virginia. Captain Marsh arrived during the day. Corporal Culmell of our Co. A left sick at Franklin, was taken prisoner today.

Sept. 22, 1863: At 11 o'clock at night our baggage and wagon train was started to the rear for Vermilionville.

Sept. 23, 24, 1863: Enemy cavalry force at Jeanerett. Enemy advancing 8 miles below New Iberia, awaiting reinforcements.

Sept. 25, 26, 1863: They fell back to Camp Hunter in Indian Bend with stolen stock they had gathered. We were reinforced by 150 men of Lane's Regiment.

Sept. 28, 29, 1863: Scouts brought in a Zouave (of Duryea's 165th New York Regt.) He says the enemy's force consists of 3 brigades of infantry, 3 regiments of cavalry, and one battery, under Gen. Franklin at Camp Bisland. Equinoxial gale and a heavy one too.

Oct. 1, 1863: I with the others started to Franklin in heavy rain to see if we could learn anything of (Jno.) Culmell. We reached the edge of town and found our pickets skirmishing with Franklin's advance (guard). So we joined them and amused ourselves during the day, with some very lively picket firing, falling back slowly until near night, when we started back to camp.

Oct. 2, 1863: An advance of our forces made today. Myself and 6 men with our cannon, 'Aunt Jane,' reported to Maj. Blair, cmdg. the left wing, the balance of the squadron reported to Col. Vincent, cmdg. right wing. Our force, some 125 men, advanced by the main road, while Col. Vincent took the prairie road, intending to strike the enemy's flank with some 200 men. (It was supposed we were going to attack about 400 or 500 men there without artillery.) At old Camp Hunter our advance opened with some cavalry under Col. Judge Davis, formerly of Texas, formed in line and charged them, driving them down the lane, wounding one man and capturing a horse and equipments. The 'Aunt Jane' (cannon) was then brought into position and opened fire at 600 yards, the first shot killing one man, wounding another and a horse. I am proud to say I directed the shot myself. By this time we found we were being drawn into a trap, as their infantry began to open on us from front and flanks, keeping the air perfectly alive with their screechings, but as a general thing, they went over our heads, tearing off little limbs and leaves from trees in the lane. By the time the 'Aunt Jane' was ready for another turn, a full battery swung into the road not more than 500 yards distant and opened on us. To say that we were surprised does not express the emotion; it might not have been 'scared,' but it was close to it. As the shot and shell came tearing down the lane, I thought to myself, "Here's the last of you!".... So I finished priming 'Aunt Jane,' and gave them one more turn.In the act of doing this, a round shot struck Capt. Squires, chief of artillery on Gen. (Alfred) Mouton's staff, who was sitting on his horse near us, cutting off one leg, a saddle girt passed through his horse and broke the other leg, throwing his blood over us and our gun. At that moment an order was given for us cannoneers to fall to the ground, which was done by all except myself who did not hear the order. At that point a shell struck the lower part of one wheel of our piece, exploding, passing between a man lying beside me and my leg, striking and cutting off an iron pin behind me that held the shaft to the cannon, (Having our caisson, the ammunition boxes being placed on the wheels with the gun, which was a small rifle, throwing a 1 1/4 pound ball a distance of 4 miles), completely disabling the piece. In all probability, had I heard and obeyed the order to fall down, I would have been killed. Finding that we were about to be surrounded, and Col. Vincent failing to attack on the flank, a general skedaddle (fast retreat) took place. We pulled 'Aunt Jane' out of the middle of the lane under cover of some trees to try to get the horses out. By that time a perfect rain of missiles of war was coming down the lane, and on looking around for the man detailed to hold our horses, I found he had let mine and one other go.Here was a nice condition to be in. Knowing it to be impossible to escape afoot, I told the man remaining with me (Pvt. James Vondy) to cut out one of the cannon horses, which still was struggling in the traces. The driver having taken the other, I concluded to make the best of a bad bargain for myself, but was saved from it by one of our detail from Co. F (Hankamer-there were 3 soldiers named Hankamer in Co. F - Charles, J. W., and Fred), a brave man as he had shown himself to be in the engagement, seeing my horse running with the herd and catching and bringing him to me. By this time, Vondy had got mounted bareback, and the three of us did some tall loping and running the gauntlet of a section of artillery, we made the trip. Our entire loss was pretty heavy, I never knew the exact number, besides many horses killed and wounded. Our detail loss was one man and horse struck with shell, horse killed instantly. Next morning the man behind one of us fell into the enemy's hands and died. (We also) lost one horse and equipment captured and 'Aunt Jane' left on the field, a bad day's work for us. Farewell, 'Aunt Jane.'Getting our detail together, and being dark by this time, also not knowing where our squadron was, we put up at a house on the road side about 11 o'clock at night. Having had nothing to eat all day, the lady of the house gave us what she could.

Oct. 3, 1863: Found our command at Jeanerett. My name had been put on list of killed in place of Capt. Squires by mistake.

Oct. 4, 1863: 3 o'clock AM. In the saddle and began skirmishing with the advance until about 11 o'clock, when their main body began moving. About this time, Col. E. J. Davis,21 of 2nd Texas Yankee Cavalry fell into the hands of our outpost, but by being disguised and natural shrewdness, he managed to escape with the loss of his horse, which was wounded and died shortly after. His saddlebags were captured on his saddle. This evening (we) began our retreat from Jeanerett. About sundown, 3 miles below New Iberia, our entire force, consisting of some 300 men of the 2nd La., Lane's, Marsh's, and (Col.) Vincent's Scouts, were dismounted at a bridge and placed in a gully that ran from the railroad grade to the (Bayou) Teche, near the wreck of the gunboat Hart. Some of Vincent's Scouts were left in the rear, on the road to (unreadable-probaby entice) the enemy on over the bridge, and in a few moments, the last Scout passed over the bridge, his horse limping badly, being wounded. At the same time the balls began flying over our heads at our retreating Scouts, and here they came at a full charge down the lane, firing, cursing, yelling and shouting, on and over the bridge when our bugler sounded "fire," and we opened a crossfire at from ten feet to 150 yards, which strange to say, hushed up their racket very suddenly. And for some, it hushed it forever.For 10 or 15 minutes the lane presented a grand scene of confusion, men without horses, horses without riders, dead, wounded men and beasts, men shouting, horses screaming (neighing) with pain, officers giving orders, and the continuous rattle of musketry. All combined made it a grim and fearful scene. To relieve them, a party of cavalry charged down on us from outside the lane, and were not noticed until they had come very close to us, when the right of our little line opened on them, driving them back at a gallop, emptying several saddles. Several of our party had climbed out on top of the bank to have a better view of the scene, myself among the number, being near the fence of the lane, some 6 feet distant, and seeing 3 men afoot, trying to make their escape, I fired 3 shots from my pistol, the last shot taking effect, and I was partly on the fence, intending to get over holding my pistol in one hand by the side of my head. I did not notice one of the men had mounted a horse right opposite me, and seeing me on the fence, fired at me with his sharpshooter, not more than 10 feet from me, the ball striking my pistol barrel and glancing aside. At the same time, he put spurs to his horse and I suppose made his escape as far as I know. By this time, their batteries coming up, we were ordered to fall out of the ditch and back to our horses, which we succeeded in doing, but were compelled to continue on in the lane to effect our escape. In doing that, we were placed in direct range of their batteries, which were planted by this time on and near the bridge, but we ran the gauntlet of shot and shell tearing up the earth around us. And we lost but one man wounded, belonging to the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry, in service of (Col.) Vincent's Scouts. We never knew the enemy's loss, but it was considerable from the circumstances and the number of dead and wounded seen on the ground. We brought off but one prisoner. This affair has been badly managed or we would have had more, besides horses and arms. We got one horse and equipments (saddle, bridle, etc.).Passed on through New Iberia and our squadron was placed on the outer edge of town, from the St. Martinsville road to across the Bayou ____(Teche?) as videttes (archaic-as mounted sentry outposts) to relieve a little party that had been on the right flank. About 11 PM, we were relieved and fell back to Camp Pratt to get a little rest. This morning about 2 o'clock we had a little cornbread. Tonight we do not feel like cooking, even if we had the material, although we are all hungry. This is no easy work, in a gallop back and forwards all day long, hungry and thirsty, blackened with powder, and looking every moment like the world to come, "They are flanking us again," and away we go to keep even with them in all movements, and worst of all, no prospects for grub (food) or forage ahead.

Oct. 5, 1863: Orders to fall back, which I think we will do without orders. Went on up to Lafayette, 20 miles, fed our horses out of a cornfield. Had some bread and beef, cooked 3 days before, issued to us and set to work making our beds. About 8 o'clock PM, when "saddle up" came down to us and not very willingly, we hove to and started to the front, night very dark and us very sleepy.

Oct. 6, 1863: About 2 AM, arrived at Camp Pratt and held our horses until daylight for no earthly use or benefit. About 10 AM, the "Yankees" made a move, and our layout, which had been increased with balance of our (Col. Major's) brigade strung out for action. Our squadron was placed on the left as skirmishers. The engagement began at the center, which was soon driven back, the left falling back, timber being between us. We could only surmise this, and no orders being sent to us, we had nothing to do but sit on our horses and amuse ourselves, dodging the shots of their sharpshooters. A battery passed on up beyond us on the railroad grade, which we heard, but could not see. But it was not long before they saw us and tendered us their 'compliments,' they being 'very warm.' We concluded to avoid them, fearful of being cut off entirely. We struck up a gallop, and although they were very liberal with their ammunition and attempted to 'herd' us into 'Spanish Lake,' (?) we succeeded in getting out to the main body, with loss of one man who took to the swamp and came in several days after. Several men and horses wounded in the brigade, which numbers about 800 men fit for duty, balance being sick. Fell back slowly until night, when we started once more for Lafayette (or Vermilionville). My horse was wounded slightly in the fore leg by a minie ball or a piece of shrapnel glancing, did not do him any material damage.

Oct. 7, 1863: Enemy has given us about 2 hours rest here, but nothing to eat. Began skirmish with them on banks of Vermilion Bayou, but they soon drove us from our position. Here we burned the bridge and fell back to 'Carron Crow' (Carencro) Bayou, where we were reinforced by Green's Brigade of cavalry, and Green took command of operations in the front. Advanced on Lafayette. Enemy on opposite side (of the) bayou, pretty quiet except little picket firing.

Oct. 8, 9, 1863: Enemy engaged in concentrating and building bridge. For 2 days, we have eaten nothing. Our horses have not been unsaddled by order since the evening of the 5th instant, 4 days and 4 nights.

Oct. 10, 1863: Enemy advanced across bayou. We fell back some 8 miles and formed line of battle, having a battery (of artillery) to support. Enemy fell back to Vermilion. We encamped for night on Carron Crow (Carencro Bayou).

Oct. 11, 1863: Enemy advanced, formed line to resist them, but there being such a number of them, we thought we could not entertain them and fell back to 3 miles of Opelousas.

Oct. 12, 1863: Enemy still pressing us, fell back to 3 miles beyond Opelousas, giving them a little fight on the right of town. During the evening our rear ambushed their advance, doing some little damage.

Oct. 13, 14, 1863: Enemy falling back to Carencro with 'plunder.' Saddled up and advanced on enemy. Green's Brigade drove in their pickets near Grand Coteau Bayou or Boggy Bayou. Enemy fell back to Carencro. We camped near Boggy Bayou.

Oct. 15, 1863: Engagement opened early this morning. Our brigade held the right wing and drove the enemy from 'Crighten's Place' on Carencro Fork or Grand Coteau, I do not know which. Their artillery opened on the center and left wing of Green's Brigade. Our right had occupied Crighten's Place, on which the enemy advanced in line of infantry on our center, opened on the woods to our left with a section of artillery, and under this cover, their cavalry made a charge on Crighten's Place and drove our boys from it. At the same time, 2 regiments of infantry were sent to turn our right flank, and thus compelled all of us to fall back. Then they opened on the center where our squadron was, and we were compelled to beat a hasty retreat. Green's Brigade being supported by his pieces of artillery (Sims and Val Verde) drew more fire on them and therefore suffered to greater extent than we did. The enemy's loss was near equal to our own, as we had the timber and they the prairie and large bodies of men. I think our division numbers for duty some 1,600 men. This evening a deserter from Stone's Regiment was shot in the presence of the brigade.

Oct. 16, 17, 18, 1863: Picket duty and skirmishes during the days.

Oct. 19, 1863: Our squadron on outpost duty. Enemy advanced and engaged Green's Brigade near an old sugar house on main road. Balance of our brigade brought up on the left wing. Ourselves with Baylor's Regiment on the right to oppose flankers, and after a pretty warm engagement for some two hours, succeeded in forcing their support to back upon the batteries, at the same time ambuscading as a regiment of infantry. This rather dampened their ardor, and fearing perhaps that we had been reinforced, their batteries fell back to their old position that they had occupied the day before. This is the first time since their advance that we have actually driven their force back. Three ambulances have been pretty busy today, carrying men from the field. Our loss I think has been about 40 men killed, wounded and prisoners. Found a Yankee squad in a potato patch, and after a lively chase, our squadron captured 1 captain, 1 sergeant and 6 privates. Regiment sent to catch jayhawkers. Found their nest, but no birds in it.

Oct 20, 21, 1863: Some picket skirmishing today. Enemy advancing in force. Had a very sharp little skirmish fight with them, but 'tis no use. They outnumber us two to one and more, their force being about 25,000 men. When we fall back to our reserve, I think we will number about 6,000, but the reserve (Walker's Texas Division) seems to fall back as fast as we do. Fell back on the Chicot Road, 8 miles west of Washington, and encamped, weather being very wet and nearly impossible for either party to do anything. Green's Brigade went up the Moundville road. Here a party of 2,000 men (Yankees) came near cutting that brigade off, and did succeed in cutting off Waller's Battalion, but they made their escape to us.

Oct. 23, 1863: Passed through Flat Town. En route we stopped for half day and night at a "Dr. Bryan's." Weather was very cold and wet. The old lady would not let us warm, give or sell us anything, and kept walking around in our camp to see if we had stolen anything. We were compelled to press (impress) corn from her. She had plenty and I believe the boys stole a few potatoes. She gave us her "blessing" when we started. She was what might be called a "hard old case."

Oct. 24, 1863: Heavy frost this morning.

Oct. 28, 1863: Sent up to the wagon train on Bayou Bouef above Cheneyville to make out returns with orders to report to Lieut. Bolton to go to Texas for clothing. The men are near naked and suffering badly.

Nov. 2, 1863: Command advanced on (Gen.) Franklin's retreating armyStruck their rear guard near Boggy Bayou - Battle of Boggy Bayou (actually Battle of Bayou Bourbeau).22 Reinforced last night by 700 men from Walker's Texas Division, making our force about 2,300 men. With these Gen. (Tom) Green is determined to attack the division of the 13th Army Corps holding Franklin's rear, numbering some 4,000 men or more. When the fight began, the enemy supposed it to be merely a repetition of what was done every day, and what was their surprise when our men came charging over their battery and into their camp. It was a perfect rout with them, wagons, men, and horses tearing over the country, seeking safety in flight. Their first care was to burn their tents still standing, and not being able to bring off but 1 piece of artillery, the others were cut down. Had Gen. Green had men to guard them from the field, he could have taken the entire layout with the men he had. As it was, he had not men enough, and they commencing to reinforce rapidly, he (Green) was compelled to fall back with 700 prisoners. The enemy resumed a position 5 miles from the battle ground, firmly believing Green had 15,000 men. In the fight our entire loss was 100 odd men. One corporal from Co. A of our squadron taken prisoner.Here Sgt. (Charles) Hankamer of Co. F (Spaight's Bn.), who had saved my horse and perhaps myself at Camp Hunter, captured and brought into camp 22 Yankee prisoners taken by himself, having to shoot and kill one to get to the 22, being 23 in all, and another wounded, who were all foreigners.

Nov. 3, 1863: Chased Yankee cavalry clear into the town of Vermilionville, when they reinforced and did the same to us until one battery stopped them. There began an artillery duel, which lasted for some 2 hours. Killed quite a number of our artillery horses. Enemy thus resumed his retreat down to Berwick Bay and en route near Camp Pratt. They succeeded in a fog on Nov. 25 in capturing 150 men belonging to 4th Regiment, Texas Cavalry, Green's Brigade.

Nov. 15, 1863: I reached Houston with clothing detail under chart of Lieutenant Bolton.

Nov. 30, 1863: Left Houston on return. Stopped at Beaumont.

Dec. 12, 1863: Started from Niblett's Bluff with clothing wagon. Left Lieut. Bolton here sick.

Dec. 16, 1863: Heavy rain. Reached Myers' Tanyard, 12 miles eat of Mermentau River. Here met Gen. Tom Green en route to Texas,23 was ordered back to (Niblett's) Bluff by him, but did not go as mules were worn out, and the command was not far off. Left the wagon with a guard and started on to the command.

Dec. 18, 1863: Met it at (Bayou) Plaquemine Brule.

Dec. 23, 1863: Fell in with the clothing wagon at English Bayou, went on to Calcasieu River, and about dusk, found our mess cart had broken down 12 miles back and started to it. Wet and very cold. Found it, repaired it with telegraph poles and rawhide, and came on to Lake Charles City and stopped all night. Command crossed the river. Tonight I reached Lake Charles about 12 o'clock at night.

{Spaight's Bn. battles/skirmishes in Louisiana in 1863-1864}

Skirmish at Franklin, La.
Skirmish at Jeanerett, La.
Battle at Camp Hunter, Indian Bayou, La.
Battle at Culvert Bridge, La.
Battle of Fordoche Bayou, La.
Skirmish at New Iberia, La.
Skirmish of Camp Pratt, La.
Skirmish of Vermilion Prairie, La.
Skirmish of Vermilion Bayou, La.
Skirmish of Mouton's Plantation, La.
Skirmish of Mouton's Store, La.
Skirmish of Carencro Bayou, La.
Skirmish of Grand Coteau, La.
Skirmish of Chicot Road, La.
Skirmish of Dupre's Plantation, La.
Skirmish of Moundville, La.
Skirmish of Opelousas City, La.
2nd skirmish of Opelousas
Battle of Bayou Bourbeau, La.
Artillery duel, Carencro Prairie, La.
Battle of Calcasieu Pass, La., in 1864

Dec. 24, 25, 1863: Overtook the command in Big Woods (NW Lake Charles). Reached Niblett's Bluff, wet and cold. Rain began to fall on Dec. 10 inst., and every night we have had it, except when it would cease in order to freeze. Men and horses have suffered much from the cold and rain. Crossed Sabine River and encamped.

Dec. 29, 1863: Been detained by high water. Crossed the Neches (river) myself with a few others. Been to Sabine Pass, came to Beaumont today, met Captain Marsh.


Jan. 1, 1864: Reached Liberty, frozen stiff. Yesterday it was so cold we could not travel. Horses, saddles, blankets, clothes all frozen stiff. One man frozen to death. Today the ice on the prairie held the weight of the horses, causing them to slide and fall, injuring them severely. {In Nov. 1864, water on Galveston Island froze 1 inch thick, the coldest ever known. See Galveston Weekly News, November 22, 1864.}

Jan. 1, 1864: Forded Trinity River above town, saddle seat deep. Rained all day and night.

Jan. 3, 1864: Rain all day. Swam the San Jacinto River, bringing wagons over until the current became too strong and unsafe to cross anymore. Our squadron wagons did not get across; neither did the county train. So here we are tonight in a bottom 4 inches under water, heavy wet wood to burn, raining and nothing to eat and no shelter.

Jan. 4, 1864: Rain day and night, freezing also. Nothing to eat today, no houses along the road.

Jan. 5, 1864: Reached Houston, wet, cold, and hungry. All made a rush to the bakeries and whiskey shops. Encamped near the Texas and N. O. railroad depot, and so for the present, end our journey. For 21 days we have been wet and frozen. The hardest winter Texas has known for many years. For 200 miles we have traveled through water from 6 inches to 4 feet deep on the prairies and in the bottoms. The greater portion of the time, it has been a constant freeze. We have ferried 3 rivers, swam 2, besides 10 or 12 large bayous. At Bayou Nezpique, one of the forks of the Mermentau River, our entire division crossed on a flat (boat ferry), that could carry but one wagon without the mules, working day and night, swimming mules and horses. The flat sank several times, I being on it at one time, but being already wet, it made but little difference. Twice on the trip at night, we were flooded out by the rain and quick rise of the little streams. At one time came near losing some men, some horses were drowned, and saddles swept away. We have had no tents since May, 1863, so have had no protection against the weather. A number of men have been so frozen that they will never get clear of it entirely. I have been dry but once on this trip, and that for a day and a half.

Jan. 10, 1864: Sent up 7 miles from town to camp on the Central Road (Hous. & Texas Cent. Railroad).

Jan. 17, 1864: Ordered to report back to Col. Spaight at Beaumont. Here we were dismounted.

Jan. 22, 23, 1864: Reached Beaumont on the (T. and N. O.) train, and sent on to Sabine Pass as good infantry. {Conner despised being dismounted twice, which caused him in July, 1864 to transfer to Hardeman's Cavalry.}

Feb., 1864: Thirty men for our company detailed on board the C. S. steamer Sachem as marines.24

March, 1864: Company sent to Calcasieu (Parish) on special duty under Lieut. Jones.

April 22, 28, 1864: Ordered to report to Houston. Left Sabine, reached Houston on the 29th inst. Reports reached here that (Union) gunboats had entered (actually anchored in) Calcasieu Pass, La.

April 29, 1864: Left Houston for Niblett's Bluff, La., reached there at 6 o'clock PM on the 30th (Apr.) on the (Capt. D. E. Conner's steamer) Sunflower from Beaumont. Here Col. Spaight made us a 'flowing speech' on the 'morbid system and croaker species.' (?) (It was) reported that there are no Yankees at Calcasieu, so ordered back.

May 3, 1864: Arrived back at Sabine, 3 companies only of our battalion, and found out that there are Yankees at Calcasieu.

May 4, 5, 1864: Orders from Col. Griffin (Lt. Col. W. F., Griffin's Bn. at Sabine Pass) to be ready to march at dark. Set up all night waiting until 4 o'clock AM. We succeeded in crossing the (Sabine) Pass, and took up a line of march for Calcasieu with some 290 men. At Johnson's Bayou fell in with Creuzbauer's Battery (2 12-pounders, 2 6-pounders). At about 12 o'clock at night, reached Mud Pass (Mud Bayou), where the enemy had destroyed the bridge. Here we built another and were detained some time. Crossed over and as daylight broke, we were about 1 miles from the 2 gunboats lying in the Pass, (anchored) 75 yards from the bank.

May 6, 1864: By this time we had marched 38 miles with 2 hours rest and were very tired. It was intended to reach this point before day, but we failed to do it. And if the enemy have any lookouts, they will perceive us before we reach them, but not so. One battery was planted 600 yards from them, and our infantry charged up to the bank, having no protection whatever (except) grass about 10 inches high. We had taken them by surprise, and our guns opened the Battle of Calcasieu Pass.It was but a few moments before they were out of their beds, at their guns, and opened on us with every description of shot and shell. The vessels (U. S. S. Wave and Granite City) were covered with 1/2 inch iron, and our minie balls flattened against it, but we kept the port holes alive with them, while our battery did the "heavy job work." Both vessels were getting steam up, and one tried to run on her anchor, but couldn't do it. Some of crew then tried to come on deck to 'slip the chain,' but as fast as one showed his head, a dozen balls were fired at it.They had succeeded in disabling two of our (artillery) pieces, leaving us but two that worked. So one of these was brought up within 100 yards of the vessels and opened with more precision and effect. And a half an hour longer, one of the steamers (the Granite City) ran a white rag out on a stick from a stern window. The other held out more desperately and did not strike for 20 minutes, when a round shot cut its steam pipe, and he struck his colors. (Note: The Wave fought for 90 minutes.)The fight lasted for one hour and 20 minutes. Our loss has been 16 killed (actually 14) and several wounded, besides some artillery mules and some damage to our pieces. The vessels proved to be the low pressure steamship Granite City of 8 guns (1 20-pound Parrott, 1 10-pound Parrott, 6 24-pound Dalgren's). The high pressure steamboat Wave (gunboat No. 45, formerly the Argosy) of 6 guns (1 32-pound rifle, 1 32-pound smoothbore, and 4 24-pound Dalgren's), along with 25 soldiers of the 36th Illinois Infantry, who were camped on the opposite bank. The enemy's loss is but one dead, and some 30 wounded, some mortally (many of whom died in the course of a week). We have taken about 250 prisoners, besides 250 head of beeves and 200 head horses gathered (stolen) by the Jayhawkers for shipment to New Orleans. The infantry on the opposite bank came in and surrendered. The Granite City is pretty well damaged, but the Wave is a perfect wreck, her cabin torn to flinders, minie balls had riddled her, and the (65) shells exploding in her put the finishing touches to her. This evening prisoners were sent under guard of Griffin's Battalion to Sabine. Surgeons engaged in amputating this evening, which is the worst sight of the whole affair.24

May 8, 1864: U. S. transport Ella Morse came in over the bar and came within a half mile of the steamers, and discovered something wrong. About 25 of us were stationed in the grass on the bank of the Pass below the steamers. As she (Ella Morse) turned back, the Granite City opened on her, but having no artillerists aboard, failed to strike her (our battery had been sent back to Sabine). As she passed us, we began firing on her, and kept it up as long as we were within range of her, shooting the pilot from the wheel and riddling her cabin with minie balls. Had we had one piece of artillery, we could have taken her. Myself and five others were sent in a cutter to Lake Charles for lighters. Went and engaged some and came back on the morning of the 10th.

May 10, 1864: Yesterday the U. S. steamer New London sent in a boat with dispatches to the Granite City. The U. S. flag was flying on the Granite City, and as the small boat neared her, it was hauled down and the Confederate flag hoisted in its place. On seeing this, the officer (ensign of the New London) in the boat fired a shot from a rifle at the flag, and was replied to by two shots, one of which struck him and he died in a few moments. The crew surrendered. Last night the New London signaled for the boat to return, and this morning a boat was coming in. But just as we reached the Wave, a shell was exploded in the air for them to return. In a short time another boat started with a flag of truce, which was met, and then the New London steamed to the westward.Our company has volunteered to run the Granite City into Sabine, which we believe can be done easily. But Capt. Lubbock, sent from Houston on part of the (Texas) Marine Department, is too contrary to let us do anything simply because we are soldiers, and the Marine Department would get no share in it or the name of it.

May 13, 1864: Four blockading steamers off the bar.

May 15, 1864: After 5 days hard work, we have lightered the Wave over the bar in the (Calcasieu) Lake. It has been the hardest work we have ever done in some time. The Granite City cannot come over the bar. One of our company, Jno. A. Richardson, accidently shot himself through the hand; it was amputated by the Yankee surgeon (Dr. Vermuelen).

May 16, 1864: Our company bid farewell to the Wave and shipped on a flatboat for Sabine and a market. We footed it across and reached Sabine pass on the 22nd inst., and so ended the Calcasieu trip.

June 22, 1864: Sent to Niblett's Bluff and Beaumont on special business.

June 25, 1864: Back to Sabine Pass. I am tired of infantry service and have applied for transfer to the cavalry.

July 15, 1864: Transferred to Co. C, 4th Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers, Hardeman's Brigade (after Gen. Green was killed in Louisiana).

Aug. 1, 1864: Left Sabine Pass and went to Galveston.

Aug. 8, 1864: Went to Sugarland for horse, found he was stolen.

Aug. 11, 1864: Rode to Columbia, reached the 12th at night, heard of my horse, but did not get him.

Aug. 13, 1864: Reached Sugarland, slept on prairie last night. Wolves were very noisy all night.

Aug. 16, 17, 1864: Went into Houston and had time extended. Rode back to Sugarland.

Aug. 23, 1864: Horse brought in by one Hopkins. Taken sick today and remained so until 1st Sept. with dengue fever.

Sept. 5, 7, 9, 10, 1864: Not well yet but started in to Houston. Went to Galveston. Came up on the 8th. Went to Beaumont. Went to Concord on 10th. No boat for Orange until the 13th.

Sept. 13, 1864: Went to Orange on (steamer) Roebuck, here taken fever again.

Sept. 21, 22, 1864: Tried it again. Stayed out all night on Cypress Creek. No fever this morning. Started again, rain, taken the first chill I believe I ever had, high fever, lay in the woods until evening, reached Judge (D. R.) Wingate's (at Belgrade, Newton Co.) about sundown, and remained here in bed sick until 11th October (43 miles from Orange in Newton Co.)

Oct. 11, 14, 16, 1864: Started again, passed through Newton, Milam, and Shelbyville and crossed Sabine River on the 14th at Logansport, Caddo Parish. Passed through Keachi and on to Shreveport crossing on the Red River. Passed on to Homer, 50 miles from Shreveport, and here my horse gave out and am fearful of losing him. I traded him off.

Oct. 18, 1864: Passed on through Minden before I came to Homer. Passed through Lisbon and several other little towns, Three Creeks and others toward Camden, Arkansas.

Oct. 19, 1864: Crossed Arkansas line, went to within 20 miles of Camden, and learned the brigade had gone toward Washington. Passed on to Magnolia and Lewisville (Ark.), thence to Spring Hill, and on to Lake Ozan, 5 miles east from Washington, where I found the command.

Oct. 24, 1864: Taken with chills and fever yesterday. Here our horses suffered for a month nearly for forage, 15 cars of corn for 4 days, no grass or fodder, rain nearly all the time. Traveled 580 miles on this trip.

Oct. 29, 1864: Sent fifty men on scout (duty) to Murfreesboro after jayhawkers, ran them into Kansas via Caddo Gap.

Nov. 5, 1864: Chills and fever again. Weather very cold and wet, no tents nor forage for our horses.

Nov. 10, 1864: Ordered to Fort Smith, Indian Nation, to relieve Gen. (Sterling) Price, part of his command. Made the trip, but the roads were so bad we were stopped. Nothing of interest took place here except some little jayhawker fights. The Yankees keep housed up in Little Rock, too strongly fortified for us to attack them.

Nov. 24, 25, 1864: Good news. Broke up camp and started no one knows where. Passed through Washington and on to Fulton on Red River, crossed river above at Little River. Rain, rain, all the time, and no corn. Camped on bank of river in Fayette Co., Ark.

Nov. 26, 1864: Moved 8 miles up river and camped again on lake near the river.

Dec. 1, 2, 1864: Moved up 10 miles farther and camped. Orders read to go to Nacogdoches, Texas. Great rejoicing. Heavy rain and storm. Red River stirred up.

Dec. 3, 1864 Cold and clear (on) line of march. And went through the river bottom to high land. Bottom very bad, nearly impassable. My horse fell through a bridge, did not injure him seriously. Cold.

Dec. 4, 5, 1864: Cold. Passed through Mooreville, Bowie Co, Tex. Passed through Douglasville, Cass Co., crossed Sulphur River today. Very cold.

Dec. 6, 7, 1864: Passed through Linden, Marion County. Cold. Passed through Jefferson City. I rode on to Marshall and stopped with Jno. Holcombe. Cold.

Dec. 8, 9, 10, 1864: Command came on through Marshall. Crossed Sabine River this evening on 9th at Camden. Passed through Millville, Rusk Co., cold.

Dec. 11, 12, 1864: Passed through Henderson. Very cold. Passed through Douglas, Nacogdoches County.

Dec. 13, 1864: Crossed Angelina River at Linwood, passed on to Cedar Creek near Alto, Cherokee County and encamped. We have a great deal of rain and cold weather, no tents or covering, suffered very much, no corn for horses. Taken sick again.

Dec. 25, 1864: Furloughed. Left camp in rain, rode 23 miles this evening and crossed Neches River en route.

Dec. 26, 1864: Swam two creeks, passed through Sumpter, traveled 38 miles on a broken down horse. Dec. 27, 1864: Passed through Livingston and Smithfield, traveled 39 miles today.

Dec. 28, 1864: Reached Liberty 34 miles today.

Dec. 29, 30, 1864: On train to Houston. Rode out to Sugarland.


Jan. 5, 7, 1865: Came in to Houston. Went to Galveston.

Jan. 20, 23, 1865: Up to Houston. (Went) to Sugarland.

Feb. 1, 8, 1865: Taken sick. Up today from bed.

Feb. 11, 13, 1865: In to Houston. Left Houston on the (Houston and Texas) Central train to Navasota.

Feb. 14, 1865: Came near drowning trying to cross the Bedi (Bedias Creek), reached Madisonville about 10 at night. Passed through Anderson today, put up at the old original Sprawl's Hotel tonight. Charged $20 for it too.

Feb. 15, 16, 1865: Stopped at John Mitchell's a little while. Crossed Trinity River at Robbins' Ferry. River 2 miles out of its banks. Stopped 7 miles from Crockett at Burton's. Passed through Palestine, Anderson County.

Feb. 17, 1865: Reached the command near Tennessee Colony, distance from Houston 168 miles, a pretty quick ride considering the difficulties, managed 40 miles per day after leaving the railroad, leading a broken down horse sick with distemper.

March 3, 1865: Taken sick. Rain for the last 12 days. Sun shone out today, light norther.

March 7, 8, 1865: Up blankets and on line of march to Millican (on HTC railroad). Part of the regiment moved to Trinity River ferry to cross, but most too cold and sleety.

March 9, 1865: One more freeze like last night and I'm gone up (the tube?). Sleet and hail storms this morning. Took up march and went into Magnolia to cross, but a snow storm came up, and we had to give it up. So went to Bonner's Ferry and camped. (Ed. note: One cannot help but take note of how extremely wet and cold the years 1863-1865 were. Galv. Weekly News of March 28, 1867 recorded that "...the recent cold was so severe that the steam pipes of the steamers, steam sawmills, etc. were frozen and burst. Such severe cold in the late month of March was never before known in Southeast Texas...")

March 10, 11, 1865: Cannot cross today, (Trinity) river is 3 miles wide. Back to Magnolia. Succeeded in crossing to opposite bank, and that by deep wading and some swimming for 2 miles, we struck high land. Thus ferried across a 'lake,' and went on to Butler, Freestone Co. Wagons crossed at Bonners.

March 12, 1865: Passed through Fairfield. Saw signs on the jail here where the 2nd Regt. had tried to take a 'woman' (?) out, made a very large hole through the wall, but Wller's Regt. prevented them.

March 14, 15, 1865: Passed through "Cotton Gin." Crossed Navasota River at Comanche Crossing.

March 17, 20, 21, 1865: Passed through Falls County, passed through Sterling, Robertson Co. Passed through Booneville, Brazos Co. Reached Millican.

March 31, 1865: Went down on train to Hempstead to Gen. Wharton's headquarters. Received special furlough 30 days. Left Hempstead horseback, stopped all night at Judge Waller's.

April 1, 3, 1865: Rode through Pittsville to Sugarland. Came in to Houston in buggy.

April 4, 17, 1865: Went down to Galveston on train. To Houston on train.

April 19, 29, 1865: To Sugarland. Left Sugarland, crossed Brazos at Stevens' Ferry. Passed through Chappell Hill and Independence.

May 1, 2, 1865: Reached the command in Burleson Co. Moved up about 15 miles.

May 3, 6, 1865: Moved over the river and encamped. Grand barbecue for the brigade.

May 13, 1865: Thirty deserters brought in today by detail from brigade

May 15, 1865: Heard that I had been transferred May 4 back to Spaight's Regiment of Infantry by request, and I rode down to Brown's Regiment and remained all night.

May 16, 17, 18, 1865: Passed through Independence, Chappell Hill, crossed Brazos at Stevens' Ferry, reached Sugarland.

May 23, 1865: Went into Harrisburg on train, got aboard Steamer Lone Star, went up to Houston and found Government Depot all ramsacked and soldiers going home. Confederacy gone up! Learned that Spaight's Regiment had gone to Beaumont and were disbanded by order.

May 24, 1865: Confederate Army of Trans-Mississippi Dept. disbanded and all soldiers discharged.

May 25, 1865: Went to Beaumont to report to Captain Marsh and received an honorable discharge from the service. Something over four years from date of my first enlistment. And so ends my experience in the Provisional Army of The Confederate States.(Signed) //H. N. Conner

And with this ends our hopes and efforts to establish a separate Independent Republic. And with this surrender, we surrender our State's Rights Doctrine, not from moral conviction, but from bayonet conviction, which rules all others. Thousands have sealed the struggle with their lives; wealth has been expended, but political corruption (?) has lost to us our dearest rights as a nation of southern people.{The only (Apr. 1863) muster roll of Co. A, Spaight's Battalion in National Archives is published in Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VIII (Nov. 1972), pp. 28-29, but it does not contain names of many who died in service, or who were enlisted after April, 1863. Sgt. Conner copied the original muster roll to contain all names, as follows:}

Name          Comment

J.M. Blair            Capt. resigned
O. M. Marsh        1st Lt.
Charles St. Jost
T. R. Jackson              2nd Lt.
Albert Sparks              dead
R. E. Bolton         2nd Lt.
J. E. Toothacher
A. J. McClurg              1st Sgt.
J. A. Thomason
T. C. Craig                   2nd Sgt.
W. D. Teal
John Loughery 3rd        transferred
F. S. Teal
C. A. McDonough        4th Sgt.
W. B. Taylor
J. C. Craig                   4th Sgt.
Jacob Simmons
J. P. Hotchkiss            Corp.
Isaac Simmons
H. N. Conner               Corp
M. M. Lewis
F. Byerly
W. J. Lewis
J. T. Johnson               transferred
J. E. Elender
W. T. Joyner               bugler died of fever
R. C. Gravett
T. Coffin
W. E. Rogers
W. B. Champion          vet. died
James Vondy
John Brennan              blacksmith
George White
--- Adams                   died in service
A. S. Winston             dead
J. C. Burton
Mark P. Wiess
Jacob Berg
William W. Wiess
W. R. Bolin
W. Williams
J. W. Berwick
J. G. Womack
Levi Curl                     dead in service
D. C. Reid                  disch.
J. S. Carter                 transferred
J. E. Jones
F. M. Canter
---Wilson                    disch.
T.J. Court
Jno. Reeves
T. J. Cooper
Jacob Gallier
J. M. Caswell
P. Saunders
G. W. Crider
J. Peveto
John Culmell               captured prisoner
Leonard Garner
D. J. Dewees
Uriah Johnson
S. Davis
Jas. Norwood              Transf.
A. J. Foster
L. E. Keller                  dead
P. Glenning                 ran blockade
Pat Shea                    Disch.
M. T. Hall                    dead
H.M. Morrow
G. W. Hawley
J. Graham                   Dead
N. J. Harrison              Enlisted since 1863
Wm. Harrison
Lovan Hamshire
E. S. James
Columbus Caswell
M. Johnson
J. A. McDonough         dead
Ben Johnson               transferred
B. Z. Powell
R. Kirkendale
G. W.Powell
J. T. Kellogg                transferred
L. E. Ratcliff
L. E. Kellogg               dead
H. Rabb
Moses Knodell
J. A. Richardson
Bernhard Kowats
Napoleon Wiess
John W. Keith
Valentine Wiess
J. K. Lynch
J. S. Webb
T. K. Lynch                 dead
A. Bading                   Transf.
R. E. Mackan
T. B. Wilbanks
T. L. Mackan
W. Hilliard
J. L. Miller
Byrd Williams
C. M. Marshall
W. McGaffey
W. S. Moore               dead
Jno Peveto
J. B. Peightal
James Ferguson
N. H. Porter
Simon Williams
H. H. Humble              dead
Herman Rosenbaum
W. G. Ratcliff
J. V. Ratcliff
S. Richardson
Jno. Richardson
A. Richardson
R. C. McRae               discharged
Thomas Snow
Frost B. Smith
D. E. Smith
H. A. Strahn                dead
W. F. Strahn
J. Stallings
(All listed as dead were either killed or died of wounds or disease in service)

{After H. N. Conner closed his diary on May 25, 1865, he continued to add pages under the headings of "Notes." While it might be easier to ignore these as not a part of the diary, the editor-annotator believes it best to add them in and thus avoid any criticism. Conner added the notes late in 1865 or in 1866.} NotesWhile at Brashear City, a portion of our company was detailed for scouting purposes down the river, the balance were guarding the railroad bridge on Bayou Bouef and hunting Negroes and Yankees out of the swamp. While here the fatal battle of 'Donaldson' was fought by Gen. Green, contrary to his judgment, but by orders of Gen. A. Mouton. Here Col. Phillips of the 3rd Arizona Brigade and many others were killed. Col. Shannon of the 5th Texas, Major Alonzo Ridley, and many others wounded and prisoners. Also was fought the Battle of Lafourche, where Green gained a signal victory. Also the Battle of Thibodeaux Crossing, a brilliant victory on part of Gen. Green and Col. J. P. Major.The retreat from Brashear was very ably managed by Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, bringing off everything except some few packages of commissary stores, Mouton's Division of infantry crossing first, Green's Brigade of cavalry and artillery next. Our squadron destroyed the bridge in their rear and were the last troops to leave the place. As we landed on the opposite bank, the enemy's gunboats made their appearance below town, but did not pursue us. Near Pattersonville (Patterson), scouts reported a gunboat coming down the Atchafalaya River and close on to us. In fact we saw her smoke. So no chance to do anything but fight, so two batteries and 3 regiments of cavalry (the rear) was put into the line and all expected a fight. And as the craft headed around a bend, a rifle shell shaved the jackstaff, and at the same moment, the steamer opened with "one of the longest, keenest yells for a whistle" I ever hard, at the same time running up a pillow case for a white flag. She was a little 'speculating steamer,' belonging to some enterprising rebel. The scene was truly laughable in the end. The boys said she had life in her, and she was so badly scared, she screamed.While camped near Washigton on Catanbleu Bayou, we were daily and nightly listeners to the bombardment of Port Hudson. It was truly terrific, the whole earth seemed to jar and tremble, and all night through. The Hartford passed the batteries and the Mississippi was fired and sunk; the roar of guns was beyond description. We had hoped for an order to cross into Port Hudson, but perhaps luckily for us, we did not, for in a few weeks the place as surrendered.While on Grand Lake, we amused ourselves, scouting around in small boats, picking up contrabands (escaped slaves) trying to get to the enemy. Now and then catching a 'blockade runner' (a Yankee from New Orleans speculating off southern people and 'spying' at times) and confiscating his stores. Some of the boys took a trip down the lake and into Plaquemine Bayou, the only land in through the enemy's line down to Napoleonville and captured 16 deserters and brought back in a little fleet of skiffs, for which they were complimented highly. Our principal amusement was among the Indians, who had settled on the lake and Bayou Teche. They would occasionally have a 'muscle (sic) barbeque,' and on these occasions we always came in for our hand, generally ended with a row, but always made it up again. Had there not been so much sickness, we should have had a fine time throughout, for 'sugar cane' was plenty, and that was our 'heaven ---' (?). If the Yankees ever get us prisoners, it will likely be in a canefield.Here Gen. Major set half of us to guard the other half to keep them from stealing his "potatoes." Here I ate a bushel of muscadines (grapes) and came near 'going up.' Here we scared a Frenchman of our camp nearly to death. Also brought several boats too, and came near capturing a small boat of "traitors and spies" with our gun, Aunt Jane, at a distance of over 4 miles, but they succeeded in escaping. As a general thing, all the well ones of our tribe had a lovely time. At Camp Bisland we had plenty of oranges and enjoyed ourselves as well as soldiers ever do. I was very sick here for awhile.At Camp Sorrell we had an entire plantation with some 200 hands on it and 500 hogsheads of sugar at our control. The owner being in France, we suffered very little for sugar and milk. Here an old Negro woman was hunting for "Mr. Jim Crow," and I don't reckon she has ever found him yet. Here we captured the "donkey with a load of peanuts" on a plank in the bayou. (?)While here we had to pull our corn from the fields, the owners having no hands left to do it, and we used a "merry time with one old cuss" by the name of Vincent.At the Camp Hunter fight, many laughable accidents occurred. As I as coming off the field, I overtook in a ditch an old Acadian, riding on a had-been mule. But the saddle had slipped over his head, and the man had it, trying to put it on, but the saddle girth being buckled, he could not and did not know what was the matter. As we came up, says he, "Gentlemen, for God's sake, help me put this saddle on!" And at the same time, a shell came screeching in, and one of the crowd yelled out, "Take it bareback!" to the old fellow, and away went the saddle, and bareback he did take it. It was amusing but we had no time to laugh just then. In the fight below Camp Pratt, one of our corporals lost a high-crowned beaver hat, ornamented with a windmill surmounted by a Confederate flag, besides all the devices of the age painted on its side. We suppose theYankees have sent it north as a trophy.Here one of our boys fell into a well, and almost buried himself under the mud in Spanish Lake, dodging a round shot, and never returned to camp until a week later.At New Iberia we saw a well where the Negroes on "Banks' Retreat" had thrown their little children, that had not being able to keep up with the crowd. In camp on Chicot Road, two of our boys were put in the guard house for making a raid on a duck belonging to the General, which they captured but failed to bring off the field. For many days to say 'Quack, quack' to them would bring on a fight. During a skirmish engagement on retreat from Franklin, Col. "Judge" Davis (Col. E. J. Davis of the 2nd Texas Regt., U. S. Army) on Yankee service rode boldly into range of one of our outposts, and reined in his horse, waved his sword, and seemed to be completely 'ball-proof,' although many shots were fired at him. It afterward turned out that he had on a complete 'coat of mail,' which accounted for his seeming bravery on many occasions. His horse was not so bullet proof as himself, and was wounded one day, captured, and he died in a few hours. He was a fine white animal and could jump a common rail fence with ease. Davis escaped by passing as a Confederate soldier, being dressed in homespun and there was nothing about him to denote one of officer rank. (See also footnote 21).One day during Franklin's advance, we found a squad of Yankee cavalry digging potatoes in a field, and gave them chase. They had just finished washing and putting them in sacks. And after running a little piece, the ends broke open and the potatoes began to scatter, and had we no other means, we could have tracked them by the potatoes. We finally overhauled a captain and several of his men, some escaped.On the 16th day of December, 1863, a heavy rain fell and there commenced a freeze. It was too cold to remain on horseback, and too much ice and water to walk well, but many did it and suffered severely. Many were frostbitten. Many of those whose shoes were worn out were bleeding at the feet. The horses' legs were cut and blood was streaming down them, mixed with water and little cakes of ice. This weather lasted without cessation until the 6th of January, 1864.At Nezpique Bayou, the stream was swollen far out of its banks, and water came rushing down, mixed with logs, trees, and pieces of ice. We had but one little flat boat to cross several hundred wagons, 8,000 animals, and some 3,000 men, and every now and then it would sink. Most of the animals were swum across, and many of them were lost. I was in the flat boat when it was once sinking about midway of the stream, but got out safe with an extra wetting.From there on to Niblett's Bluff, we all but swam our way through from Niblett's Bluff (north of Orange) to Houston, we crawled, swam and slid on ice. And when we had made the trip, the division men and horses were completely broken down. Many died from the exposure of that trip, especially from Col. Major's brigade. At Houston all the bakery and whiskey shops were soon sold out. After the Calcasieu battle (on May 6, 1864) our company of 18 men (Conner meant a detail assigned from his company) remained on board the (captured) Wave for 16 days, and when we left her, her provision stores were rather scanty, and as it seemed to us that cornbread and poor beef would soon be staring us in the face, and we could get that in camp and do less work, we were willing to leave her - especially as Leon Smith had begun sending his 'exempt' Marine Department conscripts to take a hand in affairs. {Note: See also footnote 24. As soon as Confederates captured the two Union gunboats at Calcasieu Pass, Maj. Leon Smith of the Texas Marine Department, which acted as the Confederate Navy in Texas, sent his men to repair the gunboats. The Wave, with many wounded aboard, was taken to Lake Charles. Conner expressed his and others' deep antipathy against Major Smith.} So after convincing Capt. Lubbock of said department that a 'soldier wouldn't work' under such circumstances, and getting the boat over the (Calcasieu Lake) bar, out of danger and in tow of 2 schooners, we all "slipped in a lighter flatboat," and in a few days we had outmaneuvered the Marine Department and Daly's Battalion (of cavalry), and got back to our quarters at Sabine pass to help Col. Griffin 'administer' to the captured property.However, he ruled us out and put 7 of the boys in the guard house for confiscating a captured ham under the "Sequestration Act." I may here remark that Col. Griffin has since been cashiered on the same charges, with the addition that he failed to divide with other Confederate officers.I went down to Columbia (Tx.) to hunt for 'Brutus' (a horse), reached there 12 o'clock at night, slept on a cotton bale until morning, and left town about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. About 10 PM stopped and made a moss bed under a tree, wolves were very noisy. Next morning went on and swam my horse across the Brazos (river) at Stanbury's.I did not get my horse on this trip, and while I was sick, the man who had him rode in the neighborhood, and I got him in very bad condition, and no bridle, which perhaps I might have gotten by staying all night. But I was fearful I would lose both the horse and myself by staying, so I did not wait.Near Flat Town, (La.) two of our men were captured by Jayhawkers, not more than 500 yards from camp, were disarmed and taken 5 miles from camp and turned loose. They were picking huckleberries at the time. A few days before, the Jayhawkers had taken two men of the 2nd La. (Cav.) and murdered them in a horrible manner.At Opelousas we met a company of about 50 little boys, all armed with a Confederate flag, headed by a priest. Near St. Martinsville our company was presented with a flag by some ladies, who were strangers to us. As we passed through Franklin, the ladies came on the sidewalk with lemonade and cool water for us.At Cheneyville passed through Walker's and Polignac's divisions of infantry. At Evergreen passed Green's Brigade of cavalry. On Bayou Bouef passed through Mouton's Division of infantry. {Note: Gen. Alfred Mouton was killed April 8, 1864, during the first 5 minutes of the Battle of Mansfield. Gen. Armand "Polecat' DePolignac replaced him, brilliantly leading the division thereafter.} While en route to Texas for clothing on the Alexandria and Burr's Ferry Road, about 50 miles from the ferry, we were taken prisoner by a band of Jayhawkers, but were released in about half an hour. Notes On The Battle of Calcasieu PassAfter the surrender of the Granite City, the Wave held out some 20 minutes longer. After being disabled, she ceased firing and surrendered. Immediately the crew began destroying what the could by smashing crockery, breaking up furniture, and throwing overboard on the other side, arms, boxes, bales, the ship's safe, and many other things, paying no attention to the repeated calls to send a boat ashore to us. So 2 more round shots were fired through the cabin, which soon settled the difficulty. The captain (Lt. Ben Loring) ran on deck and shouted, "Don't fire anymore and I'll send a boat ashore as soon as God will let us!"The chimneys (stacks) were nearly shot off. Below her cabin around her sun deck and wall, the minie balls only flattened against the iron and fell back, but the cannon balls passed through, carrying destruction with them. The smoothbore 32-pounder (on the Wave) was struck on the muzzle, flattened and (the barrel) split. The vessels' crews both fought well.Notes: At Niblett's Bluff two of our company made a raid on and captured Gen. Major's dinner, all set and ready. The general shoved them pretty close afterwards, but they made their escape. At Bayou Nezpique, being out of sugar and finding none belonging to the (Confederate) Government, and knowing some quartermaster would steal it anyway, the boys 'pressed' (impressed) what they needed.While at Vermilionville the first time, our principal amusement was hunting bee gums and blackberries. Here several of our company died of measles. The ladies of this place deserve great credit for their kindness to our sick. The Methodist Church was turned into a hospital, also a number of private houses, and the ladies attended them day and night, providing them all that was in their power. Mrs. Mouton (the former governor's wife) acquitted herself as a southern lady should toward a sick soldier. She had received the blessing of many a poor "gray-breeched Rebel," even if some of them did steal her spoons. At Washington I was sent out some 25 miles near Flat Town in a Jayhawking district to get a horse, belonging to our company, in possession of some of that 'clan.' I made the trip, got the horse, but not the saddle.More Notes: At Shreveport saw the ironclad ram Missouri, the Webb, and other gunboats. Webb is since destroyed below New Orleans while trying to run through to the gulf.During the stay in Arkansas, saw Arkansas Traveler's life (?) exemplified in nearly every house I went to. Starvation, ruin, and fever and ague seemed to be stalking throughout the land. It is noted for "ugly" women and "long-legged" spiders. The principal productions are persimmons and black haws (?), and had it not been for these, we would have starved. Corn was scarce, and what little there was had been used to manufacture whiskey. It was a happy day when we crossed the line into Texas.In Northeastern Texas we found the people generally very kind and liberal, but as we moved south, these feelings as a general thing seemed to change until we crossed the Trinity (river), and then they appeared to be more liberal and so on to the Brazos River, and thence down, we were treated very liberally with some exceptions.While encamped at Dr. Byan's, the 'madam' proved to be a 'tartar.' She abominated soldiers next to centipedes. It was raining and there was 6 inches of mud, but she waded out to us and faced an entire brigade, and for a while she seemed to carry the day. She led one of our company by the collar out of her kitchen, where he only had been warming; it being very cold, and the fellow slipped back in again and brought off one of her brass kettles under his coat.While encamped on Red River, our principal food was wild grapes of a superior quality, of which there was an abundance. We remained in Fayette Co., Arkansas for several days in a terribly bad spell of weather. Ice and sleet in any quantity to suit one; no tents, and very scanty clothing. While encamped on Ozan Lake, Hempsted County, Ark., the lake was frozen solid across, and the suffering to man and horses was dreadful. What little corn could be had was hauled such a long distance, the teams ate it up before it reached us. We lost a great many horses on that trip.On the river, we met hundreds of (Gen.) Price's new Missouri recruits, all fine looking men, but unarmed. Also met many of Shelby's and Fagan's men, who had been disbanded in order to clothe and subsist themselves. This last campaign has rather used them up. Stands of Indians are somewhere in this section, but I believe they are faring very well, considering the circumstances. {Conner had been assigned to Hardeman's Brigade, formerly Green's Brigade, after Gen. Green was killed at Blair's Landing, La. on April 12, 1864.}When we crossed the line into Texas, three cheers were given by the companies as we crossed the line. We struck into the north part of Bowie County near (New) Boston, down through Mooreville. Everybody in pretty good spirits now. I believe we passed a distillery today.During our stay in Anderson Co. at Tennessee Colony, we had a spell of two weeks of rain, swelling the creeks around so that we were hemmed in on all sides. The Trinity River was higher than for many years. In some places and ferries, the river was five miles wide. {From north of Crockett, Texas, south to the Trinity's mouth at Anahuac, the Trinity flood plain is 5 or more miles wide.} Many plantation improvements in the bottoms were swept entirely away, houses, fences, and livestock. Where we crossed at Magnolia, the river was 3 miles wide, and for 2 1/2 miles we waded saddle-deep and sometimes had to swim. There has been a great deal of destruction this season by the high water (Jan.-Feb. 1865).At Comanche Crossing of Navasota River, the river bottom and sides were of solid rock, and we forded up the river on its bottom for some little distance before we crossed to the opposite bank. It is a beautiful, yet wild looking, stream. It was here that the Comanche (Indians) were in the habit of crossing to prey on the settlers, and was here that the Indians crossed after the Battle of Tonkawa Hills, which hills we passed in sight of yesterday this side of Fairfield. This battle was fought many years ago between Indians (Comanches and Tonkawas). There is a fine spring at the hills.While in Falls Co., sent a detail up the river, fording the Little Brazos en route, and between the two rivers, the land is the richest I ever saw. It is pretty thickly settled. {Thus ends the addendum or "notes" that H. N. Conner added either in late 1865 or in 1866.}