1862. Admiral David Farragut orders enclaves to be established in Texas as part of the Federal blockade. This involves attempts against Corpus Christi, Sabine Pass, Galveston, and Port Lavaca. By the end of the year Federal troops reduce the defenses of Sabine Pass and occupy Galveston, the state's principal port. However, the gains prove tenuous. While Federal sailors await Union infantry reinforcements, the Confederates, under Gen. John B. Magruder, seize the initiative. They organize a makeshift fleet of cottonclads --lightly armed and armored, but good platforms for sharpshooters--and boldly attack the Union fleet whenever it lies close to shore. Meanwhile, Confederate troops bombard from land. Ultimately, this counterattack results in the destruction or capture of four Union warships and three supply vessels and temporarily lifts the blockade. A lively account of invative and daring tactics against superior forces by a dynamic historian.
DONALD S. FRAZIER holds a Ph.D. from Texas Christian University and is a professor of history at McMurry University. His book Blood and Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest is a History Book Club selection and he has published over 300 cartographic illustrations appearing in over two dozen scholarly books and journals.