Today in Texas History – June 3

From the Annals of the Horse Marines – In 1836, a Texas mounted ranger company captured a Mexican ship.  Maj. Isaac Watts Burton’s unit was keeping watch over a stretch of the Gulf Coast south of San Antonio Bay. When they heard of a suspicious vessel in Copano Bay, the rangers hid on the shore and sent up distress signals. The ship responded first by hoisting American and Texan signals, which were ignored. Only when the ship raised Mexican signals did the rangers respond. Thus tricked into thinking the supposedly distressed soldiers were Mexican, the captain came ashore and was captured. With him as hostage, sixteen rangers rowed out, boarded the Watchman, and seized its cargo of provisions for the Mexican army.   The mounted rangers were dubbed “Horse Marines.”

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