First Battle of Sabine Pass

The First Battle of Sabine Pass was a naval battle during the American Civil War in Texas which, in addition to strengthening the Union naval blockade on the Texas coastline, also intended to open the way for a possible amphibious assault.

In the early morning hours of September 25, 1861, Union naval forces under the command of Acting Master Frederick Crocker attempted to enter Sabine Pass, from which Crocker attempted to make his way through the inland passage to Beaumont.

As they neared Fort Sabine, a Confederate artillery battery guarding the Sabine Pass, Crocker ordered his fleet of two schooners and a steamship to begin an artillery bombardment of the enemy position. Confederate forces numbering 30 infantry and artillerists, additionally supported by 30 cavalrymen, were unable to return fire as the outdated garrison's batteries were unable to reach the Union fleet. The commanding officer, Major J. S. Irvine, ordered his artillery spiked and then retreated during the night. Without a significant military presence, the town of Sabine Pass, Texas, surrendered the following day.

Two Confederate ships drive away two Union ships as the Rebels recapture Sabine Pass, Texas, and open an important port for the Confederacy.

Sabine Pass lay at the mouth of the Sabine River along the gulf coast of Texas. The Confederates constructed a major fort there in 1861. In September 1862, a Union force captured the fort and, shortly after, the port of Galveston to the southwest. The Yankees now controlled much of the Texas coast. In November, General John Bankhead Magruder arrived to change Southern fortunes in the area. Magruder was an early Confederate hero in Virginia, and now he was assigned the difficult task of expelling the Federals from Sabine Pass and Galveston