Thursday, April 14, 2011
Steamboatin' during the Texas revolution!
At Groce's Plantation on the Brazos, Houston's men use a steamboat named "The Yellowstone" to move supplies and cross the flooded river. Yellowstone Park is far in the future and not enough Anglo explorers have seen or visited it to make up a softball team. The Yellowstone RIVER joins the Missouri...far to the North in the Mississippi watershed.....but still it's a little known area or name. Lewis and Clark were there in 1805. What in the world is a steamboat named "The Yellowstone" doing on the Brazos in 1836?"
Here's the story.
Here's a longer version: Unbelieveable tale.
Mirabeau B Lamar, a 38-year-old newcomer from Georgia hatched a scheme to raid Mexican positions downstream with the Yellowstone. Houston squashed that plan and another quirky, (but probably fatal), event in Texas History was missed. Sounds like fun though, doesn't it? Steam downstream, shoot up some Mexicans, chug back North or run to the Gulf and go have a drink in Galveston. Good times.
After crossing Houston and his troops the good ship had to navigate past two Mexican armies on the Brazos. They armored her with cotton bales, threw some pine knots in the boiler and made for the coast, suffering only bullet holes in the stacks. One Mexican tried to rope them as they steamed by. Must have been some shocked faces along the bluffs. Paddlewheelers were a very rare thing in those parts.
Update: As a note, the average Texan in Houston's army was spoiling for a fight and convinced they could whip Mexicans with odds of 10-1. They despised Houston- former Governor of Tennessee for retreating. Everyone ready for blood.
UpdateII Captain John E. Ross gave the ships bell to Sam Houston after San Jacinto. It's either at Star of the Republic Museum at Washington on the Brazos or The Alamo Museum, depending on the website you read.