orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

April 16, 2011

OC did not escape Civil War

David Ball
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — One hundred fifty years ago this week, the Civil War began when Confederate troops fired upon Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Texas and Orange County supported the Confederate States of America with men and supplies as well.

Shortly after the voters of Orange County and Texas approved secession in 1861, three military companies were raised in the county for Confederate service-- The Orange Light Guard, The Orange Greys, and Hannah's Company. Additional forces, including the Orange County Coast Guard and several companies of state troops, were later raised for local defense. Orange County, ten miles south of the Niblett's Bluff location of C. S. A. Camp Pleasant in Louisiana, was part of an important route for Confederate forces and supplies. A C.S.A. post office was located at Orange in 1861. The Texas and New Orleans Railroad was opened through the county, though various problems rendered it unserviceable through much of the war. Rumors of a Federal attack on the coast in 1863 prompted stepped-up defense preparations. A primary supply depot was established in July to serve nearby Camp Pleasant, and a Confederate hospital opened in Orange. Local preparedness provided an additional deterrent to U. S. troops at the Battle of Sabine Pass in September. After the Confederate surrender in 1865, occupation forces led by the 37th Illinois Volunteers arrived in Orange County, and Reconstruction soon followed.