Samuel Damon was born 1808 in Massachusetts. In 1831, when his ship arrived at the mouth of the Brazos, he was told that Mexican officials would not allow any more Americans to enter Texas. Damon swam ashore undetected, made his way inland, and eventually found shelter in the home of Abraham Darst, one of Stephen F. Austin’s colonists. He later traveled to San Felipe and obtained permission from Mexican authorities to operate a freight line between Columbia and San Antonio. In the fall of 1835 he was assigned the duty of transporting military supplies to the Texas forces commanded by Edward Burleson near San Antonio de Béxar. After delivering the supplies, Damon took part in the Siege of Béxar and the capture of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. As a soldier at the battle of San Jacinto he guarded the wagons, baggage, and wounded soldiers near Harrisburg. He died at Damon’s Mound, Brazoria County on October 3, 1882, and is buried in the Damon Cemetery.
Archives for November 2014
Robert C. Morris was a resident of New Orleans in 1835 when he enlisted as a private in Capt. Samuel O. Pettus’s company of New Orleans Greys. He was elected captain before the company arrived in Texas. His men arrived at the mouth of the Brazos River aboard the Columbus, transferred to the Laura for the trip up the river, and landed at Brazoria late in October. In a letter of introduction to Stephen F. Austin dated October 20, 1835, J.W. Collins stated that Morris had been “a fellow soldier with me in the Louisiana Guards for 5 or 6 years” and recommended him as “a Soldier & Tactician”. On the day following, William H. Christy of New Orleans addressed a similar letter of endorsement to Sam Houston, and on October 29 Archibald Hotchkiss described his friend Morris to Houston as “a young man of firmness and a man who will not disgrace the grays”. After marching his troops to San Antonio, Morris was promoted to major in the Volunteer Army of Texas by the provisional government, and his company came under the command of Capt. William Gordon Cooke. He was present for the Siege of Béxar and served as second in command to Col. Benjamin R. Milam’s division when the city was stormed. When Milam died, however, Col. Francis W. Johnson succeeded to command of his division and Morris remained deputy commander. On December 11, 1835, Morris was one of the Texas officers who signed the articles of capitulation offered by Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. On December 31, 1835, Morris left San Antonio for Matamoros with Johnson and with James Grant as third in command. After a horse-capturing raid to the Rio Grande, Morris and Grant, with twenty-seven men, were returning to the main force at San Patricio when they encamped on Agua Dulce Creek on the night of March 1, 1836. There, on March 2, they were surprised and overwhelmed by a force of Mexican general José de Urrea’s cavalry. Morris, with Grant and twelve other Texas volunteers, was killed in the fighting.
Dr. Asa Hoxey was 1800 in Georgia. He favored Texas independence and served in 1835 as Washington County delegate to the Consultation at Washington-on-the-Brazos, which issued the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also served on the General Council and participated in the Siege of Béxar. Although he did not practice medicine after coming to Texas, he served as medical censor during the first administration of President Sam Houston. He was regarded as “a brilliant and delightful conversationalist” and was “an omnivorous but discriminating reader”. His home became a favorite meeting place of the leaders of the republic. He died on May 20, 1863.
Stephen Williams was born 1760 in North Carolina. He joined the American revolutionary armies at the age of eighteen and fought at the battles of Briar Creek, Camden, and Eutaw Springs. He was mustered out of the service after the expiration of his third enlistment in 1782. During the winter of 1814–15 he helped guard the Madisonville naval yards against the British invasion of the latter stages of the War of 1812. He moved to Texas in 1830. As Texan dissatisfaction with Mexican authority grew, Williams again volunteered for military service in 1835, at the age of seventy-five, and served under Capt. James Chessher. With four of his grandsons he participated in the Siege of Béxar. The veteran of three wars died in April 1839 and was buried at his home in Jasper. As part of the Texas Centennial celebration his body was moved to the State Cemetery in Austin.
John Jackson Tumlinson, Jr. was born 1804 in North Carolina. When his father was killed by Indians in 1823, John and his brother Joseph Tumlinson, together with other settlers, tracked and killed the guilty parties. John and his brothers Joseph, Andrew, and Peter Tumlinson spent their lives defending Texans from depredations by Indians and Mexicans. John was one of eight Tumlinson men who participated in the Texas Revolution. In 1835 as first lieutenant in Robert M. Coleman’s company he participated in the battle of Gonzales and the Siege of Béxar. Under orders of the provisional government to defend settlers from Indian raids he organized another company of rangers who defended what is now known as Tumlinson Blockhouse. Tumlinson served until August 1836, when he resigned. He died in 1853.