SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2006, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Muster at Gonzales and Battle of Bexar

Previous page 8

 

Heroic action of John Ingram.  J.H. Kuykendall 1858.  This story was written by Mr. Kuykendall in 1858. lt was told to him by one who saw the brave deed performed.  About the last of September, 1835, John Ingram joined the colonial forces at Gonzales, and was in the skirmish with the Mexican troops near that place.  He continued in the service until after the reduction of San Antonio, in which he fully participated. During the siege of this town he performed a feat of heroism, which is worthy of record.  After the investment of the place had continued on time, a twelve-pounder cannon was received by the Texians, by means of which it was hoped some impression could be made on the Mexican strong-hold---the Alamo.  The Texians, favored by a dark night, opened an entrenchment on the right side of the river, within four or five hundred yards of the Alamo, and at daylight the next morning the twelve-pounder, supported by Captain Goheen's company, to which Ingram belonged, began to thunder. The Mexicans were not slow to reply, but in a short time the fire on both sides slackened in consequence of a dense fog which completely concealed every object beyond the distance of a few yards. 

After the fog dissolved, the cannonade on both sides was rene wed. At length the artillerymen of the twelve-pounder announced that their powder was exhausted. It was immediately asked, "Who will go to the camp for powder?" Without a moment's hesitation Ingram volunteered for the perilous service. The Texian camp was about half a mile from the battery. Ingram leaped out of the ditch and ran.  Five field pieces were bearing on him from the walls of the Alamo, and a thousand infantry were marshaled outside the walls within easy musket range of the intrepid messenger. His course for four hundred yards was over an open field before he could gain the cover of the mill-race which led to the camp. Simultaneously the five cannon hurled at him their iron missiles. At the next instant a thousand muskets poured a leaden shower around him still Ingram sped onward. Again, and yet again, a thousand muskets roared in one platoon---but Ingram is still unscathed and safe within the mill-race. 

He paused not until he reached the quartermaster's tent, where, siezing a keg of powder and placing it on his shoulder, he left as he arrived running. The same perils awaited him on his return. Three swarms of iron and leaden balls again swept the plain around him, but he seemed to bear a charmed life, for he entered the entrenchment untouched amid the huzzahs and congratulations of his fellow soldiers.

Leandro Chavez Pension Petition, 1874.   The State of Texas and Before me John Rosenheimer, a Notary County of Bexar Public in and for the County of Bexar and State of Texas.  Personally appeared Leandro Chavez a resident citizen of the City of San Antonio, in the County and State aforesaid, who having been duly sworn by me, under said oath affirms and attests that he was born in the town of San Antonio in the year 1810, of Spanish parents who had settled in Texas, and that he has resided all his life either in said town or in the surrounding country. That in the year 1835, his parents had a farm or rancho on the San Antonio River near its junction with the Medina River. That affiant at that time expended the most part of his time attending on said rancho and occasionally coming to town. That about on the middle of the month of November 1835, he was on his way from the rancho to the City with his ox-cart, when he found himself surrounded by a party of armed men under the command of John N. Seguin, said party was mainly of friends and playmates of affiant. They told him that they were gathering in order to declare Texas independent from Mexico, that the most part of the young men were in favor of that move, that they were in great need of means of transportation that his cart would be very useful and they induced him to join them in their undertaking. Affiant accepted their offer and joined them. These facts took place near the Mission of San Jose in the locality called the "Canada". As soon as he reached the camp of the Texians, he was engaged with his cart, transporting hay, wood and all that was necessary. Shouldering his musket whenever he was at hand. It was in reason of that, that affiant was never enrolled or attached to any special company. Few days after his junction with the Texian patriots, affiant took an active part in the Battle of Concepcion. The organization was not very regular, and the discipline not quite strict. Everyone who would fight, did it according to his wishes and impulsion, and affiant remembers well that at said battle, he was near by an American who was dangerously wounded and was called, as far as affiant can make it out, Colonel Samlett, or something approaching. That Colonel died afterwards from the results of his wound. It was on the count of affiant, that the men wounded at the Battle of Concepcion were brought from Concepcion to the north side of the City when the camp was removed. Affiant continued rendering the same service of a general character during all the siege of San Antonio. At the storming of the place he was at the Veramendi house when the columns that had entered by Acequia Street and was engaged near the Garza's house sent for reinforcements, at that moment the communication between the two divisions was very dangerous although the distance that separated them was very short. So constant and so well was directed the enemy's fire, nevertheless affiant and some others decided to answer the call at all risks, they consequently started in a run from the Veramendi's house, but in crossing the street without any shelter to protect them, affiant received at the same instant two musket balls, the first one bruised his head scratching the skin without injuring the bones, it was a slight wound; and a second ball struck his right foot at the first articulatory of the thumb without injuring seriously the bones. This second wound, more painful than grievous, put an end to the military service of affiant. He can show yet the scars of his two wounds and nevertheless, he has never received any pay or compensation for his service. Whenever he has applied to the proper authorities, either by himself or by Attorney, he has always received for answer that his name was not found on any list of muster roll, as if the neglect of the superiors or the lack of a regular organization could destroy the reality of the service truly rendered.

Affiant considers that the actual laws of the State regulating the matter, have taken in consideration the reality of the service rendered when satisfactorily proven, more than the formality of an inscription in a muster roll, more or less faithful, and the most part of the time made in a hurry; and, under the engagement to prove the truth of his statement satisfactorily, he make the present affidavit to obtain the military pension to which he considers himself justly entitled under the laws in force granting said pension to the surviving veterans of the revolutionary war.  his+mark  Leandro Chavez Sworn to and subscribed before me this 2nd November AD 1874 Written my hand and the impress of my official seal. John Rosenheimer Notary Public B.C. 

The State of Texas Before me John Rosenheimer a Notary County of Texas Public in and for said County and State:  Personally appeared Colonel J. N. Seguin, who upon being by me duly sworn, upon his oath, deposes declares says, that he has a distinct recollection that when the Texian troops were gathering on the Salado, being one day scouting the country near the Mission San Jose with some of his men, they met with him the aforesaid Leandro Chavez, who joined the party and came to the Texian camps with his ox-team, that was very much needed the means of transportation being at that time quite scarce. That he rendered useful service as a courier and that being his main service he was not enlisted specially in any company although said Chavez shouldered his musket whenever needed. That it is correct that Leandro Chavez fought at the Concepcion, carried the men who were wounded in said battle up the river on the north side of the City whereto the camp was removed, that he continued during the Siege in his previous capacity and at the Storm of Bexar he received two flesh wounds near the house of Antonio de la Garza, one of which disabled him to render any immediate service. Since he remained lame for sometime he therefore left the Army with the authorization of Capt. B. Travis and retired to his family to cure his foot wounds, and finally the applicant is the same and identical person who rendered said military service at that time. Juan N. Seguin

Leandro Chaves The County Court of Bexar vs. Co., Texas.  The State of Texas.  Application for Annual Pension   To the Honorable County Court of Bexar County, Texas. In this case comes the applicant Leandro Chaves, aged about 67 years, a resident citizen of said Bexar County--leave first being had and obtained from the Court-- It appearing that his original application herein has been lost.--Presents this as a substitute for his said original application, and for such substitute application would respectfully represent to your Honor, that he is entitled to an annual pension from the State of Texas under the law, approved July 28, 1876. That he was a soldier in the army of the Republic of Texas in the war of the Revolution against Mexico between the commencement of the revolution at Gonzales in the year 1835 and the first day of January 1837. That he was under a Company of Lieut. Manuel Flores under the Command of Capt. or Col. Juan N. Seguin always in the service of Texas never against her. That he made proof of service and obtained Pension Bond in the year 1874. That due notice of his application had been given as required by law. He now prays that your Honor give his case a hearing in order to enable him to obtain the benefit of the law, and that he is now and was at the date of making his original application in indigent circumstances. He appoints Ed. Miles his Attorney in Fact--with the power to employ counsel, to present and prosecute his claim and receive and receipt for warrants or pay due him.  Leandro (mark) Chaves Sworn to and Subscribed:  Before me this 19th day of November A.D. 1877.  Sam S. Smith, Co. Clk. B. Co. by Juan E. Barrera, Deputy 

We, the undersigned Citizens of said County, make oath that we are well acquainted with the applicant Leandro Chaves, and know that his Statements are true.   Juan (mark) Rodrigues.  Juan Jose (mark) Flores.  The State of Texas   Before me John Rosenheimer a Notary County of Bexar Public in and for said County and State.  Personally appeared Clemente Bustillo, who being by me duly sworn, upon his oath declares and states that he was a member of the party which met Leandro Chavez at the "Canada" de San Jose that he joined the Texian troops at Concepcion and acted as general courier that affiant does not know if said Leandro Chavez was or was not enlisted in any special company, probably there was nothing like a muster roll at that time; that affiant continued during all the time of the Siege of San Antonio in his previous capacity and that at the Storming of Bexar, said Leandro Chavez crossing the street leading from Verramendi's to Antonio Garza's house received two flesh wounds and remained for a time lame in consequence of one of these wounds. Clemente Bustillo  [Leandro Chavez was the son of Don Francisco Xavier Chavez (b. 1760), a member of Chavez family who were original settlers of New Mexico, then Nacogdoches and then San Antonio.   Leandro's mother, Juana Padrón, was from an original Canary Islander family of San Antonio.  Chavez served the governments of Spain and Mexico for over 50 years primarily in Indian relations.  Leandro Chavez's daughter, María Anastacia Virginia married the famed Judge Roy Bean.  From the Texas Archives, provided by Robert Garcia]

Pension Petition, Julian Dias (Diaz) 1874.  State of Texas.  On the 28th day of November A.D. 1874, County of Bexar, Before me John Rosenheimer, a Notary County of Texas Public, in and for the County of Bear and State of Texas, Personally appeared Julian Dias, a resident citizen of this County, to me well known, who having been duly sworn, under his oath, does declare, affirms and attests, that he was born at the Mission of the Espada about nine miles below the City of San Antonio, on the San Antonio river, that his parents settled in Texas, were Spanish, and that he is now over seventy-two years of age having been born in the year 1802. That at the date of the Declaration of Independence, he was a married man, with family; that in the month of November 1835, affiant was one of the twenty odd men who were raised in said Mission by Lieutenant Manuel Leal, to reinforce the Texian forces that were besieging the City of San Antonio, affiant and his party joined the Army on or about the 26th of said month of November, 1835, and were incorporated in the Company of John N. Seguin mounted volunteers. Affiant was an active member of the troops who fought at the Sacate Fight and was under the immediate orders of Lieut. Salvador Flores who initiated that fight. Affiant continued in active service, and entered Bexar with the Texian troops, but after the capitulation of the Mexican troops he received from Col. Travis limited leave in order to attend to the protection of his wife and young children. Affiant helped his County when the support of all good and true citizens was needed and he conceive that in reason of his military service, he is justly entitled to the pension granted by the State to the survivors of the revolutionary war. Affiant protests that he is the same and identical person who rendered the military service wherein above stated, and that he never fought against Texas, or sympathized with the enemy of his Country.  He further states that he has entrusted with the charge of prosecuting his claim for this foresaid pension, David N. Whiting, of the City of Austin, Travis Co.  Julian Dias    

State of Texas Before me John Rosenheimer a County of Bexar Notary Public in and for said County and State, Personally appeared Col. John N. Seguin and Capt. Antonio Menchaca, who having been duly sworn by me according to law, upon their respective oaths, declare to say that they are well acquainted with Julian Dias the foregoing affiant who is Texian born and at present an old man about 72 years of age. That said Julian Dias joined the Texian troops at the old mill at the end of the month of November 1835, with several other men received in the Mission by Lieut. Manuel Leal who had been sent for recruiting reinforcements that said Dias entered the Company of J. N. Seguin and was at the Sacate Fight with Lieut. Salvador Flores that said Julian Dias assisted as a private in the Storming of Bexar that after the surrendering of that place he continued for some time in active services till he like the most part of the volunteers received leave from either Col. Travis or Bowie to retire and protect their families very much exposed to the frequent attacks of Indians, that Julian Dias who now applies for a military pension is the same and identical person who rendered the military service aforesaid, that he has never left the Country nor at any time aided or assisted the enemy. Affiants have no interest in this claim of said Julian Dias but they conceive that he is justly entitled under the laws to the military pension for which he applies.  Juan N. Seguin, Antonio Menchaca  [From The Texas State Archives, provided by Robert Garcia]

On raising the siege or storming Bexar.  Francis Johnson 1880's.  [From Johnson's Texas and Texans]
The question of raising the siege, and going into winter quarters, either at Goliad or Gonzales, or at both places, was being discussed at headquarters in the first days of December. However, on the 3rd of December a council of war was held at headquarters of the commanding General, when it was resolved that the army should retire, and go into winter quarters at Goliad or Gonzales. This action, though approved by a majority of the officers and men composing the army, was regarded by others as fatal to the campaign and would result in breaking up the volunteer force, which was then the last hope of Texas. It was urged that an evacuation of the Texans and the certain dissolution of the army would open up the whole country to the military, who would not be slow in following up the advantage thus afforded them.

Yoakum [author H. Yoakum of History of Texas, 1855-WLM] has here been drawn into an error. [Yoakum writes]

"During that day and night, all was preparation and impatience for the hour to march. A serious conference was in session in General Burleson's quarters, which closed by a proclamation that descent on the town was postponed! The burst of disappointment and indignation which followed this announcement can be better imagined than described. A general parade was ordered for ten o'clock in the morning of the 4th. Many of the companies refused to turn out. The causes assigned for postponing the attack were, the absence of Arnold, one of the guides, together with an opinion that the besieged had received notice of the intended assault.  About two o'clock in the afternoon of the 4th of December, an order was issued to raise the siege, and to set out for La Bahia at seven o'clock that evening. 'It was then,' says an eye witness, 'that the scene was wholly indescribable, and serious apprehensions were entertained that our camp would become the theatre of blood.'"

In answer to this gross slander it is sufficient to.say that the author was an "eye witness," and held a position in the army that gave him every opportunity of knowing and witnessing whatever was done in the army, and knows of what he writes. The true history of the case is this:

As before stated the question of raising the siege, and going into winter quarters, had been mooted at head-quarters. On the night of the 3d of December, a council of war was called, composed of the field officers and staff, who met at headquarters, where the questions of raising the siege and of going into winter quarters were submitted, by General Burleson. After mature deliberation and discussion, it was decided with but one dissenting vote, that of the Adjutant and Inspector General (the author), to raise the siege and go into winter quarters. Two propositions were offered. First, that the army should be divided into two divisions, one to occupy Goliad, and the other Gonzales on the Guadalupe river. The second that the army should return to Gonzales, and establish a camp on the east bank of the Guadalupe river. The second proposition was adopted.  The adjutant and inspector-general in dissenting from the majority offered the following reasons:

First, that an evacuation, without striking a blow would be fatal to the campaign, and expose our Mexican friends in and around San Antonio de Bexar to the ravages of the enemy, perhaps drive them from their homes. Second, that by going into winter quarters, under the circumstances, would virtually be to break up the army, which was then the last hope of Texas. Third, that the army was composed principally of Texans, most of whom had. families, that their want of proper clothing, blankets and tents, would be a sufficient reason for their returning home, leaving only the volunteers from the United States to maintain a camp. Fourth, that the enemy would not long delay taking advantage of this state of things and marching into the settlements.

In pursuance of the decision of the council-of-war, orders were issued on the morning of the 4th for a general parade, and to the quartermaster general to have the baggage wagon loaded, and in readiness to move with the army. On parade, orders were given the field officers to hold their respective commands to march that night for Gonzales. Their orders were received without any "burst of indignation" nor did a single company refuse "to turn out," and no occasion was given for thinking or "fearing that the camp would become the theatre of blood." True the order was a surprise and regretted by many in the army.

On the 4th, marching orders were issued, and the Quartermaster was directed to have the trains loaded and ready to move with the army on the 5th. About the middle of the afternoon, when most of the baggage wagons were loaded, and everything in readiness for the march on the next day, a Lieutenant of the Mexican army, a deserter, entered our camp, and was taken to General Burleson's quarters. He reported the defenses of the town weak, and that the place could be taken easily. After hearing his report, Colonel Johnson suggested to Colonel Milam to call for volunteers, that "now is the time." Most of the army had gathered at the headquarters of General Burleson.  Milam. called in a clear, loud voice " who will go with Old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" Many answered "I will," whereupon they were requested to fall into line. After a respectable number had formed in line, they were requested by Milam to assemble, at the Old Mill, at dark, and there organize.


Muster at Gonzales and Battle of Bexar
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2006, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved