James L. Ewing, Alamo defender, was born in Tennessee in 1812. He took part in the Siege of Béxar as a member of Capt. William R. Carey’s artillery company and later served as secretary to Lt. Col. James C. Neill, commander of the Texan forces occupying Béxar. Ewing died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
Juan Abamillo, Alamo defender, was born in Texas and was one of twenty-four native Texans who enlisted for six months’ service during the Texas Revolution under the command of Juan N. Seguín. Abamillo took part in the Siege of Béxar. He returned to San Antonio in January 1836 with part of Seguín’s company. On February 23, 1836, he entered the Alamo with the rest of the Texan garrison at the approach of the Mexican army and died in the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
John S. Black was born in Tennessee in 1790. His father, Gavin Black, was a lieutenant in the American Revolutionary army. His grandfather, George Black, signed the Tryon Declaration of Independence in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1775. In 1835 Black served as a cavalryman under the command of Stephen F. Austin. He and his son Monroe took part in the Siege of Béxar on December 5–9, 1835, under the command of Gen. Edward Burleson. Black went on to participate in the battle of San Jacinto as a captain in the quartermaster’s corps. After independence, he remained in the service of the Republic of Texas in the quartermaster’s depot in Houston. After 1842 he was an Indian commissioner.
Thomas William “Peg Leg” Ward, second commissioner of the General Land Office, three-time mayor of Austin, and United States consul to Panama, was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 20, 1807. In October 1835 he joined the New Orleans Greys and left for San Antonio de Béxar, and, on December 5 participated as an artillery officer in the attack that climaxed the Siege of Béxar. That morning a cannon ball smashed his right leg, necessitating its immediate amputation. He was fitted with a wooden leg and resumed his military duties, serving as a recruiter in New Orleans for Gen. Thomas Jefferson Green’s new brigade. In late May he returned to Texas as second-in-command of Green’s brigade, but by then hostilities had ended. Ward died in Austin on November 25, 1872 and was buried in the State Cemetery. In 1887 Ward County was named for him.
David Hess Garner was born in Louisiana in 1807. In 1835, Capt. David Garner organized a company of volunteers. Armed with flintlock muskets and Bowie knives, his group of nineteen men, including his brother Jacob, set out for San Antonio. They arrived at the camp above Béxar on November 16, 1835. On December 4 Garner and his men were mustered into the company of James Chessher and Willis H. Landrum. Garner participated in the Siege of Béxar under Gen. Benjamin R. Milam. He was discharged from the army on December 13, 1835.