SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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The Republic-Index

Citizens of "The Free State of Lavaca"

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John Himes LivergoodLIVERGOOD. The "Johnny come lately" of the Missourians who came to the Lavaca was one John Himes Livergood of Saint Louis County, the home of the Zumwalts. Once in the county, he mixed it with the best of them and his deeds and life earned him a mark high on the totem pole in the annals of the county. Born September 10, 1815, he was the younger of the two sons born to John Livergood and Hannah Himes in Pennsylvania. The father was a carpenter in Columbia, Lancaster County, the son of Jacob Livergood, an early settler of Penn's Colony, appointed in 1781 to command a company of riflemen. John Livergood and wife migrated to Missouri and settled on a tract of land in St. Louis County near the Fox Creek Post Office. In 1833, John Livergood died, leaving to survive him the wife, the two sons, and an infant, Thomas J. Livergood.

In August, 1836, the son, John Himes Livergood was commissioned a lieutenant in the Missouri Militia. He was assigned to Captain Baker's Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Division. Whatever service he saw apparently did not change his vocation; in July, 1837, he purchased a tract of forty acres, intent on "making it on his own." Shortly thereafter, and only after discussing it with his mother but not heeding her remonstrances, he left for Texas, By October, he was in the Zumwalt settlement on the Lavaca, where "green from the States" he none the less kept "his feet on the ground" and tackled the problems of pioneer life in the new-born Republic of Texas.

Not long after his arrival at the settlement, he joined a company of thirteen settlers in the pursuit of a band of Indians, who had attacked and killed a settler north of there, James Lyons, and had taken his son Warren captive. They pursued the Indians northward into the mountains where they struck another Indian trail going south. They took this trail and it led them nearly home. They came upon the Indians on the Big Brushy, near where the City of Yoakum is now located. A battle followed; the settlers lost one of their number, Jacob T. Stiffler, but killed four Indians and recovered thirty-two horses.

Livergood made his home with Captain "Black" Adam Zumwalt; he had known the Zumwalts, as well as others in the settlement, back home in Missouri and it became his second home. In the years that followed Livergood became deeply attached to the Zumwalt family, particularly Captain Zumwalt. One day in 1838, when he and others went to the field to fetch some melons, they encountered a small Indian raiding party, but were able to make it back to the house. The next day, when a company of fifty-six took the trail, Livergood learned how fortunate they had been. Young Archibald Smothers and a companion named Nunnelly were killed in their camp near the Hallet settlement. Again in 1838, Livergood while with a party headed by Joe Smith, a surveyor, had another close call. While encamped on Sandies Creek near the Castleman's Ranch in Gonzales County, Livergood and another Missourian, Benjamin Boone, went deer hunting. Livergood, not far from camp, came upon a deer and killed it. Without reloading his gun, Livergood immediately started to dress his kill. He had hardly started when he saw some Indians coming upon him. Dropping his knife, he picked up his rifle and ran, crying out to Boone while he made tracks. Boone heard the shot, then Livergood's call for help soon thereafter. He was on his way to Livergood when he, in turn, came upon the Indians. Seeing he was outnumbered, Boone turned back to camp and ran for help. The party was just on its way, when Livergood broke out of the brush, running for dear life.

On two more occasions, all while in the Zumwalt settlement, Livergood had narrow escapes with Indians. One he "dusted" out of the chimney; the other, he met on a turkey hunt but bluffed his way out; this time with a "loaded" rifle. Livergood, at the Zumwalt fireside, learned the story of the Texas Revolution, the Alamo, the butchery at Goliad, and the panic on the "runaway scrape" headed by Captain Zumwalt. From this, and what was to follow, Livergood developed a Texan's dislike for the "greaser." In March, 1842, when General Vasquez with his Mexican forces captured San Antonio, Livergood was one of the first to join the citizen's army that mobilized at San Antonio, drove the invaders out of Texas, and then disbanded. Livergood, Jacob Woodward, Mason B. Foley, Beverly C. Greenwood, Isaac Zumwalt, Amos Moore, D. H. Lyons, Henry Bridger, John W. Hinch, Hutson Greenwood, W. Hudgeons, and Hiriam S. Foley, all settlers from the Lavaca, remained in the service of Captain John C. "Jack" Hay's Spy Company on the Medina River, where they maintained a watch for the Mexican invaders. After six weeks of duty, they were all furloughed and sent home until they received certain intelligence that the enemy has invaded the country.

Early in September, they had the news; the enemy was back and San Antonio had fallen again, this time to General Adrian Woll. Again a citizens army rallied to its defense, including a company of forty-three men from the Lavaca under Captain Zumwalt., Livergood was elected one of its lieutenants, The company served under Colonel Mathew Caldwell, who engaged the Mexican army and turned them with severe losses at Salado, six miles east of San Antonio. Livergood's company did well in the battle, but once it was over, the company was detached from the fighting forces and was dispatched with the wounded to San Antonio.

Livergood was one of the thirty men who responded in November to President Sam Houston's call for two regiments. He served in the Somervell Expedition to Laredo in Captain Charles K. Reese's Company. When this force disbanded on the Rio Grande, he, Wilson Clark, Isaac Zumwalt, and Henry Bridger, all from the Zumwalt settlement, joined the march on Mier, where they were taken prisoners. Livergood was one of the more fortunate and survived the march to Mexico City, drew a white bean, and eventually landed in the prison at Peyote . While in prison, he sent word of his plight to Adam Zumwalt and asked that Zumwalt send word to his mother in Missouri. The mother wrote her brother, George W. Himes in Concord, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and he, in turn, on April 9, 1844, wrote General Andrew Jackson to intercede in behalf of his nephew, saying his letter was "incited by the sighs and tears of the widowed mother for the release of her son." In September, 1844, Livergood was one of the hundred and six men released, and by November, Livergood, Clark, Zumwalt, and Bridger were back in the Zumwalt settlement on the Lavaca.

The fire in Livergood's blood was not cooled by the long stint in prison. He took one more shot at his old foes. When General Zachary Taylor in 1846 was dispatched with his forces to Rio Grande following the annexation of Texas, he concentrated his forces on the east side of the river opposite Matamoras. Among his forces was a regiment of Texans commanded by Colonel Jack Hays, and among these was Livergood. They served as scouts for Taylor's command. Livergood served in Captain James Walker's Spy Company. After the defeat and retreat of the Mexican forces under General Arista at Palo Alto, Walker's Company moved out in the direction of Fort Brown to locate the enemy. Creed Taylor, a member of the company, and later to figure prominently in the Sutton and Taylor feud in DeWitt County, met Livergood and a companion, Bate Berry, early in the morning of the day following the battle. Livergood and Berry had been out during the night, had crawled through the brush close to the pickets of the Mexican army, and had discovered that Arista's army had taken a strong position on the Resaca de la Palma. The scouts, their clothes literally torn to shreds, their faces and bodies covered with innumerable scratches, were a pitiful sight, "sad sacks" indeed, but their report proved invaluable. Later that day, based in part on Livergood's and Berry's report, Taylor stormed the positions and soundly defeated Arista's army. Soon thereafter, Hay's Regiment was discharged, and with this, Livergood, for the time being, called it quits.

Once back in the Zumwalt settlement, Livergood learned of the developments on the Lavaca. A new county, Lavaca, had been created out of the lands on the headwaters of the Lavaca and the Navidad, and the county town of Petersburg had been established on the east bank of the Lavaca, not far from the Zumwalts. Livergood, back in January, 1846, had bought a tract of five acres, a part of the Adam Zumwalt Headright, and its location put him close to all the county's activities. It was about this time, Livergood returned to Missouri and visited with his mother and brothers. As fate would have it, he found a new interest in Missouri---he developed a tremendous "crush" on one of its fair daughters, Sarah Ann Perkins. As a result the visit was prolonged and culminated in their marriage, February 25, 1847, in Point Labeydee Bottom in Franklin County. Sarah Ann, born May 4, 1828, was a native of Virginia, the daughter of D. A. Perkins. The young couple's departure for Texas precipitated a crisis. The bride's father, as was the custom among the folks of some means, had given her a girl of about the same age, a slave named Eveline. Eveline, too, had a sweetheart, a slave named Jim, and now she was about to lose him. Livergood, moved by her tears, and perhaps given to a great understanding by his own marriage, advanced the money and made arrangements for the purchase of the slave, Jim. When the four reached the Lavaca, Sarah Ann selected the site for her new home near two giant live oaks. A "house raising" by the neighbors, combined with the labors of Livergood and Jim, soon had a comfortable log cabin erected. It was to stand for nearly seventy years.

Livergood and his help then turned to the fields on the new lands he had purchased adjoining his first tract. Blessed with good seasons and a happy home, Livergood's hard labor produced good crops; he prospered and rose in stature in the settlement and in the county. On September 21, 1850, he was elected Chief justice of the county. His administration was a good one, but was marred by the bitter county seat war waged by the rival settlements on the Lavaca---Petersburg and Hallettsville. In the election to determine the site of the county government, Livergood was caught between the warring factions. As Chief Justice of the county, be received the results of the election boxes, nine in number, certified to and returned by the presiding officers, and tabulated them. The partisans supporting Petersburg prevailed on Livergood not to announce the results until they had filed a petition contesting the votes of a number of voters supporting Hallettsville. As Chief justice, he granted their request, and to determine the validity of their protest, he instructed the presiding officers to send in the ballots for his examination. On July 6th, 1852, the date set for the hearing, while Livergood was investigating the charges, a mob of Petersburg partisans stormed his office, overturned the table, and destroyed the ballots. Livergood, in consequence, was unable to certify the results; in the next few days, he resigned. On August 24th, just prior to the September election, he made an affidavit reciting the tabulation of the election box returns, and filed it with the court. In the year that followed, the tabulation was the basis for a judicial finding that Hallettsville. was the legally constituted seat of justice for the county.

While the people on the headwaters of the Lavaca waged their private war over the "county town," the state of Texas had problems of its own-the Indians and the frontier. Putting aside, for the moment, their feud, the Lavacans rallied to the defense of the state. George Tankersly in August, 1852, petitioned Governor P. H. Bell for a commission as Captain of the Rangers; he proposed to recruit the company in the county. Tankersly had served on the frontier in Captain J. S. Sutton's Company of Rangers. William Smothers, the Lavaca settler who had killed the Comanche chief near Linnville in 1842, also, sought a commission; he informed the governor, he had a company of one hundred men raised in the county, ready for service on the state's call. C. C. Herbert, Columbus, Texas, intervened for General Augustus Jones, a resident of Lavaca County. Jones thought another war with Mexico was imminent, and was anxious to raise a company. Herbert described Jones as "a gentleman and as brave a man as ever lived." At the time, Jones was the owner and operator of a "certain house known as the old Tavern Stand" at Petersburg.

It was Livergood, however, who mustered the support of the people in the county. Turner Roundtree, George Walton, R. R. Walton, J. M. Henderson, Michael Murphy, Bosman Kent, William Byas, G. B. Tankersly, B. L. Tankersly, G. W. Tankersly, E. W. Williams, Gabriel Zumwalt, John Long, Andrew Zumwalt, Seth M. Baldridge, H. Dunham, H. Harless, M. T. Dunham, Jesse Robinson, David Coal, John Nolen, W. B. Davis, P. S. Nolen, John Nolen Sr., A. G. Nolen, T. J. Livergood, Arthur Sherrill, Henry K. Judd, B. F. Stribling, and Allen Jones, all settlers in and about Petersburg, supported Livergood. The petition addressed to Governor Bell stated that there were "many young men in this county who want to enter the Ranger Service." John Hemphill, Chief justice of the Supreme Court and still later a member of the United States Senate, 1857-1861, interceded for Livergood. Hemphill had served with Livergood in Hay's Company in 1842 and found "him a gentleman of superior intelligence," and in the military service "discharged his duties faithfully, honorably, zealously and intelligently." It was all to no end; the Legislature failed to provide for the state military organization, and Squire Livergood, instead of bivouacing on the trail of the lawless and the Indians, tended the fires at the Twin Oaks on the Lavaca. In 1854, he returned to politics and submitted his name as justice for the Petersburg precinct in the forthcoming election. He was elected without opposition and served in that capacity for several terms. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he was elected Captain of Beat No. 3 Company, Lavaca County, Texas State Troops, and was commissioned as such by Governor F. R. Lubbock. The Lone Star Guards, as the county unit was called, were commanded by Major J. F. Spears. In 1863, while he still commanded the Beat No. 3 Company, Livergood enlisted as a private in Spears' Company, Company C, 24th Regiment, Texas State Troops, for six months; on September 25, 1863, he enlisted for another six months period in Company D of the same regiment commanded by Captain John R. Borden, and trained at Camp Terry in Jackson County.

Current Mossy Grove Church, Lavaca County[Late March photo of the Mossy Grove Church, Lavaca County.  Behind the church is the cemetery.  Click on picture for more]. There was little change in the pattern of life in the Livergood home from its early establishment until the death of the veteran Squire, October 3, 1893. It is true, the slaves, Jim and Eveline, were freed following the Civil War, but they remained on the Livergood lands, and with their former master, cultivated the fields and shared in the harvest. Thirteen children were born as issue of the marriage of John Himes Livergood and Sarah Ann Perkins, and while many scattered to the far corners of the country, the home tract is still owned by a Livergood. The Mossy Grove Methodist church was organized in 1855 with Livergood and his wife as two of its charter members. It was not far from their home; here, the family worshipped for many years, listened to Rev. John F. Cook and later to Rev. A. G. Nolen, as they preached the Gospel. In a plot of ground adjacent to the church, the Livergoods buried their dead, among them Squire John Himes Livergood. From On the Headwaters of the Lavaca and the Navidad by Judge Paul C. Boethel, 1967.

The Livergood family was listed in the 1850 census of LavacaCo: LIVERGOOD: Jno H. 36, m PA; Sarah A. 21, f VA; Lucosy G. 2, f TX; Lucy M. 1, f TX; HANLY: Mary 12 f TX.


MITCHELL. Isaac Newton Mitchell (1809-1853) came to Texas from Alabama in 1838 (born in SumterCo, AL in 1810) according to author John Henry Brown who was an early area resident from Mustang Creek. He purchased land three miles north of the Hallett settlement. According to descendants, Mitchell came from Alabama from South Carolina over 150 years ago and settled near the present site of Hallettsville. Mitchell was with Col. John H. Moore's force which was primarily from Fayette and Bastrop counties that pursued Comanches up the Colorado to near where current Colorado City stands. Along with the group were Lavaca River valley men Mitchell, Mason B. Foley, Joseph Simmons of Texana, Nicholas J. Ryan and Peter Rockefeller. Col. Moore's troop caught the Comanche camp by surprise at dawn in October on a frosty morning and killed 130 warriors sparing only old men and one or two young warriors who surrendered. Women fought as bravely as men according to eyewitnesses and some were killed despite attempts to spare them. Isaac Mitchell was mounted on a mule in the attack and his bridle broke in the rush such that his mount uncontrollably penetrated the middle of the Indian camp where surrounded the mule "sulked" and would not move. In author John Henry Brown's words

a squaw siezed a large billet of wood and by a blow on his head tumbled him to the ground; but he sprang to his feet, a little bewildered, and just as his comrades came by, seeing the squaw springing at him knife in hand, they sang out 'Kill her Mitchell!' With a smile not untinged with pain, he replied: 'Oh, no, boys, I cannot kill a woman!' But to prevent her killing himself, he knocked her down and wrenched the weapon from her hands.

He was at the Battle of Salado in 1842 with Capt. Zumwalt's Company, but along with Stewart Foley and Horace Eggleston, he arrived after the battle was over according to author Judge Paul Boethel. He commanded as Captain a combined company of Lavaca and Navasoto County men in the Somervell Expedition and returned following orders to San Antonio along with other LavacaCo men John Henry Brown, Joshua D. Brown, Beverly Greenwood, William M. Phillips, Shaffer Powell, M.C. Rountree, Jonathan Scott and O.H. Stapp. Mitchell's company was commissioned to build a bridge over the flooded Nueces River on the Expedition.

He was an appointed Commissioner of the LavacaCo Court, along with Phillip Howard and A.G. Foster, to "view, mark out, and open a road to run from the crossing on Navidad River near Thomas Chaudoin's thence nearest and best route to Petersburg." Tax records of 1846 indicated that Mitchell owned 30 slaves and a valuable piano. According to Boethel, Mitchell was a "wealthy planter" and was involved in a six year long dispute over the death of a 16 year slave girl Mahala who was hired out by Henry Mims to Mitchell just at the time of the Woll invasion. The girl Mahala disappeared carrying notes by Mitchell that were her pass back to Mims and another calling for men to aid against Woll on the way to San Antonio. Her body and personal effects were found near a waterhole near Mim's place. Marks of violence were found on the body and later Mitchell's abusive overseer, M.C. Roundtree, admitted he had whipped the girl at previous times, one as recent as the day of her departure. The prolonged suit at Columbus revolved around Mim's attempt to recover compensation for loss of the girl even though Mitchell had paid with stock and cash to try to compensate for both her loan and loss. Finally, the Mims estate collected $679 in damages.

On 27 Jul 1843, Mitchell married 21 year old Mary Margaret Kerr (1822-1884), the surviving daughter of Major James Kerr who came with him to Texas from Missouri in 1825. The Mitchell family was known as prosperous and cultured planters of the area and period and were supported by at least thirty slaves. The family maintained a summer residence on Lavaca Bay where in 1853 Capt. Mitchell was accidentally killed by a discharge of his own gun on a turkey hunt.  The widow Mary Kerr Mitchell subsequently married J.C. Sheldon with whom the Mitchell children did not get along.  Isaac and Mary Kerr Mitchell had a daughter, Angeline Genevieve Mitchell (1845-1924) and sons described below.


Isaac Newton and Mary Mitchell had two sons I.N. Mitchell II, and Daniel by his wife Mary Margaret. After his accidental death, his two sons took over and soon purchased 400 acres of land on Carancahua Bay. I.N. then bought out his brother and built a large house there. This is where he brought his bride, Callista A. Stapp (1853-1942) in 1872. Callista is a descendant of Elija Stapp, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Callista's Grandmother was a Rice (Founder of Rice University in Houston). I.N. Mitchell III was born 1-1-1873 and died Sept. 16, 1935, married to Mary Fromme, now deceased. They had three sons, I.N. Mitchell IV, Hugh C. Mitchell and Alfred Mitchell. I.N. Mitchell IV married Zatella Fields and had 2 children, Mary Katherine and I.N. Mitchell, V. Their daughter Mary Katherine still lives on Mitchell property. I.N. V. lives in New Braunfels. Mary Katherine has four children, one of which still lives with her on the ranch. I.N. V. has two sons. Hugh C. Mitchell married Ethel Parnell and has one son, Michael who has two sons, Michael V. and Stephen Hugh. Ethel still lives on the Mitchell Ranch. Also A.C. Mitchell married Mildred Sterling. They had no children. So you see, the Mitchell heirs are still ranching and farming. Times have changed but the love of cattle and nature are too strong to keep us away. The way of ranching has changed, cattle have changed, but the Mitchell's have not. Mrs. Hugh Mitchell and Son. (From The History of DeWitt County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Media Company) 

2005:  Descendants report that Isaac Newton Mitchell IV and wife Zatella Creigh (Field) Mitchell, their daughter Mary Katherine (Mitchell) Dickey, Hugh C. Mitchell and wife Ethel (Panell) Mitchell, and their son Michael Weldon Mitchell are deceased.  Isaac Newton Mitchell V has a ranch in the Smithsons Valley area of Comal County, Texas. Janet (Shade) Mitchell, Michael Weldon Mitchell's wife, lives in Edna,Texas. Mary Katherine's daughter, Susan, is living on the Mitchell ranch just south of Lolita, Texas.  Janet Mitchell and sons Vance and Steve continue the ranching tradition of the Mitchell family in the Lolita area on lands purchased in 1854 by I. N. Mitchell II.


SCARBOROUGH. Paul Scarborough came to Texas in 1830 and attended the meeting along with other residents including John Alley, James G. and Archibald White and Andrew Kent of the Lavaca and Navidad River area at Millican's Gin near Edna on 17 Jul 1835. He served in Capt. Moseley Baker's Infantry Company D, 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers at San Jacinto and participated in the Mier Expedition in 1842. He received land one third league of land for service awarded by the JacksonCo Board of Land Commissioners.


TURNER
"....if my name should find a humble place in the history of Texas, that it may said of it, he did his duty."

Colonel Amasa Turner. was born in Massachusetts 9 Nov 1800, moved to Mobile, AL in 1825 and was in the lumber and construction business. In 1827 he married Julia Morse also from MA. In spring 1833 after a bout with yellow fever, he made a trip with others to Texas. The party floundered in the Gulf of Mexico and finally landed on Galveston Island. Most of the party returned to Mobile, but Turner migrated to Mina after meeting surveryor Bartlett Sims. In 1835, Turner enlisted in Capt. Robert Coleman's militia company. In Nov 1835 he was appointed an infantry Lieutenant. in the regular army of the provisional government of Texas. Turner participated in the Siege and Battle of Bexar and the Grass Fight and appointed as a recruiting officer and traveled to New Orleans by boat in Dec 1835 where he recruited about a hundred men and arrived back in Velasco in Jan 1836. At Velasco, he continued to recruit from the pool of new arrivals from the US. He recruited enough men to form two companies, one under his command and another under first John Hart and later Captain Richard Roman. Capt. Turner arrived in Gonzales 27 Mar 1836 where he joined the Republic of Texas army forming under Houston which began the retreat to San Jacinto. After San Jacinto in Aug 1836, Capt. Turner was promoted to Lt. Colonel of infantry and later a Colonel. After the battle of San Jacinto Capt. Turner and his command were placed in charge of prisoners which they transported down Buffalo Bayou on the steamboat Yellowstone to Galveston and later Velasco under the command of Col. James Morgan where he was occupied with providing for the army and prisoners and fortification of the coast in case of further attack. He was instrumental in prevention of attempts, in which he disobeyed orders from military superiors, on President David Burnet's life and office and a military takeover during the early stages of stabilization of the civilian government of the Republic.

In late 1836, Col. Turner was transferred to regimental headquarters on the Lavaca River in Jackson County, but settled on Galveston Island where he established a plantation on Cedar Bayou, Oakland, but it did not prove stably successful and he moved to LavacaCo in Sep 1847 after annexation on the west bank of the Navidad River at Scotts Crossing on the road from Columbus to Gonzales. In Galveston Turner served as Officer in the Customs Service of the Republic following leaving the service. He was known as part of the "Custom House Click" and campaigned for Nicolas Lynch in his run against Moseley Baker at one time. Turner represented LavacaCo in the state legislature in 1850-51 and senate 1852-53. During the Civil War he was provost-marshal of LavacaCo and moved to Gonzales after the war. He died there 21 Jul 1877 and is buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery. Amasa and Julia Morse Turner had children George, Marcellus and Julia.

Within the Turner family Sam Houston was known as "Pa's implacable enemy." Turner's reasons for dislike of Houston are not totally clear, but it is believed it was simply a general aversion to Houston's "high-handed tactics coupled with his personal vanity and folly." Houston was the political enemy of multiple close friends of Col. Turner.

In his book Colonel Amasa Turner: The Gentleman from Lavaca and other Captains at San Jacinto, LavacaCo author judge Paul C. Boethel quotes Col. Turner's description of the moments that were the basis for later accusations that Gen. Houston prematurely ordered a halt during the Battle of San Jacinto.  Although Turner may have had aversion to Houston's personality, his description appears honest and in defense of Houston on the battlefield of San Jacinto:

At the battle of San Jacinto, after our line had taken the enemy's breastworks, and in passing them, our line was thrown into great confusion, and at that time and place the general rout commenced. The enemy had not time to form in rear of their breastworks before the Texians were with them, and seemed to have the issue in their own hands. Many of the company officers made an effort to form their command after passing the breastworks, but failed to [do] so. I, however, succeeded in forming a part of the company into something like a line, and in the course of two hundred yards they all got into line, and we joined in the rout, in something like order in my company. After pursuing a few hundred yards at double-quick step, I heard the command given from rear, "Halt, halt" I looked around and Lieutenant-Colonel Millard was advancing, calling, "Halt, halt." I did not order my company to halt until he came up and called out, "Captain Turner, halt your company, sir!" I then as soon [as] possible, halted my command, and formed a line, and here I will remark that after I halted my company, that there was not a single gun fired by the enemy. They had thrown away their guns, and were running to get away, and Almonte, in a few minutes after, herded them and surrendered to General Rusk some five or six hundred yards from where I halted my command. Before Colonel Millard had time to give me his orders, Colonel J. A. Wharton rode up from the rear also, and cried out, "Regulars, why have you stopped? On, on," and was about to pass us when Colonel Millard spoke to him. I did not hear the conversation between them. The result, however, was that Colonel Millard said to me, he detailed my company to return to the battleground and take charge of it by placing a guard around the Mexican camp.

At this time I saw General Houston with some of his staff with him walking their horses slowly from the rear from the same direction that Colonel Millard and Colonel Wharton had come from, and it was from the direction of the battlefield. When we got up to them, that is, Wharton, Millard and my company soon met Houston, and those with him were Inspector-General Geo. W. Hockley, Wm. G. Cook, James Collingsworth, and Volunteer Aids R. Eden Handy and .Colonel R. M. Coleman. All this company returned to the battlefield with me and my company. After my arrival I halted my company near the gun (12 pounder) we had taken, and formed a line, and stood at ease. General Houston's company seemed to scatter and leave him as we came on the camp and battlefield, and he rode up in front of my company and stopped his horse, and in a minute or so he threw up his hands and exclaimed, "All is lost, all is lost; my God, all is lost." This drew my attention to him. I saw he was looking at General Rusk with the surrendered Mexicans on their way to our camp on Buffalo Bayou. There was a spy glass lying on the ground near him, which [he] took up and handed him, and said, "Take this, General, it will assist you in ascertaining what that is out there in the prairie." He took it, and just then some one, I think my first Lieutenant [William Miller], spoke and said that Rusk had a very respectable army now. Houston said to me, "Is that Rusk?" I said, "Yes, certainly, that is Rusk with the prisoners." I am of the opinion that when he first saw Rusk that he thought it was Filisola from Richmond; hence, his "All is lost." By this time his staff were about him or near by. General Houston then exclaimed, "Have I a friend in this world? Col. Wharton, I am wounded I am wounded; have I a friend in this world?"

Wharton said, "I wish I was; yes, General, I hope you have many friends." It was now about sunset, and the general and commander-in-chief, with staff and aides, left the battle ground for our camp on Buffalo Bayou, and must have arrived there about the time that Rusk did with the prisoners. I have given these facts as the Irishman did his evidence in Court, in his own way. I have led you in the above round-about way to times and places in order that you might perfectly understand where and under what circumstances, and the time that General Houston or others made use of the order to halt. I will now give you something more from hearsay. Captain Isaac Moreland, a gentleman and soldier, and was attached to the artillery on that day, for some cause I do not at this time recollect, lingered on the battlefield, and whilst there discovered a parcel of men engaged, as he thought, in the act of plundering the effects left on the ground by the enemy. He said they [were] breaking packages, and he told them to desist, as he would report them. He said he then left, and came up to where General Houston and staff were, and reported to him the fact, and that General Houston called out, "Halt, halt", and sent Colonel Millard to detail a company and put a guard around the Mexican camp; that Millard left, overtook my company, and called me by name, and ordered me to halt, and detailed my company to return as above stated. Now, you will perceive that Captain Moreland's remarks to me fit so well with what I have stated before mentioning his name that I believe every word of it. Now, I will, as I think, explain how it was ever reported that General Houston ever ordered a halt on the battlefield, etc.

At the time of the battle of San Jacinto, R. M. Coleman, volunteer aid to Houston, was friendly with him, but soon afterwards became Houston's most inveterate enemy, as you know from the history of 1836, and as he was with Houston at the time Moreland came up and reported what was going on on the battlefield. It is not impossible but probable, that General Houston did, under the circumstances, order a halt and give Colonel Millard the orders before mentioned. And there is another fact connected with this matter that makes it likely he ordered a halt. It is this. On the 18th, the evening we arrived at Harrisburg, Deaf Smith came into camp with a Mexican courier with a large mail for Santa Anna containing dispatches from the Capital of Mexico and from all the post[s] left by him down to Fort Bend. This mail put Houston in possession of all the secret designs of the enemy. It was a perfect Godsend to Houston. It informed [him] where Santa Anna had gone, how many men he had, and that he had but one piece of artillery with him. It also informed him that the advance [Santa Anna] had the military chest with him. General Houston knowing all this, it is not surprising that he should, on receiving Captain Moreland's report from the field of the plundering going on there, be somewhat excited and adopt such means as to prevent it, and this he did in the most efficient and prompt manner possible.

I will now close with a single remark, that if General Houston did, on receiving Moreland's report of the plundering of the Mexican camp, order a halt, to whom did he give that order? There was no one with him but his staff and two aids, together with Captain Moreland and Colonel Millard commanding the regulars, and at the time Moreland reported to Houston, there was not a captain's command in sight of him but mine that could be identified. We were regular soldiers. Houston might have preferred regulars for the duty required; hence, his order to detail that company in sight for that express duty. As above stated, to whom did Houston give the order and for what purpose? If he had sent all of his staff and [those] present with orders to arrest and halt the promiscuous pursuers of the enemy, it would have been like ordering the tornado to halt. It would have effected nothing, but seeing a company of regulars in something like order, he [ordered] the colonel commanding the regulars to [form the] detail. He had no use for more than one for the duty required. I do not believe that General Houston ever ordered a halt of the army or even wished or expected to halt it, but that he articulated the word "Halt" surrounded by his staff and aids, I have no doubt. And Colonel R. M. Coleman misrepresented the whole affair through malice and hatred to Houston. [From an original letter of 1874 to Guy M. Bryan in the collection of Dr. Thomas Harwood, LSU, New Orleans]


George WaltonWALTON. George Walton was another of the intrepid Missourians who found the waters of the Lavaca and the Navidad to his liking. Born near St. Louis in 1818 or thereabouts, he met Louisa M. Zumwalt, daughter of Captain Adam Zumwalt, on the Lavaca and married her in 1843 [G. Walton was born 9 May 1817, married 30 Mar 1843 in GonzalesCo, and died 10 Oct 1904.  He is buried in a little cemetery on Big Saline Creek in KimbleCo, TX--WLM]. Prior thereto, however, he, like all the young bucks of that era, itched to get into action and prove his mettle. In the early part of March, 1842, he joined the Jackson County company of Texas Volunteers under the command of Captain Lafayette Ward and participated in the attack on the Mexican forces at San Antonio. He, in this stint of service, served from March 6 to June 6, 1842. By September, he had worked his way up the Lavaca to the Zumwalt Settlement and when the Mexicans captured San Antonio for the second time in the year, he was one of the band of forty-three organized under Captain Adam Zumwalt which joined the other Texan forces, engaged and defeated the Mexican army east of San Antonio. Again on November 11, 1842, he is listed on the muster roll of Captain Isaac Mitchell's company, First Regiment of the Southwestern Army---a group of volunteers who answered the call of President Sam Houston for active duty and saw service on the Somervell Expedition to Laredo. Walton was one of the hardy Lavaca men, along with Isaac Zumwalt, Wilson Clark, J. H. Livergood, and Henry Bridger, who refused to turn back and made the march on Mier. When the Texan army surrendered, December 25th, Walton escaped from the camp opposite Mier and made his way back to the Lavaca. Following his marriage, Walton purchased a tract of land on the Lavaca from his father-in-law [Capt. Zumwalt] and was content to remain at home. There he prospered as a stock raiser and farmer, and had no worries or problems until the Civil War upset his apple cart. From On the Headwaters of the Lavaca and the Navidad by Judge Paul C. Boethel.

Louisa W. Zumwalt (7 Sep 1824 MO-1906) and George W. Walton had children, George D., Andrew B., Luther, John and William. In addition to stockraiser and farmer, Walton was a freighter and during the Civil War participated in supply lines that kept the fragile economy of the Lavaca River area alive. According to author Boethel

"at that time better than forty-four years of age, he took his two wagons, and ten yoke of oxens and left the Lavaca. Except for stays at home during the winter months, he was on the road for the next three years, aided by his young son and a Negro slave, named Dick. As the Yankee blockade of the Southern ports tightened the noose about the Confederacy, a lifeline was improvised through Texas. Brownsville, across from Matamoras, Mexico, developed as the primary terminal of all the freight routes from the east. There it was possible to reach a foreign port, evade the blockade, and thus get the cotton to Europe. Thousands of freight wagons hauled the cotton from all points in Texas to the Mexican border, and there swapped it for merchandise, powder and the like. The upper Navidad was close to the railroad terminal at Alleyton in Colorado County. Water and grass were abundant all along the river, particularly at Scott's Crossing, where at one time in 1864, twenty-five to thirty large wagons were encamped waiting for the arrival of cotton on the rail line open to the east. Sweet Home, on the upper Lavaca, also was blessed with abundant grass and water, developed as the favorite winter camp for the freighters."

Walton encountered and surmounted numerous difficulties in encounters with unscrupulous traders and the military forces both during the war and reconstruction under the chaotic conditions of the period. Walton was mustered into service as private in Captain T. W. Barnett's company, Barnes' Regiment of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States.

The family was listed in the 1850 census of LavacaCo: WALTON: G.W. 32 m MO; Louisa M. 25 f MO; George D. 3 m TX; Andrew B. 2/12 m TX; HAMM: Harriet 12 f. LA.   (Photo courtesy of LaHonda Morgan and Shirley Reynolds)


WILLOUGHBY. Leaper Willoughby served in Capt. John Austin's Company at the Battle of Velasco in 1832 and was a signer of the petition for an independence Consultation at Brazoria. He served in the Texas Republican Army 16 Mar to 19 Sep 1836 as a private, corporal, sargeant and captain. At San Jacinto, he served in Capt. David Murphree's 4th Infantry Company, 2nd Regiment and died in LavacaCo in 1874.


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