Page 24 - Galveston Monthly - September 2017

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24 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
SEPTEMBER 2017
By James P. Bevill
E
dwin W. Moore, Commodore
of the Texas Navy, was
patrolling the coastal waters
with his squadron of warships,
Austin
,
San Bernard
, and
San Antonio
, near
the port of Sisal on the Yucatán
coast on January 24, 1842. The
ships received a desperate message
reporting that an American ship,
the
Sylph
, had been driven aground
by a blue norther which struck the
Alcranes Islands.
Help was needed fast if its crew were
to survive. In response, the
Austin
sailed one hundred miles in rough
waters to reach the stricken ship just
before she broke up on the reefs.
The rescue was a dangerous
endeavor, with the longboats from
the
Austin
fighting past reefs, raging
waters, and driving winds to reach the
battered ship, but they successfully
Mutiny
Texas Warship
on
the
San Antonio
In Celebration of Texan Navian Day
removed the crew, passengers, and
most of the cargo. When the
Austin
returned to the port of Sisal, Moore
transferred the wreck’s survivors to
the
San Antonio
.
He ordered Lieutenant William
Seeger, the schooner’s commanding
officer, to transport the survivors and
some written dispatches to his Texas
government superiors in Galveston.
When the
San Antonio
arrived in
Galveston one week later, Lt. Seeger
learned that President Sam Houston
had recalled the squadron back to
Yucatán and they were to await
further orders, but Houston’s orders
had not reached Commodore Moore
in time.
When Seeger delivered his
dispatches, the Texas president
became enraged and gave him
written orders to return to Sisal
Edwin W. Moore, Commodore of the Texas Navy
Past & Present