Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Confederate Mariner: Leon Smith
"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
Died in Alaska, December 26, 1869.
Erected 1965 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 7188.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is December 26, 1849.
Location. 29° 18.16′ N, 94° 47.411′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is at the intersection of Moody Avenue (21st Street) and Avenue H, on the right when traveling north on Moody Avenue (21st Street). At southwest corner of square in front of Galveston County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 722 Moody Avenue (21st Street), Galveston TX 77550, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Galveston County Communities (within shouting distance of this marker); Norris Wright Cuney (within shouting distance of this marker); Rabbi Henry Cohen (within shouting 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); Dignified Resignation (within shouting distance of this marker); Exploration George Campbell Childress (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 24, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,635 times since then and 137 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 24, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.