Henry Teal was born circa 1800. He served as second lieutenant in Thomas J. Rusk’s company in the Siege of Béxar, he returned to East Texas in the spring of 1836 and, as captain, recruited a company of about forty men for the Texas army. He received his commission from the Convention of 1836 and reported with his company to Sam Houston at Gonzales. He was with Houston on the retreat to Harrisburg but because of illness was not on the field at San Jacinto. After Antonio López de Santa Anna surrendered, Teal and Henry Wax Karnes were sent to Matamoros, Mexico, to negotiate with Gen. José de Urrea for the exchange of prisoners under the treaties of Velasco. At Matamoros they found Urrea preparing for an invasion of Texas, and the two commissioners were imprisoned because they learned too much of the preparations. Teal reported the situation in the “Whip-Handle Dispatch”. After his escape and return to Texas, he commanded his regiment until May 5, 1837, when he was shot while asleep in his tent at Camp Bowie. Teal’s murderer was not discovered until a man named Schultz, a member of John A. Murrell’s outlaw band in Mississippi, was being tried in Galveston on another charge and confessed that he had killed Henry Teal.
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