Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

July 13, 2012

Saturday ceremony to honor Confederate officer

Corsicana — Join the discussion on this story by using the Facebook app to the right

Among the numerous historic figures of prominence buried in Navarro County, perhaps Isaac Newton Brown is the most unlikely. The career U.S. Navy sailor and later Confederate naval officer lies more than 200 miles from the ocean in Corsicana’s Oakwood Cemetery.

On Saturday, July 14, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Order of Confederate Grays, and United Daughters of the Confederacy will gather at his grave at 10 a.m. to observe one of the most astounding feats in the four year history of the Confederate Navy. They will remember the 150th anniversary this weekend of Brown’s victorious fight when he took on the entire Union Navy’s fleet besieging Vicksburg on the Mississippi River.

Many are familiar with Gen. U.S. Grant’s capture of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, but relatively few know how close the Yankee Navy came to achieving this goal a year before Grant. Rear Admiral David Farragut had succeeded in forcing the surrender of New Orleans in late April, 1862, and he immediately began to follow up this success by sending his ships up the mighty Mississippi to wrest control of the entire river from the Confederates.

Within only a few weeks, Farragut had laid siege to Vicksburg with his heavily armed ocean going warships, the battleships of that day. It was then that Lt. Isaac Newton Brown entered the pages of history as the commander of the C.S.S. Arkansas.

Brown had been assigned what many considered the impossible task of finishing the construction of the ironclad warship in a field along the muddy banks of the Yazoo River more than a couple of hundred miles from the fighting at Vicksburg. Against all odds, with few skilled workmen and only rusted rails salvaged from various railroads with which to make the iron cladding, he finished his makeshift ironclad in July.  

On July 15, with a makeshift crew that had little or no experience on a ship, he steamed the Arkansas down the Yazoo River toward its confluence with the Mississippi. He blasted his way through a flotilla of Union ships sent to stop him, then entered the Mississippi above Vicksburg, and fought off more than 30 Union warships before anchoring off the Confederate city.  

Farragut knew the success of his siege depended on destroying the Arkansas, but Brown made sure that his outnumbered ship was not caught off guard. By July 24, the Federal naval commander realized that his failure to destroy the Arkansas ultimately meant failure of his siege of Vicksburg.  

For his tenacity, skill, and leadership, Brown was promoted to the rank of Commander and later would be honored with the Confederate Medal of Honor. In the years after the war, Brown came to Corsicana when his stepson made his home in the city. He lived there until his death on Sept. 1, 1889, a respected citizen.


Information provided by Rob Jones. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email:

Text Only
Latest News
  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD board hears facilities study results

    The long-awaited CISD facilities report from the Texas Association of School Boards was delivered, at least in a short form, Monday at the Corsicana board of trustees meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Train accident victim identified

    A 61-year-old Corsicana man was taken to Parkland Hospital Monday night after he was struck by a train as he tried to cross a railroad track on foot.

    April 22, 2014

  • Report: West plant explosion preventable

    The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it's still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Local Beat for 4/23/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County

    April 22, 2014

  • DPS urges online driver's license renewal

    Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera. The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

    April 22, 2014

  • Agency report on West blast to be released

    It has been a year since a fire caused a huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed 15 people, yet companies in the state can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers and volunteer firefighters like those who rushed into that plant still aren't required to train how to fight such fires.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 Aldis.jpg ALDI gets set for May 1 opening

    The much anticipated opening of a new ALDI Grocery store in Corsicana is just two weeks away.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-14 Minithon main.jpg Oil Town Minithon kicks off Derrick Days celebration

    The 2014 Oil Town Minithon Saturday raised an estimated $6,000 for local charities as it served to kick off the annual Derrick Days celebration.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates