By Bartee Haile
On Jul. 25, 1861, three months after President Lincoln ordered a blockade of all southern ports, the United States Navy sent a ship to seal off Galveston Bay, and the frigate Santee relieved the original vessel of the lonely watch in mid-September. Bored by seven weeks of uneventful guard duty, Lt. James Jouett volunteered to lead a daring nighttime attack on Nov. 7 against the General Rusk, a steam-powered man-of-war anchored near the Rebel fort on Pelican Island. Relying upon the element of surprise, Jouett hoped to overwhelm the crew and scuttle the fighting ship before the Rebs knew what had hit them. If his main objective proved unattainable, he would seize the Royal Yacht, an armed schooner.
To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition