Tag Archives: Texas Army

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 – July 7

From the Annals of the Border Wars –  In 1842, Texas troops defeated a Mexican invasion at the battle of Lipantitlán. The battle was one of several that occurred during the early days of the Republic of Texas as Mexico attempted to reassert control.  The Mexican forces were commanded by Antonio Canales Rosillo. James Davis, adjutant general of the Army of the Republic of Texas, and Capt. Ewen Cameron led a mutinous and poorly contingent. Yet the disorganized Texans succeeded in repelling the incursion.