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ARANSAS PASS, C.S.A.

ARANSAS PASS, 5 MILES TO THE SOUTHEAST, A GAP BETWEEN TEXAS COASTAL ISLANDS, WAS STRATEGIC IN THE CIVIL WAR BECAUSE IT LET IN FRIENDS, KEPT OUT FOES, AND ADMITTED GOODS TO BE HAULED ON THE OVERLAND ROAD’FROM THE COAST TO SAN ANTONIO. A HAVEN TO BLOCKADE RUNNERS WHO CAME TO CORPUS CHRISTI, COPANO OR ARANSAS BAYS WITH AMMUNITION, GUNS, MEDICINES, STEEL, ROPE, CROCKERY, CLOTH, TRENCHING TOOLS, SHOES, BAR IRON OR OTHER GOODS. THEY TOOK OUT 50 TO 200 BALES OF COTTON A TRIP. HOLDS AND DECKS WERE SO FULL THAT MEN HAD TO WALK ON COTTON TO WORK THE SAILS.

BEHIND THE ISLAND CHAIN WHICH ARANSAS PASS HELPED TO GUARD, MAIL AND GOODS TRAVELED ALONG A 300-MILE INLET FROM BAGDAD AND MATAMOROS IN NEUTRAL MEXICO UP TO MATAGORDA. THE ISLANDS’ INLETS AND PASSES WERE FORTIFIED BY CONFEDERATE INFANTRY, CAVALRY AND MARINES MANNING DREDGEBOATS, RAFTS OR PRIZE SHIPS.

CONFEDERATES WON VICTORIES AT ARANSAS PASS ON FEB 22 AND APRIL 22, 1862. WITH 1,900 FEDERAL TROOPS GENERAL N. P. BANKS TOOK THE 100-MAN GARRISON ON NOV. 17, 1863, BUT FAILED TO HOLD THE MAINLAND BEHIND THE PASS. IN JUNE 1864 THE FEDERALS WITHDREW.

TO THE WAR’S END, BLOCKADE RUNNERS FED VITAL GOODS INTO THE CONFEDERACY BY WAY OF ARANSAS PASS. (1965)

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