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The Naval Battle Shown on the 1851 Colt Revolver

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Dad and I once went out and shot my uncle's 1851 Colt Revolver reproduction, along with an 1847 Walker reproduction. The 1851 "Navy Model" had a naval battle scene etched on the cylinder. I never knew just what battle was depicted and just assumed it was some well-known American battle. The reality is somewhat more interesting.

You can't make this stuff up.

Edwin Ward Moore was an officer of the US Navy, serving on a sloop-of-war. His sloop captured a Texas Navy ship that was accused of piracy. While talking to the Texas naval officers (many of whom were former US Navy officers), Moore was convinced that more opportunity for promotion existed in the Texas Navy and thus applied to them for a commission. Soon he was sent with two other ships of the Texas Navy to the Yucatan because, being short of funds, the president of Texas had rented his navy out to the Mexican state that was trying to revolt from Mexico.

After a while, Moore then set his sights on the Mexican state of Tabasco, which he invaded in support of more revolutionaries. He bombarded and captured the capitol. However, when the new revolutionary government didn't pay him he bombarded the capitol some more until they did.

The new President of Texas, Sam Houston, ordered the Texas fleet back. However, in defiance of orders Moore went back to the Yucatan, and fought two British warships, manned by British Navy crews, that had been purchased by Santa Anna. The two British ships were state-of-the art and one one was an ironclad. The battle was declared a "draw" when the Mexican fleet withdrew with heavy casualties. This is the battle that is depicted on the 1851 Navy Colt Revolver.

The president of Texas then fired Moore and declared the Texas Navy to be pirates, asking any country that could to capture and execute them. Moore, however, returned to Texas to a hero's welcome. In fact, he filed a lawsuit against Texas and was awarded a large settlement, as he had funded much of the fleet's operation himself. Texas was still paying on this settlement after it became a US state.





Edited by Snargfargle
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