Texas Navy Essay, Research Paper

The Contributions of the Texas Navy

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During the period of 1839 to 1846 in Texas history, the baby Republic built and powered a little force of naval vass against the new state of Mexico. As with the bulk of all wars, naval forcess are ne’er the chief military power that settles the struggle but are the strongest of subscribers ( Wells 2. ) This occurred in the Texas War of Independence, where the Texas Navy has small indicant in text but was an of import plus to the triumph. Reasons for such an plus being overlooked are based upon the noteworthy actions that took topographic point ashore in the heroic defence of the Alamo and the winning conflict of San Jacinto lead by the Commander in Chief of the Texas Republic, Sam Houston ( Davis 56. ) Besides, the deficiency of dramatic sea conflicts with the few vass employed in the naval forces was another ground for their achievements to travel unnoticed ( Navy Department 2. ) Above all the importance of seapower was but small understood during the clip period and was non to the full appreciated until the late nineteenth century after the publicised plants of Mahan were noted by the powers of the universe ( Wells i. ) As understood by the former Commodore of the Navy, Moore, & # 8220 ; the Texas Navy was the difference between a Texas reconquered by Mexico in 1843 and a Texas Republic admitted into the Union in 1846 ( Navy Department 1. ) & # 8221 ;

The citizens of Texas revolted in the fall of 1835 because of grounds of race, faith, and the type of authorities the former United State immigrants believed in non being every bit effectual as the traditional Spanish & # 8211 ; Indian civilisation faced in their new place. Most significantly, the citizens looked to disband from Mexico because of cruel maritime ordinances and unreasonable duties placed within the Gulf of Mexico that held the citizens at cheque from going comfortable but filled the state & # 8217 ; s exchequer. This barbarous intervention of the American immigrants was based on uneffective disposal and the internal discord of the Mexican authorities that caused discontent among those recent reachings ( 1. )

An inflammatory incident that struck the lucifer of the war was the gaining control of the Correo de Mejico by the American merchandiser ship San Felipe and the steam jerk Laura near Brazoria. On get oning the Mexican vas, the captain of the San Felipe accused the Mexican captain of buccaneering when he could non bring forth a committee and so took the vas and its crew to New Orleans to be placed before a Republic tribunal. The tribunal delayed the Mexican crew for three months before they had to be released by Mexican demand. During this incident the Texas seashore was free of Mexican vass and gave the Republic the opportunity to stock up on weaponries and recruit voluntaries from the United States to assist assistance in the rebellion. Without a strong seapower to liberate the seashore of Mexican influence, the Republic used the incident with the tribunals to give them the trade they needed to fix for the war ( 5. )

Even though the Mexican Navy did hold available ships in the northern Waterss to replace the Correo de Mejico, the productive activity of several Texan privateers kept the Mexican ships busy along the coastline. A few privateers heroically recaptured American vass from Mexican control for holding cannons and other rebellious contraband ( 5. )

The Correo de Mejico incident and the success of Texas privateers aroused the Mexican populace and were lending factors taking to the invasion of Texas district by Lopez de Santa Anna in 1836, but the Mexican President & # 8217 ; s actions were excessively late. Patriotism flowed into the United States and adventurers volunteered to contend in the war along-side the Republic and merchandiser companies brought their ain weaponries and equipment in vass to add to the turning forces of the Republic. President Lopez de Santa Anna lead his invasion made up of three tined onslaught on all Anglo-American colonies in his way as he struck towards the bosom of the Texan district ( 6. )

During this clip, Texas began the edifice of its ain Navy. By the mandate of the probationary general council the Texas Navy was to be made up of four schooners. The first ship to be commissioned was the former United States exchequer cutter Ingham, and was rechristened Independence. The 2nd ship was twice every bit big as the Independence and was commissioned as the Brutus. Another ship that joined the Navy was the William Robbins but was renamed the Liberty. A 4th war vessel named the Invincible was commissioned as a member of the fleet. These four vass made up the early fleet of the Texas Navy and were important elements of the Republic in continuing their independency ( 6. )

The first action seen by the new fleet was when the Liberty was on a semipiratical sail to the Yucatan and encountered the Mexican merchandiser schooner Pelican and captured her. The vas laid a award concealed within its lading of 300 kegs of pulverization and other military supplies. The ship was ran aground at Matagorda, but the lading was salvaged and later used to get the better of President Lopez de Santa Anna and his forces in the San Jacinto run. Subsequently, the Liberty captured an American brig Durango that was loaded with pulverization and supplies and was falsely manifested. The lading was appropriated and the vas was destroyed. At the same clip, the Invincible seized an American brig Pocket that contained contraband stuffs while under a false manifest to the Mexican Army near the Rio Grande. The charter on the vas besides stated that a secondary cargo of Mexican military personnels was to be taken to the Corpus Christi country. Sometime after Pocket was purchased by the Republic of Texas and the vas was commissioned in the Texas Navy as the lading helped get the better of the Mexicans ( 7. )

The naval triumphs were a much needed beginning of strength that would assist battle the Mexican Army that were driving right into Texas uncontested, because Santa Anna was traveling his forces along the seashore in attempts to utilize the sea lanes to supply his ground forces with logistic support. The activity of the little Texas Navy kept Santa Anna waiting on his needful supplies that ne’er would get and a manner of flight in sea vass that could non get with the Texas Navy fending them off. General Sam Houston saw the advantage that may non come once more and moved in on the President and penned the Mexican forces against the Buffalo Bayou and destroyed them while capturing Santa Anna himself. The activity of the little Texas Navy proved to be the difference between triumph and licking for the outnumbered Republic forces ( 9. )

After the resignation of the Mexican forces the & # 8220 ; small mighty fleet ( 8 ) & # 8221 ; continued its operations along the Texas seashore. Although Liberty was unable to run into her refitting measures and was sold to fulfill her creditors-an event which illustrated the shoestring budget under which the Texas Navy was forced to work despite the demands it was expected to accomplish. The concluding three vass began a encirclement of Matamoros near the oral cavity of the Rio Grande to interfere with any efforts by the Mexican Army to return to Texas ( 10. )

Sometime subsequently, the Secretary of the Texas Navy commanded the Brutus and the Invincible to sea to face any Mexican vass they encounter and regain power in the Gulf. The smaller fleet claimed the Mujeres Islands off the seashore of Yucatan and stocked up on an abundant supply of polo-necks without paying for the lading. Then in the Gulf the Texas Navy captured five little Mexican vass: Union, Telegrafo, Adventure, Rafaelita, and Correo de Tabasco. Sailing some of the Mexican vass incorporating prized crews and firing the 1s that did non, the fleet headed back for the Texas seashore. There the lasting two vass of the Texas Navy were destroyed in an unfortunate conflict with two large-gunned Mexican vass, the Iturbide and Libertador, near the Channel of Galveston Island. The two Texas vass were attacked while the Invincible was anchored offshore waiting for high tide and Brutus come ining the Channel. The Invincible ran aground in the ill hired channel into Galveston and Brutus beached inside the seaport while seeking to help her sister ship. The vass were subsequently broken up by heavy storms and therefore ended the last two ships of the early Texas Navy

( 11. )

Without any naval forces to support the Republic, Texas was saved by two fortunes beyond her control. The internal problem in Mexico grew and required a concentration of security forces near place and less attempts to recapture the Republic. Besides, the Pastry War between France and Mexico caused Mexico to lose most all her war vessels to the stronger naval power of France which made Texas and Mexico on the same footings in seapower ( 11. )

Following the terminal of the early Texas Navy the Republic found itself a new president who looked to spread out his seapower and armed forces to whatever sized was needed to protect the province. With the diplomatic acknowledgment of European powers Texas created a new Navy. The new Navy started off with first category war vessels and professional officers. The Navy consisted of six good designed, built, and rigged vass that were delivered from Baltimore in 1840. In add-on, Texas purchased a big paddle wheel soft-shell clam named Charleston but was subsequently rechristened Zavala after the first Texas Vice President. The vas was highly hard to keep with jobs runing from care to an experient applied scientist to run her like an expert. The vas was a really of import add-on to the Navy squadron because of the capableness it gave them to run in rivers and composure weathered seas ( 11. )

The Texas Navy was appointed a new commanding officer, Captain Edwin Ward Moore, a veteran of 14 old ages as an officer in the United States Navy. Moore was a dynamic leader and combatant that believed that Texas maintained their independency with their power in the sea. Moore dominated the fleet and the histories of both are comparatively inseparable ( 12. )

The new Texas Navy consisted of the ships Austin, Zavala, San Bernard, San Antonio, and San Jacinto that were had crews that were outfitted and trained by the fiery Moore. From there Moore persuaded the President to let him to force Mexico out of Texas Waterss and direct a message to them in the procedure. The first action taken by Moore and his squadron was the towing of the Austin and San Bernard up the Tabasco River. There they forced the resignation of 600 soldiers supporting the metropolis of San Juan Bautista. Moore received $ 25,000 for saving the metropolis. The San Antonio took three vass at sea which one of them sold for $ 7,000 at a ulterior day of the month. The squadron returned in late 1840 from their expeditions with the San Jacinto and Zavala both defeated from conditions accidents and being unable to be repaired ( 12. )

In 1841, Moore traveled along the Texas coastal Waterss appraising in the San Antonio because the former charts were so inaccurate that one-quarter of the British merchandiser vass merchandising on the seashore had been wrecked ( 14. )

Finally, in late 1841 the President of Texas, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar, determined that an aggressive armed forces of strong sea-land assaults on Mexico would convey about Texas independency quicker. Moore so sailed his fleet toward Yucatan where they successfully patrolled off Vera Cruz. The squadron challenged several smaller Mexican war vessels and captured four Mexican merchandiser vass. Even though the conquering was a entire success the Navy was humiliated upon return to Galveston. There the new elected President, Sam Houston, ordered the fleet to New Orleans to be overhauled but was ne’er funded for the fixs. A personal struggle grew between Commander Moore and President Houston that ensued good after the appropriation of Texas into the Union. Houston planned to be annexed by the United States and used the power of his office to forestall Moore to power the Navy against Mexico and coerce Mexico to acknowledge the independency of Texas. Moore tried every means possible to return his squadron back into conflict, while publically proclaiming the support of his president. To no success, Moore watched as Mexico rebuilt its Navy during 1842 and the Texas Navy diminution to merely two sea-worthy vass, the Austin and the Wharton ( 17. ) .

The revitalised Mexican Army and Navy undertook the undertaking of reconquering their wayward states and it was reported by British and American perceivers that Texas would be subjugated by late 1843. Houston granted Moore permission to help the Yucatan against the strong Mexican Navy, but Houston in private acted on the premiss that Texas was excessively hapless to back up a Navy and that an offense would merely antagonise Mexico at a clip he was negociating with the United States and Great Britain for their aid in procuring a peace ( 18. )

Moore received fiscal aid from the Yucatan and local man of affairs to acquire the Austin and Wharton underway in 1843. The odds were in the favour of the Mexican Navy who had larger guns and more of them and most of all had the scope of fire over the combined Yucatan and Texas naval forcess. Moore was non to be discouraged, he was to put the destiny of Texas in epic manner and with whatever vass and arms he can obtain. The twenty-four hours of conflict came when Moore received intelligence that a soft-shell clam of the Mexican Navy was shiping troops entirely at Telchac. The conflict turned out to be between the Texas-Yucatan forces and five Mexican seafaring vass and two soft-shell clams. The conflict ensued throughout the twenty-four hours with several cease fires opened back up within hours. At the terminal of the first squirmish, the Texas-Yucatan forces suffered two killed and three wounded custodies. Spy reports radius of Mexican losingss to be over 20 custodies in all. The whole action was non decisive but accomplished liberating the Campeche from besieging and license coastal vass to come in under the protection of Moore & # 8217 ; s guns ( 19. )

The struggle was delayed for over 15 yearss while the air currents were unfavourable to the Texas-Yucatan vass and both resistances had to do fixs and restock weaponries and supplies. Morning zephyr rekindled the struggle as the Austin and Wharton moved toward the Mexican soft-shell clams. Unfortunately the Texas ships were all of a sudden becalmed and the Mexican soft-shell clams moved in on the two ships and unloaded their explosive unit of ammunitions merely out of scope of the Moore & # 8217 ; s guns. But a little whiff of air current noticed by the fiery Commander brought the vass back into the conflict as they surprised the soft-shell clams by traveling in between them and droping their guns as Moore forced them down the seashore. After Moore & # 8217 ; s fired off over 530 unit of ammunitions on the Mexican fleet the Austin and Wharton both returned to Campeche. Then, on May 26th, word reached Moore that President Houston had declared the sail illegal and castigated the Commodore as a plagiarist, liquidator, mutineer, and defalcator. Moore replied with what he hoped was plenty proof to warrant his actions and a hebdomad after that the Mexican Navy withdrew the besieging from Campeche. Praise was rewarded to Commodore Moore as he halted the invasion of Texas and the conquering of Yucatan by Mexico. Later, the United States and Great Britain secured a armistice between Texas and Mexico that endured throughout the being of the Lone Star Republic ( 22. )

Commodore Moore was dismissed from responsibility by Houston on return to Galveston and the Texas Navy existed for three more old ages, under the protection of United States soldiers and crewmans. When Texas was annexed by the United States the Austin, Archer, Wharton, and San Bernard were transferred to the U.S. Navy but were scrapped in 1848 because of their hapless conditions ( 25. )

The parts of the Texas Navy to the Republic were more of import than contemporarily understood. During the revolution, the Navy fought off blockaders, interrupted Mexican supply lines, and provided the chance for the triumph at San Jacinto. And in 1843, the Navy thwarted a well-organized, all-out invasion of Yucatan that would hold led to reinvasion and possible reconquest of Texas. Most of all, the Texas Navy set a tradition for aggressive, bold, and inventive action which paved the manner in future American traditions in warfare ( 25. )

Davis, Joe T. Legendary Texians. Burnet: Eakin Press, 1982.

Naval History Division. The Texas Navy. Washington, D.C. 1968.

Robinson, Admiral Samuel M. A Brief History of the Texas Navies. Houston: Sons of the Republic of Texas, 1961.

Wells, Tom H. Commodore Moore and the Texas Navy. Capital of texas: University of Texas Press, 1960.