Texas Author and Historian Leonard Kubiak of Rockdale.
HISTORY OF THE TEXAS CONFEDERACY, IT'S MEN, FORTS AND CAMPS, AND MAJOR BATTLES FOUGHT IN TEXAS
Texas citizens voted overwhelmingly to secede in February 1861, against the wishes of Gov. Sam Houston, who was forced from office.
Governor Houston refused to take an oath of allegiance to the new Confederate government. The Secession Convention then declared the office of governor vacant and elevated Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark to the position of Texas Governor.
Photo of Governor Edward Clark who was elevated to the office of Governor by the Secession Convention replacing Gov. Sam Houston who opposed the war.
Texas, the western border of the confederacy, was rich in cotton and sugar plantations, had established trade with Mexico, and its open ports made Texas an important state in the civil war.
Approximately 90,000 Texans served in the military during the war and distinguished themselves in the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. Virtually, the entire state of Texas became an armed Confederate camp.
Union blockaders of Texas ports were successful but efforts to capture the Texas coastline were generally unsuccessful.
The last land battle of the war was fought in Texas near Brownsville on May 13, 1865, more than a month after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
History of Texas Leading Up to the Civil War
Although only one Texas family in four owned slaves, most Texans opposed any interference with the institution of slavery, which they believed necessary for the continued growth of the state.
Many Texans considered the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency (November 1860) as a threat to slavery. They urged Governor Sam Houston to call a convention of the people to determine what course of action the state should take. However, Governor Houston, devoted both to Texas and the Union, paid little heed to these requests, refusing to take any step that might aid secession.
The demands for a convention increased, however, with the secession of South Carolina in December 1860 and the calling of state secession conventions in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana in early January. A group of secessionist leaders, including O. M. Roberts, John S. (Rip) Ford, George M. Flournoy, and William P. Rogers, issued an address to the people calling for the election of delegates to a state Secession Convention in early January.
Sam Houston attempted to forestall the convention by calling a special session of the legislature and recommending that it refuse to recognize the convention. The legislature , against Houston's passionate pleas, gave approval to the convention, on the condition that the people ratify its outcome by a final vote.
The convention, which assembled in Austin on January 28, 1861, was dominated by secessionists. On February 1 the delegates adopted an ordinance of secession by a vote of 166 to 8. This ordinance was approved by the voters of the state, 46,153 to 14,747, on February 23.
Texas Officially Seceeds from the Union in March 1861
The Secession Convention reassembled in early March, declared Texas out of the Union, and adopted a measure uniting the state with other Southern states in the newly formed Confederate States of America.
Governor Houston refused to take an oath of allegiance to the new Confederate government and so was replaced as Governor of texas.
Declarations of Causes of Seceding States-
A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.
The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states thereof,
The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.
The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.
These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.
When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.
The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions-- a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.
In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.
By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.
They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a 'higher law' than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.
They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.
They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.
They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.
They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.
And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.
For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons-- We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.
Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feb., in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.
Famous Confederate commanders of the Civil War, 1861-65 included
Hood Stuart, Early, Hill, Polk, J.E. Johnston, Hardee, Smith, Bragg, R. E. Lee, Beauregard, Breckinridge, A.S. Johnston, Jackson, Ewell, Hampton, Fitzhugh Lee, Price, Semmes, and Longstreet.
Lithograph by Sherman Publishing Company, 1884.
Edward Clark, Appointed First Governor of Texas During the Days of the Confederacy
Governor Houston refused to recognize the authority of the convention to take this action and refused to take an oath of allegiance to the new government. The Secession Convention then declared the office of governor vacant and elevated Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark to the position of Texas Governor.
Edward Clark was appointed as the first Governor of Texas during the Confederacy. He was defeated by Francis Lubbock in November of 1861.
President Lincoln offered to send troops to assist Houston if he would resist the convention, but Houston rejected the offer rather than bring on civil conflict within the state. He retired to his home in Huntsville, where he died on July 26, 1863.
As lieutenant governor under Sam Houston, Clark replaced Houston as governor after Houston's refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America. The focus of Clark's governorship was the raising of troops and the gathering of supplies to assist in the fight for the Confederacy.
Francis Lubbock, First Elected Governor of Texas during the Confederacy (1861-1863)
In 1861, Francis Lubbock won the governorship of Texas by only 124 votes.
Francis Lubbock, First Elected Governor of Texas during the Confederacy (1861-1863).
As governor, Lubbock staunchly supported the Confederacy and worked to improve the military capabilities of Texas. He chaired the state military board, which attempted to trade cotton and United States Indemnity Bonds for military goods through Mexico. He also worked with the board to establish a state foundry and percussion-cap factory. Lubbock vigorously supported Confederate conscription, opposing draft exemptions for able-bodied men as unfair and the substitution system as advantageous to the wealthy. Viewing the use of whites in government contracting and cattle driving as wasteful, he encouraged their replacement with slaves to increase enlistment. Aliens residing in Texas were also made subject to the draft. Lubbock exempted frontier counties from the Confederate draft and enlisted their residents for local defense against Indian attack.
Reorganization of the Texas Adjutant General's Department
With the Civil War came the reorganization of the Texas Adjutant General's Department, an act of December 25, 1861 creating an Adjutant and Inspector General, who would also serve as Quartermaster and Commissary General, and Ordnance Officer. Oversight of the 33 brigades of the Texas State Troops plus the Frontier Regiment fell to this office, just as later Adjutants General would split their time between the Militia and the Rangers (whatever the prevailing terminology). The manpower and supply demands of the Confederate States Army, often conflicting with the needs and desires of the State of Texas, would affect the entire period of the war.
At the Secession Convention in February of 1861. Colonels John S. Ford and Henry E. McCulloch, both old Indian fighters and Rangers, were commissioned to each enlist a regiment for border service for short periods, six or 12 months. McCulloch's and Dalyrimple's forces were consolidated and afterwards reorganized and enlisted for 12 months in the Confederate service as the First Texas Mounted Rifles.
This command was succeeded by an organization first known as the Frontier Regiment organized as State troops in 1862, and afterwards known as the 36th Texas Cavalry in the Confederate service.
In the spring of 1864, Governor Murrah transferred the regiment to the Confederate service and it was sent to the coast. In 1863-64, another regiment was on the frontier commanded by Colonel James Bourland, which had several engagements with Indians. The last State troops on the northwestern frontier during the winter of 1864 and the spring of 1865 were some 200 men under Major John Henry Brown. This force was disbanded in May, 1865.
Texas furnished more than its share during the Civil War. The State was predominantly on the Confederate side and the majority of the men donned the grey uniform to fight for Jeff Davis.
The number of troops furnished by the State of Texas to the Confederate Army included 45 regiments of cavalry, 23 regiments of infantry, 12 battalions of cavalry, four battalions of infantry, one regiment of heavy artillery and 30 batteries of light artillery, which passed beyond the control of the State authorities. Besides these, the State maintained at its own expense, five regiments and four battalions of cavalry and four regiments and one battalion of infantry. Figuring on the usual allotment, this would give a total of 89,500 soldiers furnished out of an adult population of 120,000.
One full regiment and another partially recruited, with two or three independent companies, are all the regularly organized commands of Texans that were in the Union Army, but it is believed that half as many more left the State and joined organized commands from other States. The most conservative estimates place the whole number of Texans who served in the Union Army at 2,000.
The days of the Civil War in Texas were ones of confusion and struggle, filled with the ever present problem of keeping the ranks of the army filled with fighting men. Every exertion was made to fill the ranks of the army. Besides the men already in the field, Governor Lubbock, on July 26, 1861, called for 14 additional regiments. On November 29, General Magruder made a call for 10,000 more. At the close of Governor Lubbock's administration in 1863, the Adjutant General reported 90,000 Texans in the Confederate service, besides minute companies not then liable to duty at the front.
This showed that there were more Texas troops in the army than votes cast at any general election ever held in the State up to that time. By the close of 1861, most of the original Union men (who had not left the State) had joined the army or were otherwise engaged in the service of the Confederacy. They held that while they had opposed disunion as unnecessary and inexpedient their allegiance was due primarily to the State, and, it having withdrawn, it was their duty to acquiesce in its commands and fight for the success of the new Confederacy to which it had linked its fortunes.
Legislative action by both the State and the Confederate Union added to the general excited conditions of the time. The legislature on January 13, 1862, passed a law providing that if any person within "this State should maliciously and advisedly discourage people from enlisting in the service of Texas or of the Confederate States or dispose the people to favor the enemy, every such person shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than three years nor more than five years, at the discretion of the jury."
In 1862, a conscription law was passed by the Confederate States Congress. Under its provisions all males from 18 to 45 years of age were to be placed in the service, except ministers, state, city and county officers and certain slave owners. All persons holding 15 slaves, or over, were exempt. This provision gave rise to the saying that the struggle was the "rich man's war and the poor man's fight." It caused much discontent and severe criticism.
It was only natural that certain men should not want to go to war. One newspaper commented on this situation as follows: "William N. Hardeman, enrolling officer for Travis County, published in the Gazette the names of deserters. They were mostly young men of Union proclivities who had been conscripted and enrolled but had left the country to avoid service."
In another newspaper, a business man of Austin, subject to conscription, advertised that he would give $1,000 for a substitute to take his place in the army. This is just a sample of how some men managed to escape actual fighting and remained at home.
But even at home, there were several military companies organized for duty, from time to time during the progress of the war. These companies performed such services as guarding prisoners, protecting the town and county, drilling recruits for the regular army, etc. These companies were composed of elderly men, too old for active service in the field.
Most of these companies were mustered into the service of the Confederate States, subject to the orders of the commanding general of the Trans-Mississippi department. They were in the home service from their organization to the close of the war and were called on for special duties several times. They received no pay, receiving rations only.
The military spirit pervaded all classes and nearly everyone was attached to the service in some manner, either at home or in the field. Many, known to be Union men, joined these companies for various reasons. In fact, some of the most devoted of them went into active field service. With the vast majority of its adult population enlisted in the army, either in active or home service, the State of Texas was more or less a military camp during the Civil War.
Pendleton Murrah -governor of Texas from November 5, 1863 to June 17, 1865.
Pendleton Murrah; governor of Texas from November 5, 1863 to June 17, 1865
Pendleton Murrah defeated T.J. Chambers in the gubernatorial election of 1863. During his administration, military and financial difficulties pushed the state and the Confederacy into contests over conscription, frontier defense, and the impressment of cotton, cattle, and slaves. In addition, Murrah was dying of tuberculosis. In May 1865, Governor Murrah fled to Mexico, where he died at Monterrey on August 4, 1865. In Murrah's absence (May to June 1865), Lieutenant Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale was acting governor.
Texas Confederate Forces
The following organizations served the Confederate States during the Civil War:
First Lancers, First Speight's Infantry Battalion, First Battalion of Sharp-shooters, First Texas Rangers, First Cavalry Regiment of Arizona Brigade, First Indian Cavalry Regiment, First Regiment Partisan Rangers, First Cavalry Battalion, First Cavalry Battalion of Arizona Brigade, the First Regiment Heavy Artillery, the First Regiment Texas Mounted Riflemen, First Texas Cavalry Regiment (Buchel's), the Second Texas Infantry, the Second Texas Cavalry Regiment, Second Regiment of Arizona Brigade, Second Lancers, Second Texas Partisan Rangers, Second Infantry Battalion, Third Artillery Battalion, Third Lancers, Third Infantry Battalion, Third Cavalry Battalion of Arizona Brigade, the Third Texas Infantry Regiment, Third Texas Cavalry Regiment, Sixth Texas Cavalry Regiment, Ninth Texas Cavalry Regiment, Whitfield's Legion, Ross' Cavalry Brigade, Fourth Cavalry Regiment of Arizona Brigade.
Fourth Infantry Battalion, Fifth Regiment Partisan Rangers, Fifth (Hubbard's) Infantry Battalion, Sixth Cavalry Battalion, Sixth Infantry Regiment, Seventh Infantry Regiment, Seventh Infantry Battalion, Eighth Infantry Battalion (merged into Eighth Regiment), Eighth (Hobby's) Infantry Regiment, Ninth Battalion Partisan Rangers, Ninth (Nichols') Infantry Regiment, 10th Cavalry Battalion, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Infantry Regiment, 11th Cavalry Regiment, 11th (Speight's) Cavalry and Infantry Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 12th Infantry Regiment, 13th Infantry Regiment, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 14th Cavalry Battalion, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 14th Infantry Regiment, 15th Cavalry Regiment, 15th Infantry Regiment, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 16th Infantry Regiment, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 17th Infantry Regiment, 18th Cavalry Regiment, 18th Infantry Regiment, 19th Cavalry Regiment, 18th Infantry Regiment, 19th Cavalry Regiment, 19th Infantry Regiment, 20th Infantry Regiment, 20th Cavalry Regiment, 21st Cavalry Regiment, 21st Texas Infantry, 22nd Cavalry Regiment (also called First Indian-Texas Regiment), 22nd Infantry Regiment, 23rd Cavalry Regiment, 24th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Cavalry Regiment, 26th Cavalry Regiment, 27th Cavalry Regiment, 28th - 29th - 30th - 31st - 32nd - 33rd - 34th - 35th (Brown's)-35th (Likens') - 36th Cavalry Regiments, Anderson's Cavalry Regiment, Border's Cavalry Regiment, Burn's Cavalry Battalion, Daly's Cavalry Battalion, De Bray's Battalion Texas Cavalry, Fulcrod's Cadets of Battalion Cavalry, Gano's Cavalry Battalion, Gidding's Cavalry Battalion, Herbert's Battalion of Arizona Brigade, Mann's Cavalry Regiment, Morgan's Cavalry Battalion, Mullen's Cavalry Battalion of Arizona Brigade, Ragsdale's Cavalry Battalion, Saufley's Scouting Battalion, Terrell's Cavalry Regiment, Terry's Cavalry Regiment, Wells' Cavalry Battalion, Wells' Cavalry Regiment, Waul's Legion, the Frontier Regiment of Texas Cavalry, and the following batteries of artillery -- Good-Douglas Christmas', Jones', Greer's Rocket, Dege's, Dashiell's, Teel's, Valverde, Pratt's, Howell's, Creuzbaur's, Fox's, Lee's, Gonzales', Neal's, Daniels', Wilson's, Gibson's, Krumbhaar's, Nichols', Shea's, Hughes', Moseley's, Haldeman's, McMahan's, Hynson's, Wilke's, Stafford's, Welhausen's, Maclin's, Abat's, Ruess', Marmimon's, Mechling's, Howe's and Edgar's.
[Some of the foregoing units served within these larger, unlisted organizations: Walker's Texas Division, Parsons's Brigade, Polignac's Brigade, Ector's Brigade, Hood's Texas Brigade, Granbury's Texas Brigrade, Ross's Brigade, Sibley's Brigade]
TEXAS UNION FORCES DURING CIVIL WAR
For the Union Army, the following troops came from Texas: the First Texas Cavalry Regiment, served along the coast of Texas whenever the Union Army was in possession, and whenever it left Texas, it returned to New Orleans and served in Louisiana; the Second Texas Cavalry Regiment, never fully organized; Vidal's Company Partisan Rangers, captained by Adrian I. Vidal was composed entirely of Mexicans, raised for the Confederate Army and, after serving several months in that army, deserted in a body to the Union Army; Hart's Cavalry Company, Martin D. Hart, Hunt County, raised this company in early part of the war and engaged in active partisan service as an independent company in Missouri and Arkansas, but Hart was captured by the Confederates, court-martialed and hung. On July 14, 1864, by order of Major General E. R. S. Canby at New Orleans, the Second and First Regiments were consolidated under the name of the First Texas Volunteer Cavalry.
MAJOR CIVIL WAR BATTLES FOUGHT IN TEXAS
First Battle of Sabine Pass (September 24-25, 1862)
On September 23, 1862, union forces on three vessels sailed up the Sabine Pass as part of the operations to blockade the Texas Coast and halt Confederate shipments.
The next morning, the two schooners crossed the bar, took position, and began firing on the Confederate shore battery. The shots from both land and shore fell far short of the targets. The ships then moved nearer until their projectiles began to fall amongst the Confederate guns.
The Confederate cannons, however, still could not hit the ships. After dark, the Confederates evacuated, taking as much property as possible with them and spiking the four guns left behind.
On the morning of the 25th, the schooners moved up to the battery and destroyed it while Acting Master Frederick Crocker, commander of the expedition, received the surrender of the town.
Union control of Sabine Pass made later incursions into the interior possible.
Result(s): Union victory .
Principal Commanders: Acting Master Frederick Crocker [US]; Major J.S. Irvine [CS]
Forces Engaged: Steamer Kensington, Schooner Rachel Seaman, and Mortar Schooner Henry James [US]; Fort Griffith Garrison (30) and 25 mounted men 3 1/2 miles away [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Unknown
First Battle of Galveston (October 4, 1862)
The U.S. Navy began a blockade of Galveston Harbor in July 1861, but the town remained in Confederate hands for the next 14 months. At 6:00 am on October 4, 1862, Commander W.B. Renshaw, commanding the blockading ships in the Galveston Bay area, sent Harriet Lane into the harbor, flying a flag of truce. The intention was to inform the military authorities in Galveston that if the town did not surrender, the U.S. Navy ships would attack; a one-hour reply would be demanded.
Colonel Joseph J. Cook, Confederate military commander in the area, would not come out to the Union ship or send an officer to receive the communication, so Harriet Lane weighed anchor and returned to the fleet. Four Union steamers, with a mortar boat in tow, entered the harbor and moved to the same area where Harriet Lane had anchored. Observing this activity, Confederates at Fort Point fired one or more shots and the U.S. Navy ships answered. Eventually, the Union ships disabled the one Confederate gun at Fort Point and fired at other targets.
Two Rebel guns from another location opened on the Union ships. The boat that Colonel Cook had dispatched now approached the Union vessels and two Confederate officers boarded U.S.S. Westfield. Renshaw demanded an unconditional surrender of Galveston or he would begin shelling. Cook refused Renshaw's terms, and conveyed to Renshaw that upon him rested the responsibility of destroying the town and killing women, children, and aliens.
Renshaw threatened to resume the shelling and made preparations for towing the mortar boat into position. One of the Confederate officers then asked if he could be granted time to talk with Colonel Cook again. This officer, a major, negotiated with Renshaw for a four-day truce to evacuate the women, children, and aliens from the city. Cook approved the truce but added a stipulation that if Renshaw would not move troops closer to Galveston, Cook would not permit his men to come below the city.
The agreement was finalized but never written down, which later caused problems. The Confederates did evacuate, taking all of their weapons, ammunition, supplies, and whatever they could carry with them. Renshaw did not think that the agreement allowed for all this but, in the end, did nothing, due to the lack of a written document.
The fall of Galveston meant that one more important Confederate port was closed to commerce. But the port of Galveston was not shut down for long.
Result(s): Union victory
Principal Commanders: Commander W.B. Renshaw, U.S.N. [US]; Colonel Joseph J. Cook and Colonel X.B. Debray [CS]
Forces Engaged: None
Estimated Casualties: None
Second Battle of Galveston (January 1, 1863)
Major General John B. Magruder, who became the Confederate commander of military forces in Texas on November 29, 1862, gave the recapture of Galveston top priority.
At 3:00 am on New Year's Day, 1863, four Confederate gunboats appeared, coming down the bay toward Galveston. Soon afterward, the Rebels commenced a land attack. The Union forces in Galveston were three companies of the 42nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel Isaac S. Burrell.
The Confederates captured or killed all of them except for the regiment's adjutant. They also took Harriet Lane, by boarding her, and two barks and a schooner. Commander W.B. Renshaw's flagship, U.S.S. Westfield, ran aground when trying to help Harriet Lane and, at 10:00 am, she was blown up to prevent her capture by the Confederates. Galveston was in Confederate hands again although the Union blockade would limit commerce in and out of the harbor.
Result(s): Confederate victory
Principal Commanders: Colonel Isaac S. Burrell and Commander W.B. Renshaw, U.S.N. [US]; Major General John B. Magruder [CS]
Forces Engaged: Companies D, G and I, 42nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the Blockading ships [US]; four Confederate gunboats and district of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona troops [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 650 total (US 600; CS 50)
Second Battle of Sabine Pass (September 8, 1863)
About 6:00 am on the morning of September 8, 1863, a Union flotilla of four gunboats and seven troop transports steamed into Sabine Pass and up the Sabine River with the intention of reducing Fort Griffin and landing troops to begin occupying Texas. As the gunboats approached Fort Griffin, they came under accurate fire from six cannons.
The Confederate gunners at Fort Griffin had been sent there as a punishment. To break the day-to-day monotony, the gunners practiced firing artillery at range markers placed in the river. Their practice paid off. Fort Griffin's small force of 44 men, under command of Lieutenant Richard W. Dowling, forced the Union flotilla to retire and captured the gunboat Clifton and about 200 prisoners.
Further Union operations in the area ceased for about a month. The heroics at Fort Griffin—44 men stopping a Union expedition—inspired other Confederate soldiers.
Result(s): Confederate victory
Principal Commanders: Major General William B. Franklin and Capt. Frederick Crocker, U.S.N. [US]; Lieutenant Richard W. Dowling [CS]
Forces Engaged: 4 gunboats and 7 transports loaded with troops [US]; Texan Davis Guards (44 men) [CS]
Estimated Casualties: (US 230; CS unknown)
Last Battle of the Civil War (Palmito Ranch/Palmito Hill May 12-13, 1865)
Since March 1865, the Union and Confederate forces had a truce along the Rio Grande. In spite of this agreement, Colonel Theodore H. Barrett, commanding forces at Brazos Santiago, Texas, dispatched an expedition, composed of 250 men of the 62nd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment and 50 men of the 2nd Texas Cavalry Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel David Branson, to the mainland, on May 11, 1865, to attack reported Rebel outposts and camps.
Prohibited by foul weather from crossing to Point Isabel as instructed, the expedition crossed to Boca Chica much later. At 2:00 am, on May 12, the expeditionary force surrounded the Rebel outpost at White's Ranch, but found no one there. Exhausted, having been up most of the night, Branson secreted his command in a thicket and among weeds on the banks of the Rio Grande and allowed his men to sleep.
Around 8:30 am, people on the Mexican side of the river informed the Rebels of the Federals' whereabouts. Branson promptly led his men off to attack a Confederate camp at Palmito Ranch.
After much skirmishing along the way, the Federals attacked the camp and scattered the Confederates. Branson and his men remained at the site to feed themselves and their horses but, at 3:00 pm, a sizable Confederate force appeared, influencing the Federals to retire to White's Ranch.
Branson sent word of his predicament to Barrett, who reinforced him at daybreak, on the 13th, with 200 men of the 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The augmented force, now commanded by Barrett, started out towards Palmito Ranch, skirmishing most of the way. At Palmito Ranch, they destroyed the rest of the supplies not torched the day before and continued on.
A few miles forward, they became involved in a sharp firefight. After the fighting stopped, Barrett led his force back to a bluff at Tulosa on the river where the men could prepare dinner and camp for the night. At 4:00 pm, a large Confederate cavalry force, commanded by Colonel John S. "Rip" Ford, approached, and the Federals formed a battle line.
The Rebels hammered the Union line with artillery. To preclude an enemy flanking movement, Barrett ordered a retreat. The retreat was orderly and skirmishers held the Rebels at a respectable distance.
Returning to Boca Chica at 8:00 pm, the men embarked at 4:00 am, on the 14th. This was the last battle in the Civil War. Native, African, and Hispanic Americans were all involved in the fighting. Many combatants reported that firing came from the Mexican shore and that some Imperial Mexican forces crossed the Rio Grande but did not take part in the battle. These reports are unproven.
Result(s): Confederate victory
Principal Commanders: Colonel Theodore H. Barrett [US]; Colonel John S. "Rip" Ford [CS]
Forces Engaged: Detachments from the 62nd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, 2nd Texas Cavalry Regiment, and 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry [US]; Detachments from Gidding's Regiment, Anderson's Battalion of Cavalry, and numerous other Confederate units and southern sympathizers [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 118; CS unknown)
TEXAS CONFEDERATE LEADERS
One of the key leaders of the Confederacy, Albert Sidney Johnson, hailed from Texas.
General Albert Sidney Johnston of Texas
Albert Sidney Johnston served as secretary of war in the Republic of Texas and commanded the lst Texas Rifles in the Mexican War. Reentering the regular army in 1849 as a major and paymaster, he became colonel, 2nd (old) Cavalry, in 1855. For his services in the 1857 campaign against the Mormons in Utah, Johnson was promoted to brigadier general. He resigned his commission on April 10, 1861, but did not quit his post on the West Coast until his successor arrived.
Johnston reported to Jefferson Davis for Confederate service where his assignments included: general, CSA (August 30, 1861, to date from May 30, 1861); commanding Department No. 2 (September 15, 1861 - April 6, 1862); and in immediate command of the Central Army of Kentucky, Department No. 2 (October 28 - December 5, 1861 and February 23- March 29, 1862).
As the second ranking general in the Southern army, Johnston was given command of the western theater of operations. Establishing a line of defense in Kentucky from the Mississippi River to the Appalachians, he held it until it was broken at Mill Springs in January and at Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862. Abandoning Kentucky and most of Tennessee, he fell back into northern Mississippi where he concentrated his previously scattered forces.
In early April, 1862, Johnston moved against Grant's army at Shiloh and drove the enemy back. While directing frontline operations he was wounded in the leg. Not considering his wound serious, he bled to death.
TEXAS CONFEDERATE FORTS AND CAMPS
Some of the camps and forts that existed in Texas during the Civil War era according to the Adjutant General RG 401 Civil War Records, 1861-1865 in the
Texas State Archives include:
Ada, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Albert Sidney Johnson,* believed north of Clarksville
Arkansas Springs, Camp, near Austin (Travis County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Austin (Travis County; Quartermaster Depot; Percussion Cap Factory) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern TX)
Bandera, Camp, (Bandera County), Frontier Post
Barry, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Bartow,**, Camp, Dallas County, (possibly old fairgrounds north of Dallas Courthouse)
Bastrop (Bastrop County; Rifle Factory) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Beauregard, Camp, (Ellis County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Bee, Camp, (Guadalupe County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Belknap, Fort (Young County), Frontier Post
Belknap, Camp, (Young County, consolidated with Fort Belknap in March 1864), Frontier Post
Belton (Bell County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Benjamin*, Camp, (Fannin County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Big Spring, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Bliss, Fort (El Paso County), Frontier Post
Bogden, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Bonham (Fannin County; Quartermaster Depot) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Brazos Santiago (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Breckenridge, Camp, (Stephens County, consolidated with Fort Belknap, March 1864), Frontier Post
Brenham (Washington County; Quartermaster Depot) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Brogden*, Camp, (Grayson County)
Brown, Fort (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Brownsville (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Brunson, Camp, (see Red River Station), Frontier Post
Buchanan (Johnson County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Burnet (Burnet County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Burnett, Camp, *** just west of Crockett in Houston County (Feb. - June 1862
Caldwell (Burleson County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Caldwell County 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Cameron (Milam County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Caney, Camp on, (Matagorda County?) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Carricitas, Camp, (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Castroville (Medina County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Chadbourne, Fort (Coke County), Frontier Post
Chambers Creek (Ellis County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Chappell Hill (Washington County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Clark, Camp, (Fort Bend or Guadalupe County?) Location Not Known
Clark, Fort (Kinney County), Frontier Post
Clark*, Camp, near Martindale on San Marcos River, Caldwell Co.
Clarksville (Red River County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Collier, Camp, (Brown County), Frontier Post
Colorado, Camp, (Coleman County), Frontier Post
Columbus (Colorado County; Quartermaster Depot) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Concha, Camp, (See other sites below) Location Not Known
Concha*, Camp, (Concho) San Angelo, Tom Green Co.
Cooper, Camp, (Throckmorton County), Frontier Post
Corsicana (Navarro County; Quartermaster Depot) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Dallas (Dallas County; Quartermaster Depot) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Darnell, Camp, (Dallas County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Dashiell, Camp, near Austin (?) Location Not Known
Davis, Camp, (Gillespie County), Frontier Post
Davis, Fort (Jeff Davis County), Frontier Post
Davis, Jefferson, Camp (Red River county) north of Clarksville
Decatur (Wise County; HQ for 1st Frontier District) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Dix, Camp, (Uvalde County, consolidated with Fort Belknap in March 1864), Frontier Post
Duncan, Fort (Maverick County), Frontier Post
Easley, Camp, (Williamson County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Edinburg (Hidalgo County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Elm Creek Station (?) (near Fort Belknap?) Location Not Known
Farmington (Grayson County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Feldens, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Flournoy, Camp, (Wood County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Ford, Camp**, POW camp, (Smith County) at Tyler, TX on Hwy 271 just north of Loop 323
Harpers Weekly Sketch of the Texas POW camp in east texas, Camp Ford.
Camp Ford Historical Marker near Tyler.
Fredericksburg (Gillespie Co.; Percussion Cap Factory; HQ for 2nd & 3rd Frontier Dist.) 4th Military Sub-Dist. (STX)
Frio, Camp, (Rio Frio, Real County?), Frontier Post
Georgetown (Williamson County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Gilmer (Upshur County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Gladson, Camp, (Falls County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Green Lake, Camp on, (Calhoun County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Griffin*, Fort (Jefferson County), Frontier Post
Groce,**, Camp, Leonard W. Groce's Liendo Plantation 2 miles east of Hempstead
Hallettsville (Lavaca County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Hardeman, Camp, (Central Texas) Location Not Known
Harrisburg (Harris County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Hebert, Fort (Galveston County) 1st Military Sub-District (Galveston)
Hebert, Camp, (Waller County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Hebert**, Camp, near Hempstead
Helena (Karnes County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Hempstead (Waller County; Quartermaster Depot) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Home Creek (Coleman County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Hondo (Medina County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Houston (Harris Co.; Quartermaster Depot; Percussion Cap Factory) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Hubbard's Creek Station/Camp on Hubbard's Creek, Frontier Post
Hudson, Camp, (Val Verde County), Frontier Post
Huntsville (Walker County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Indianola (Calhoun County; Quartermaster Depot) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Inge, Fort (Uvalde County), Frontier Post
Jack County 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Jackson, Camp, (Lamar, Jim Wells, Montgomery, Kleberg, Montague, or Washington Cos?) location not known
Jackson, Camp, (Paris, Lamar County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Jackson, Camp*, at confluence of Red River and Big Wichita River, Wichita Co.
Kentucky Town (Grayson County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
King's Plantation (?) Location Not Known
Kirby, Camp, (Galveston County) 1st Military Sub-District (Galveston)
LaGrange (Fayette County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Lampasas (Lampasas County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Lancaster, Fort (Crockett County), Frontier Post
Laredo (Webb County) Rio Grande Military District
Leonville (?) Location Not Known
Locke, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Lockhart (Caldwell County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Lockridge, Camp, near Austin (Travis County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Lookout, Camp,*** (Polk County) on the Neches River bluffs in northen Polk Co. (March 1862)
Lubbock, Camp, (Harris County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Manhasset*, Fort (Jefferson County), Frontier Post
Mason, Fort (Mason County), Frontier Post
Mather's Mill*, (also known as Gabriel's Mill) on San Gabriel River in Williamson Co.
Mathers Mill (?) (See other sites below) Location Not Known
McCord, Camp, (see Camp Verde) Location Not Known
McCulloch, Camp,*** (Smith County), north of Tyler June - July 1862 later named Camp Ford - POW Camp
McCulloch, Camp, (McLennan County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
McCulloch, Camp, near San Antonio (Bexar County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
McIntosh, Fort (Webb County, near Laredo) Rio Grande Military District
McKavett, Fort (Menard County), Frontier Post
McMillan, Camp, (San Saba County), Frontier Post
Meridian (Bosque County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Milford (Ellis County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Millican (Brazos County; Quartermaster Depot) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Mineral Springs Creek,** 15 miles NE of Sherman
Mosley's Ferry (Burleson County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Old Comanche Agency (near Camp Cooper), Frontier Post
Palo Pinto County 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Paris (Lamar County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Pecan, Camp, (Callahan County), Frontier Post
Phantom Hill (Jones County), Frontier Post
Plano (Collin County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Plano, Camp near, (Collin County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Point Isabel (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Port Sullivan (Milam County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Porters Bluff, see Taos (Navarro County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Randle, Camp, (Washington County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Red River Station (Montague County, near Camp Brunson), Frontier Post
Reeves, Camp, (Grayson County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Refugio (Refugio County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Resaca de la Palma (Cameron County) Rio Grande Military District
Resaca de la Veajo (?) Rio Grande Military District
Richmond (Fort Bend County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Ringgold Barracks (Starr County) Rio Grande Military District
Roma (Starr County, in Brazos Santiago Subdistrict) Rio Grande Military District
Round Top (Fayette County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Round Rock (Williamson County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Rusk, Camp, (Lamar [now Delta] County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Rutersville (Fayette County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Salmon, Camp, (Eastland/Callahan Counties), Frontier Post
San Antonio (Bexar County; Quartermaster Depot; Percussion Cap Factory) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
San Marcos (Hays County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
San Pedro, Camp, (See other sites below) Location Not Known
San Saba, Camp, (McCulloch County), Frontier Post
San Pedro*, maybe San Pedro Springs. This is near San Antonio. US Army had a camp there.
Seguin (Guadalupe County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Sherman (Grayson County; Quartermaster Depot) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Sidney Johnson, Camp, (Chambers County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Stephenville (Erath County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Stockton, Fort (Pecos County), Frontier Post
Stonewall Jackson, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Taos, see Porters Bluff (Navarro County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Tarrant, Camp, (Ellis County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Tarrant**, Camp, Ellis County
Terry, Camp, (Travis County) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Tonkaway Agency (Young County)
Union Hill (Washington County) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Van Dorn, Camp, (either Bexar County, or Harris County)
Verde, Camp, (Kerr County), Frontier Post
Victoria (Victoria County; Quartermaster Depot) 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Waco (McLennan County; Quartermaster Depot) 4th Military Sub-District (Southern Texas)
Walton, Camp, (Collin County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Waxahachie (Ellis County; Powder Mill) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Webur Falls, Camp, (?) Location Not Known
Weston (Collin County) 5th Military Sub-District (Northern Texas)
Wharton County 3rd Military Sub-District (Central Texas)
Wood, Camp, (Real County), Frontier Post
THE TEXAS CELEBRATION OF JUNETEENTH
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had little immediate effect on most slaves and even less in Texas, which remained under Confederate control throughout the war.
Slaves Picking Cotton in Texas During the Civil War Era
However on June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on Galveston Island to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.
General Order No. 3 stated:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
June 19th has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from the words June and nineteenth.
Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year. Across many parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings—including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin. Juneteenth celebrations in Texas (and other states) often include parades, street fairs, cookouts, and park parties.
Juneteenth Celebration in Texas in 1900
In 1998, Texas made History once again with the passing of House Bill 1216 which created the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural & Historical Commission (TEJCHC), sponsored by Representative Al Edwards of Houston Texas during the 76th Legislature 1997, the only commission of its kind in the country. The Commission is utilizing and working with numerous entities including the Texas Historical Commission, Attorney General, Texas Comptroller, and the Texas Register.
The Commission's primary objective is to erect a Juneteenth Memorial Monument on the South grounds of the State Capitol. This project is well underway with a design and funding in the works. TEJCHC will also place Juneteenth Monuments and Markers in various historical parts of Texas including Galveston, Texas. The Commission will also develop a Juneteenth Museum, Cultural and Educational institute, Recreation Center and Park, and plans to implement Juneteenth history into the Texas History schoolbooks.
As of 2008, 26 states have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance including Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, Tennessee, Massachusetts, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.