February 9, 2014

The Civil War ~ Fort Beauregard, May 10, 1863

The following transcription is from a collection of letters written by Union and Confederate officers during the Civil War.  Catahoula Bank in Harrisonburg and Jonesville provided a complimentary transcription of this collection in 1966.

Fort Beauregard
Harrisonburg, La.
May 10, 1863

Assistant Adjutant General
Monroe, Louisiana

CAPTAIN:  Four Federal gunboats cam up this morning at 2 o'clock.  They anchored at the mouth of the Bushley and immediately sent a flag of truce.  I dispatched Captain Benton and Lieutenant Blanchard to meet the flag and state that I would hold the fort forever.  Lieutenant William W. Fowler represented the Federal Government.  He informed us that Commodore Selim E. Woodworth commanded the fleet and demanded the unconditional surrender of the fort and its surroundings.  If we did not accede to the demand they would give us one hour to move the women and children out of town.

Captain Benton responded that the only answer he could give was that the fort would be defended at all hazards and that the women and children were already moved.

The flag of truce returned and an hour afterward, three of the gunboats began shelling.  They have fired some 150 shots.  They have destroyed one house in the town.

We have fired but a few shots, as they are a little out of range and are waiting for them to approach us to give them their deserts.  Our firing is accurate but falls short and therefore, I shall fire no more until they come nearer.  Lieutenant Carter has this instance been seriously wounded.

We should have more troops between here and Alexandria.

I shall hold the fort, with God's blessing.

Your obedient servant, in haste,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post


George William Logan (1828-1896) was born in Charleston, S.C., to George William Logan and Anna d'Oyley Glover Logan. In 1849, he moved to New Orleans, La., and, in 1853, he married Marie Telide Soniat du Fossat. Logan, a businessman before and after the Civil War, had interests in the cotton brokerage and exporting firm Logan, Smith, and Claiborne. During the war, he served as a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army, commanding a battalion of heavy artillery in Louisiana from 1862 to 1865. The greater part of his service was in the District of Western Louisiana in defense of Fort Beauregard at Harrisonburg on the Ouachita River, near the point where the Ouachita joins the Black River. In September 1863, Logan was ordered to Vienna, La., and, in April 1864, he joined General Kirby Smith in the defense of Shreveport. In March 1865, Logan assumed command at Fort Gallagher near Natchitoches in March 1865 and was paroled in May 1865.

Biographical Information Source:  The Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina.

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