The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 283
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The Old Mexican Fort at Velasco.
The fort built by the Mexicans is described by some writers s
a log cabin fortress, but according to the recollection of many who
remember its construction, it was not built in the log cabin stlye;
logs were used, but in the manner of a stockade. The description
by Col. Guy M. Bryan, who saw it when entire, and again when in
ruins, is about as follows: The fort was circular in shape and com-
posed of sound drift logs set perpendicularly in two circular rows,
the space of several feet between them being filled in with sand.
A mound of sand in the center, raised above the pickets, was sur-
rounded with wood to prevent the sand being blown off. On
this mound was mounted a nine pound cannon, which was on a
swivel so as to make a complete circuit guarding the mouth of the
river; it could not, however, be depressed so as to protect the im-
mediate vicinity, hence on the night of the attack by John Austin,
it could not play upon the Texians close to the fort, but was used
against the schooner Brazoria, commanded by Capt. Wm. J. Rus-
The exact location of the old fort is attended with difficulty,
on account of the changes wrought by winds and waves. In the
course of sixty-six years accretions of land on the eastern shore of
the river have been so marked, that a certain locality known to old
residents as the site of the old fort, and which was quite near the
river bank and gulf shore, is now several hundred feet from the
former, while the gulf shore line extends a full quarter of a mile
or more beyond its early boundary. These changes were effected
chiefly by the destructive storms of 1875 and 1886, which sub-
merged nearly all this low lying coast region.
Mrs. Ellen A. Shannon, who was born at Velasco in 1841, her
parents, Henry C. and Pamelia Wilcox, having moved there in
1837, gives a reliable account of the site of the old fort, which, she
says, is now marked by her own residence. She lived at Velasco
continuously until August, 1863, when she and her husband, James
T. Shannon, moved away, not returning until June, 1867. Before
their departure, her husband had often called her attention to one
of the posts or upright logs of the old fort, with muskets stuck in
it. During the civil war the Confederate soldiers used all the
fences, posts, etc., of every kind for firewood, and probably every
piece of iron that pertained to the accoutrements of an army.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/309/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.