Valentine Bennet was born 1780 in Massachusetts. He fought in the War of 1812. In 1832 he took a leading part in the battle of Velasco, where he was severely wounded in the face and hip. He moved to Gonzales in 1834 and in 1835 was one of the eighteen men who defied Domingo de Ugartechea’s order in the battle of Gonzales. Bennet was elected lieutenant when the Gonzales militia was organized, and from that time on he was in the thick of the Texas Revolution. He participated in the battle of Concepción in October 1835 and the Siege of Béxar in December. He held the rank of assistant quartermaster and received honorable mention from Gen. Edward Burleson for efficiency in keeping the army well supplied. Later, as quartermaster of the revolutionary army, he was kept busy supplying beef for Sam Houston’s growing forces as the general retreated from Gonzales to the battleground of San Jacinto. After the battle of San Jacinto Bennet remained with the army. In 1841 he was commissioned a major in the quartermaster’s department of the Army of the Republic of Texas and was sent on the Texan Santa Fe expedition. Among the other Santa Fe prisoners he suffered many indignities and cruelties at the hands of his Mexican guards; in August 1842 the prisoners were released, and Bennet returned to Texas. He reentered the Texas army when Gen. Adrián Woll invaded Texas; subsequently, he took part in the Somervell expedition. He died July 24, 1843, and was buried in the old cemetery at Gonzales.
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William Lockhart Hunter was born 1809 in Virginia. He traveled to Texas in October 1835 to fight in the Texas Revolution as a member of Robert C. Morris’s New Orleans Greys. He reached Texas with his unit in time to participate in the Siege of Béxar. When the battalion was transformed into the San Antonio Greys, commanded by Samuel Overton Pettus, Hunter was second sergeant. Under Col. James W. Fannin, Jr., at Goliad in early 1836, his duties entailed the supply of commissaries at Fort Defiance. After the battle of Coleto Hunter was imprisoned at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio at Goliad with the rest of Fannin’s command until March 27, 1836, when the men were taken out and shot in the Goliad Massacre. Hunter, by one account, was not killed by the Mexican volleys, so he feigned death, only to be bayoneted in the shoulder and “haggled at his throat with a dull knife,” clubbed about the head with the breech of a musket, then stripped of his clothing. Later he revived and crept to a nearby ranch, where he was nursed to health. Another version has Nicholas Fagan, Fannin’s blacksmith spared by the Mexicans at Goliad, escaping, finding Hunter badly wounded, and carrying him to a nearby Mexican family on Manahuilla Creek. They hid and nursed him until he could proceed to Mrs. Margaret Wright’s nearby ranchhouse on the Guadalupe River above Victoria, where he recovered from his wounds. He died on October 25, 1886, and was buried in Austin with military honors.
Joseph Lindley was born 1793 in North Carolina. Lindley fought in the War of 1812 as a United States Ranger. He was involved in the Fredonian Rebellion at Nacogdoches and the Siege of Béxar in 1835 and fought at the battle of San Jacinto. Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, appointed Lindley an Indian agent with a charge to keep the peace. He died January 20, 1874 and was buried in Limestone County and later reinterred at the State Cemetery.
William Daniel Hersee was born 1805 in England. He traveled to Texas by way of Louisiana and was wounded in the Siege of Béxar. He later served in the Alamo garrison and as a sergeant in Capt. William R. Carey’s artillery company. It is not known if his wounds prevented him from taking an active part in the fighting, but Hersee died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
John Files Tom was born 1818 in Tennessee. He joined the volunteer army under command of Stephen F. Austin and participated in the battle of Concepción and the Grass Fight. He was gunner boy with Col. James C. Neill’s artillery in the Siege of Béxar. He left San Antonio on February 11, 1836, and joined Sam Houston’s army in the retreat across Texas. In the battle of San Jacinto his knee was shattered by a musket ball; he was removed from the battlefield, taken to the home of Lorenzo de Zavala, and officially listed as killed in battle. Since Tom was a minor and was incapacitated by his wound, his headright and bounty certificates for his military service were redeemed by his father. During the Civil War he was commissioned to organize a ranger company for frontier protection. Tom died in 1906 and was buried in the cemetery at Leakey.