Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith
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.
Erected 1965 by Texas Historical Survey Committee.
Location. Click for map. At southwest corner of square in front of Galveston County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 722 Moody, Galveston TX 77550, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Martin Kirwin (within shouting distance of this marker); [Galveston County] 1901-1965 (within shouting distance of this marker); Exploration [of Galveston] (within shouting distance of this marker); George Campbell Childress (within shouting distance of this marker); Texas Revolution and Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); [Galveston County] Early History (within shouting distance of this marker); Texas Bar Association (within shouting distance of this marker); Galveston in the Republic of Texas (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Galveston.
Categories. • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,023 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.