Thomas Jefferson Smith was born 1808 in Virginia. He entered Texas in 1835 as a member of the Georgia Battalion and saw action during the Siege of Béxar. Afterward he was attached to James Walker Fannin’s Goliad command. As a member of William Ward’s contingent Smith, a private in Uriah I. Bullock’s company, fought at the battle of Refugio. He retreated from Refugio with others in Ward’s command but was later captured near Victoria. He was one of sixteen men detained by the Mexicans at Victoria on March 23 to build a boat and was thus spared from the Goliad Massacre. He was, however, twice wounded, by a bullet in the hand during the battle of Refugio, and by a bayonet in the buttock while a prisoner. Late in April 1836 he escaped from the Mexicans and on June 15 was honorably discharged by Thomas Jefferson Rusk. He died on February 16, 1890, and was buried in Morton Cemetery, Richmond.
Archives for November 2014
Francis Moore joined the Texas army, probably in October 1835, and participated in the Siege of Béxar.
John Sharp was one of the signers of a petition calling for a general convention of the people of Texas to “quiet the present excitement” against Mexican rule. He served at the Siege of Béxar, and on November 28, 1835, he and seven other citizens of Brazoria County petitioned the provisional government of Texas to fortify the east end of Galveston Island, the mouth of the Brazos River, and the entrance to Matagorda Bay against Mexican naval forces. To pay for these installations and their garrisons, the committee suggested the opening of customhouses at those ports of entry. On March 24, 1836, Sharp was elected first lieutenant of Capt. Robert J. Calder’s Company K of Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, and he immediately returned to Brazoria, apparently as a recruiting officer. There on March 27 he wrote his assurances to his fellow citizens that Sam Houston’s army would not retreat from the Colorado River but would march west, pushing the Mexican army before it. “Let but the men of Texas turn out, with arms in their hands, resolved to be free or die,” he wrote, “and their families will be as safe here as on the other side of the Sabine.” Sharp returned to the army in time to serve at the battle of San Jacinto. In 1837 Sharp was aboard the schooner Julius Caesar when it was captured by a Mexican naval squadron, and he was imprisoned for a time with William H. Wharton at Matamoros. He died in Velasco on August 17, 1840.
Dr. Amos Pollard, chief surgeon of the Alamo garrison, was born 1803 in Massachusetts. In 1834 Pollard traveled to Texas by way of New Orleans. He took part in the fight for the Gonzales “come and take it” cannon, the opening skirmish of the Texas Revolution, on October 2, 1835. He later marched on San Antonio de Béxar as a private in Capt. John York’s volunteer company. On October 23, 1835, he was appointed surgeon of the regiment by Stephen F. Austin. After the Siege of Béxar Pollard remained in the town as chief surgeon of the Texan garrison, on the staff of Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He cared for the sick and wounded of the garrison and also set up a hospital within the Alamo. On February 23, 1836, Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army besieged the Alamo. A portrait of him was done sometime before he moved to Texas. Besides Travis, Bowie, and Crockett, he is the only Alamo defender of whom a portrait was done from life. A copy of the portrait is on display in the Alamo. Pollard died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, probably defending the Alamo hospital.
James Waters Robertson was born 1812 in Tennessee. He took part in the Siege of Béxar, and later served in the Alamo garrison. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.