Galveston Historical Foundation
Battle of Galveston

Battle of Galveston Tours

The Battle of Galveston, which took place during the early morning hours of January 1, 1863, is widely acknowledged as the most important military event in Galveston’s history. Played out on both land and sea over the course of several months, the Battle of Galveston ended with Confederate forces driving out the Union ships that had held Galveston Harbor since October 1862.

The Battle of Galveston really comes to life with the insight of Ed Cotham. This often overlooked occurrence changed the direction of the port of Galveston. The story of the people and place become real through this walking tour. – Dwayne Jones, GHF Executive Director

Join noted historian, Ed Cotham, for a walking tour of downtown Galveston as he shares the history of this battle and offers access to view the setting of the battle from locations including the 1859 Hendley Building. Tours will be held on Saturday, January 6 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, January 7 at 1 p.m. Walking tour tickets are $35 per person or $50 per person with Ed Cotham’s latest release. Reservations are required.

A special trolly tour will be held on Saturday, January 6, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person or $65 per person with Ed Cotham’s new book. Please meet at the Galveston Historic Seaport for a complimentary beverage and tour introduction. Parking is available in the lots by the seaport but are paid lots. Paid Strand parking is also available.


  • Saturday, January 6
    • 10:00 a.m. – Battle of Galveston Strand Walking Tour (Check-in at the 1860 Hendley Building, 2002 Strand)
    • 2:00 p.m. – Battle of Galveston Trolly Tour (Check-in at the Galveston Historic Seaport, Pier 21 and Harborside)
  • Sunday, January 7
    • 1:00 p.m. – Battle of Galveston Strand Walking Tour (Check-in at the 1860 Hendley Building, 2002 Strand)


Ed CothamEd is a former President of the Houston Civil War Round Table and is active in the Civil War preservation movement. In 2011, Ed received the President’s Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service from the Galveston Historical Foundation. He is a Life Member of the Civil War Preservation Trust. He is also a member of the Company of Military Historians, the Society of Civil War Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Author’s Guild. He serves as a Texas Marine Steward for the Texas Historical Commission. His published works include Battle on the Bay: the Civil War Struggle for Galveston, which was published in 1998 by the University of Texas Press. His second book, Sabine Pass: the Confederacy’s Thermopylae, was published in August 2004.


Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and merged with a new organization formed in 1954 as a non-profit entity devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County. Over the last sixty years, GHF has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency and stewardship of historic properties. GHF embraces a broader vision of history and architecture that encompasses advancements in environmental and natural sciences and their intersection with historic buildings and coastal life and conceives of history as an engaging story of individual lives and experiences on Galveston Island from the 19th century to the present day.

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MJ Nowak
MJ Nowak
5 months ago

Hello! Are the walking tour and the bus tour going to be very different or similar material/sites covered in both. I’m wondering whether the two are different enough to do both on Saturday.

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