Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 303

"Attack of the Rebels Upon our Gun-Boat Flotilla at Galveston, Texas, January 1, 1863", Harper's Weekly

Subject: Galveston, Texas

Period: 1863 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14 x 9 inches
35.6 x 22.9 cm
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This dramatic scene depicts the destruction of the USS Flagship Westfield in the second battle of Galveston during the Civil War. In the early days of the Civil War, the Union Navy secured Galveston Harbor with six ships under the command of Officer William Renshaw. On New Year's Day 1863, the Confederates entered the harbor with two cottonclads, the CS Bayou City and the CS Neptune. Under the command of Major Geneneral John Magruder, the Confederates engaged the Union Navy despite being greatly outnumbered. The CS Neptune was heavily damaged by the Union Navy and sank, however the CS Bayou City succeeded in capturing the USS Harriet Lane, shown here in the background at left. In the meantime, the USS Westfield became grounded on a sandbar. Rather than surrender his ship, Renshaw decided to destroy his ship with explosives, and died in the explosion. The Union troops on shore believed that their ships were surrendering, and therefore laid down their arms, enabling the Confederates to recapture Galveston. Published on January 31, 1863.


Condition: B

There is light soiling and numerous small chips and tears, primarily confined to blank margins, that have all been archivally repaired.

Estimate: $100 - $140

Sold for: $60

Closed on 6/12/2013