Fort Sabine Military Reservation

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Fort Sabine Military Reservation (1838-1945) - A Military Reservation established in 1838 by the President of the United States at Sabine Pass in Jefferson County, Texas. Abandoned as a military reservation in 1871 and transferred to the Department of Interior. Parts reestablished as military reservations during the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. Finally abandoned in 1945 at the end of World War II. Also known as Sabine Pass Military Reservation.

Sabine Pass Battleground Kiosk, Information About all the Reservation Activitles


Established by order of President Martin Van Buren on 20 Dec 1838 while Texas was still a Republic. The first fortification established on the reservation was the U.S. Army's Fort Sabine (3) (1836-1838).

U.S. Civil War

Lt. Richard Dowling Monument
USS Clifton Walking Beam Recovered from the Sabine Pass

Federal in installations Texas were surrendered to Confederate forces at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War and the strategic Sabine Pass was first fortified by Confederates with Fort Sabine (2) in 1862. The post was attacked and damaged on 24 Sep 1862 by Union gunboats and later abandoned for Fort Griffin (2) in 1863. Fort Griffin (2) successfully defended Sabine Pass against a Union flotilla and sank two Union gunboats in the process. Union forces were not able to break through the defenses at Sabine Pass and it remained in Confederate hand until the end of the war.

Authorized for sale by Act of Congress 24 Feb 1871 and transferred to the Department of Interior for cash sale.

Endicott Period

Three unnamed Endicott Period gun batteries were built on leased land on the former reservation circa 1898-1899.

  • 1 - M1888 8" BL Gun on a modified 15" Rodman Carriage
  • 2 - 5" Guns
  • 2 - 7" Guns

World War I

A single two gun 5" battery was in place circa 1917-1918.

  • 2 - 5" Guns

World War II

Sabine Pass Military Reservation WWII Magazine
Sabine Pass Military Reservation WWII Plotting Room?

A single two gun 155mm battery was in place 1942-1944 on leased land. A support base to support the battery and associated fire control elements was built at the present day Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park. A Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) was built at the Navy Section near the present day Coast Guard Station to control ship traffic into the Pass. The combined facilities were designated the Temporary Harbor Defense of Sabine Pass.

  • 2 - 155mm Guns see Battery 155 - Sabine Pass
  • 1 - Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP)
  • 5 - Ammunition Magazines
  • 1 - Plotting Room
  • 1 - B' Primary Fire Control Station
  • 1 - B" Secondary Fire Control Station
  • 2 - 60" Searchlights on 50' Towers
  • 4 - 18" Portable Searchlights
  • 30 - six-man hutments
  • 1 - Mess Hall
  • 1 - Motor Repair Shed

Current Status

Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Jefferson County, Texas

Location: Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Jefferson County, Texas.

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.7323201 Long: -93.8739279

See Also:


  • Gaines, William, Temporary Harbor Defenses in the Southern Defense Command: 1942-1944, The Coast Defense Journal, Vol 16 Issue 1, February 2002, page 4-38
  • Manuel, Dale A., Spanish-American War Batteries at Sabine Pass, The Coast Defense Journal, Vol 16 Issue 3, August 2002, page 59-65
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2029431


Visited: 13 Apr 2013

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