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Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (State Historical Landmark)


Marking the site of the Second Battle of Sabine Pass, fought September 8th, 1883. Arguably one of the most uprising Confederate victories of the Civil War. Up against four gunboats and 5,000 Union infantry Richard Dowling and 36 Confederate used their six artillery pieces to prevent the Union from crossing the river. This group of Texans were able to sink two gunboats and capture around 200 enemy soldiers.


    During the second year of the American Civil war the Confederacy was facing a Union blockade that stretched from Washington, D.C. to the Mexican border. This prevented the C.S.A. from receiving the necessary supplies needed to fight. Theses supplies were given to The South from sympathizer in the French and British governments. With the blockade in place their only effective means of trade was the use of blockade runners which could only carry limited supplies to keep their weight down. However a new opportunity opened up south of the border when the short lived Second Empire of Mexico replaced the previous Mexican government. This new Empire was loyal to the French making it possible for the France to ship supplies to Mexico and have them brought to the Confederates through Texas.

    Wanting to prevent this President Lincoln and his generals agreed that they needed to cut Texas of from the rest of the south by sailing up the Sabine River on the border of Louisiana. To do this The Union planed to land 5,000 troops on the Texas side of the river. the ideal landing spot was Sabine City just north of Fort Griffin an lightly defended gun position under the command of lieutenant Richard Dowling. Anticipating a Union expedition up the river Dowling and his men placed markers in the river to mark the distance. This allowed them to zero in on their targets much faster which let them put more pressure on the approaching Union gunboats and transports. The shelling from the fort was eventually enough to turn back the Union force but not before they lost two gunboats. From the wrecked gunboats somewhere around 200 hundred prisoners were taken. On the other side of the fight was Dowling and his 36 men who sustained zero casualties. 

Sabine Pass, TX 77655
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Phone Number
Open: Daily, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Extended summer hours on May 1–Aug. 31, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day
  • Military History
This location was created on 2014-12-05 by Patrick Cannon .   It was last updated on 2014-12-05 by Patrick Cannon .

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