The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Notes and Documents
A "Spirited Account" of the Battle of Galveston,
January , 1863
EDITED BY EDWARD B. WILLIAMS*
HENRY MARTYN TRUEHEART, WHOSE LETTER PROVIDES AN EYEWIT-
ness account of the battle of Galveston, fought between Union and
Confederate forces on January 1, 1863, was born in Louisa County, Vir-
ginia, on March 23, 1832. He was the eldest son of John Overton and
Ann Tompkins Minor Trueheart, both of whom were also native Virgini-
ans. John Overton Trueheart, with his brother, James Lawrence True-
heart, first came to Texas in 1838.
During the period 1838-1843, John Trueheart was in the environs of
San Antonio working as a land surveyor. In 1843, he returned to Vir-
ginia for his family, the stay there extending to two years. When he re-
turned to Texas with his family in May 1845, they settled in Galveston, a
community located on Galveston Island lying close off the upper Texas
Gulf coast.
In the sixteen years intervening prior to the outbreak of the Civil War,
the Trueheart family became firmly established in the Galveston com-
munity. John Trueheart continued as a surveyor, moving into the real
estate business. Henry Martyn Trueheart accumulated a herd of cattle
and, in the process, became a skilled horseman. That skill would serve
him well in the coming civil conflict. In 1857, Henry sold his herd and,
for a time, worked in his father's real estate office. In that same year he
* Edward B. Williams is an independent scholar and military historian. He holds master's and
doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University. He has served in the United States Marine Corps
and holds the rank of captain, U.S.N.R. He is the author of articles in several Civil War journals
and is the editor of "Rebel Brothers: The Civil War Letters of the Truehearts," forthcoming from
Texas A&M University Press in fall 1995. He is currently researching a book on Hood's Texas
Brigade.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed December 28, 2014.