SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2001, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Goliad Massacre-Index | Independence-Index

 

Escape from Goliad--Isaac D. Hamilton's Reminiscences & Claims

......The order to fire was then given---the Mexicans being three paces distant---while I was shot in the left thigh about six inches above the knee, I then wheeled about and while in the act of crossing the fence received a bayonet in the upper portion of the right thigh after which I was persued some three miles being frequently fired on....near the spot my companions left me for three days bearley a live Et the matter from my wounds and tried to suck the substance from green pus and lice of which I had a hevy stock. I began to think of the wolvs and Boserds coming to prey up on my body.....

......on the nineteenth day after the masacre I was retaken by the Mexicans.....I was hauled on a cart some fifteen miles when I was put upon a poor horse who with myself received alternotely the Mexican quirt for the amusement of my torminters....court martialed and ordered to be shot which fate I escaped by the intercession of two Mexican Ladies. I was compeled to draw water from the River in a barel when I could scarsely walk frequently stradled while I was lying down on my back by a mexican with a knife in his hand drawing it cross? my throat with the oaths? and motions as if my throat would be cut in a moment.....

 

From the Handbook of Texas.  Isaac D. Hamilton   (1804-1859), soldier in the Texas Revolution, was a native of Courtland, Alabama, the son of Francis and Mary Hamilton. In 1835 he joined John Shackelford's company of Red Rovers to fight for the independence of Texas from Mexico. He was quartermaster, fifth in the chain of command, with the rank of second sergeant. His company joined James W. Fannin, Jr., at Goliad and fought in the battle of Coleto, after which Fannin surrendered to Gen. José de Urrea.  Hamilton was one of four Red Rovers who survived the Goliad Massacre.  Seriously wounded and left by his companions, he accomplished, according to historian Harbert Davenport, the "most incredible of all the escapes from the massacre at Goliad," only to be recaptured by Plácido Benavides at Dimmitt's Point and sent to Victoria, where he was again scheduled to be shot. But word came that Sam Houston had defeated Antonio López de Santa Anna at San Jacinto. In the confusion that followed in the Mexican camp Hamilton again escaped, with the aid of Francisca de Alavez, the "Angel of Goliad." He eventually made his way back to Courtland, Alabama, recuperated from his ordeal, and returned to Texas. He never regained his health. On February 13, 1858, the Texas legislature approved a measure awarding Hamilton a league of land near the site of present Beaumont as a reward for his services in the revolution. But before the land was surveyed he died at Moulton, Texas, in 1859. He was buried in Old Moulton Cemetery. BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Dr. Shackelford's Red Rovers," Alabama Historical Quarterly 18 (Fall 1956). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Lester Hamilton [Mr. Hamilton, 2nd greatgrand nephew of Isaac Hamilton,  is the author of Goliad Survivor Isaac D. Hamilton].


 From Memorials & Petitions Files, The Texas State Library and Archives

Reminiscences of Goliad

During the spring of eighteen hundred and thirty five---May, I think---I became a member of Captain Jack Shackleford's Company them being organized in Alabama for the purpose of visiting Texas in her struggle for liberty and in the fall of the same year we arrived at Passo Cavallo from which place we proceeded to Goliad where after remaining some two months, we were ordered by Col. Fannin to retreat. We left Goliad and after marching some eight miles and within one and a half miles of the Colleto were attacked by some fifteen hundred Mexicans under the command of Gen. Urea in March 1836 and being but three hundred and sixteen of us in number were over powered by the enemy and compelled to surrender which we did, under the stipulations that we should be treated as prisoners of war and returned to the United States in safety both in person and property.

With this understanding we were marched back to Goliad where on the sixth day, after the battle, before sunrise we were marched some hundred yards from the fort when the first intimation we received that the articles of the treaty would not be complied with was an order---now in Spanish---for us to be shot.

The question being asked if any one of us could speak Spanish and answered in the negative the order to face about was given in English order some obeyed while others refused. The order to fire was then given---the Mexicans being three paces distant---while I was shot in the left thigh about six inches above the knee, I then wheeled about and while in the act of crossing the fence received a bayonet in the upper portion of the right thigh after which I was persued some three miles being frequently fired on and during which time I saw but one mounted Mexican who was endeavoring to rope one of our men. After having out run my enemies I was hailed by a man by the name of Brooks and after having proceeded some four miles up the San Antonio River we were overtaken by two others---Cooper and Simpson---by whose assistance I was enabled to make my way on to within two miles of Texana---at which place the Mexicans then were, but being exhausted by the loss of blood and unable to proceed farther my comrades left me under the impression that I must die.

At this place I remained three days and nights having nothing or little else on which to subsist save the dried matter on pus that run from my wounds after which I cralled to Texana and getting into a canoe I proceeded to Dimit's Point where on the nineteenth day after the masacre I was retaken by the Mexicans---who on the day previous had shot some twenty or thirty Indians and four or five white men---From this place I was hauled on a cart some fifteen miles when I was put upon a poor horse who with myself received alternotely the Mexican quirt for the amusement of my torminters until we arrived at Victoria. At this place I was court martialed and ordered to be shot which fate I escaped by the intercession of two Mexican Ladies. I was then compelled to haul water from the river in the capacity of a horse and the reson I was not shot--as I understood, was that they wished to take me back to Goliad and have me shot there in accordance with the original order of Santa Ana; however, be that as it may before I was well enough to march back the news of the Battle of Sanjacinto arrived & I and on(e) other made our escape under cover of the night---bring told by the Mexicans that we would be killed if for no other purpose than that of amusement.

Thus after making my way through many difficulties, dangers and privations I arrived at home in Alabama about the first of July 1836, having been abut some fourteen months or rather in the service of Texas.

My losses sustained on the above occasion were, as nearly or I can now recollect, as follows, viz.
Twenty three hundred Dollars in actual cash $2300
Two horses and rigging one hundred dollars each 200
One trunk of clothing 175
Weapons of war and other valuable articles of ??? &c amounting in all to about three hundred one eighty Dollars to the best of my recollections $380. $3,055.

In addition to the above I acted as quartermaster while under the command of Capt. J. Shackleford for which service I have never received any remuneration save the land to which I was entitled as a citizen of the Republic nor have I ever applied for, or received any part of the above amount of money and property lost during the invasion of Texas by the Mexican forces during the years eighteen hundred and thirty five and six. I. D. Hamilton.

Sworn to and subscribed before me at my office in Houston Jany 8th 1852. Witness my hand and seal of Harris County Court at my office. W.R. Baker, Clerk Harris Court.


Medical Affidavits & Petition

Houston Jany 8th 1852. At the request of Mr. I.D. Hamilton, I have examined his wounds, which he says he rec'd. in the massacre of Goliad, as prisoner properly the battle of the Coletto---He has a very extensive cicatrix at about the neck of the sartorious muscle, & from its locality, I should deem it would, as I believe it does injure him materially. He rec'd. a bayonet wound in the right thigh which from its locality & evidences at the present time, must have slightly injured the Ac. Femoris, his health has been feeble for a great length of time, probably caused from the extensive ??? of the wound. [Signed unreadable]. Sworn to and subscribed before me at my office in Houston Jany 8th 1852. Witness my hand and seal of Harris County Court at my office. W.R. Baker, Clerk Harris Court. 

Houston Jan. 8th 1852. Having been called on in the capacity of surgeon to examine the wounds or scars of Pvt. Isaac Hamilton which he states were inflicted at what is generally known as the Goliad or Fannin's massacre; I find a cicatrix on the left thigh which is evidently the result of a gun shot wound and which from no treatment, or neglect, has injured the sartorius muscle materially, and still provides a source of annoyance and pain. On the right thigh I find a scar which I presume from its appearance to have been made by a bayonet, which ???? is entirely healed and presents? no inconvenience. G.H. W. Johnson, MD.

Sworn to and subscribed before me at my office in Houston Jany 8th 1852. Witness my hand and seal of Harris County Court at my office. W.R. Baker, Clerk Harris Court.

To the Honorable Legislators of the State of Texas. The undersigned your petitioner respectfully showeth that he has suffered much both personally and fucunarily on the behalf of the late Rep. of Texas and that he has heretofore not only not received payment for these losses and services, but owing to the situation of affairs has never asked it, he appends hereto a statement of his service, his losses and his wounds and asks of your honorable body such remuneration as the merits and justice of the case would seem to demand, he does not ask that any change in the polices of the state should be made but that whatever his services and losses should be deemed worth ????? to him out of the public laws of the Country. I. D. Hamilton.


Recollections to Hon. J.W. Henderson

Galveston 28th January /58. Hon. J.W. Henderson---Yours of 20th came to hand this morning contents duly noted I belonged to Jack Shackleford's company caled Red Rovers from Courtland Alabama came a volunteer as quarter master for our company arived in Texas in thirty five belonged to the service until the spring of thirty six was with Col. Fannin at the Battle of Coleto was marched back to Goliad was shot thrue the iner part of the left thigh & bayoneted thrue the iner part of the right thigh at Col. Fannin's or the Massacre at Goliad after which I escaped by partly being helped over the brush fence by the point of a bayonet thru my right thigh after over the fence by fight I was out ninteen days with out any thing to subsist upon save what I could find. I was in company with three of my companions the first Eight days and walked be tween two of them with an arm Round Each of there necks to help me on my left leg was all most helpless we were in a bout two miles of Texana when I gave out and was so weak I would be come blind when they would atempt to Rase me up so they left me in that condition the eighth day after the Masicre I lay there or near the spot my companions left me for three days bearley a live Et the matter from my wounds and tried to suck the substance from green pus and lice of which I had a hevy stock. I began to think of the wolvs and Boserds coming to prey up on my body before life was quite gone and I determined to make a start in the direction of an in campments whare I last herd the sound of the Mexican Trumpit which I gained by crawling and walking as I bes could stand it

That En campment was Texana I lay hid round a bout thare five days found some little substance to live upon I made a nother attempt to get to some place whare I might get some help but the effort was in vane I only traveled some half mile and lay down under a live oak un til next day I then Returned to Texana after hiding a bout thare some day longer I Razed a canoe in the stream and went to Dimit's Point was thare taken prisoner by Don Plasedore of Vicitoria placed in the hands of some lancers an placed on a bar backed horse and was most cruly Beaton ???? un till we arived at Victoria it would take two much space to speak of all happened to me I was sintace to be shot at Victoria two oficers wives pled for me and I was to be Reserve un til I was able to be marched to Goliad shot and burned acording to Satana's order I was compeled to draw water from the River in a barel when I could scarsely walk frequently stradled while I was lying down on my back by a mexican with a knife in his hand drawing it cross? my throat with the oaths? and motions as if my throat would be cut in a moment thare is no words to express my sufferings I was out ninteen days after I was shot and bayoneted at Goliad until I was taken by plasedore at Dimits point.

I lost my money and property by our defeat at Goliad as neare as I can Recolect Five Thousand dollars or thereabout. This looks lie a hard storey but it is ony a begnning to its Riality.

You say Dr. Brinard will do all he can in conjunction with your selfe for which I will be under ??? obligation to you both and all who may assist in the matter if I new Dr. Brinards adress I would write him your attention to this matter shal never be forgoten by your Old frien Humble servant Respictfully I.D. Hamilton

Sworn to and subscribed before me at the City of Galveston this 28th day of January AD 1858 witness my hand and official seal James Welsh, Notary Public, Galveston County


Dr. Barnard's Affidavit.  Austin, 5th February 1858. I was well acquainted with I. D. Hamilton as member of Captain Jack Shackleford's Company of Red Rovers, under the command of Col. J.W. Fannin, at Goliad in 1836. He was in the battle of 19th March---was made prisoner with the rest, and kept as such up to the day of the Massacre. I do not now recollect tht I have ever seen him since But it has long been matter of Notoriety, that he escaped from the Massacre badly wounded, and suffered almost incredible hardships and privations, before he finally reached a place of safety with his friends. This has been confirmed to me by the statements of the Aforesaid Shackelford and other reliable men, so that I have not the least doubt of it. Joseph H. Barnard, formerly Surgeon to Col. Fannin's Command.


Goliad Massacre-Index | Independence-Index
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2001, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved