Historic and key Texas port of entry located near here. During the Civil War was fortified by troops and 8 gun batteries at the mouth of the Brazos River, to provide shelter and landing facilities for blockade runners; to protect rich farmlands; and to prevent Federal invasion.
The South exchanged cotton for European guns, ammunition, milled goods and medicines for army and home use. Velasco was one of the busiest ports. Federal vessels attempted to stop vital trade, and constantly fired upon runners as well as the shore defenses and patrols. The runners would approach the port on dark nights when the waters were smooth, and by the use of sounding lines could determine nearness to shore and avoid blockaders. Boilers would be kept well fired with hard coal that burned with a minimum of smoke, in case it became necessary to outrun Federal patrol ships.
Union ships had to go to New Orleans for drinking water, food and fuel, because Texas marines on rafts or dredgeboats or Texas cavalry and infantry units kept them off the shores. The raw courage of the Texas coastal defenders made this a most dramatic story in the history of the Confederacy. (1964)