Texas in the Civil War

Texas in the American Civil War

The U.S. state of Texas declared its secession from the United States on February 1, 1861, and joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861, replacing its governor, Sam Houston, when he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. During the subsequent American Civil War, Texas was most useful for supplying soldiers for Confederate forces and in the cavalry. Texas was mainly a "supply state" for the Confederate forces until mid-1863, when the Union capture of the Mississippi River made large movements of men, horses or cattle impossible. Some cotton was sold in Mexico, but most of the crop became useless because of the Federal naval blockade of Galveston and other ports such as Houston.


Notable Civil War leaders from Texas

A number of notable leaders were associated with Texas during the Civil War. John Bell Hood gained fame as the commander of the Texas Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia and played a prominent role as an army commander late in the war. "Sul" Ross was a significant leader in a number of Trans-Mississippi Confederate armies. Felix Huston Robertson was the only native Texan Confederate general. Capt. TJ Goree was one of Lt. General James Longstreet's most trusted aides. John H. Reagan was an influential member of Jefferson Davis's cabinet. Col. Santos Benavideswas a Confederate colonel during the American Civil War. Benavides was the highest-ranking Tejano soldier to serve in the Confederate military.

The office of Governor of Texas was in flux throughout the war, with several men in power at various times. Sam Houston was governor when Texas seceded from the United States, but refused to declare any loyalty to the new Confederacy. He was replaced by Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark. Clark filled the rest of Houston's term in 1861, and narrowly lost re-election by just 124 votes to Francis Lubbock. During his tenure, Lubbock supported Confederate conscription, working to draft all able-bodied men, including resident aliens, into the Confederate Army. When Lubbock's term ended in 1863, he joined the military. Ardent secessionist Pendleton Murrah replaced him in office. Even after Robert E. Lee surrendered in 1865, Murrah encouraged Texans to continue the revolution, and he and several supporters fled to Mexico.


Notable Civil War leaders from Texas

Battle of Galveston

•July 1861 – the Union Navy began to blockade Texas ports

•October 1862 – A Union fleet sailed into Galveston Harbor and Confederate forces retreated

•January 1, 1863 – General John B. Magruder and Thomas Green attacked Union forces in Galveston Bay capturing several hundred soldiers

•Confederate General Magruder and Thomas Green recaptured it by converting two steamboats into gunboats by lining their sides with cotton bales earning the nickname “Cotton Clads”

•The city of Galveston was again under Confederate control


Battle of Sabine Pass

•1863 – The US made plans to invade Texas

•Union General William B. Franklin and 5000 troops hoped to land his army near Sabine City and then march overland to attack Houston and Beaumont

•Ft. Griffin at Sabine Pass was guarded by Confederate Lieutenant Richard Dowling and Davis Guards

•September 8, 1863 Union soldiers attacked but the Davis Guards fought back marking a complete victory for the Confederacy


Battle of Palmito Ranch

•Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 however Confederate forces did not stop fighting for another month because word spread slowly

•May 12, 1865: The Union army moved inland to occupy Brownsville.

•They fight with Confederate troops led by John S. Ford who captured over 100 Union troops

•Union troops informed the Confederate troops that the war was over.