The Milam Street Artifact Assemblage: Texas Civil War Artifacts Rediscovered

Author(s): Joshua R. Farrar

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Maritime Transportation, History, and War in the 19th-Century Americas" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Buffalo Bayou has connected Houston, Texas to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico since the city’s founding in 1837. During the American Civil War of 1861-65, Houston served as a storehouse for weapons, ammunition, food, clothing, and other supplies destined for the war effort in Galveston and the rest of the Confederacy. Soon after the Civil War, Confederate materials were abandoned in Buffalo Bayou under the Milam Street Bridge. In 1968, the Southwestern Historical Exploration Society (SHES) recovered around 1000 artifacts with an 80-ton dragline crane operated off the Milam Street Bridge. About 650 artifacts from this collection were recently rediscovered in boxes at the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park. This paper serves as an artifact and document-based preliminary study using newspaper accounts, sworn statements, and archaeological reports to recreate the history of these artifacts – from abandonment in the bayou to rediscovery in a historical society closet.

Cite this Record

The Milam Street Artifact Assemblage: Texas Civil War Artifacts Rediscovered. Joshua R. Farrar. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449052)


Civil War Houston Texas

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
Mid 19th-century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 113