Herman Ehrenberg was probably born in Prussia. In October 1835 joined the New Orleans Greys at the encouragement of Nicholas Adolphus Sterne. He went to Nacogdoches, fought in the Siege of Béxar in early December 1835, and, after spending the winter inside the Alamo getting supplies for the army, set out from San Antonio toward Goliad with a number of men in the Greys. It was their goal to eventually march to Matamoros; however, the group ended up staying under James W. Fannin’s leadership. Ehrenberg recorded his account of Fannin’s actions and the subsequent battle of Coleto, where the Texan forces surrendered to Gen. José de Urrea. The Mexicans offered all Germans the opportunity to join the Mexican cause, but Ehrenberg stated that he considered himself a Texan and refused the offer. A week later he was one of a few men who escaped the Goliad Massacre. According to a translation of Ehrenberg’s own account, after the command to kneel and the start of the shooting, he jumped up and, hidden by the gunsmoke, dashed for the San Antonio River. On the way a Mexican soldier slashed him in the head with his saber, but Ehrenberg managed to get by him and jumped in the river crying, “The Republic of Texas forever!” For several days he traveled through the prairies, finding shelter in a couple of abandoned plantation houses along the way, but finally he reasoned that the only way to survive would be to surrender to General Urrea. Ehrenberg posed as a Prussian traveler seeking protection, and Urrea, admiring the boy’s daring action, took in the “little Prussian.” Ehrenberg was taken with Urrea’s troops to Matagorda, and after news of the battle of San Jacinto he eventually reached freedom. He was discharged from the Texas army on June 2, 1836. He was murdered by robbers on October 9, 1866, at Dos Palmas, near the site of present Palm Springs, California. Mineral City, Arizona, was renamed Ehrenberg in his honor.
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.