In 1863, the U.S. Navy attempted to invade Confederate Texas through the Sabine Pass to gain access to Houston -- the rail center of Texas. Guarding the pass was Fort Griffin, where on Sept. 8, 1863, Lt. Dick Dowling and 46 of his men used six cannons to defeat four gunboats and halt the invasion. In honor of the Texas defenders, a bronze statue of Dowling overlooks the 57.5-acre park. An interpretive pavilion illustrates the story of the battle, while a walking trail features historical markers. Four World War II ammunition bunkers stand witness to the site's use by the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery Division. A four-lane, wheelchair accessible, boat ramp provides easy access to the Sabine Pass Jetties, Sabine Lake or the Gulf of Mexico. Accessible sidewalks with handrails line the bulkheads, allowing visitors to fish the bountiful waters of the pass or gaze across to Louisiana and the Sabine Pass Lighthouse. Today, the Sabine Pass Battleground is a great place to fish or picnic while exploring the rich history of the uppermost point of the Texas coast.
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