Fort Grigsby

By: Robert Wooster

Type: General Entry

Published: January 1, 1995

Fort Grigsby was on the Neches River at the site of present Port Neches, eleven miles southeast of Beaumont in eastern Jefferson County. It was called Grigsby's Bluff, when Maj. Julius Kellersberg built a small defensive installation in October 1862 on the bluff of that name. Fort Grigsby was part of a series of river defenses designed to block a possible Union advance up the Neches after the fall of Fort Sabine. The fort's two twenty-four-pound guns overlooked a bend in the river. Kellersberg confidently predicted that the battery would "blow anything out of the water" that crossed the bar he had made by sinking shell-laden ships downstream in the Sabine River. The fort itself consisted of mud and clamshell embankments reinforced by upright, pointed logs. It was occupied by Capt. K. D. Keith's company from October to December 1862 and was no longer necessary after the construction of Fort Manhassett. Fort Grigsby seems to have been abandoned sometime after July 1863.

W. T. Block, A History of Jefferson County, Texas, from Wilderness to Reconstruction (M.A. thesis, Lamar University, 1974; Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1976). W. T. Block, "Where Was Fort Grigsby?" East Texas Historical Journal 9 (October 1971). "The Memoirs of Captain Kosciuszko D. Keith," Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record 10 (1974). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Robert Wooster, “Fort Grigsby,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: