The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 13
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Texas Coastal Defense, 1861z-865
and destroying the fort, two schooners, and later the railroad
bridge over Taylor Bayou.42
Having struck at both ends of Texas' coastal defenses the Fed-
eral blockading fleet in early October aimed its main blow at
Galveston, the commercial, military, and diplomatic center of
Texas affairs. General Hebert, aware of the increased Union
activity, assumed the ultimate goal to be Galveston and decided
its defense was impossible. Work continued only on Fort Hebert
at Virginia Point, while the heavy guns finally available in Gal-
veston were all removed except one on Fort Point. Citizens of
the island community were bitterly opposed to any retreat, ac-
cusing Hebert of greater love for his cannon than for their city.4"
Other batteries were filled with Quaker guns made of wood on
October 4, 1862, when the Union gunboat Harriet Lane steamed
into the harbor with a surrender demand for Colonel Cook.
Because of a delay in replying, caused by a lack of small boats to
communicate with the ship, Commander William B. Renshaw
brought his remaining seven warships up the channel. The gar-
rison of Fort Point opened on the advancing Union fleet with
their ten-inch gun, only to see it dismounted by an eleven-inch
shot from the gunboat Owasco. After fire from two twenty-four-
pounders fell short, resistance ceased, for Galveston lay under the
guns of Renshaw's gunboats. A four day truce was agreed to,
allowing the Confederates under Colonel Cook to evacuate, since
the Union fleet had no troops with which to occupy the island.
Activity continued at both Virginia Point and Eagle Grove, island
end of the railroad bridge, where parts of Cook's regiment im-
proved their entrenched positions.44
42Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Spaight's reports, September 26, October 2, 1862,
ibid., Series I, Vol. XV, 144-145, 146-147; Acting Master Frederick Crocker to
Admiral Farragut, October 24, 1862, Oflicial Records, Navies, Series I, Vol. XIX,
227-229; Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, September 29, October 3, 1862.
@4Ballinger Diary, October 4, 1862 (MS., Archives, University of Texas Library);
Galveston Weekly News, October 15, 1862; P. W. Gray to Jefferson Davis, November
20, 1862, Oficial Records, Series I, Vol. XV, 868-869; Colonel X. B. DeBray's report,
October 19, 1862, ibid., 836.
44Commander W. B. Renshaw to Admiral Farragut, October 8, 1862, Oficial
Records, Navies, Series I, Vol. XIX, 254-260; Houston Telegraph Supplement,
December 8, 1862; Colonel J. J. Cook's report, October 9, 1862, Oficial Records,
Series I, Vol. XV, 151-153; Colonel X. B. DeBray's report, October 12, 1862, ibid.,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/27/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.