Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Captain Henry Martyn Stringfellow, C.S.A.

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on April 5, 2015

Stringfellow1896smallThis coming Thursday marks the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House. That evening at 6 p.m. I’ll be speaking at the Stringfellow Orchards, 7902 Highway 6 in Hitchcock, on the early life and wartime career of Henry Martyn Stringfellow (right, c. 1896).

Stringfellow is remembered today as one of the pioneer settlers of mainland Galveston County, a successful grower who introduced new products and growing techniques in the late 19th century. But he originally came to Texas in the fall of 1862 with John Bankhead Magruder, and served most of the war here as a staff ordnance officer. He served in the Battle of Galveston, where he took command of a battery after its original officer had been struck down, and was later cited by Magruder for his “remarkable gallantry during the engagement.” Stringfellow was the son of one of Virginia’s most prominent clergymen of the time, and a member of a well-connected family in the Commonwealth. It’s an interesting and unusual story, one that I’m excited to be able to tell.

Then, on Saturday, I’ll be speaking at the annual meeting of the Texas Map Society here at Rosenberg in Galveston. My presentation there is, “Treacherous Shoals: The U.S. Coast Survey and the Civil War in the Gulf of Mexico”:


In setting out to blockade the Confederate Gulf coast in 1861, the Federal navy found itself desperately short of the ships and men needed to accomplish the task. The one weapon they did have was two decades’ worth of chartmaking done by the U.S. Coast Survey, which formed the foundation of blockade strategy in the Gulf. Over the next four years, naval officers on both sides of the conflict would use their prewar experience with the Coast Survey to try and gain the upper hand in the blockade and other major naval operations in the Gulf of Mexico.


This should be fun.



4 Responses

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  1. M.D. Blough said, on April 5, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Andy-Why did he decide to stay in Texas instead of returning to Virginia after the war?

    • Andy Hall said, on April 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

      I can only speculate, but he married a girl from Seguin during the war, which gave him some strong ties locally. He may also have perceived more opportunity here, where the war was little felt physically. Texas really boomed in some ways right after the war.

      In his book he makes vague reference to some failing speculations in the months right after the war (between summer 65 and spring 66), so he was not destitute. His father in law was quite well off, at least before the war, and that probably helped. By 1870 the father in law had relocated his medical practice here to Galveston, and Henry had his first commercial orchard a going concern, west of the city — by coincidence, a couple of block from my house now.

      Stringfellow is interesting not only because of the facts of his life, but because there are very few clichés in his story.

  2. Nicole DuPuis said, on July 17, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I am writing to seek permission to use the above photo of of Henry Martyn Stringfellow. If it is permissable, please tell me how I can cite it.

    Thank you,

    Nicole DuPuis
    Center for Public Administration and Policy
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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