Tag Archives: Edward Burleson

Today in Texas History – December 5

BEXAR, SIEGE OF | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1835, the Texas revolutionary army launched their first major assault on the Mexican Army units encamped at San Antonio de Bexar under the command of Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos.  Cos had gathered his troops at Bexar following the defeat at Gonzales and was cut off from the coast.  By early December, the siege of Bexar had been under way for several weeks with action at the Espada Mission and elsewhere.  Morale was low on the Texian side with winter approaching.  However, reports from a captured Mexican soldier and escaped Texian prisoners alerted Maj. Gen. Edward Burleson of the Texian Volunteer Army that Mexican morale was just as low.  Burleson ordered a two-column attack. One attack was to be carried out by troops under the command of Ben Milam, and the other was to be carried out by those of Colonel Francis W. Johnson. On December 5, Milam and Johnson launched a surprise attack and seized two houses in the Military Plaza (one of the houses seized belonged to the in-laws of Jim Bowie). The Texians were unable to advance any further that day, but they fortified the houses and remained there during the night, digging trenches and destroying nearby buildings.  The Battle for Bexar continued with house-to-house fighting until December 10 when the besieged Mexican troops surrendered.

Map of Siege of Bexar from The Handbook of Texas Online.

Today in Texas History – November 30

From the Annals of Lawlessness –  In 1890, Texas pioneer and author John H. Jenkins was killed in a gunfight in Bastrop.  Jenkins was attempting to save his son, the County Sheriff, from an ambush when he was shot down.  Jenkins had moved to Texas as a young boy with his family eventually settling on the banks of the Colorado near present-day Bastrop.  After his father was mysteriously killed while working his fields, Jenkins became the ward of Edward Burleson.  Jenkins joined the Texas revolution at age 13 fighting in Burleson’s First Regiment of the Texas Volunteers.  He is reputed to have been the youngest Texian soldier in the San Jacinto campaign although he was not present at the battle having been dispatched to aid his mother and siblings escape from the advancing Mexican armies.  He later served in the Texas Rangers and with the Confederate Army in the Civil War.  Jenkins is best known for his well-written and colorful memoir – Recollections of Early Texas – published by the University of Texas Press in 1958.

Today in Texas History – August 12

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –   In 1840, the Battle of Plum Creek was fought between a Texas army comprised of militia, Rangers and Tonkawa Indians and several allied bands of Comanches.  The battle occurred in the aftermath of the Council House Fight.  The CHF had resulted in the deaths of several Comanche chiefs who had met with Texans under a flag of truce to exchange white prisoners.  The Comanches felt betrayed and Chief Buffalo Hump organized a retaliatory raid through the Guadalupe River valley east and south of Gonzales. Hump had several hundred warriors and a band of almost one thousand including families who followed the fighting to tend to the fighters and seize plunder.  In a series of raids, the Comanches moved through the Gonzales area killing settlers, stealing horses, and making off with whatever they could carry.  One raid sacked the town of Linnville.  The Texans were led by  Gen. Felix Huston, Col. Edward Burleson and Ben McCulloch.  Much of the fight was a running battle with the Comanches.  However, when the Texans finally caught up with the Comanches on Plum Creek a showdown finally occurred.  The Comanches likely would never have been caught except for the tremendous success of the raid.  They were bogged down by attempting to herd several hundred horses and plunder laden mules back to the Llano Estacado.  The actual battle took place near present-day Lockhart and reportedly resulted in the deaths of 80 Comanches – an unusually large number for such fights.

Image from texasbeyondhistory.net.

Today in Texas History – July 15

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –   In 1839, the main battle of the Cherokee War was fought a few miles west of Tyler.  The Battle of the Neches was the culmination of a genocidal campaign that began when President Mirabeau B. Lamar announced that the time had come for an “exterminating war” on Texas Indians. Lamar and his administration refused to recognize earlier treaties with the Cherokees in East Texas.  To foment war, Lamar accused Cherokees and their the Kickapoos, Delawares and Shawnee of planning to join Mexico in an insurrection.  Texan troops under the command of General Thomas Rusk were sent to remove the Indians from their recognized lands. Under pressure, Chief Duwali (aka Chief Bowl or Bowles) led an evacuation of their main town.  But that did not satisfy the Texans who attacked the Indians at dusk on July 15. The first day’s battle proved indecisive, but on July 16, Texas troops led by Rusk and Edward Burleson routed the Cherokees and their allies near the headwaters of the Neches River in Van Zandt County. Chief Duwali was on horseback but was dismounted and wounded.  He continued the fight on foot but was hit again. As he sat wounded on the battlefield a Texan soldier executed him with a shot to the head. Reports were that 100 Indians were killed in the attack.  Texans claimed only 5 dead and 28 wounded.  The survivors fled to the Indian Territory. This was the end of any major Indian presence in East Texas.

Drawing of Chief Duwali from http://texas-history-page.blogspot.com/2015_03_01_archive.html