By: J. Barto Arnold III

Type: General Entry

Published: November 1, 1994

The Acadia was a River Clyde-type steamship built at Sorel, Quebec, in May and July of 1864. She was expressly constructed to be a blockade runner and was larger and faster than the norm. She was a 738 tonner, whereas the usual range of vessels in this occupation was from 400 to 600 tons. The Acadia was 211 feet long and had a beam of thirty-one feet and a hold twelve feet deep. She was a side-wheeler with one 900-horsepower engine. Under the command of Capt. Thomas Leach, the Acadia was on her first voyage as a blockade runner when she was run aground and abandoned by her crew on February 6, 1865. As soon as the morning fog lifted she was spotted in fifteen feet of water ten miles northeast of the mouth of the Brazos, her intended destination, by the USS Virginia, the Union navy ship on patrol in the area. The Acadia was destroyed by gunfire, although much of her cargo was salvaged by shore parties. The wreck site was examined by Wendell E. Pierce during the late 1960s and early 1970s under permit from the Texas Antiquities Committee and under the supervision of Frank Hole, an archeologist at Rice University. Artifacts from the site were housed for a time at the Houston Museum of Natural Science; they are now held by the Brazoria County Museum in Angleton. The wreck of the Acadia is a designated state archeological landmark protected under the Texas Antiquities Code.

Frank Hole, The Acadia: A Civil War Blockade Runner (Houston: Rice University Department of Anthropology, 1974). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

J. Barto Arnold III, “Acadia,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

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