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Fort DeRussy Participants, Blue & Grey

    Lieutenant Jerome Bishop, D Co., 81st Illinois Infantry, USA

    Lt. Bishop was killed at the fort on the evening of March 15, 1864, by shrapnel from one of the 6-pounder cannons that was burst by order of General A. J. Smith. He was decapitated. This picture was taken at Vicksburg a few months prior to his death. He was 31 years old. Lt. Bishop is buried in the Alexandria National Cemetery in Pineville, La., under a large oak tree near the central gazebo.

A close examination of this picture of Lt. Bishop's grave will reveal that it reads "James Bishop." Errors of this type - wrong names, death dates, units, etc. - are typical for Civil War era graves in Alexandria National Cemetery.

    Private Pleasonton Grey Conner, Co. H, 19th Texas Inf., Walker's Texas Division, CSA.

    Pvt. Conner was captured at the fort on March 14, 1864. He was taken to a prison camp in New Orleans, where he died of typhoid fever on July 2, 1864. He was buried in Cypress Grove Cemetery, grave 246. (Photo courtesy of Al Zucha, Houston, Texas.)

Captain Menomen O'Donnell, Gen. Mower's staff, USA.

     Capt. O'Donnell was a native of Ireland. He was 29 years old when he charged Fort DeRussy. He received a Medal of Honor for his actions that day and earlier at Vicksburg. He died in 1911 and is buried in Mount Cavalry Cemetery, Vincennes, Indiana. 

 Lieutenant William Hervey, Hutton's Artillery, CSA

     Lt. Hervey participated in all three major actions at Fort DeRussy - the capture of Queen of the West, the Gunboat Fight, and the loss of the fort - as well as in the Indianola Affair.

     After the War, Hervey moved with his family to Texas. He sold cotton gin equipment throughout the state, traveling by horse and two wheel buggy. While on the road, his horse was spooked and he fell into one of the wheels and could not free himself. After a few hours of being pulled in circles, a farmer came by and freed him. From that time until his death in August, 1881, he traveled by train.  He never recovered from the damage done by the accident. He died and is buried in Comfort, Texas.

     Admiral David Dixon Porter, US Navy

    Admiral Porter was the senior US Navy man on Red River. He wrote extensively about Fort DeRussy. Sometimes complimentary, other times derisively.Bottom of Form


Major David French Boyd, Engineer Officer, CSA

     Major Boyd served as Chief Engineer at Fort DeRussy until he was captured by Jayhawkers. Boyd was close personal friends with William T. Sherman, the infamous Union general. Sherman was the first president of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning, which would later become Louisiana State University. Boyd was the second. Boyd died in 1899, and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Baton Rouge. 

Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet, Mississippi Marine Brigade, US

     Col. Ellet, the 19-year-old boy wonder, managed to lose his boat, the ram Queen of the West, to the guns of Fort Taylor (soon to become Fort DeRussy). Prior to this event, Admiral Porter held young Ellet in high regard. Afterwards, not so much. Ellet died less than a year later of a drug overdose on October 29, 1863. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Charles Mortimer Rockefeller, Co. A, 178th New York, US

     Lt. Rockefeller was awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions at Fort Blakely, Alabama, in 1865. He stayed in the Regular Army after the war. He was sent to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, and shortly after arriving there in April, 1899, he "went to inspect outposts, and was never again seen by his comrades. For some time it was supposed that he had been assassinated and his body thrown into one of the wells or pits in the vicinity of his camp. Every effort was made to discover his whereabouts or to recover his body in case he had been killed, but to no avail." (From New York Times, May 27, 1900)

More pictures to come. . .