Friday, January 1, 2010

Taking Galveston Back

The Second Battle of Galveston on January 1st 1863 was a land and naval fight between Confederates and the occupying Union troops in Galveston Texas.

Confederate Major General John B Magruder attacked the Union forces occupying the city of Galveston Texas. The Union forces were made up of three companies of the 42nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and seven ships in the bay. Facing these Union troops and the supporting naval gunfire the Confederates soldiers on land were to retreat after their dawn attack. Shortly after Confederate gunboats covered with bails of cotton, the Bayou City and the Neptune arrived.

Tarrable out numbered “The Bayou City” captured the USS Harriet Lane. Also at this time the USS Westfield was ran aground on a sandbar. Instead of allowing her to fall into Confederate hands Union Fleet Commander William B Renshaw tried to have the “Harriet Lane” destroyed with explosives. Renshaw and thirteen Union soldiers were killed when the explosives went off early. Union troops on shore in Galveston thought their ships had surrender and gave up.

The remaining Union ships managed to escape and retreat to New Orleans. The Union blockade of Galveston was lifted for four days. The city of Galveston was under Confederate controlled for the rest of the war. There were 26 Confederate killed and 117 wounded. The Union side lost about twice as many.

A must check out web site about this topic
Galveston Historical Society, Battle of Galveston

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