Captain Henry Martyn Stringfellow, C.S.A.
This 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.