Presenter: John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center
When Major General John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the District of Texas, he immediately sought to regain the glory he had attained on the Virginia Peninsula through the recapture of Galveston, Texas. Magruder planned to use two cottonclads against six federal gunboats while his troops pressed the Union soldiers back onto Kurtz’s Wharf. Somehow, CSS Bayou City was able to capture USS Harriet Lane and USS Westfield was destroyed by its own crew. The rest of the Union forces either escaped or surrendered. Galveston was liberated on January 1, 1863, and Magruder became once again “the hero of our time.” The port city would remain under Confederate control for the rest of the war.