Analysis of the Pass Cavallo shipwreck assemblage, Matagorda Bay, Texas
The survey recovered over two hundred artifacts. The assemblage of artifacts includes over 80 lead shot, over 40 examples of brass firearm furniture, over 15 firearm fragments, several pieces of copper sheathing, and iron bar stock. Almost two-thirds of the material is associated with small arms. The majority of the identifiable firearms are military arms of three patterns: the British Short Land Pattern, the British India Pattern, and the 1757 Spanish musket.
Historical research has determined that these arms were circulating in Texas, New Orleans, and Mexico, as early as 1815. The British Pattern arms were both purchased for the Mexican army in the 1820s, and used by the British Infantry in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The 1757 Spanish musket was used chiefly by Spanish expeditionary forces in North America in the late 18th century.
Evidence garnered from the artifacts suggest that the firearms were shipboard cargo onboard a small, wood-hulled sailing vessel that wrecked between the years 1815 and 1845. Archival and historical research isolated nine wreck candidates for this period. Historical research and artifact analysis suggest the Hannah Elizabeth as the primary candidate for this wreck site. The Hannah Elizabeth was a small merchant schooner from New Orleans laden with a munitions cargo for Texas troops stationed at Goliad. The vessel wrecked at the entrance of the historic Pass Cavallo while evading capture from a Mexican brig-of-war in November of 1835.
Advisor:Hamilton, Donny L.; Smith, C. Wayne; Alonzo, Armando
School:Texas A&M University
School Location:USA - Texas
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:shipwreck texas firearms pass cavallo
Date of Publication:09/30/2004