Tag Archives: Felix Huston

Today in Texas History – February 7

From the Annals of the Code Duello – In 1837, to Generals of the Texas Army faced off in a duel for command of the Army. Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded in the pelvis by Brig. Gen. Felix Huston.  President Sam Houston had ordered Johnston to replace Huston as commander of the Texas Army.  Huston had attracted a large group of adventurers and undisciplined troops to the Army and Sam Houston believed that under his command the Army would not be able to repel the seemingly imminent invasion from Mexico.  Huston was offended by the lack of confidence in his leadership.  Even though he professed admiration for ASJ, he felt compelled to challenge him to a duel.  Observers claimed that Johnston refused to fire. Johnston’s wound was so severe that he was unable to take command.  Some believe that his wound in the duel caused nerve damage such that he was unable to detect that he had been shot during the Battle of Shiloh.  ASJ died after the battle from loss of blood – his wound had not been fatal.  Huston eventually moved to New Orleans where he opened a law practice and became an ardent secessionist.

Today in Texas History – February 7

From the Annals of Stupidity –  In 1837, Brigadier General Felix Huston wounded his superior officer General Albert Sidney Johnston in a duel.  President Sam Houston had sent Johnston to replace Huston as commander of the Texas army.  Huston considered Houston’s rebuke to impugn his honor such that, despite his respect for Johnston, he made a challenge.  Even though Johnston was in charge of enforcing the strict no dueling policy of the Texas Army, he accepted the challenge.

The two Fighting Kentuckians met near the Lavaca River in Jackson County under a large oak tree that has become known as Dueling Oak.  Huston was an expert marksman which prompted Johnston’s second to propose that the duelists agree to shoot from the hip to lessen the chances that ASJ would be seriously injured.

Johnston waited until Huston took aim before firing his own pistol, hoping to distract the excellent shot.  The ploy failed and each man fired three times.  The affair ended when ASJ was shot through the hip on the third volley. The attending physician told ASJ that he was going to die as the ball had hit the sciatic nerve.

Magnanimous in victory, Huston offered condolences and pledged to serve under ASJ’s command.  For his part, Johnston is reputed to have never held the foolish duel against Huston even though his recovery took several months and temporarily prevented him from assuming command according to Sam Houston’s wishes.  Perhaps admonished by his actions, Huston left the Army shortly afterwards and returned to the United States.

Photo of the Dueling Oak from http://www.texasforestservice.tamu.edu.


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.