Corpus Christi, 1861-1865
Texas Historical Marker

Near here on August 16 and 18, 1862, three Confederate artillery pieces held off four attacking Federal ships during the Civil War bombardment of Corpus Christi. The blockading squadron of Lieutenant J. W. Kittredge, U. S. N. , had harrassed the southern coastal trade inside the offshore islands since February. It had gained control of Aransas Bay in July, halting water traffic in the shallow bays, and entered Corpus Christi Bay August 12. Women and children were evacuated during a forty-eight hour truce and the Confederates threw up breastworks for the artillery on the night of August 15.

On August 16, the Federal ships and Confederate shore battery exchanged hundreds of shells before the Federals withdrew. The Federal ships returned August 18, landing sailors and a howitzer north of the Confederate battery. The sailors dragged the howitzer within range of the battery and began firing. Confederate infantry, led by Major A. M. Hobby, charged the Federal position. Captain James A. Ware's cavalry joined the assault, forcing the Federals to withdraw.

A month later Kittredge was captured south of here at Flour Bluff while ashore with a detail. On November 17, 1863, Federal troops under General Nathaniel P. Banks captured Mustang Island to the east and held it seven months. By this time Confederate troops had been withdrawn from south Texas, making it possible for soldiers from the Federal garrison to visit Corpus Christi at will. They frequently returned to camp loaded with lumber torn from frame buildings, other objects of plunder, and on occasion, Union sympathizers. These depredations, a bitterly cold winter in 1863-1864, and a scarcity of food resulted in an exodus of local people. There was little left in Corpus Christi when the war ended. A memorial to Texans who served in the Confederacy.

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