John Files Tom was born 1818 in Tennessee. He joined the volunteer army under command of Stephen F. Austin and participated in the battle of Concepción and the Grass Fight. He was gunner boy with Col. James C. Neill’s artillery in the Siege of Béxar. He left San Antonio on February 11, 1836, and joined Sam Houston’s army in the retreat across Texas. In the battle of San Jacinto his knee was shattered by a musket ball; he was removed from the battlefield, taken to the home of Lorenzo de Zavala, and officially listed as killed in battle. Since Tom was a minor and was incapacitated by his wound, his headright and bounty certificates for his military service were redeemed by his father. During the Civil War he was commissioned to organize a ranger company for frontier protection. Tom died in 1906 and was buried in the cemetery at Leakey.
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