Tag Archives: Seymour Oswalt

Today in Texas History – February 11

From the Annals of the Republic – In 1842, sailors and marines stationed on the Texas Navy schooner San Antonio mutinied.  The SA was anchored in the Mississippi River at New Orleans at the time.  Most of the officers were allowed shore leave but sailors and marines were confined aboard because of fear of desertion.  Some enterprising New Orleans citizen smuggled liquor to the ensconced sailors and marines who under marine sergeant Seymour Oswalt, began an unsuccessful mutiny demanding shore leave. Lt. Charles Fuller ordered the marine guard to stand ground at which point Oswalt attacked Fuller with a tomahawk.  In the ensuing fight, Lt. Fuller was shot and killed.   Most of the mutineers fled the ship where they were captured and placed in jail in New Orleans.  Louisiana refused to extradite them back to Texas, but a few mutineers who had not escaped the ship met a different fate. The head of the Texas Navy, Commodore Edwin Moore court-martialed some of the remaining mutineers. Three were sentenced to flogging, and four were hanged from the yardarm of the Austin on April 6, 1843. Sgt. Oswalt himself escaped from jail in New Orleans and was never brought to justice.   Shortly afterward, the San Antonio was dispatched to Campeche but was lost at sea.

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