Civil War Wiki
First Battle of Sabine Pass
Part of American Civil War
Date September 25, 1861
Location Sabine Pass, Texas
Result Union victory
File:Flag of the United States.svg United States Confederate States of America Confederate States
File:US Naval Jack 34 stars.svg Frederick Crocker File:CSA FLAG 28.11.1861-1.5.1863.svg J.S. Irvine
2 schooners,
1 steamer
30 infantry,
30 cavalry,
unknown artillery,
Fort Sabine
Casualties and losses
none unknown,
Fort Sabine damaged

The First Battle of Sabine Pass or the Bombardment of Fort Sabine was a naval and land battle during the American Civil War in Sabine Pass, Texas. In addition to strengthening the Union naval blockade of the Texas coastline, it was also intended to open the way for a possible amphibious assault on the Confederate town of Sabine Pass.


Sabine Pass is a waterway off the Texas mainland. In September, 1862, Lieutenant Pennington in the mortar schooner USS Henry Janes was blockading the Sabine River estuary. On September 21, Acting Master Frederick Crocker in the steamer USS Kensington and Acting Master Quincy Hooper in schooner USS Rachel Seaman reuinited with the Henry Janes to develop a plan of attack on the Confederate fort protecting the waterway. In the early morning hours of September 25, 1862, Union naval forces under the command of Crocker attempted to enter Sabine Pass, as Crocker made his way through the inland passage to Beaumont, the Confederates attacked.


When the Union squadron neared Fort Sabine, the Confederate artillery battery, Crocker ordered his ships to begin an artillery bombardment of the enemy position. Confederate forces numbering thirty infantry and artillerists, additionally supported by thirty cavalrymen, were unable to return fire as the outdated garrison's batteries were unable to reach the Union fleet. The commanding officer, Major J. S. Irvine, ordered his artillery spiked and then retreated during the night. Without a significant military presence, the town of Sabine Pass, surrendered the following day.


  • Linedecker, Clifford L., ed. Civil War, A-Z: The Complete Handbook of America's Bloodiest Conflict. New York: Ballentine Books, 2002. ISBN 0-89141-878-4