Fort Sabine

By: Robert Wooster

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

Fort Sabine was off Farm Road 3322 and State Highway 87 one mile south of the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park and fifteen miles south of Port Arthur in southeastern Jefferson County. Fearing a Union invasion during the Civil War, the citizens of Sabine Pass decided to build a fort to protect their town. Local residents, including many slaves, constructed a dirt and timber earthwork overlooking the Sabine River. The post was garrisoned by local militia, the Sabine Pass Guard, and later by the Sixth Texas Infantry Battalion. On September 24, 1862, the fort was shelled by Union gunboats and severely damaged. With the fort's ability to continue functioning already in doubt, yellow fever broke out among the remaining troops, and Maj. Josephus S. Irvine ordered the guns spiked and the position abandoned. The following March, Maj. Julius Kellersberg inspected the remains of Fort Sabine and determined that the site was no longer useful. Consequently, he ordered the construction of a new fort, several miles away, which became Fort Griffin. Fort Griffin was completed in August 1863, when the two thirty-two-pound guns from Fort Sabine were installed and reactivated.

W. T. Block, A History of Jefferson County, Texas, from Wilderness to Reconstruction (M.A. thesis, Lamar University, 1974; Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1976).
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 Sabine,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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