Battle on the bay: Civil War comes to Galveston

A cascade of events led to the breakup of the Union and the onset of the Civil War. Growing division within the United States during the 1850s led to the movement of secession, which culminated in Southern states leaving the Union.

Galvestonians were divided on the issue of secession. Prominent Galveston attorney William Pitt Ballinger spoke against secession at Market Square in August 1860, and Gov. Sam Houston warned Texans of the dangers of such “riotous adventure.”

Nevertheless, the Texas Secession Convention approved a resolution to withdraw Texas from the Union, and on Feb. 23, 1861, the people of Texas voted in favor of secession.

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