Transportation, military and supply center in the Civil War. On one branch of the Cotton Road, which moved crop to Mexico for exchange on foreign markets for vital guns, ammunition, medicines and other goods. The 1861 vote favored secession 313 to 88.
Troops furnished the Confederacy included 5 cavalry companies. County men were also in the 6th Texas Infantry, which trained at "Henry E. McCulloch", a camp of instruction 4 miles from Victoria. Local men in Hood's, Ross' and Sibley's Brigades, Terry's Texas Rangers and Buchel's Cavalry were among the 90,000 Texans noted for mobility and daring who fought on every battlefront. Fort Esperanza, on Matagorda Island, was garrisoned by 100 Victoria Militia, who were captured by 1,900 Federals.
The people at home made cloth, tallow candles, shoe blacking from china berries, coffee substitutes from parched corn, dried potatoes or okra seeds.
To block 1863 threat of Federal invasion, Gen. John B. Magruder, commander of the Dept. of Texas, destroyed the railroad from Port Lavaca to Victoria. Citizens sacrificed their fine river harbor, one of the two busiest in Texas, by felling trees and sinking boats in the shipping lanes.