Blockade Runners at the Houston Maritime Museum
On Tuesday evening I had the real privilege of speaking again at the Houston Maritime Museum. The museum is a small place, tucked away in the shadow of the Texas Medical Center — though actively working toward moving into new digs on the Ship Channel — but what they lack in size now they more than make up for in energy, spirit and dedication. They have one of the best model collections in the region, ranging from the earliest oared craft to modern offshore work vessels and container ships. It’s a real gem.
The museum generously included me on their 2015 lecture schedule, to speak on the subject of blockade running in Texas. The timing was about perfect, as February 1865 was one of the most eventful periods in that entire story. Lots of folks came out, and I got to meet some interesting people before and after the presentation. I even got to sign some books at the end. It was a long evening, but a memorable one.
My friend Mark Lardas was there, as well. Mark is an active supporter of the museum and an avid modeler, although I don’t know how he finds the time for those activities. Mark made one correction to my presentation, which was both appreciated and needed. In discussing an incident during the war in which both sides expended a lot of powder and shot to no observable effect, I said that in this corner of the conflict, both Union and Confederate gunnery was “uniformly lousy.” Mark pointed out that there was one important exception to that rule, that was Dick Dowling’s battery at Sabine Pass in September 1863. They were very effective artillerists indeed. How could I forget that example? Do’oh!
Anyway, my talk is in the video above. Have a good evening, y’all!