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Updated by madison-morales on Sep 30, 2020
Headline for The Battle of Galveston in 1863
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The Battle of Galveston in 1863

The Battle of Galveston happened on January 1st, 1863. Galveston was the largest city at the time and also the biggest sea port in Texas. Galveston became a target by the Union and on October 4, 1862 the first attack was launched on Galveston and the Union troops slowly began to come to Galveston to set up a blockade and capture the island. Galveston was attacked by land and naval forces, but in the end Galveston Island won the battle and they recaptured the Island from the Union.

Galveston During the Civil War

The idea of secession did not initially enjoy wide support among
Galvestonians, but it gained popularity after the election of Abraham Lincoln. In a
statewide vote on secession on February 23, 1861, Galvestonians supported breaking with
the Union by a landslide, 765 to 33.


This is Galveston harbor during the attack on Galveston.

This is Galveston harbor during the attack on Galveston.

the Union started attacking on January first for the last time, and everything was looking bad for the confederates but they kept fighting against the Union. A boat named the Bayou City did not retreat during the attacks from the Union even after another ship was sunk by the Union, instead the captain drove his ship directly into the Harriet Lane, a boat of the Union, resulting in his crew taking over the ship. Another ship, the Westfield, had run aground against shallow water and was unable to move from that spot. A truce was called on both sides to figure out what to do, and the captain decided to destroy the ship by blowing it up and escaping. when he lit the fuse nothing happened so he went onboard to relight the fuse, but before he and his men could leave the ship it blew up and him and his men died. This resulted in the rest of the Union to leave the harbor under a truce.


The boats of the attack on Galveston Island.

The boats of the attack on Galveston Island.

This pictures show the boats within the blockade from the Union, and the boats that were apart of the attack on Galveston, they include: the Harriet Lane, Owasco, Sachem, Corypheus, Clifton, and the Westfield. The boats that defended Galveston Island were the Bayou City, and the Neptune.

Galveston in the Civil War | East Texas History

In 1860, Galveston served as a thriving island port and major commercial hub on the Texas gulf coast. With a population of roughly 7,200, it was the largest city in Texas and was responsible for three-quarters of the state's seaborne cotton exports. Trade had enriched the leaders of Galveston, and they, in turn, had introduced a variety of amenities to their island home, including paved streets, gas service, and a railroad bridge to the mainland.
Despite the prosperity that Galveston...

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This is a periodical describing the events that happened at Galveston Island.

Website at

This is another overview off the Battle at Galveston, and this is a picture of the battle at sea.

Explore an Archival Collection:… | Galveston & Texas History Center

The Galveston & Texas History Center holds a vast collection within their archives, consisting of books, maps, newspapers, and letters, with each item being related to the city of Galveston and the early growth of Texas. To not be overwhelmed by all of the material, I focused my research on a singular topic, the 1st of January in 1863, more commonly known as the Battle of Galveston. Initially, I was worried that my topic was too niche, as after searching through the History Center’s online catalog, there were only ten results out of the thousands of items listed online. However, those worries were quickly dropped, for the content of each item was extraordinary. Along with paintings that depict events from the battle, the online catalog listed family documents and letters, first-hand accounts of the Civil War and how it affected the lives in Galveston. There were newspaper clippings and reprints of notice boards within the Battle of Galveston vertical files, further explaining the events surrounding the battle. Other documents included a critical analysis of the battle, and how it affected the war, as well as a ship’s logbook that participated in the battle. The documents that grabbed my interest the most were the writings of James Black, a confederate artillery officer, who participated in the Battle of Galveston.

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This is a journal article going more in depth about the Battle of Galveston.