Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site

6100 Dowling Rd. Port Arthur, TX 77641
statue of Dick Dowling

The Battle at Sabine Pass 

The story of the Civil War battle fought here sounds like a Texas Tall Tale, but is true. On September 8, 1863, a Union fleet numbering some 20 vessels and about 4,000 men tried to invade Texas through Sabine Pass. Facing them all alone was Company F of the Texas Heavy Artillery. The Company consisted of 40 Irish dock workers lead by a young lieutenant, a barkeep from Houston, named Dick Dowling. They had six cannons set up in unfinished earth works reinforced with railroad iron and ship’s timbers. When the smoke cleared, Dick Dowling and Company F had captured two Federal ships and 350 men. The remainder of the union fleet returned to New Orleans. The Federals were never able to penetrate the Texas interior during the war.

Today Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site, popular with anglures, features an interpretive pavilion and walkway, a 14-foot statue and monument, ADA- accessible sidewalks and restrooms, covered picnic tables and grills, 4-lane boat ramps with ADA-accessible dock, 1/4 mile of shoreline with safety railing.

Waterside Birding

In spring look for migrant land birds (vireos, warblers, tanagers, buntings, grosbeaks and orioles). In winter through late spring, cordgrass marshes bordering roads support numbers of Nelson’s Sharptailed and seaside sparrows.

  • Visit this park on the way to nearby Sabine Woods, Sea Rim State Park and McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
  • Battlegrounds are open daily with extended hours of 6 a.m.-8 p.m. through Sept. 15, 2023. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to  5 p.m. Admission is $5 a vehicle.  There is an on-site fish-cleaning station. The on-site number is (409) 332-8820.
  • A self-guided walking tour takes about 30 minutes, and ample parking and restroom facilities are available. Two shaded areas with picnic tables and grills offer a pleasant setting. Additional grills and picnic tables are also on site. For more information, go to

Getting There

Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site

6100 Dowling Rd. Port Arthur, TX 77641