see it clearly

The Davis Guard Medal

For the defense of Sabine Pass, Texas, September 8, 1863. A Mexican silver dollar, each side smoothed off and engraved.

The Davis Guard Medal

Obverse. The letters D.G. below which is a rude cross of the form known as cross pattee.

Reverse. Inscription in three lines Sabine Pass/ Sept. 8th/ 1863.

Border, on each side, a line, about one-eighth of an inch from the edge, from which groups of oblique lines extend to the edge. Loop for suspension.

The following resolutions of the Confederate Congress were approved February 8th, 1864:

Resolved, That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby cordially given, to Captain Odlum, Lieutenant Richard Dowling, and the forty-one men composing the Davis Guards, under their command, for their daring, gallant, and successful defense of Sabine Pass, Texas, against the attack made by the enemy on the eighth of September last, with a fleet of five gunboats and twenty-two steam transports, carrying a landing force of fifteen thousand men.

Resolved, That this defense, resulting, under the providence of God, in the defeat of the enemy, the capture of two gunboats, with more than three hundred prisoners, including the commander of the fleet, the crippling of a third gunboat, the dispersion of the transports, and preventing the invasion of Texas, constitutes, in the opinion of Congress, one of the most brilliant and heroic achievements in the history of this war, and entitles the Davis Guards to the gratitude and admiration of their country.

Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate the foregoing resolutions to Captain Odlum, Lieutenant Dowling, and the men under their command.


Captain Frank H. Odlum appears to have been nominally in command of the Davis Guards, but there is no record of his presence in the fort at the time of the attack, nor of a medal being presented to him.

The Dick Dowling Camp of the United Confederate Veterans erected a statue of Dick Dowling in the City Hall grounds at Houston, on it the names of the defenders are inscribed, and under it was placed one of the medals. Another fell into the hands of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and is now in the museum formed by them in the state capital building at Austin. An illustration of the medal appears in Lossing's,  Field Book of the Civil War, and it is stated that it was from a medal at that time in the possession of Thomas H. Thorwell, of New York City.  Its whereabouts are presently unknown.

Dick Dowling died of yellow fever in 1867, and his medal became the property of his daughter. Some years ago it was obtained by Mr. J. Coolidge Hills, of Hartford, Connecticut, and was left by him to the Wadsworth Athenaeum, in Hartford, where it now is.

One other medal is the one in the collection of The American Numismatic Society, which originally belonged to Private Michael Carr, and was obtained for the Society in 1909 by Colonel Philip H. Fall, of Houston, Texas, at that time the Commander of the Dick Dowling Camp.