Sunday, October 16, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED--Capture of Galveston, Texas

Brig. Gen. Paul Hebert, Confederate
commander of Galveston at the time
of its capture by Federal gunboats.
(Library of Congress)
[Richmond Daily Dispatch, Oct. 25, 1862]
Capture of Galveston, Texas, by the Federal fleet.
     The Federal fleet off Galveston, Texas, attacked that city on the 4th inst. A Federal steamer ran past the battery at Fort Point under a heavy fire, and laid to at the central wharf. The battery was then destroyed by the Confederate troops, who marched to Virginia Point. The troops in Galveston left and went to the same Point. The Federal steamers lying off Galveston, five in number, gave the authorities of the town four days to remove the women and children from the place at the expiration of which time they would shell the place if it was not surrendered. The cause of the attack, or rather the initiation of the asssult, was the firing into the shipsteamer
    Harriet Lane by the guns at Fort Point. The Harriet Lane steamed in under a flag of truce, but went too far, and was fired into. The latest telegram from Galveston is dated the 6th inst., and speaking of the movements of the Federal says:
    They landed yesterday again at the Point, but have not permanently occupied it, having a whole some fear of a cavalry dash. There are a sufficient number of troops on the Island to repel any landing. While the enemy occupy their present position Col. Cook is engaged, under orders from Col. DeBray, in removing such machinery and foundry works as can be got off, and it is not probable that the enemy will find much on the Island of value.
     Orders have also been issued to inform the people that should our troops leave the island communication will at once be cut off, and those who remain will be compelled to depend on their own means of subsistence, as no supplies will be allowed to enter the city.  
     Measures are already on foot for a rigid police of the bay, and active cavalry force will continually scour the main land opposite the island and the country along Buffalo bayou, the Tricity, Neches, and Sabine.
     The determination of the military authorities seems to be to confine the enemy to the bay contiguous to the island. The forces before the city, while not very formidable as a fleet, is yet sufficient to indicate the future movements of the enemy on our coast, and warn the people residing near the coast of the danger, should the bays and rivers be left unguarded.

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