John Sharp was one of the signers of a petition calling for a general convention of the people of Texas to “quiet the present excitement” against Mexican rule. He served at the Siege of Béxar, and on November 28, 1835, he and seven other citizens of Brazoria County petitioned the provisional government of Texas to fortify the east end of Galveston Island, the mouth of the Brazos River, and the entrance to Matagorda Bay against Mexican naval forces. To pay for these installations and their garrisons, the committee suggested the opening of customhouses at those ports of entry. On March 24, 1836, Sharp was elected first lieutenant of Capt. Robert J. Calder’s Company K of Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, and he immediately returned to Brazoria, apparently as a recruiting officer. There on March 27 he wrote his assurances to his fellow citizens that Sam Houston’s army would not retreat from the Colorado River but would march west, pushing the Mexican army before it. “Let but the men of Texas turn out, with arms in their hands, resolved to be free or die,” he wrote, “and their families will be as safe here as on the other side of the Sabine.” Sharp returned to the army in time to serve at the battle of San Jacinto. In 1837 Sharp was aboard the schooner Julius Caesar when it was captured by a Mexican naval squadron, and he was imprisoned for a time with William H. Wharton at Matamoros. He died in Velasco on August 17, 1840.
Dr. Amos Pollard, chief surgeon of the Alamo garrison, was born 1803 in Massachusetts. In 1834 Pollard traveled to Texas by way of New Orleans. He took part in the fight for the Gonzales “come and take it” cannon, the opening skirmish of the Texas Revolution, on October 2, 1835. He later marched on San Antonio de Béxar as a private in Capt. John York’s volunteer company. On October 23, 1835, he was appointed surgeon of the regiment by Stephen F. Austin. After the Siege of Béxar Pollard remained in the town as chief surgeon of the Texan garrison, on the staff of Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He cared for the sick and wounded of the garrison and also set up a hospital within the Alamo. On February 23, 1836, Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army besieged the Alamo. A portrait of him was done sometime before he moved to Texas. Besides Travis, Bowie, and Crockett, he is the only Alamo defender of whom a portrait was done from life. A copy of the portrait is on display in the Alamo. Pollard died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, probably defending the Alamo hospital.
James Waters Robertson was born 1812 in Tennessee. He took part in the Siege of Béxar, and later served in the Alamo garrison. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
William Scurlock was born 1807 in North Carolina. Scurlock enlisted in Capt. Henry W. Augustine’s company of the revolutionary army on October 17, 1835, in San Augustine. He was involved in the Grass Fight on November 26 and in the Siege of Béxar. After the capture of San Antonio he became a member of a reorganized company under Lewellen that joined the Matamoros expedition of 1835–36. Scurlock was out rounding up horses on March 2, 1836, and thus escaped the battle of Agua Dulce Creek. He then joined Capt. David N. Burke’s company under Col. James W. Fannin’s command at Goliad. After being taken prisoner at the battle of Coleto on March 20, Scurlock was made a medical assistant and spared from the Goliad Massacre on March 27. After the battle of San Jacinto Gen. José Urrea was ordered to withdraw his army from Texas. Scurlock and several other prisoners were to accompany the Mexican wounded, who were to be sent by ship from Copano to Matamoros. On their way to Copano, however, Scurlock escaped at Refugio. He was reportedly recaptured but either escaped again or was set free. He was honorably discharged in Victoria on May 29, 1836. After returning to San Augustine he became captain of a company of volunteers that enlisted on July 4, 1836, for a three-month term under Thomas J. Rusk’s command.
George Washington Poe was born 1800 in Ohio. In October 1835 Poe was serving as a volunteer captain in the artillery branch, assigned to mounting the army’s cannons. By November 6 he was with the artillery company engaged in the Siege of Béxar. On December 30, 1835, he was acting adjutant general of Gen. Sam Houston’s army with the rank of captain and was stationed at army headquarters in Columbia. Among his duties was supervising the construction of fortifications at Galveston and Velasco. On January 16, 1836, the General Council commissioned him third lieutenant in the artillery regiment of the yet-unformed regular army, but by January 30 of that year Houston was referring to him as “major,” no doubt his volunteer rank.
On February 2, upon hearing rumors that Houston had been superseded in command by Francis W. Johnson and James W. Fannin, Jr., Poe wrote to Houston that he and his fellow staff officers “do not nor will not know any other General than Sam Houston” and assured him that “there is no other man in Texas capable of leading an army into the field.” Nevertheless, in the vacuum of leadership created by the confusion of command, Poe began to report directly to President Henry Smith, whose orders he vowed to obey even “if they are to march to the devil.” By March 6 Poe had been appointed assistant inspector general of the army and was commanding the 120-man garrison at Velasco, a force that he had personally trained; “a finer looking set of men I never want to have,” he boasted. Momentarily expecting an amphibious assault upon that place, he wrote an urgent appeal to the editor of the Mobile Register outlining the grave peril of the Texas colonists and calling upon United States citizens, “by the sacred ties of country, language, habits and kindred,” to come to their assistance. When the General Council established a regular army for the Republic of Texas on March 10, 1836, Poe was commissioned a captain of artillery. In a letter to Thomas J. Rusk dated March 13, 1836, Poe protested that he should have been made a major, objecting that “I do not like that men by nature intended for farmers & not soldiers & whom education has done nothing for” had been made his superiors. On March 14 Poe left Velasco with his company and a five-gun artillery battery to join Houston, and by March 23 he was with the army at Beason’s Crossing on the Colorado River. Many sources place him at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. On May 3 Poe was at army headquarters at San Jacinto, and on June 4 he commanded the artillery piece that fired a salute over the remains of Fannin’s command at La Bahía. After serving on court-martial duty through June and July, he was chosen by 116 fellow officers and men to present a petition to Sam Houston to return and take command of the army. Poe was named acting paymaster general on October 12, 1836, and charged with the responsibility for establishing a pay department for the Army of the Republic of Texas, which he based on that of the United States Army. At the funeral of Stephen F. Austin on December 29, 1836, he served as marshal and led the procession. On February 28, 1837, Houston ordered auditor John W. Moody to audit Poe’s accounts as paymaster general and acting quartermaster general; by that time Poe had achieved the rank of colonel. On June 5, 1837, the House of Representatives validated his claims.
Poe died in 1844.