Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith

Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith (HMO58)

Location: Galveston, TX 77550 Galveston County
Country: United States of America

N 29° 18.16', W 94° 47.411'

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"Lion" of Texas coastal defense during the Civil War. Commanded marine department of military district.

Born in New England, went to sea at 13. By age 20 was a captain. In 1850's commanded on the Galveston to New Orleans run of Southern Mail Steamships.

In Feb. 1861, when Texas had seceded, commanded ship taking Col. John S. "Rip" Ford to Brownsville to take military possession of the Rio Grande. In April, with ship and crew, volunteered in Confederate navy.

With 2 days' notice, prepared water-borne part of offensive that won Battle of Galveston on Jan. 1, 1863. Walled his ships with cotton bales; in brief fighting captured the pride of the Federal navy.

On Sept. 8, 1863, ordered a Confederate ship into sea battle. Then personally rode through enemy fire to join Dick Dowling's 47 men on land, and fight in the battle that turned out to be victory of Sabine Pass.

He and his ships helped prevent Federal landings to take food, water and wood from Texas coasts. They also ran Federal blockade and aided other ships in slipping past enemy patrols with Texas cotton to exchange overseas for goods scarce in the South: guns, ammunition, shoes, coffee, cloth, medicines.

Died in Alaska, December 26, 1869.
HM NumberHMO58
Year Placed1965
Placed ByTexas Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 8:47am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 326131 N 3242848
Decimal Degrees29.30266667, -94.79018333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 18.16', W 94° 47.411'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 18' 9.60" N, 94° 47' 24.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409, 281
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2000-2098 Avenue H, Galveston TX 77550, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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