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Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West

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Lone Star Navy analyzes the role played by the little fleet of wooden warships, bought on credit and sent to sea by an impoverished band of revolutionaries, in winning Texas's independence from Mexico. The upstart flotilla became a vital counterpart to Texan armies fighting for an independent republic. But the same fierce individuality that led Texans to shake off their Mexican rulers also stymied their efforts to govern themselves with a consensus. Lauded by its advocates as strategically vital and ridiculed by its detractors as a farcical waste of money, the navy became a flash point in a clash of visions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“At last, a narrative on the incredible saga of the Republic of Texas Navy. Overlooked and forgotten for more than 160 years, its commander, Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, has been brought back to life and recognized as the greatest hero and naval tactician since John Paul Jones. Jonathan Jordan is to be complimented for filling a huge gap in American history.”

“Jon Jordan’s study overshadows all others on the subject.”

“Jonathan Jordan has told a fascinating story with great clarity. I particularly admire his explications of the domestic and international political situations. His descriptions of the naval battles are easy to follow.”

“An exceptionally thorough and deeply researched history of an overlooked but significant military force that helped win Texan independence from Mexico. A well-told story as well as solid history.”

“Jordan combines the historian’s discriminating eye for facts with the writer’s art for the story. Seldom does one see a historical subject covered in such depth without getting dull, but Jordan pulls it off beautifully.”

“More than a century after the tiny, ill-fated navy of the Republic of Texas lowered its distinctive colors for the last time, Texans remain fascinated with its epic story. This fine work, boldly written and thoroughly researched, combines an engaging narrative with a detailed analysis that should be read not just by Texans, but by scholars in many fields.”

"This is the most comprehensive work I have read on the Texas Navy. The depth of research and thoughtful analysis exceeds the old classics. Jonathan W. Jordan has a fine writing style that makes the work very readable, and his understanding of nautical terminology and the working of sailing ships adds credibility. Mr. Jordan demonstrates an excellent understanding of Texas’s internal and external politics, which makes this work essential for both the buff and the professional historian."

"The most comprehensive look at the Texas Navy . . . The author does an excellent job of fitting the story of the Texas naval service into the political, economic, and diplomatic life of the republic, while providing a look at the men and ships, and the operations in which they were involved, some of them among the most impressive maritime feats of their times."

"Jordan makes his case with engaging prose. . . . As much as Lone Star Navy is a great adventure tale told entertainingly, it is also serious history. For while he does tell the often raucous saga of the Texas Navy, he meticulously researched every fact presented. . . . If you are a fan of novels by Patrick O'Brien, you are as likely to be entertained by this book."

"A bright young historian has at last resurrected the incredible saga of the Republic of Texas Navy in a full-length book. And what a book it is--comprehensively filling in as it does a tremendous void in American history."

"Expansive and cogent."

"Packed with action and insights on a little-covered group."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597970532
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 397
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan W. Jordan has written about historical topics for such publications as Military History Magazine and Military History Quarterly. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, he is a practicing attorney. He lives in the Atlanta area.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Overture: Shifting Winds     xi
Prologue: Prelude to Revolution (1832-1835)
The Troubled Texas Waters     1
Drawing Blood     9
The Influence of Naval Power on the Texas Revolution     19
Fleet of the Revolution (1835-1836)
A War of Privateers     25
The Fleet That Sank Its Government     36
Iron Men for Wooden Ships     42
The Revolution at Sea     49
A National Fleet (1836-1837)
Defending the Lone Star     63
The General at the Helm     74
A Clash of Flagships     83
Mister Fisher's Revenge     89
Death of a Navy     98
Hell to Pay     101
Intermission: The Paper Navy (1837-1839)
Managing a Ghost Fleet     109
Vive la France!     115
The Second Texas Navy (1839-1846)
Houston, Lamar, and Shifting Political Currents     121
Phoenix of the Sea     129
Wintertime in New York     139
The Seafaring Life     142
Gunboat Diplomacy     151
At Sea     156
Second Thoughts     177
The Great Game     188
Red Skies in Morning     192
The WoodenAegis     195
Mutiny on the San Antonio     201
The Horse Latitudes     208
The Plan     231
Amateurs in Command     236
"To Save the Republic"     246
The Last Hurrah     250
Cat and Mouse     259
The Showdown     263
The Pirate Navy     272
The War at Home     279
A Slow Death     287
Flotsam and Jetsam     297
Ghosts and Graves     304
Epilogue: The Verdict     307
The Texas Navy and the San Jacinto Campaign     310
Glossary of Selected Naval Terms     316
Notes     321
Bibliography     358
Index     369
About the Author     381
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