Presentation on the gunboat Diana set at Young-Sanders

On the morning of 14 April 1863 the citizens of a small town named Franklin in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana were introduced to the sounds of war.

On this morning, the Battle of Irish Bend, also known as the Battle of Nerson’s Woods, began with the frightening sound of hundreds of Confederate muskets aimed at approaching Union forces in the sugar cane fields parallel to the Bayou Teche above Franklin.

This battle was fought between Union General Nathaniel P. Banks and Confederate General Richard Taylor for the control of the Bayou Teche region. The Confederate forces under the command of General Taylor were greatly outnumbered by the Union aggressors under the command of Brigadier General Cuvier Grover.

The battle was a Union victory at a cost of 353 casualties to the Union command. The victory would have been an even greater victory for the Union army if they would have been able to conquer and capture the Confederate forces.

The gunboat Diana saved the day for the Confederate forces by giving continuous fire from her siege gun and cannons upon the Union forces. This continuous barrage of artillery fire by the Diana gave the Confederate army the opportunity to retreat from the field of battle without being immediately pursued by the Yankee army.

This valiant deed by the captain and crew of the Diana came at a high cost in casualties. The Diana was abandoned and set on fire by the crew to prevent the vessel from falling into the enemy’s possession.

On Sunday July 8, Horace Beach, Ph.D., will present a PowerPoint presentation on his research, “The Last Moments of the Gunboat Diana, and Her Almost Final Resting Place,” explaining how a psychologist in California became a gunboat Diana researcher. He will share his interest in the Diana and her last hours, and present some of his research findings and conclusions. New information will be presented, as well as speculation requiring future research and exploration.

Dr. Beach was born and raised in Texas. He earned a BA in Psychology at the University of Houston in 1990, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alameda, Calif. in 1996. He is licensed as a psychologist in California and New York. Today Dr. Beach lives in the Bay Area in a small town named Clayton.

Dr. Beach’s lecture will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 at the Young-Sanders Center in Franklin, Louisiana located at 701 Teche Drive. For further information contact Roland R. Stansbury, Director at (337) 413-1861 or email

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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