Five warships of the Union Gulf blockading squadron in early October 1862 effectively forced the surrender of the important Confederate port at Galveston, Texas. The Federal ships gave Galveston’s civil and military authorities four days to remove the women and children from the town, threatening to shell the city if it was not surrendered by the end of the fourth day.
When the Federal gunboat Harriet Lane ventured too close to Confederate batteries at Fort Point, she was fired upon, precipitating Union seizure of the city by Commander Jonathan Wainwright, captain of the Harriet Lane. Confederate forces retreated, crossing the railroad bridge to Virginia Point on the mainland just off Galveston Island. Union forces would eventually occupy and hold Galveston until the Confederates retook the city in early January 1863.