William Holman was born 1806 in Kentucky. William Holman was a member of the company of Capt. Bailey Anderson, Jr., in the Siege of Béxar and served as quartermaster. He was in Capt. John M. Bradley’s company from April 19 to July 23, 1836, but missed the battle of San Jacinto because he had been assigned to procure cattle for food.
Archives for November 2014
William Isbell was born 1816 in Tennessee. At Gonzales in the spring of 1835 Isbell joined Capt. Robert M. (Three-legged Willie) Williamson’s company of Col. John H. Moore’s regiment for a two-month campaign against Indians on the upper Brazos River. In October of the same year he joined Capt. Thomas Alley’s company and in December took part in the Siege of Béxar. He joined Capt. Moseley Baker’s Company D of Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment, Texas Volunteers and served as a private in this company at the battle of San Jacinto. Also in Baker’s company was Pvt. James H. Isbell, William’s older brother, who enlisted in Nacogdoches on January 14, 1836. In 1841 he participated in the campaign against Indians under Mark B. Lewis and Thomas Green. After returning to San Antonio he served for six months as a Texas Ranger under John Coffee Hays. He died at the Burleson County community of Prairie Mound on December 11, 1877.
His reminiscences in the 1872 Texas Almanac:
Wm. ISBELL writes us, through a friend, as follows.
Editors Texas Almanac: —Was born in the town of Greenville, Green county, Tennessee, on the 15th day of June, 1816; in 1833 I run away from my father and lived in Abingdon, Virginia; I told my father a lie and he whipped me severely for it, as he hated a liar; I have often been in Andrew Johnson’s tailor shop, in Greenville, and had contests with boys for the binding or edging torn from cloth; I frequently chopped wood as a favor for Mrs. Cardy, who was Andy Johnson’s mother-in-law; Mr. Cardy was a club-footed shoemaker in Greenville; I emigrated to Texas in the fall of 1834, and living on Cummings’ Creek. In the spring of 1835 I went on my first campaign with Capt. R. M. Williamson, who was called three-legged Willie; John H. Moore, Liester, Rabb, Eastland, Goheen, Ned Burleson, R. M. Coleman, Col. Neill, and others were in the company; we were absent about sixty days on the upper Brazos, and lived mainly on beef. In October, 1835, I joined Capt. Thomas Alley’s company, at Gonzales, and marched about the 13th of October, 1835, under command of Gen. Stephen F. Austin, who had been elected commander of the “Army of the People,” for San Antonio; I belonged to that division of the army commanded by Col. Frank Johnson and Col. Wm. T. Austin, which stormed San Antonio in December, 1835. After the surrender of Gen. Coss I went to Mill Creek, now Austin county, and planted a crop, and then joined Gen. Sam Houston, on the Colorado, on his retreat from Gonzales; participated in the battle of San Jacinto, on the 21st of April, 1836, as a member of Capt. Mosley Baker’s company, served out my three months’ time and then returned to Mill Creek and worked out my crop of corn. In the winter of 1836 I went to the town of Brazoria and kept bar for Mrs. Jane Long, who had a tavern in Brazoria. I lived in Houston from the winter of 1837 till 1840; wagoned to the west for Major Bennett. In 1841 I made an Indian campaign under Mark B. Lewis and Tom Green; returned by way of San Antonio and there joined Capt. Jack Hays’ company of Rangers and served about six months; since the winter of 1842 I have lived in Washington county and in Burleson county, where I now am staying. I have five children by my first wife, and have three by my present wife, one boy six years old, one two years old and one boy ten months old; I have eight children living, and have buried two boys and one girl. Of course I have never seen my present wife and younger children, as I have been entirely blind for fourteen years.
James Washington Winters was born 1817 in Tennessee. In late 1835, with his father and brothers, he volunteered for service at the Siege of Béxar. Upon reaching San Felipe de Austin, however, the party learned of the surrender of Martín Perfecto de Cos and so returned to their farm. On March 18, 1836, Winters enlisted in Capt. William Ware’s company of independent volunteers. Also serving in this company were his brothers, Sgt. William C. Winters and Pvt. John F. Winters. Ware’s company tried to hold Dewees’s crossing on the Colorado River against the army of Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna, but was ordered to fall back by Sam Houston, who was retreating from the Colorado. Ware’s company then joined Houston’s army and was designated the Second Company of Col. Sidney Sherman’s Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers. All three of the Winters men took part in the battle of San Jacinto, where William C. Winters was severely wounded. In 1837 Winters served under Capt. Jerry Washam in pursuit of a group of Indians who had raided near present Anderson. In 1842, in response to the Adrián Woll raid, Winter joined Capt. Albert Gallatin’s company of Brig. Gen. Alexander Somervell’s Army of the South West and took part in the Somervell expedition. He returned from the Rio Grande with Somervell, declining to take part in the infamous Mier expedition. In August 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, Winters organized the Oakville Precinct Reserve Company, which later became part of the Twenty-ninth Brigade, Texas State Militia. During the war Winters served as enrolling officer and provost marshall for Live Oak and McMullen counties. In 1901 the Daughters of the Republic of Texas asked Winters to help them identify important points on the San Jacinto battlefield for the purpose of erecting historical markers. At that time several DRT members interviewed Winters about his early life and his experiences during the Texas Revolution. Winters’ responses were recorded by Adina de Zavala and Adele L. B. Looscan and published in the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association (later Southwestern Historical Quarterly) in October 1902. Winters died Bigfoot in November 1903, and was buried in Brummett Cemetery, three miles northeast of Bigfoot.
George English was born 1808 in Tennessee. He was appointed a first lieutenant by the General Council of the provisional government of Texas on November 29, 1835. He was subsequently promoted to captain and fought at the Siege of Béxar in December 1835. President Sam Houston appointed him captain of a company of mounted gunmen for duty in Shelby County on May 31, 1837, and he continued to serve in this capacity through 1839. He volunteered for military service in the Mexican War, in which he served as a first lieutenant under Capt. John Hall. Though he was an avid opponent of secession, he organized a cavalry company, enrolled in the Confederate Army after the outbreak of the Civil War, and served until July 4, 1863. He died on October 12, 1876. His grave was marked with a Texas Centennial marker in 1936.
Joseph L. Bennett volunteered and served as a captain under the command of Stephen F. Austin during October–November 1835. As a participant in the Siege of Béxar, he fought at the battle of Concepción. He received an honorable discharge on November 25, 1835, with the intention of returning to the army with another company. About March 1, 1836, he set out with his company for San Antonio, planning to march to the relief of the beleaguered garrison at the Alamo, but upon reaching the Colorado River, he learned of the fall of the fort. Thereupon Bennett joined Sam Houston’s army at Beeson’s Crossing and was commissioned captain on March 12. With the reorganization of the army on April 8 he was elected lieutenant colonel of Col. Sidney Sherman’s Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers. Bennett fought with distinction at the battle of San Jacinto. According to his account in a letter to Houston he actually led the regiment of which Sherman was the nominal commander, while Sherman skulked in “a small island of timber.” On May 27, 1837, Bennett received Houston’s commission as colonel and appointment as commander of a regiment of “mounted gunmen” for the protection of the frontier. In 1842 Bennett raised a battalion for the Somervell expedition, but when most of his men returned to their homes soon after the expedition reached the Rio Grande, he joined the battalion commanded by Maj. Bartlett Sims. When Alexander Somervell ordered the command back into Central Texas, however, Bennett agreed to return and not take part in what became known as the Mier expedition. Bennett died in the fall of 1848.