Site of Fort Griffin

Site of Fort Griffin (HM28J7)

Location: Port Arthur, TX 77655 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 43.963', W 93° 52.384'

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Renowned for brilliant Civil War victory, Sept. 8, 1863. Confederates in this fort repulsed a fleet seeking to land thousands of Federal soldiers.
Lt. Richard W. Dowling (1838-1867), in civilian life a Houston businessman, commanded fort during enemy assault. His men, mostly Irishmen from Galveston and Houston, had been comrades in arms since Feb. 1861.
Sabine Pass, where Dowling's men (Co. F, Texas Heavy Artillery) were assigned in 1863, was a center for the blockade-running whereby Confederacy exported cotton and obtained in exchange vital goods such as medicines and arms. Here Co. F built Fort Griffin, named in honor of Lt. Col. W. H. Griffin, Confederate commander at Sabine City. Fort was designed by Col. Valery Sulakowski, formerly of the Austrian Army.
Fort Griffin was an earthwork strengthened with railroad iron and ship's timbers. It was unfinished when Confederates learned of approach of 22 ships.
Dowling kept watch, but ordered no response to the early shelling by the Federals. When first ships entered range of Fort Griffin's guns, however, the battle began. Dowling himself served as one of the gunners. The fort sent 137 shells toward the targets. Dowling monument (near here) tells of the victory.
HM NumberHM28J7
Year Placed1969
Placed ByTexas State Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 415568 N 3289487
Decimal Degrees29.73271667, -93.87306667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 43.963', W 93° 52.384'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 43' 57.78" N, 93° 52' 23.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Dick Dowling Rd, Port Arthur TX 77655, US
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