Fall of Galveston, Texas.

October 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

The Federal fleet off Galveston, Texas, attacked that city on the 4th inst. A Federal steamer ran past the battery at Fort Point under a heavy fire, and laid to at the central wharf. The battery was then destroyed by the Confederate troops, who marched to Virginia Point. The troops in Galveston left and went to the same Point. The Federal steamers lying off Galveston, five in number, gave the authorities of the town four days to remove the women and children from the place, at the expiration of which time they would shell the place if it was not surrendered. On the 9th inst., after the civil and military authorities had fled from Galveston, a portion of the Federal fleet had steamed slowly up to the city and took positions opposite the principal streets. A meeting of the citizens had been held on the evening previous, and Mr. JAMES W. MOORE appointed Mayor pro tem., who now, with other citizens, went on board Commander RENSHAW’S vessel, and requested to know that officer’s intentions with regard to the city. What followed is thus related:

Renshaw replied that he had come to take possession of the city, it being at his mercy, but that he should not interfere with the municipal affairs of the city, and that the people might resume business as heretofore. He said he would not occupy the place until the arrival of a military commander, but that he should hoist the Federal flag upon the public buildings, and asked the Mayor to have it respected. The Mayor replied that he could not guarantee protection to the flag, whereupon the Yankee officer said he would waive that point to avoid any difficulty like that which occurred in New Orleans, and when he sent the flag ashore he would send a sufficient force to protect it, and that he would not keep the flag flying for more than a quarter or half an hour, sufficient to show the absolute possession. The flag was accordingly soon hoisted upon the Custom House, and kept there for half an hour, when the detachment of marines took it down again and proceeded back to the fleet. Renshaw informed the Mayor pro tem, that he should insist upon the right for any of his men in charge of an officer to come on shore and walk the streets of the city, but that he would not permit his men to come on shore indiscriminately, or in the night, and that should his men insult citizens, he gave the Mayor the right to arrest and report to him, when he would punish them more rigidly than we possibly could. On the other hand he declared that should any of his men be insulted or shot at on the streets of Galveston, or any of his ships or boats be shot at from the land or wharves, he would hold the city responsible and open his broadsides on the same instantly, and that his guns were kept shotted and double shotted for that purpose. He also declared that it was the determination of his Government to hold Galveston at all hazards until the end of the war.

The enemy returned to their vessels, and up to last accounts no further communication had passed between them and the authorities at Galveston.


Civil War
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