Sabine Parish ~ Sabine Rifles ~

The guns at Fort Sumpter, which announced the real beginning of the war between the States, had scarcely become silent and the last reverberant sounds died away when citizens of Sabine parish answered the first general call to arms, and throughout that memorable four years' conflict the parish never faltered in its aid, with men and money, of the cause of the Confederacy and state's rights. To Ward Two belongs the distinction of furnishing the first troops to enlist in the conflict from this parish. In April, 1861, Arthur McArthur,* a young citizen of the Bayou Toro community, organized a company and they proceeded to Camp Moore to be mustered in the army of the South. This company was no sooner accepted for six months' service, the time stipulated in the call for troops, when orders came that enlistments, were not to be made for less than twelve months. This change in the period of enlistment was made to meet a similar action by the Washington government. "Many noble souls found in this substituted call their death warrant." The Sabine company and two companies from Union parish refused to go for that length of time and the organizations were disbanded. McArthur then proceeded to the organization of a company, with men from the three disbanded companies, which was to serve twelve months. The new organization was mustered into the Sixth Louisiana Infantry, being Company A of that regiment, and was named the "Sabine Rifles."

The officers were:

Arthur McArthur of Sabine, captain
Captain Allen Calloway of Union parish, first lieutenant
J. F, Phillips of Union parish, second lieutenant
J, Fisher Smith** of Sabine parish, third lieutenant

The record of the service of the members of the company from Sabine parish is as follows:


Reese Smart
James Davis
Shade Cook
Simon Weinberg
John J. Martin
R. A. Mains
T. J. Stringer came home and died
Tom Provence came home and died
John Godwin, killed at Fredericksburg
Robert Caldwell and Taylor Cook, died of measles
K. Speight, lost arm at Three Forks, died
William Law, died in camp
Himan Bath, killed in battle
Theodore Montgomery, killed at Three Forks
Reddick Sibley, lost leg at Winchester, came home and died
Valrey McLanahan died of measles
Isaiah Curtis, orderly sergeant, killed at the second battle of Manasses

J. J. Curtis and C. C. Nash came home at the close of the war and are still living (1912). They are the only surveyors of the famous company which enlisted from Sabine parish. Mr. Curtis resides near Many, while Captain Nash, as he is familiarly known, is a resident of Natchitoches parish. Directly following the war Captain Nash lived at Colfax and was sheriff of Grant parish when the terrible race riot took place there, April 13, 1873, in which ninety-five Negroes and several white citizens were killed, but which had the effect of checking the attempts to force government by Negroes upon the people of Louisiana.

The Sabine Rifles were sent for, service with the army in Virginia and were assigned to Stonewall Jackson's brigade. They accompanied that illustrious commander on his famous campaigns and participated in some of the bloodiest engagements of the war. Mr. Curtis says the company was so badly depleted that when they marched to the battle of the Wilderness (May 5, 1864) only fourteen men were able to be in line. Mr. Curtis was seriously wounded during this battle and saw his comrade, Robert Runnels, killed by his side. This was the last battle in which the famous company participated, for all had been killed, wounded, died in camp or taken prisoners. The survivors, as noted above, were later released and they returned to Louisiana, Captain McArthur was a young man and came to Sabine parish from the state of Maine in the '50s, He had been educated for the law, but after coming to Louisiana he engaged in teaching school. In view of the political complexion of his native state, it might seem strange that the captain cast his lot with the Confederacy, but he was undoubtedly loyal and brave and endeared himself to the people among whom he lived in Sabine parish. Following the early battles of the war he was promoted to the rank of major for distinguished services and bravery, and would probably have attained a higher position if his life had been spared. He was killed at the battle of Winchester, and his brother, an officer in the Union army, came and carried his remains to his old home in Maine for burial.

The next military organization to leave Sabine for the front was the "Sabine Rebels," which was mustered in as Company B of the 17th Louisiana Regiment in September, 1861, Colonel S, S. Heard commanded this regiment, which went to Gamp Moore immediately after its organization, but returned to New Orleans in November, 1861. The following January the regiment proceeded to Corinth, thence to Shiloh and on April 6th and 7th (1862) participated in that memorable battle, after which they retired to Corinth. In May the army went to Vicksburg. The regiment was then assigned to patrol duty on the V. S. & P. Railway between Vicksburg and Jackson, at Edwards Station and later did similar service along the Mississippi River. While employed in patrolling the river the Sabine Rebels participated in the battle of Port Gibson and took part in a number of minor engagements including the battle of Chickasaw Bayou. On May 17, 1863, they retired within the fortifications of Vicksburg which was invested by the Federal armies, who prosecuted one of the most famous sieges of the war. Penned up on all sides, and without hope of relief, the Confederates capitulated on July 4th (1863). The Confederates were paroled and the soldiers of the Sabine Company returned home.

Sabine Rebels

The original muster roll* of the Sabine Rebels and the records of the members follow:

Captain D, W, Self, promoted to major, came home, served his parish as sheriff, dead
First Lieutenant L. J. Nash, now living at Many
Lieutenant Mat Thompson, came home and died
Lieutenant S. T. Sibley, living; Sergeant C, Bray, dead
Sergeant John Weeks, deserted
Sergeant R. W. Arnett, died at home
Sergeant Henry Frances, died in camp
Sergeant T. T. Small, died at home
Corporal V. Byles
Corporal W. J. Grarius, dead
Corporal S, B. Sanford, died at home

Others who Served

F. D. Self, died at home
S. S. Andrews, dead
W. H. Addison, died at home
I. A. Addison, living
Gin Arthur, living
Dave Bray, living
Joseph Brown, killed at Vicksburg
F. A, Barker, killed at Vicksburg
Archie Addison, killed at Vicksburg
W. L. Buzzle, died at home
W. J. Cooper, living
James, Cooper, living
Archie Fitts, died at home
M. M. Duggan, living
J. S. Duggan, died at home
W, J. Duggan, died at home
Fred Dupre, died at home
Toni Dixon, died at home
G, W. Dixon, dead
D. R. Gandy, living
D. P. Gandy, died at home
J, H. Gooch, dead
W. M, Harges, living
Tom Herndon, killed at Vicksburg
Tom Horton, dead
Jack Luman, died at home
Glendy McLanahan, living
John J. McCollister, living
Thomas McCllister, died in camp
John McConathy, died at home
A. J. McConathy, dead
G, W, Neal, died at home
H. D. Pearce, living
Levi Pruett, killed at Vicksburg
P. P. Provence, dead
George Perkins, died at home
W. J, Powell, killed, at Port Gibson
James A. Small, living
G. W. Small, died at home
J. A, Stroud, died at home
R. D. Sibley, living
T. B. Sibley, living
James Spears, dead
J. C. Jordan, died at home
S. B. Jackson, died at home
Sam Lucius, died at home
Dan Lucius, dead
L. W. Knippers, living

Tom Lowe, killed at Port Gibson
Joe Kelley, dead
H. B. Miller, died at home
B. W. Miller, died at home
Charley Mayers, died at home
Sam Miller, died at home
Tom Miller, died at home
John Miller, died at home
Payton Miller, died at home

W. B. Miller, dead
Dare Miller, living
Elijah Miller, dead
Elisha Miller, died at home
J. E. Miller, dead
Seabe Mains, dead
Felix McLanahan, dead
Noah Mains, living
William Roaton, died at home
Hard Stroud, died at home
W. J. Salter, dead
Seabe Speights, dead
Moses Salter, died at home
John Skinner, living
James Stone, died at home
Albert Self, dead
William Self, died at home
Major Stroud, died in camp
E, A. Salter, living
Frank Self, Jr., dead
James Whittaker, killed at Shiloh
William Tastrick, died at home
J. M. Wright, living
W. R. Wright, living
T. J. Williams, living
J. H. Williams, Sr., living
Cris Whitley, living
T. A. Wheeler, living
Martin Williams, dead
Richard Lee, died at home
J. Fisher Smith, came home and died.
William Addison, killed at Vicksburg
Dr. W. R. Curtis, regimental surgeon, died at home
Taylor Curtis, came home, died in Texas
William Johnson, killed at Vicksburg

*This roll was furnished by Mr. James A. Small, a Survivor of the company, who in 1910, suffered the misfortune of becoming totally blind.

While the army was at Vicksburg, Company B was reorganized with:

D. W. Self, captain,
C. W. Dixon, lieutenant
Will Duggan lieutenant
F. D. Self, lieutenants

Later Captain Self was promoted to major and Lieutenant Frank D. Self was commissioned as captain and J, Fisher Smith as lieutenant. Lieutenant Smith had previously resigned his commission as an officer in the Sabine Rifles with the army of Virginia and returned home, but in a short time re-enlisted as a private with the Sabine Rebels, Lieutenant L. J. Nash, owing to ill health, left the company at Vicksburg, and his organization had been surrendered and paroled before he was able to return.

Lieutenant Nash saved the original flag of the Sabine Rebels and kept it in his possession until recently, when he presented the relic to his niece. Miss McNeely.

In 1862 Captain Wright organized a company in Sabine parish, but after proceeding to New Orleans it disbanded. The men went in all directions. One squad went to Edwards Station, Mississippi, and were mustered into Company B, 17th Louisiana Infantry, by Lieutenant L. J. Nash. Measles and pneumonia were prevailing at this camp, and among those who died there of these diseases were Joe and William White, recruits from Captain Wright's disbanded company.

Captain Holland organized a company in Sabine parish. W. M. McConathy of Hornbeck, a survivor of that organization, furnished the writer with the following named citizens who were also members of Holland's company:

Jabes McConathy
J. B. Prewitt
Tolivar Kay
W. M. Kay
W. J. Langton, Sr.
Asa Langton

Many citizens of Sabine parish enlisted in companies organized at other places.

In 1862 several from Ward One joined Company C of Natchitoches parish, which finally became a part of the Consolidated Crescent Regiment and won distinction at the battle of Mansfield, April, 1864. Among those thus enlisting were:

W. F. Leach, died in camp
T. G, Coburn, living
I. J. Leach, killed at Mansfield
W. M. Lyles, killed at Mansfield
W, Smith, died in camp
W. M. Lester, died since the war
H. J. Lester, living
Malachia Gandy
J. M. Andera
W, S. Ellzey
J. B. Ricks, died since the war
Adam Cole, living
Barry Boswell, living
John Isgitt
W. M. Isgitt, wounded at Mansfield and died since war.

In 1864 the following citizens of Sabine parish enlisted in Captain Works' cavalry then being organized at Woodville, Texas, and which was assigned to Colonel Terry's Rangers:

Abe Wrinkle, living
Silas Vanshoebrook, living
Will Thompson, dead
William Peace, dead
Wade Barr, dead
Joe Maxey, living

G. W. Cain, at present a citizen of Mena, served in Holland's and Wright's companies, but later joined the famous Crescent Regiment.

John K, Parrott
John B. Vandegaer
Steve Martinez
John McCormic

Were also among the Sabine citizens who were with the Crescent Regiment and participated in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. With the exception of Mr. Vandegaer, all the above named citizens are still living.


Sabine Parish | AHGP Louisiana

*The data lor Capt. McArthur' a Company was furnished by John J. Curtis, of whom a sketch is printed on another page.
Schoular's U. S. History.
**Mr. Smith was a member of the State Senate in 1890 when he died. He was a prominent lawyer of Sabine parish. Through an oversight his name was omitted from the personnel of the Parish Bar.

Source: History of Sabine Parish, Louisiana, by John G. Belisle, Sabine Banner Press, 1913.


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