Talk:Second Battle of Sabine Pass
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There were actually three battles of Sabine pass [referenced here] and this article along with First Battle of Sabine Pass and Battle of Galveston need to be corrected. There will need to be edits, possible merges, and title name changes. Otr500 (talk) 23:58, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
- I didn't see this comment earlier. The lack of mention of the intermediate fight (all naval) is worth attention. However, I'm not sure what the official name was and am searching for it. The NPS/APBB listing does not include it that I can see. The engagement differs from the other two in that it was a naval battle outside of the pass (chase ending about 20 miles from it), rather than a fight in or at the pass. Therefore, the name would likely differ enough so that no name changes would result for existing articles. The Texas Historical Commission plaque titles the episode: "Capture of the USS Morning Light and USS Velocity". I'm looking for an actual "official" designation. Cotham's book may be referring to it as the "Sabine Expedition" (although the citation is unclear) while the period Houston Telegraph article titled it the "Naval Fight off Sabine." It is a notable naval fight and probably merits its own article. Red Harvest (talk) 07:43, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
- The title above ("Capture of...") is long but is both on the plaque and that used in the USN's annual report at the time. I intend to use that for the name of either an article or sub-section in another article (e.g. Morning Light) to serve as link. If a better official name is found, the article can be retitled and moved. The form "Capture of" seems to have been a common one for some actions at sea and should be non-controversial since it is generic in form, but descriptive of the event. Red Harvest (talk) 07:45, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Among the Wikipedia articles there are many things that need tweaking. This proliferation of "battles" names is unfortunate. In the "Official Records..." and elsewhere contemporaneously many of these actions were treated as skirmishes of the on-going Blockade or else as Union embarrassments to be rationalized. The use of "Merrimack" for the commissioned warship "Virginia" in writings about the "Monitor" persisted until recently, often without caveat. The initial "capture" of Galveston by the US Navy was a euphemism for a simple though brazen anchorage in Galveston by 8 Union ships. The Union squadron commander then gave the enemy four days to haul away most of the militarily useful stuff in the city, before a whaleboat load of marines and sailors dared spend a night ashore. The Massachusetts Infantry that was eventually stationed there were captured when the Navy abandoned them rather than face Confederate artillery fire. One offshore "battle" was an overtaking of two US ships by Confed steamers armored with stacked cotton bales surrounding a few army field pieces. The debacle at Fort Griffin Sep 8, 1863, caused by skimpy planning in higher ranks and eager-beaver USArmy-commanded temporary "acting" USNavy gunboat captains, is still treated by US Government planner-historians with hem-and-haw (see cite below, NPS 2010)
NPS 2010: "U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program, Washington, DC, May 2010" http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/CWSII/CWSACReportTexasUpdate.pdf. A brief summary of military data for "Second Battle of Sabine Pass" :
See especially pp28-33 of the report for Sabine Pass battle stats
Civil War - Jefferson County TX USNavy Campaign: Operations to Blockade the Texas Coast (1863) Battle date: September 8, 1863 Confederate victory Principal Commanders: Major General William B. Franklin and Captain Frederick Crocker [US] and Lieutenant Richard W. Dowling [CS] Flotilla of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron and 150 Army sharpshooters [US] Garrison of Fort Griffon (Texan Davis Guards) [CS]
The NPS guys apparently invented "Griffon", maybe to avoid confusion with Fort Griffin, the Texas/Confederate name of the fort when the Sept 8, 1863 battle took place...named for a Lt Col Confed officer. In 1867 during US Army occupation of Texas, "Fort Griffin" (the current TX State Historical Site) was established. The latter Griffin was a USArmy officer who became one of the military governors of Texas. He did well in some Civil War battles in eastern theater.
The current US Coast Guard station at Sabine Pass probably sits atop the site of the "2nd battle" Fort Griffin.
I'm working on Sabine Pass Wikipedia articles, getting accurate cites and dispelling myths when possible. My research of Texas Civil War military sites began in 1973, as employee of Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept, and I began again a few years ago. Nowadays thousands of pertinent data are on Web; thank heaven I don't, for example, have to chase down Daughters of the Confederacy to see the "Official Records..." Pardon me if I'm preaching to the choir. I'll keep in touch here, Wiki:Talk space. Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 18:47, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
"Expedition into ... Texas" in opening statement is erroneous
Maybe it doesn't sound so traditional as usual, but the fact is...
There was an expedition planned (strongly hastened and hampered by Washington politics) for the U.S. Army to hurry and invade Texas. The venture was much delegated by high-ranking U.S. Army officers, execrated by the U.S. Secretary of Navy, and the highest ranking Navy admiral more than twice on the record predicted "disaster". High-ranking Navy officers shied away; front-line roles were filled by volunteer officers who served as "Acting Captain" (etc.). Indeed it was a disaster as Farragut warned. (I'm working on pertinent and accurate references.)
"Expedition into..." is generic and incorrect: No U.S. soldierset foot in Texas except in surrender as a result of the Second Battle of Sabine Pass --other than some U.S. Marines serving as ships' guards. Three months later the U.S. military was ignominiously run out of Galveston, and two Navy warships were overtaken and surrendered to two Confed blockade steamers with old smoothbore field pieces mounted on open top decks and manned by artillerymen of the same regiment whose "David Guards" accepted U.S. Acting Captain Crocker's sword.
The newly minted title "First Battle of Sabine Pass" is a different matter. It includes various skirmishes, sniping, cannon duels, shelling of residential settlements and warehouses, target practice on civilian barns by U.S. gunboats, cavalry displays, and whaleboat landings (one of these resulted in detention by dismounted Texas cavalrymen of a U.S. Navy officer and his rowers.)
The U.S. Army more than 4 years later named a cavalry post "Fort Griffin", surely knowing that the former Texas Confederate "Fort Griffin" was the nexus of the U.S. Army / U.S. Navy debacle at Sabine Pass. The Sabine Pass fort was named in 1863 to honor a Confed officer; the U.S. cavalry fort was named (cynically, in my opinion) in 1867 for a U.S. Army officer who was a temporary military occupation commandant (Reconstruction "governor") of Texas who, due to unskilled and implacable administrating, was replaced and ordered to the Texas frontier to chase Indians and protect farmers.
American Civil War history has been so infused with sparky patriotism that despite Shelby Foote and his genre of historians there is much misleading "info". Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 21:04, 19 April 2015 (UTC)