Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West

Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West

by Jonathan W. Jordan


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**WINNER OF THE 2007 UNITED STATES MARITIME LITERATURE AWARD**In the 1830s, Mexico endured a tragic era of internal political instability. Meanwhile, bold American frontiersmen sought their fortunes beyond the borders of the United States, with many settling in the Mexican territory of Texas. In 1835, these transplanted Americans led a revolt against Texas's embattled rulers in Mexico City. Lone Star Navy chronicles the little fleet of wooden warships, bought on credit by an impoverished band of revolutionaries and sent to sea on a singular mission: to win Texas's independence from Mexico. Beginning with four small sailing vessels, the upstart flotilla became a vital counterpart to Texan armies fighting for an independent republic. Indeed, Capt. Jeremiah Brown's naval battle off Matamoros in April 1836 helped save the fledgling republic from a premature end. But even as it battled for independence on the Gulf of Mexico, the Texas navy came under attack from unexpected enemies. The same fierce individuality that led Texans to shake off their Mexican rulers also stymied their efforts to govern themselves with any consensus. Lauded by its advocates as strategically vital and ridiculed by its detractors as a farcical waste of money, the navy became a flashpoint in a clash of visions. Denied adequate funding, sailors and officers suffered long periods without pay, and their vessels fell into chronic disrepair, but they still defended their small nation's fortunes.The decrepit remains of the battle-scarred fleet finally fell into American hands when Texas, in need of a strong ally, was annexed by the United States in 1845. The Mexican government prophesied that relinquishing Texas would lead to the loss of its other northern territories. And, indeed, the Mexican War and the U.S. acquisition of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and parts of Utah, Colorado, and Nevada soon followed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574885125
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 12/31/2005
Pages: 397
Sales rank: 967,980
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jonathan W. Jordan has written about historical topics for such publications as Military History Magazine and Military History Quarterly. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, he is a practicing attorney. He lives in the Atlanta area.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Overture: Shifting Winds     xi
Prologue: Prelude to Revolution (1832-1835)
The Troubled Texas Waters     1
Drawing Blood     9
The Influence of Naval Power on the Texas Revolution     19
Fleet of the Revolution (1835-1836)
A War of Privateers     25
The Fleet That Sank Its Government     36
Iron Men for Wooden Ships     42
The Revolution at Sea     49
A National Fleet (1836-1837)
Defending the Lone Star     63
The General at the Helm     74
A Clash of Flagships     83
Mister Fisher's Revenge     89
Death of a Navy     98
Hell to Pay     101
Intermission: The Paper Navy (1837-1839)
Managing a Ghost Fleet     109
Vive la France!     115
The Second Texas Navy (1839-1846)
Houston, Lamar, and Shifting Political Currents     121
Phoenix of the Sea     129
Wintertime in New York     139
The Seafaring Life     142
Gunboat Diplomacy     151
At Sea     156
Second Thoughts     177
The Great Game     188
Red Skies in Morning     192
The WoodenAegis     195
Mutiny on the San Antonio     201
The Horse Latitudes     208
The Plan     231
Amateurs in Command     236
"To Save the Republic"     246
The Last Hurrah     250
Cat and Mouse     259
The Showdown     263
The Pirate Navy     272
The War at Home     279
A Slow Death     287
Flotsam and Jetsam     297
Ghosts and Graves     304
Epilogue: The Verdict     307
The Texas Navy and the San Jacinto Campaign     310
Glossary of Selected Naval Terms     316
Notes     321
Bibliography     358
Index     369
About the Author     381

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