Galveston, TX (Pelican Island) Page2
June 2011

Photos/text this page courtesy of William Bozic, Houston, TX
For any use of these photos contact

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Pelican Island
(June 2011) Enlarge Galveston Bay has been repeatedly dredged and fill dirt has been used to connect Pelican Island and Pelican Spit, so the two islands are now one island.

For today's visitor it is easy to forget the hardships endured during those times, especially the mosquitoes and heat.

Notice this request from Capt. William W. Dawson of Company "C" Likens' 35th Texas Cavalry near the end of the war when Likens' 35th Cavalry had been dismounted and sent to Galveston. Capt Dawson was in temporary command of the 35th and the end was very near.

Hed Qrts 35th DisMtd Regt
May 14th 1865.

Capt Tyler)
A A Genl )
Please instruct the officer of the day- to oblige me by furnishing a guard to take into custody the men of companies "A" and "K" of this Regt, who refuse to obey the order to go on duty at "Pellican Spit".
Your Obt Servt
W.W. Dawson
Capt Comdg Regt.

Transcribed by William J. Bozic, Jr. of Houston, Texas, on June 30, 2011 from the original document held by the National Archives. The transcription was done exactly as written with no attempt to correct spelling, grammar, or format.

Transcribers Note: Pelican Spit was the name of a small island in Galveston Bay off the coast of Galveston near the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. The small island is now part of Pelican Island due to filling. Fort Jackson with barracks and storehouses was located at Pelican Spit.



USS Steward as seen from near entrance to Seawolf Park

(June 2011) Enlarge This photo was taken on June 26, 2011 by my child from the passenger side of the car when we were driving on the road to Seawolf Park. In addition to the WWII Destroyer Escort, it is possible to see the US Coast Guard Station at Galveston which is just across the channel. According to a map commissioned by Union Major General N.P. Banks, the CSA forces had 25 torpedoes (mines), a chain, and other obstructions to block the channel, as well as forts.



WWII Ships

(June 2011) Enlarge The name "Seawolf" is a memorial to the USS Seawolf, which was lost in the Pacific during World War II, but the Gato-Class submarine at Seawolf Park is actually the "Cavalla".

USS Cavalla
The Cavalla is berthed in Seawolf Park, Pelican Island, just off Galveston, Texas as a memorial to the lost submarine USS Seawolf. The Cavalla was a Gato class fleet sub, designed and built in the summer of 1943 by the Electric Boat Company and launched on November 14, 1943. She was commissioned on Feb. 29, 1944, the first "leap year" boat built by E.B. On June 19, 1944, on her maiden patrol, she sank the 30,000 ton aircraft carrier Shokaku (veteran of Pearl Harbor and Battle of Coral Sea). This earned her the Presidential Unit Citation.
After the war, the Cavalla was decommissioned in 1946. She was brought back to service in 1951 and assigned to the Submarine Squadron 10 in New London, Conn. To meet the Soviet threat, she underwent conversion in 1952 to a new class of American sub--the SSK (hunter/killer).
On January 21, 1971, the U.S. Navy transferred possession of Cavalla to the Texas Submarine Veterans of WWII. The Cavalla was then delivered to her permanent berth in Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas.
Gulf Coast locals usually refer to the USS Cavalla as the "Seawolf", mistaking the name of the memorial park for that of the submarine on exhibit there. Next to the sub is the USS Stewart DE-238.
There is an additional fee for entrance to the ships.
Information about the ships was obtained and modified from the Seawolf Park Website. Photo taken June 26, 2011 by William Bozic Houston, Texas.

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