William R. Carey, commander of the Alamo artillery, son of Moses Carey, was born in Virginia about 1806. He joined the volunteer army of Texas at the outbreak of the Texas Revolution and was among the troops that marched to Gonzales during the fight for the Gonzales “Come and take it” cannon. He was appointed second lieutenant on October 28, 1835. During the Siege of Bexar Carey received a slight wound to his scalp while manning a cannon. He was promoted to first lieutenant in the field for his actions in the battle. On December 14 he was elected captain of his fifty-six-man artillery company by popular vote of the men. He called his company the Invincibles. The company remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. During the weeks before January 14, when Neill moved his entire force into the Alamo, Carey commanded the Alamo compound while Neill commanded the town of Bexar. Neill utilized Carey’s company for tough tasks and even, on one occasion, as military police. On January 12, 1836, Carey wrote a detailed letter to his brother and sister and described his activities in Gonzales and San Antonio. The correspondence was received in Philadelphia by his sister Eliza Carey Richardson. During the siege and battle of the Alamo Carey commanded the fort’s artillery. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. His father traveled to Texas to settle his estate and received $198.65 for Carey’s military service.
Archives for November 2014
Napoleon B. Mitchell, Alamo defender, was born in 1804 in Tennessee. He arrived in Texas in 1834 and during the revolution served in the Alamo garrison as a private in Capt. William R. Carey’s artillery company. He was present during the Siege of Bexar in December 1835. Mitchell died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Juana Navarro Alsbury, an Alamo survivor, later stated that a man named Mitchell was bayoneted while trying to protect her during the battle. This man may have been Napoleon Mitchell or another defender, Edwin T. Mitchell.
Horace Arlington Alsbury came to Texas as one of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred. He wrote voluminously to important persons in the Texas government and volunteered for numerous military activities. In January 1834 Stephen F. Austin wrote from Monterrey that he was sending by “Mr. Allsbury,” probably Horace, two portrait miniatures of himself to his Texas kin. In late August 1835, after perhaps being at the legislature of Coahuila and Texas in Monclova, Alsbury published a handbill in Columbia, “To The People Of Texas”, warning of Antonio López de Santa Anna’s plans to drive Anglo-Americans from Texas. In the Siege of Bexar (November-December 1835) he was a member of Capt. John York’s Company.
Alsbury was a member of Henry W. Karnes’s company at San Jacinto and was one of the 154 Masons to take part in the fighting. After the battle he joined in the surveillance of Mexican troops retreating from San Jacinto toward La Bahía and Mexico. He returned to Bexar in May 1836 and took his wife and her young son away from the devastated town to Calavero Ranch, on the Goliad road.
Samuel S. Lewis, early Texas settler and congressman, was born July 4, 1784 in Virginia. Lewis founded Orleans, Indiana, and served with the Indiana militia in the War of 1812. In the mid-1820s he moved to Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, where Lewis became justice of the peace. He sent his slaves and some of his property to the Mexican state of Coahuila and Texas in 1830 and followed with his family in 1832. Lewis served as lieutenant colonel in the battle of Nacogdoches in 1832 and participated in the Siege of Bexar in 1835 with his eldest son Martin Baty Lewis. He was a Bevil delegate to the Consultation of 1835 and represented Jasper County in the First and Second congresses of the Republic of Texas. He died on February 10, 1838, at his plantation in the Bevil district.
Charles Zanco, defender of the Alamo, son of Frederick Zanco, was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco and his father emigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles’s mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers, and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution. He helped design the company’s flag, which featured a painted star and the controversial legend, “Independence.” Zanco may have been the first person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison’s ordnance chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.