Fayette County Participants in
the Battle of San Jacinto

The San Jacinto Museum of History has biographies for the following men that Wade and Weyand listed as Fayette County participants in the Battle at San Jacinto. Click on their names to read the biographies provided at that site.
Alexander, Jerome B. Harper, John
Simon Peter Ford
Contributed by Russell Jordan
Andrews, Micah Herron, John H.
Barton, Wayne Hill, Abraham (Asa) Webb
Baylor, Dr. John Walker Hill, Isaac Lafayette
Boone [Boom?], Garrett E. Hill, James Monroe
Breeding, Fidelia S. Ingram, John
Brookfield, Francis E. Jett, James Matthew
Burnam, John Hickerson Jett, Stephen
Burnam, William Owen Kornegay, David Smith
Colton [or Coltrin], William Lester, James Seaton
Cox, Rev. Thomas W. Lewis, John E.
Crawford, Robert M. Nabers, William
Criswell, William Vanoy Robison, Joel Walter
Cunningham, Leander Calvin Scallorn, John Wesley
Darling, James Socrates Townsend, Spencer
Dawson, Nicholas Mosby Turnage, Shelby C.
Eastland, William Mosby Wells, James A.
Ehlinger, Joseph Wertzner, Christian G.
Ford, Simon Peter Willoughby, Lieper
Green, Thomas Winburn, McHenry
Hancock, George Duncan

Others who Wade and Weyand listed, some of whom are included at the San Jacinto Museum of History website as being in the camp at Harrisburg, include the following.

Abbots, Lancelot Crownover, A. Townsend, J. T.
Ballard, John T., Evans, Musgrove Townsend, John P.
Castleman, Jacob P. Osborn, Benjamin Franklin Townsend, Nathaniel
Crier, Andrew Smith, Dr. William P. Townsend, Stephen
Weyand, Leonie Rummel and Houston Wade. An Early History of Fayette County. The La Grange Journal, 1936.


The following articles were published in local newspapers asa Footprints of Fayette articles:

Fayette County's Presence at the Battle of San Jacinto

By Ed Janecka

Information for this article was taken from the “Early History of Fayette County” by Weyand and Wade.  The list of men and their identifying information has been copied as written, except for some corrected errors that are included in parentheses.

If it were not for the men of Fayette County who fought so gallantly at San Jacinto, the Texas Revolution may have failed.  If Joel Robison had not been one of the captors of Santa Anna, the Mexican general indeed could have escaped to Mexico to organize a new and bigger invasion of Texas.  Robison and other participants in the battle are immortalized in an iconic painting that hangs in the south foyer of the State Capitol.  The painting depicts Sam Houston lying wounded under a tree with Santa Anna standing before him and Joel Robison sitting on a horse in the background.  Robison allowed Santa Anna to ride with him on his horse for several miles back to the Texian Army camp, not knowing at the time who he was actually escorting until Santa Anna was inadvertently identified by some of his own soldiers.

Those were difficult times when men, women and children were in full flight before the horde of invading Mexicans; their homes were in flames - burned so that the invaders might not derive any benefit from them.  Their abandoned farms held only a few straggling cattle.  Those were definitely hard times for everyone. 

It was a band of trained and experienced fighters who overwhelmed that Mexican line.  They rushed into the fight at San Jacinto firmly determined to save the day!  Not only did Fayette County's men save the day, but they also may have saved the Republic.

These were the men who wrote their names on Fayette County's immortal Muster of Fame: 
Abbotts, Lancelot - Resided in Cedar, Fayette County.  Was once on the staff of the "Texas Monument”. (Left at Harrisburg with Camp Guard)
Alexander, Jerome B. - Killed in the Dawson Massacre, September 18, 1842.
Andrews, Micah - Lived near Fayetteville.  Died in Fayette County in the year 1849.
Ballard, John T. - Probable place of residence was near Black Jack Springs. 
Barton, Wayne - Lived on Barton Creek between La Grange and Smithville. The creek is named after the family.
Baylor, Dr. J. W. - Brother of Judge R. E. B. Baylor. 
Boone, Garrett E. - Operated a store and saloon.  Resided near the present town of Warda.  
Breeding, Fidelio S. - Lived in Fayetteville settlement.
Brookfield, Francis E. - Killed with Dawson, September 18, 1842.
Burnham, John Hickerson - Son of Jesse Burnam.  Lived at Burnam’s crossing, just below present-day La Grange.
Burnam, William Owen - Another son of Jesse; lived at same place. (Different spelling of last name)
Coltrin, William - One of the fifteen taken prisoner at Salado.  Died in Castle Perote prison. 
Cox, Rev. Thomas W. - A Mier prisoner.  He escaped in the break at Hacienda Salado, and safely reached home.  He was a Baptist preacher in La Grange. 
Crawford, Robert M. - Methodist preacher. Taken prisoner in Mier; he later escaped from Mexico.  Trustee at Rutersville College. 
Criswell, Wm. V. - Resided and was buried at Praha.
Crownover, A. - Kin to the Rabb family, living on Rabb's Creek.  Left at Harrisburg with camp guard.
Crier, Andrew - Residence at Fayetteville. Left at Harrisburg with camp guard.
Cunningham, Leander Calvin - Buried near West Point.
Darling, James Socrates - Residence at Jeddo, Texas.  Buried near Waelder in Fayette County.
Dawson, Nicholas Mosby- Killed in Battle of Salado, September 18, 1842.  Buried at Monument Hill, La Grange.
Eastland, William Mosby - A Mier prisoner.  The first man and only officer to draw a black bean.  Executed at Hacienda Salado, March 25, 1843.
Ehlinger, Joseph - Residence near Colorado County line.  Ellinger is named in his honor.
Evans, Musgrove - Buried in La Grange.
Ford, Simon P. - Buried at Flatonia.
Green, Thomas - Commander of Green's Brigade. Killed in action on April 12, 1864.
Hancock, George - Was a merchant in La Grange.
Harper, George - Friend of Dawson and Eastland.  Was resident of Fayette County as late as February 12, 1849.  Buried at Cedar.
Herron, John H. - Buried near Ledbetter.
Hill, Abraham (Asa) Webb - Father of John C. Hill, the boy prisoner of Mier.
Hill, Isaac Lafayette - Residence at Round Top; died there in 1890.
Hill, James Monroe - Another son of Asa Hill and a brother of John C.
Ingram, John - Residence was Rutersville.
Jett, James Matthew - Kin to the Kuykendall family.  Was assassinated by John H. Schultz, January 10, 1845.
Jett, Stephen - Brother of James Matthew; was killed under Caldwell in Battle of Salado Creek, September 18, 1842.
Kornegay, David Smith - Another of the Dawson prisoners, was taken to Mexico where he escaped and returned home.  Was Fayette County Clerk.
Lester, James S. - The Lester Hotel that burned down was named after him.  Was in mercantile business with Eastland.  Lester was very religious.
Lewis, John E. - Lived and died in La Grange.
Nabors, William - Resided near Fayetteville.  Died in Fayette County in 1846.
Osborn, Benjamin Franklin - Died in Fayette County, 1850.
Robison, Joel Walter - Man who helped capture Santa Anna.  Lived and died near Warrenton.
Scallorn, John Wesley - Killed with Dawson, September 18, 1842.
Smith, Dr. William P. - Veteran War of 1812.  Methodist Minister.  Official physician of Texas army.  Editor of the "Monument".  Lived and died at Fayetteville; buried there.
Townsend, Spencer - Lived near Joel Robison with whom he was a personal friend.
Townsend, Stephen - Another member of the Round Top family.  Served in same company with Spencer Townsend. (They were brothers.)
Townsend, J.T. - Related to Spencer.  Residence at Warrenton.  Served with the Harrisburg camp guard. (Another brother who actually fought in the Battle of San Jacinto)
Townsend, John P. - Same as above. (A brother who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto.)
Townsend, Nathaniel - Same as above. (The only brother who served with the Harrisburg camp guard.)
Turnage, Shelby C. - Brother of W. B. Turnage.  Resided near present Schulenburg.
Wertzner, Christian Gothelf - "Buddy" of Joseph Ehlinger.  Died in Fayette County, buried near Ellinger at Gay Hill.
Willoughby, Liepert - Served under Dawson in the Vasquez Raid and under Eastland in the Woll Invasion.  Died in Lavaca County, 1874.
Winburn, McHenry - Residence near Round Top; died in 1847.
Wells, James A. - Was at San Jacinto with a wagon and team.  His team drew the "Twin Sisters" to the battle field.  He lived near Zadock Wood’s fort.

(The name of Pvt. Michael Short, 2nd Regiment Volunteers Infantry Company, was added to this list at a later date.)

In addition to the above list of fifty-three men, there was an entire company of Captain Gibson Kuykendall, consisting of forty-five men and two officers, who left at Harrisburg prior to the battle as part of the camp guard.  It is difficult to identify these men individually for the reason that they left few or no records.  But beyond a shadow of doubt, very many of them were also Fayette County men.

Handbook of Texas online, Tula Townsend Wyatt, “Townsend, Thomas Roderic”, accessed on March 20, 2016 – validation of relationship of the five Townsends who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto
Weyand, Leonie Rummel & Houston Wade. An Early History of Fayette County; La Grange Journal, 1936.

Santa Anna Vest Finally Found

by Gesine Tschiedel Koether

Have you ever found something really important, but did not initially know its significance?  Something lost, but now found? That was me. In writing the historical moments for this year’s 150th anniversary of Round Top’s Bethlehem Lutheran church, I have read many older documents and write-ups by various former members and pastors.  As a native Texan, I know my Texas history and the importance of the battle at San Jacinto.  However, I did not know some of the finer points of what occurred after the battle.

Joel Robison, who lived in the Round Top vicinity, participated in many military fronts, including the engagement at Velasco and the expedition against the Keechi Indians on the Trinity; he also assisted Colonel Bowie in the Grass Fight and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.  His personal letter retelling the story of the capture of Santa Anna the day after San Jacinto can be found in Frank Lotto’s book, Fayette County - Her History and Her People.  Joel’s letter begins with:

“Round Top, August 5, 1881.  I have received a letter requesting me to give you the particulars of the capture of Santa Anna in 1836. It was as follows: on the morning of the 22nd, the day after the battle, a party was detailed and sent out under command of Gen. Burleson.  This party proceeded in the direction of the bridge on Vince’s Bayou. One object was to pick up any Mexicans we could find who had fled from the battle the evening before, and particularly to search for Santa Anna and Cos. …” 

Robison further related that he and his party of five additional privates captured a man and headed back to camp.  The man claimed to be in the Mexican Cavalry and was not accustomed to walking so far.  His continuous complaining almost got him killed, but Joel agreed to let the man ride behind him on his horse.  Along the six to eight miles back to camp, Joel and the man conversed.  Upon entering camp, the Mexican prisoners greeted the prisoner as ‘El Presidente’, so his true identity as being Santa Anna was revealed. 

In 1902 when Frank Lotto was writing his book, Joel’s son, Neal Robison, was the tax collector for Fayette County and reported to Lotto that Santa Anna had given a gold brocaded vest to his father as a sign of gratitude for letting him ride behind him on his horse.  In addition, Neal reported that it had become the fad of the young men in the Round Top community in those days to get married in Santa Anna’s vest.  This vest was reported to be lost in the lending of it to bridegrooms.  No one seemed to know of its exact whereabouts.

In my research of the church’s history, I found pastoral reviews, including special events during the various pastors’ time of service. At his mother’s funeral in 1995, Olie Edwin Gebhard (1916-2006) reported to Pastor Paula Hepola-Anderson that he and his mother, Hedwig Gebhard, used to clean the church. Olie stated that he and Pastor Walter Kralik had discovered Santa Anna’s vest. Apparently at some point in the past, the vest had been left with one of the pastors, who had placed it in a storage area in the church.  It was determined by Olie and Pastor Kralik that the vest was too tattered to be further used by any bridegroom, as was the local custom. So, they burned and buried the vest in the church cemetery.  Its location is no longer known.

Pastor Kralik served Bethlehem from 1930 to 1948.  Olie entered the Army for WWII in 1941 at the age of 25.  Therefore, it is my belief that the vest was buried sometime between 1930 and 1941.  Obviously neither of the men fully understood the historical significance of the vest enough to divulge its ultimate demise to the public.  Then again, one has to consider that this was during the time of the Great Depression, and there were more pressing matters to consider.

It is so special to be a part in resolving a longstanding mystery concerning such an iconic historical item.  I hope that this finally resolves the questions about the missing vest, unless someone has definitive proof otherwise.

Each day we lose pieces of our history without giving much thought to their importance. Treasure those items, write those stories down, take time to tell your children about those events you took part in and just savor each morsel of history.  They are too precious to lose.

If anyone has an old wedding photograph of a couple who lived in the Round Top area with the bridegroom wearing an ornate brocade vest, it might very well be the one that belonged to Santa Anna.  Please contact the Fayette Heritage Museum and Archives, 979-968-6418, if you are aware of an existing photograph that fits that description.

Lotto, F, “Fayette County. Her History and Her People”, Schulenburg Printing, Schulenburg, Texas, 1902


Related Link

Recollections of Joel W. Robison
Includes Robison's account of the capture of Santa Anna in the January 1903 Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association at the Texas State Historical Association website