Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Dick Dowling Statue Ceremony, March 15

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 13, 2015

DickDowlingThe 2015 Dick Dowling Statue Ceremony will be held this year on Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m., on the esplanade at the intersection of Cambridge Street and McGregor Drive (near the Houston Zoo and the Texas Medical Center). This year’s keynote address, “How the Irish Became American: The Civil War and the Struggle for Irish Acceptance,” will be given by Brady Hutchison, faculty in the History Department of San Jacinto College.

I had the privilege of giving the keynote address at this event last year, and was impressed by the dedication and warmth of everyone I met. They’re some good people.



7 Responses

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  1. Leo said, on February 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

    That is a great tradition and a much better way to honor the past than waving battle flags from the sidewalk.

    Do you know of any similar triditions or activities?

    This is why I love your blog so much!

    • Andy Hall said, on February 14, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      This particular monument has always been as much or more about celebrating Irish identity as Confederate identity. It was originally co-sponsored by the Order of Hibernians, and later generations of Irish immigrants have taken up the mantle, who have no familial connection to the war. Note that the event is held in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day, rather than on the anniversary of the battle in September.

      Dowling was a well-known, up-and-coming local merchant, and an organizer of one of the early volunteer fire brigades here. He died young of yellow fever, but had he lived there’s every indication that he would have played a big role in Houston’s development through the end of the century.

  2. Leo said, on February 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I see now.

    I still love the tridition.

  3. Mike Musick said, on February 25, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Any idea whether Dick Dowling was related to Robert Dowling, Confederate commercial agent in Ireland? According to Robert W. Young’s “Senator James Murray Mason: Defender of the Old South” (Univ. of Tenn. Press, Knoxville, 1998), p. 160, Robert Dowling was asked by Mason to look into Federal recruiting efforts in the Emerald Isle. Young cites ORN, ser. 2, vol. 2:426, Mason to Dowling, June 8, 1863.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 25, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Good question. I don’t know.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 26, 2015 at 12:25 am

      I pulled out Michael Dan Jones’ biography of Dick Dowling, and there’s no mention of Robert Dowling. Dick and his sister immigrated to New Orleans while they were kids, and their parents, Pat and Bridget, came a few years following. Robert Dowling may be related, but I don’t think closely.

      • Mike Musick said, on February 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

        Thanks, Andy. It seemed a somewhat unusual surname.

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