The Contributions of the Texas Navy

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The Contributions of the Texas Navy

During the period of 1839 to 1846 in Texas history, the infant Republic built and powered a small force of naval vessels against the new nation of Mexico. As with the majority of all wars, navies are never the main military power that settles the conflict but are the strongest of contributors (Wells 2.) This occurred in the Texas War of Independence, where the Texas Navy has little indication in text but was an important asset to the victory. Reasons for such an asset being overlooked are based upon the notable actions that took place ashore in the heroic defense of the Alamo and the victorious battle of San Jacinto lead by the Commander in Chief of the Texas Republic, Sam Houston (Davis 56.) Also, the lack of dramatic sea battles with the few vessels employed in the navy was another reason for their accomplishments to go unnoticed (Navy Department 2.) Above all the importance of seapower was but little understood during the time period and was not fully appreciated until the late 19th century after the publicized works of Mahan were noted by the powers of the world (Wells i.) As understood by the former Commodore of the Navy, Moore, "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.)"

The citizens of Texas revolted in the autumn of 1835 because of reasons of race, religion, and the type of government the former United State immigrants believed in not being as effective as the traditional Spanish -- Indian civilization faced in their new home. Most importantly, the citizens looked to disband from Mexico because of cruel maritime regulations and unreasonable tariffs placed within the Gulf...

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... important than contemporarily understood. During the revolution, the Navy fought off blockaders, interrupted Mexican supply lines, and provided the opportunity for the victory at San Jacinto. And in 1843, the Navy thwarted a well-organized, full-scale invasion of Yucatan that would have led to reinvasion and possible reconquest of Texas. Most of all, the Texas Navy set a tradition for aggressive, bold, and imaginative action which paved the way 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. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1960.
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