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.
William S. Brown, Texas Navy officer, a resident of Velasco, joined the revolutionary army in 1835 and took part in the Siege of Béxar. After Martín Perfecto de Cos capitulated, Brown proceeded to Goliad, where he was said to have designed a revolutionary flag displaying a bloody arm, stripes of red and white, and the motto “Independence.” The flag may have been hoisted at Velasco in January 1836. Brown was made captain of the schooner Liberty in January 1836; he was a brother of Jeremiah Brown, captain of the Invincible. On March 3, 1836, William Brown captured the Mexican trading vessel Pelicano near Sisal and got its cargo safely to Matagorda Bay. Because of a quarrel with Charles E. Hawkins, commodore of the Texas Navy, Brown was superseded in command of the Liberty on March 12, 1836. In July he was given another navy commission and was put in charge of the Comanche and the Fanny Butler, two captured Mexican vessels. Later he was commissioned captain of the privateer Benjamin R. Milam, but he died in New Orleans before the ship was ready for service. A eulogy appeared in the Telegraph and Texas Register for August 18, 1838.
Darwin Massey Stapp was born 1815 in Kentucky. Stapp joined the Texas army in Jackson County on October 3, 1835, as first lieutenant of John Alley’s company. With this unit he participated in the Siege of Béxar and the Grass Fight. In the summer of 1836 he served in George Sutherland’s company. In 1840 he participated in the battle of Plum Creek. He again enlisted in the Texas army at Texana on March 6, 1842, as a private in Lafayette Ward’s company of Clark L. Owen’s regiment. During the Civil War he was made a brigadier general of the Twenty-fourth Brigade, Texas State Troops, and was charged with the defense of Matagorda Bay and Indianola in late 1861. Stapp died February 28, 1875, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Victoria.