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Galveston, Confederate States of America Historical Marker
The small number of Confederate defenders were surprised by a siege by Union ships in October, 1862. Recognizing their vulnerability, Governor F. R. Lubbock called for the evacuation of civilians from the city. A joint operation of Union naval and land forces allowed the 42nd Massachusetts to occupy the largely abandoned city on Christmas Day, 1862. However, Confederate forces still enjoyed advantages in the area and were able to recapture the port a week later. With the arrival of troops under Confederate General John B. Magruder, Colonel Tom Green, and Captains Leon Smith and Henry Lubbock, Union land forces were overwhelmed before the Union navy was able to secure the area with ships and artillery. Confederate "Horse Marines" (mounted Rangers) and "Cotton Clad" ships whose wooden sides were reinforced by cotton bales were able to force Union soldiers and sailors from the port before the Union was able to secure their recently-captured city.
The city and port of Galveston remained under Southern control throughout the duration of the war. The Trans-Mississippi Department became last Confederate force to surrender when its leaders accepted terms of surrender on June 2, 1865. With federal occupation of Galveston came the acceptance of the end of slavery. On June 19th, word of the end of slavery reached slave plantations throughout Texas. For this reason, June 19th is still celebrated as a holiday of Emancipation, known today as "Juneteenth."
SourcesEvans, Jim. "Galveston, C. S. A. Historical Marker." Galveston, C. S. A. Historical Marker. September 11, 2012. Accessed August 11, 2016. http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=59397.
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