Civil War Fortifications at Virginia Point
This Marker is inscribed with information about the Civil War Fortifications at Virginia Point. Virginia Point was the site of an important railroad bridge which provided the only connection between the Texas mainland and Galveston Island in the mid-19th century. This site played an integral role in the Confederate defense of Galveston during the Civil War.
Backstory and Context
A convoy of Union ships began a blockade off Galveston Island on July 2, 1861. Confederate Brig. Gen. Paul O. Hebert, commander of the Military Department of Texas, established the Military District of Galveston in October that year. Under the command of Col. John C. Moore, the district included Galveston Island, Virginia Point, the adjacent coast, and Bolivar Peninsula.
Moore ordered fortifications built at Virginia Point at the head of the railroad bridge. When Federal troops captured Galveston Island, Gen. John B. Magruder, who had succeeded Hebert, ordered Confederate land forces to this strategic point. Moving over the railroad bridge to the island under cover of darkness on December 31, southern forces attacked the Federals just before dawn on New Year's Day 1863 and recaptured Galveston Island. At the end of the war in 1865, Galveston was the larger of only two southern ports remaining in Confederate hands. Incise on reverse: Researched by Ft. Virginia Point Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.