Join us during Museum Appreciation Day for a lecture by author Andy Hall!
“Captain Dave Versus the Yankees”
On a Sunday morning in the spring of 1864, the lives of two men intersected violently on the deck of a blockade-running schooner off the mouth of the Brazos River. In many ways, the two men were very much alike. Both were young and in the prime of their lives. Both were professional merchant seamen, and both were immigrants to this country. But the circumstances of war brought these men, who otherwise might have been fast friends, together in violent conflict.
The story of these two men, Dave McCluskey and Paul Börner, embodies the back-and-forth story of blockade running on the Texas coast during the American Civil War. While Texas was far from the center of the conflict, it remained an important part of the Confederacy and major source of cotton being shipped overseas. Texas’ importance actually grew during the war, as other ports on the Atlantic and Gulf coast were systematically seized by U.S. forces. Texas experienced a flurry of blockade-running activity in the last months of the conflict, with the last runners slipping in and out of Galveston some six weeks after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and the collapse of Confederate armies in the east.
Andy Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in Historical Studies from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and a masters degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University. Since 1990 Hall has volunteered with the office of the State Marine Archaeologist at the Texas Historical Commission to help document historic shipwrecks in Texas waters. Hall was part of the inaugural group of volunteer marine archaeological stewards appointed by the Texas Historical Commission, the first group of its kind in the nation. From 1997 to 2002, Hall served as Co-Principal Investigator for theDenbigh Project, the most extensive archaeological investigation of a Civil War blockade runner to date in the Gulf of Mexico. Hall writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of Texas’ maritime history and its military conflicts in the 19th century.
Join us during Museum Appreciation Day for a talk by local author Ed Cotham!
“Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston.”:
At the end of the Civil War, Galveston was the last major Confederate port. But this result came only after a land and sea battle in which Confederate forces recaptured the city from the Union, the only major port that the Confederates ever recaptured. The Battle of Galveston, which took place on January 1, 1863, was the biggest Civil War battle in Texas and one of the most unusual of the entire war. In his multi-media presentation, based on his award-winning book of the same title, Ed Cotham discusses the details of the battle and its important consequences for Texas and the conduct of the war.
A former President of the Houston Civil War Round Table, Ed Cotham has written four award-winning books on the Civil War, including Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston, which was published by the University of Texas Press in 1998. This book has been hailed as a “Texas Classic.” Ed has served as a project historian on several Texas shipwreck projects and is active in the movement to interpret and preserve historic sites. He is also a frequent lecturer and battlefield guide. When he is not researching and writing on the Civil War, Ed serves as Director and Chief Investment Officer for the Terry Foundation, the largest private provider of college scholarships in Texas.