Bombardment of Corpus Christi!
Major A. M. Hobby, Commands. Leads a daring charge!
Boats Beaten! Victory?
On Wednesday last, the yankees, with a (force) consisting of one teamer of three __________ two schooners and one sloop of ________, came to anchor in front of our (city) _________. Next morning, the commander of the yankees, landed at the upper wharf, under (flag) of truce, and was met by Maj. A. M. Hobby, command of this Post. A ________ (meeting) was held, but no definite results obtained. At 4 P.M., same day, by agreement, the same parties again met, when the __________ (yankee) Captain demanded the right and _________. Major Hobby, promptly (denied) him his demands, denied his claims and informed the yankee that whenever he ________ on our soil, he would be attacked _________ test of arms,” the yankee said “ he _________ (would) enforce his demands.” An armistice of forty-eight hours was asked, which at (first) was refused but afterwards was granted. During the armistice, every family in the place moved into the country. Though __________ under a burning August sun, into an ________ and barren prairie, with only here and there a tree to shelter the aged, sick and ____________, and during a long continued night and a consequent scarcity of water _________ distress, our people gladly endured the privations and sufferings, with the __________ of a patriotic devotion, rather than submit to abolition rule, or less still, __________ our public buildings inspected (by) the freebooters.
The enemy did not commence the bombardment, upon the expiration of the armistice. Up to this time there was neither ___________ work thrown up nor gun in position. (The) armistice would not allow of preparation during its continuance. We were in apparently poor condition to offer a visitor resistance. But Major Hobby, as __________ will show, proved himself equal to the emergency. With consummate skill and military sagacity he managed all subsequent arrangements. No sooner was it __________ than a battery was commenced close to the water’s edge, in the north part of the City ad under the guns of the enemy. Before day, it was completed and one 18 and two 12-pounders, all smooth bores, (the total available artillery), were in position. At fair dawn, to the surprise of the enemy, the thunder of our artillery informed him that he was in hostile waters, and several rounds, some effective, were given before he could reply. Presently, he was at his work, and a terrific fire was directed at our battery. Many shells, however, were thrown from the fleet in every conceivable direction to and within one and one-half miles about the City, in hopes of finding the locality of our troops, which, whoever, proved a failure. Thus the fight continued throughout the day. Many houses were pierced with shot, shell and their fragments. _________ ties on our side, being, nobody hurt and no material damage done the battery. It had withstood for one day, a heavy fire, and proven impregnable to elongated shot.
Next day, it being Sunday, the fleet remained at the moorings last spoken of, and employed the day in repairing their damaged vessels.
Monday morning the fight again opened, which was maintained the same in all respects, as it had been on the previous Saturday, until about 10:00 A. M., when the enemy landed, in all thirty-two marines and a 6-pound rifled field piece, upon the beach about a mile to the north of and opened an enfilading fire upon our battery, which having only a water front was without the power of replying. The enemy’s shore forces were rapidly closing in on our battery, meanwhile, keeping up a continuous fire. Their projectiles were directed with great precision, each shot barely clearing our guns. The gun boats were in line-of-battle, so as to completely covers the open space between our battery and their shore force. To charge over this ground, would have been a forlorn hope to all who would venture to do it. Here was a critical moment, the chances of success seemingly being with the Yankees. Steadily their shore force was approaching, making every moment more critical, until it came within six hundred yards, when Major Hobby, called for twenty-five men to follow him. They did follow and gallantly did the Major lead as desperate a charge as was ever made. Notwithstanding, the gunboats belched forth volleys of grape, canister, shrapnel and shell upon our boys, on they went, and away went the Yankees marines as fast as their legs could carry the, barely getting off with their gun and a loss of four killed or wounded, which they were seen to carry off the field. Our men returned to the battery, and although they had been exposed to showering torrents of missiles of death, there, was only one man killed, Henry Mote, who was shot through the head and one wounded, Major Hobby, who was grazed with a grape shot on the side of the forehead, besides, another passed through his hat. Meanwhile the battery had not been idle, for taking advantage of the short range the gunboats had _________ passing completely through the steamer. The fleet then hauled off and continued the bombardment until dark, and this morning tuck tail and left Corpus Christi the Vicksburg of Texas, being completely foiled and whipped. We have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy, further than already stated. Our loss is one killed and one slightly wounded. The damage done the City is considerable. The enemy threw over four hundred shot and shell during the bombardment, many of which were fired into harmless houses. One Wm. Kitridge, commanded the yankees.
Our forces, consisting of Hobby’s battalion, War’s cavalry, Neal’s artillery, Ireland’s infantry and citizens, done every duty that men or soldiers could do. All were represented in the charge, and all partake of its imperishable honors. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them. Major Hobby has proven himself a sagacious commander. His plan of defense shows his quick perception in the wise manner in which he took advantage of nature and art so as to make a successful resistance to the insolent foe. His leading in the desperate charge, precisely at the right time, establishes his bravery, and evidences his cool and unerring judgment under most trying circumstances. With such men to lead and direct our brave troops, victory will always be ours. ALL HONOR TO THE BRAVE DEFENDERS OF CORPUS CHRISTI!
Source: The Ranchero Extra, August 19, 1862, p.1, cols 1-3
Research by: Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription by: Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission