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.
From the Annals of “Gunboat” Diplomacy – In 1841, a flotilla of three ships from the Navy of the Republic of Texas left Galveston to provide support for the province of Yucatán in its rebellion against Mexico. Edwin Ward Moore was the commander-in-chief of the Texas Navy. Moore had earlier sailed along the Mexican coast in a failed attempt to speed up peace negotiations between the Republic of Texas and Mexico. Moore returned to Texas and President Mirabeau B. Lamar signed a treaty with the Mexican state of Yucatan to lease of the Texas navy for $8,000 per month and to protect their ports from being a Mexican Navy blockade. Moore’s ships joined the small fleet of the State of Yucatan under the command of former Texas Navy officer Captain James D. Boylan.
The Yucatan rebellion (also known as the Caste War of Yucatan) itself is an interesting and rarely mentioned part of Mexican history. The indigenous Mayans more or less held control of large parts of the Yucatan peninsula for more than 50 years despite numerous efforts by Mexico to assert control.