Friday, August 31, 2012


September 3, 1862

Bombardment of Corpus Christi.

Col. Alfred Hobby
8th Texas Infantry
                We have heard many vague reports of late about an attempt by the enemy to take Corpus Christi, but have refrained from saying anything on that subject for the want of reliable and definite information.  We now learn, however, on good authority, that the enemy, having removed the obstructions in the channel, went up near the city and sent a flag of truce demanding the surrender of the city.  This was on Friday, the 15th last, Maj. Hobby replied that he would not surrender the town, nor would fire upon them until they attempted to land, in which case he would make the best defence [sic] possible.  They then left, but returned the next day with several schooners and a propeller, and took soundings within sixty yards of the wharf.  But as Maj. Hobby had said he would not fire upon them without their attempted to land, so no gun was fired.  The enemy again went away, but returned the third time on next day (Sunday) and commenced bombarding the city, continuing to fire as rapidly as they could from day light til 11 1/2 A.M.  The fire was vigorously returned by Maj. Hobby from two 32-pounders, two 18-pounders and one 12 pounder.  The enemy then retired.  They are said to have had seven small vessels including one propeller.  The town was badly damaged, almost every building having been perforated with the shells.  Only one person on our side was hurt, and this was a gentleman from Bell county, whose name we have not received.  He was killed by a shot.  There were sufficient evidences that the enemy suffered quite as much if not more than our men, for broken fragments of the enemy's vessels were drifted ashore by cart loads, and the propeller finally used her sails only when she left, evidently having her machinery too much damaged to get up steam.
                They, however, returned again on Monday morning, the 18th inst., and renewed the bombardment, continuing to throw shells from 9 A.M. till about 12 M., when they again left, having probably received fully as good as they sent, and more than they had bargained for.
                On Tuesday they returned to the bombardment a third time, but left again after firing some 60 shells.  No more lives were lost on our side, nor a single person wounded, but the town, we learn, has been badly damaged, some of the best houses being perforated by 15 or 20 shells each.  Very few of the enemy's shells exploded, and this probably accounts for the few casualties.  Every man in Corpus Christi and in the vicinity, able to bear arms, participated in the fight, but of course their rifles and muskets could not be made available at such a distance.  The whole number of men under Maj. Hobby was between 700 and 800, about 200 of whom were volunteers.
                ...Our informant was not present at this bombardment, but reached the vicinity about the time, on his way from Brownsville, and the above account was given him by those who participated.  The women and children left the city before the bombardment commenced.  Our informant did not learn that the enemy effected a landing at all, but we see by the account in the Goliad Messenger that on one occasion forty of the Federals landed, but were immediately charged by twenty of our men, and driven back to their boats, with a loss of four of their number killed or wounded.
                It appears, from the Messenger, that the name of the man killed in Maj. Hobby's battalion was Mote.  A grape-shot passed through his head, and grazed the forehead of Maj. Hobby, but without inflicting much injury on the latter. 

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