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.
Andrew Briscoe was born 1810 in Mississippi. Briscoe opposed the irregular collection of customs dues by Mexican authorities at Anahuac and presented resolutions of protest at a mass meeting there and later at Harrisburg. When he attempted to trade to DeWitt Clinton Harris goods with unpaid duties, both he and Harris were arrested by Mexican officials. They were released when William B. Travis and his volunteers came to drive Antonio Tenorio out of office. In July Briscoe wrote to the editor of the Brazoria Texas Republican justifying the action taken. In August he received a congratulatory letter from Travis. Briscoe was captain of the Liberty Volunteers at the battle of Concepción and followed Benjamin R. Milam in the Siege of Béxar. He was elected a delegate from his municipality with Lorenzo de Zavala and attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, but evidently because of the urgency of reentering military service he did not remain until its close. At the battle of San Jacinto he was captain of Company A, Infantry Regulars. He died October 4, 1849.
Basil G. Ijams (Ijames) was born 1804 in North Carolin. He joined Stephen F. Austin’s army at Gonzales in October 1835 and participated in the siege of Bexar. At the battle of San Jacinto he was second lieutenant of the Second Regiment, Fifth Infantry, Texas Volunteers, under Capt. Thomas H. McIntire. He died in Colorado County on October 4, 1874.
John P. Borden was born 1812 in New York. He enrolled in Capt. George Collinsworth’s company on October 7, 1835, and participated in the taking of Goliad two days later. He helped write a resolution to Austin informing him that the Goliad men reserved the privilege of naming their own company commander. He then enrolled in Capt. Philip Dimmitt’s company and took part in the Siege of Béxar in December 1835. Borden was discharged on January 11, 1836, but reenlisted a few weeks later and served as first lieutenant in Moseley Baker’s company at the battle of San Jacinto. He was a member of the Somervell expedition in 1842 but did not go on to Mier. He died November 12, 1891.