"Such a library as ours would not only contain books and current periodicals,
but there would be...articles of historic, scientific, and artistic interest."
~ Frank C. Patten, Head Librarian of Rosenberg Library, 1904 - 1934
The Library accepted its first museum piece shortly after it opened in 1904. Since then, thousands of rare and interesting objects from around the world have been added to the collection. Displayed in these pages are the Library's "Treasures of the Month."
May 2006 "Treasure of the Month"
General John B. Magruder became the new leader of the Confederate forces in Texas in November 1862. One of his top priorities was to regain control of Galveston and its bay. Magruder planned a two-sided attack. First, his infantry of 1,000 men would cross the railroad bridge and open fire on Union troops at the wharves. At the same time, two Confederate gunboats would attack the blockaded Union warships in Galveston Bay.
After the Harriet Lane was captured, Union Commander William Renshaw made the decision to retreat. The Union ships left Galveston Harbor, but the foot soldiers at the wharves were left behind. The stranded men were also forced to surrender to the Confederate army. During the Battle of Galveston, the Confederates managed to capture six Union ships, sink one, and run another aground. A total of 300 - 400 Union prisoners were taken. In turn, the number of killed or wounded Confederate soldiers was less than 150, and only one Confederate ship was lost. Galveston remained under Confederate control until the Civil War ended in 1865.
1. This shell fragment was lodged into a baseboard at the Hendley Building during the Battle of Galveston, New Year’s Day, 1863.
2. Photo of the Hendley Building at 20th Street and The Strand, 1872.
The Treasure of the Month is located on the library’s historic second floor near the East Entrance. It can be viewed during regular library hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the Museum Office at 409-763-8854 x 125.