Robert Wooster

FORT SABINE. 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).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "FORT SABINE," accessed July 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox