This Week in the Civil War - 693

Nov 4, 2013

On Monday, November 2, 1863 at the mouth of the Rio Grande River in south Texas General Nathaniel Banks’ 3500 man Union expeditionary force successfully occupied the island of Brazos Santiago, gaining a toehold in Confederate Texas.

After his defeat in September at Sabine Pass, Banks reversed himself, opting to invade Texas near the Mexican border with the intention of island-hopping eastward along the coastline.  Given the sparse population, the rewards of such an endeavor initially would be slim, but Banks would be moving toward his New Orleans base of support, which would encourage his men to fight harder and faster to hasten their return. 

Encountering virtually no resistance, a triumphant Banks notified Washington that the Union flag floated over Texas,” stating “(O)ur enterprise has been a complete success.”