Wednesday, December 5, 2012


U.S.S. Westfield, flag ship of the  occupying Yankee fleet at Galveston.
(U.S. Naval Historical Center)
Galveston Weekly News
December 3, 1862

Galveston, 9 A.M., via Eagle Grove.
           A terrible bombardment took place last night at 8 o'clock, caused by a man going near Kuhn's wharf and firing a shot at those on the wharf. A brisk fire from musketry and cannon opened at once. Shells, balls, grape and canister were thrown into the city without mercy. None of the citizens were hurt as far as I have been able to learn.
One man on the wharf reported killed. Many narrow escapes of citizens; women and children ran screaming through the streets. Bombardment lasted half hour. A number of houses were struck but not damaged seriously. The Italian fruit store on market street, had three shots through it;   Lemmerman's Union House was struck.
Dennis Neil's house had two shots in it. A house on the corner of Post Office and 24th streets was struck, and the occupants had a narrow escape. One shot through Tremont House; Ziekereries house on Mechanic street, Journey's shop on Church street, and Osterman's building on Strand street. One woman had her clothes torn off, but escaped injury.
           The fleet had been expecting an attack from our forces since Saturday, and they were hasty in being alarmed. Albert Ball's store on Strand was riddled with grape and canister. Cooper's old stable was struck with five shots; also the Court House.
[Editor's note: A Confederate scout, Tom  Barnett, who was an English veteran of the Mexican War, reportedly provoked the incident when he  exhanged fire with a Union picket on Kuhn's Wharf. -- Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston by Edward  Cotham, The University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, 70-71.] 

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