From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
C.S. Bayou City
captures the USS Harriet Lane
during the Battle of Galveston
Artist's depiction of the capture of the USS Harriet
The Battle of Galveston or the Second
Battle of Galveston was a naval and land battle which
occurred on January 1, 1863, during the American
Civil War when Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder attacked and expelled
occupying Union troops
from the city of Galveston, Texas.
The First Battle of
Galveston was a naval engagement fought on October 4, 1862,
during early Union attempts to blockade Galveston
The Union force consisted of three Massachusetts companies of 260 men and
seven warships in Galveston Bay.
Facing a fortified enemy supported by naval gunfire, the
Confederates were forced to retreat an hour after their initial
attack at dawn.
The Confederate gunboats Bayou City
and Neptune arrived shortly thereafter. While the
Neptune was quickly disabled, the Bayou City
succeeded in capturing the USS Harriet
During this time, the USS
Westfield was grounded on a sandbar, and was unable to
be freed. A three-hour truce was called for by Magruder, but Union
Fleet Commander William B. Renshaw, ignoring the
negotiation offer, attempted to destroy the grounded
Westfield with explosives, rather than let it fall into
Renshaw and several Union troops were subsequently killed when
the explosives were set off too early. Union troops on shore were
convinced that their own ships were surrendering and, therefore,
laid down their arms. The remaining U.S. ships did not surrender
and succeeded in retreating to Union-controlled New Orleans.
The Union blockade around the city of Galveston was lifted
temporarily for four days, and Galveston remained in Confederate
hands for the remainder of the war.