Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae / Edition 1

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Overview

In an 1882 speech, former Confederate president Jefferson Davis made an exuberant claim: "That battle at Sabine Pass was more remarkable than the battle at Thermopylae." Indeed, Sabine Pass was the site of one of the most decisive Civil War battles fought in Texas. But unlike the Spartans, who succumbed to overwhelming Persian forces at Thermopylae more than two thousand years before, the Confederate underdogs triumphed in a battle that over time has become steeped in hyperbole. Providing a meticulously researched, scholarly account of this remarkable victory, Sabine Pass at last separates the legends from the evidence.

In arresting prose, Edward T. Cotham, Jr., recounts the momentous hours of September 8, 1863, during which a handful of Texans—almost all of Irish descent—under the leadership of Houston saloonkeeper Richard W. Dowling, prevented a Union military force of more than 5,000 men, 22 transport vessels, and 4 gunboats from occupying Sabine Pass, the starting place for a large invasion that would soon have given the Union control of Texas.

Sabine Pass sheds new light on previously overlooked details, such as the design and construction of the fort (Fort Griffin) that Dowling and his men defended, and includes the battle report prepared by Dowling himself. The result is a portrait of a mythic event that is even more provocative when stripped of embellishment.

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Editorial Reviews

Civil War News
The book is beautifully written, profusely illustrated and meticulously researched -- and sure to instruct and entertain any reader of Civil War history.
— Maxine Turner
Civil War News - Maxine Turner
The book is beautifully written, profusely illustrated and meticulously researched -- and sure to instruct and entertain any reader of Civil War history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292705944
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,468,553
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward T. Cotham, Jr., is an independent scholar based in Houston, Texas. He has served as president of the Houston Civil War Roundtable and is the author of Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Setting the Scene
2. The Admiral and the Forts
3. Attacking Texas
4. From Bar to Battle
5. Cottonclads with Cannon
6. Planning a Victory
7. Texas Is the Target
8. Sabine Pass as a Stepping-Stone
9. The Navy Makes Its Plans
10. The Expedition Departs
11. Revising the Plan
12. "Hold the Fort at All Hazards"
13. Attack of the Gunboats
14. Praise and Blame
15. The War Ends for Fort Griffin
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Report of Lieut. R. W. Dowling, Company "F," Cook's (Texas) Artillery, Concerning the Battle of Sabine Pass
Appendix 2: Annotated List of Sabine Pass Battle Participants
Appendix 3: Union Casualties at the Battle of Sabine Pass
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    The Best Book on the Subject

    This is the best book on a truly remarkable battle. Beautifully written and extremely well researched. One of the best books on the Civil War in Texas. Reads like a novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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