Robert Crossman was born 1810 in Pennsylvania. He traveled to Texas by way of New Orleans as a member of Capt. Thomas H. Breece’s company of New Orleans Greys. Crossman took part in and was wounded in the Siege of Béxar. He later served in the Alamo garrison as a member of Capt. William Blazeby’s infantry company. Crossman died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
Charles Henry Clark was born in Missouri. He marched to Texas in November of 1835 in Capt. Thomas Breece’s company of New Orleans Greys and took part in the Siege of Béxar. Clark died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
William Bennett Scates was born 1802 in Virginia. He arrived at Anahuac, Texas, on March 2, 1831, and in 1832 participated in the Anahuac Disturbances and the battle of Velasco. In 1835 he joined the Revolutionary Army and took part in the Siege of Béxar. Scates was one of the two representatives from Jefferson Municipality at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there signed the Declaration of Independence. When he left the convention, Scates rejoined the army and participated in the battle of San Jacinto in Benjamin F. Bryant’s company of Sabine Volunteers. When Bryant’s company was disbanded, Scates joined Hayden S. Arnold’s Nacogdoches Company. At the age of sixty-two, Scates enlisted as a private in Company F, Fourth Battalion, Texas Cavalry, Texas State Troops, on October 9, 1863. He died on February 22, 1882, and was buried near Osage, Colorado County. In 1929 the state of Texas reinterred the bodies of Scates and his second wife in the State Cemetery.
He is listed in the 1872 Texas Almanac:
Wm. B. Scates was born in Halifax county, Virginia, Nov. 27th, 1802. His father immigrated to Christian county, Kentucky, where he followed farming. The son left his father in 1820, and, went to New Orleans and engaged as a clerk for several years and afterwards went to work at house-carpentering, and finally came to Texas in 1831, landing in February of that year, and at Anahuac on the 2d of March, 1831. Here he found a Mexican organization, with its soldiers, officers and their families, under the command of Col. Bradburn. There were but few Americans, as Dr. Labadie, old Col. Morgan, Wm. Hardin, Theodore Dossett, old Dr. Dunlap, (or Doby as he was often called,) Wm. B. Travis, P.C. Jack, young Monroe Edwards, (afterwords the notorious counterfeiter,) and Robert Williamson, known as “Three Legged Willie.” The whole number of Americans was fifty-one.
Mr. Scates gives us an interesting account of all the troubles the Americans had with Bradburn, in which he participated; but which account we must postpone to another issue of this work. He afterwards took an active part in nearly all the battles and skirmishes during the war that followed with Mexico, lost all his property like many others, was wounded and suffered many hardships and privations, for which he has never received any compensation, not even a pension, while he says he knows of many who went to Austin last winter and obtained a pension, though they had never rendered any service to the country. Mr. Scates now resides at Osage, Colorado county, Texas, in an impoverished condition, with a family of daughters—not a son to assist him in his old age.
John W. Healer was born circa 1805 in Pennsylvania. He arrived in Texas prior to June 22, 1835, when he signed an agreement to join a volunteer company organized by William B. Travis to eject Capt. Antonio Tenorio, the Mexican commander, from the garrison at Anahuac. Healer and two others from Harrisburg withdrew from the company when it reached Vince’s Bayou on the way to Anahuac. John W. Healer participated in the storming and capture of San Antonio de Béxar from December 5 to December 9, 1835. He also served as a volunteer in the Revolutionary Army at the garrison of Béxar from December 13, 1835, to February 10, 1836. Here he served as a third sergeant in a company of artillery under Capt. William R. Carey and Béxar commander Lt. Col. James C. Neill. When the First Regiment Texas Volunteers formed on March 5, 1836, at San Felipe, John W. Healer volunteered and served as a private during the San Jacinto campaign under Capt. John Bird until April 21, 1836. Later in the summer on August 2, 1836, Healer enlisted in a company of four-month volunteers and again served under Capt. John Bird until January 18, 1837.
Henry Wax Karnes was born 1812 in Tennessee. He enlisted as a private in Capt. John York’s volunteer company and distinguished himself in the battle of Concepción and the Siege of Béxar. Karnes was dispatched with Erastus (Deaf) Smith and Robert E. Handy from Gonzales to ascertain the fate of the Alamo, and was the first to return to Sam Houston’s army with word of its fall. On March 20, 1836, with a force of five men, he defeated a party of twenty Mexican soldiers on Rocky Creek. By the time of the battle of San Jacinto he was a captain and was second in command of Mirabeau B. Lamar’s cavalry corps. His service as a scout before the battle was of great value to Houston’s army; after the rout of the enemy his cavalry company led the pursuit of fugitives from Antonio López de Santa Anna’s army. After being promoted to colonel for his contribution to the Texan victory, Karnes was sent to Matamoros to effect an exchange of prisoners but was himself imprisoned on June 10, 1836, by Mexican authorities. He soon escaped and was authorized, on December 28, 1838, to raise eight companies of Texas Rangers for frontier defense. On August 10, 1839, he commanded twenty-one rangers in a fight against an estimated 200 Comanches near Arroyo Seco. Although the fight was a total victory for the Texans, Karnes was wounded by an arrow and never fully recovered. He died of yellow fever in San Antonio on August 16, 1840, soon after accepting the command of the Texan Santa Fe expedition. Karnes County was named in his honor.