Saluria, ort speraHza, awdAillitarq
Operations ou the cezas Coast,
LESTER N. FITZHUGH
ORT ESPERANZA was a Confederate fortification at Saluria,
located at the extreme northeastern bulge of Matagorda
Island. Wind and water have long since reduced the fort's
outline, and Saluria was not rebuilt after its destruction in 1864.
Matagorda Island, site of homesteads and ranches in 1861, is
currently an Air Force gunnery range, and mud banks and flats
choke the bays and inlets which sheltered small boats and steamers
in 1862-1864. Nothing reminds the observer that here was played
a scene of that most interesting of national dramas, the American
The fort was one of a number of similar points of defense
established on the Texas coast, and its story is necessarily told as
part of the larger operations that involved the entire six hundred
miles of coastline from Sabine Pass to Brazos Santiago, most
parts of which had "alarms and excursions" during the war and
for brief moments or longer were the focuses of a constant Texas
dread of enemy invasion.
Such fears did not develop at once in 1861. In the summer of
that year John Charles Fremont in Southern Missouri seemed a
much greater threat to Texas than the occasional Federal vessel
hovering off Galveston and other points, attempting to give an
appearance of reality to a hardly enforceable blockade. It was not
even certain that large scale hostilities would be necessary to
establish the Southern Confederacy, and in June and July the
best of the young men of Texas anxiously organized for service in
Arkansas or hurried to Virginia to participate in such fighting as
was expected at those places. Federal defeat at Manassas Junction
in July and at Oak Hill (Wilson's Creek), Missouri, in August
seemed for the moment to justify these sanguine expectations.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed March 15, 2014.