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Immortal Heroes 










The Author 


I dedicate this tome to those 

Who helped me in my need. 
Through them, to gain, my quest arose; 

They made success my meed. 

Their Hfting grasp — their gracious guise — 

Their words of hope and cheer, 
Whilst struggling hard, urg'd me to rise 

From strife and stress severe. 

Their helpful hands gave stintless aid — 
Their hearts were tried and true; 

To them my offering, this, is made, 
Alas! they were so few. 

— The Author. 




Within you'll find but simple words 
Reciting myths and facts; 

No precepts grim from fogy schools, 
Nor maxims out of tracts. 

Here's no pretense of flaunting lore 
Claim 'd sagely long acquired. 

Nor do I hold my verse doth soar, 
Nor that I am inspired. 

My thoughts I wrote to try to cheer 
Some trouble stricken mind — 

To chase from it some ache severe 
And leave some balm behind. 

If I can touch some tender spot — 
Cause pulses there to thrill 

In bosoms that have long forgot 
An ecstasy to feel — 

If I can check from eye some tear 
Ere it to cheek may fall, 

Then I will bless my lowly lot 
And deem it best of all. 

Then when I'm dead, 'round where I sleep 
May shrubs spring, bud and bloom 

And scent the air with fragrance rare 
Around my lowly tomb. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Prominent in populace, exalted in commerce, matchless 
in climate, superior in scenic splendor, richest in romance 
and sublimest in song and story is she, city of countless 

> DOW OK HAl'l ISl KY. Ml 


entrancing and enchanting surprises, superb San Antonio. 
World-wide is her heroes' renown. Equally extensive her 
history. These lend lustre to terrestrial annals. Their's were 
deeds immortalizing inimitable actors, whose achievements 
perpetuated their own glor\' and the scene sanctified by their 



Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Her Alamo, hallowed shrine! where a Nation and Liberty 
were born, both springing forth with the flow of mart3'rs' blood, 
was, and will ever be, if permitted to stand, that Mecca to which 
many millions have and will continue to come, from all lands 
and everv clime to worship chivalry unequaled and never to be 

Sunny Spain sent her chivalrous cavaliers. They came in 
Cortez' wake. Far-off France furnished founders from among 
her chevaliers who followed La Salle. Both bands, though 


bent on conquest, came under the guise of civilizers. And 
thev builded better than they knew, did those doughty Dons 
of Spain and fastidious flocks from France. Far beyond their 
ken was the meed of their coming. Civilization found fruition 
which supplanted the carnage they created. It even over- 
rode and superceded the still greater and more sanguinary 
struggle against the insatiable tyrant, Santa Anna, and his 
heartless horde. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Tradition, probabl}- well founded, accredits Alonzo de 
Leon, kinsman of Ponce, the searcher for that ignis fatuus 
the "fountain of youth," with having camped in this vicinity 
in 1670, when on May 15th, he is said to have taken formal 
possession of the country in the name of the then king of S])ain. 
He is likewise given credit for the very first mission established 
and called San Fernando de Tejas. Its organization is said 
to have been effected with great ceremony. 


Don Domingo de Tarran de los Reyes, who was the first 
governor of Coahuila, came here in August, 1691. He was 
the next to follow after the relative of the seeker of the per- 
ennial fount. He is said to have changed the rame of the Mis- 
sion from San Fernando de Tejas to San Francisco de Espada. 
He is also said to have explored the country eastward as far 
as the Red River, but he abandoned the Mission there in 1693. 

But it was old Don Jose Domingo de Ramon, a grandee 
of Spain, the emissary of her king, who planted the first and 
the permanent settlement here. He re-established the aban- 

10 Combats andn Co quests of Immortal Heroes 

doned Mission, locating it at the head springs of the San Pedro. 
He called it the Mission de San Antonio de Valero. At the same 
time he established the Presidio, or fort of San Antonio, declar- 
ing it his monarch's capital in this country. The dominion 
he named the Province de Be jar, or Bexar. While the last 
word was spelled Bexar, it was pronounced Bear. 


Little thought they, when they stuck their spears and staffs 
supporting their standards into the earth, about the pearly 
founts of San Pedro's pellucid springs, that they were avant 
couriers of such a civilization as some centuries since has 
succeeded them. 

With the august and austere Ramon rode a train of 
Conquestadores clad in mail. Their quest was gold and ad- 
venture. Cowled and frccked friars of the Franciscan house 
rode with Ramon. One w^hom the\' called the Hidalgo de 
Margil, was their leader* and most ])ious of their order. 



Combats and Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 

Two years later the party of Ramon and Margil, who had 
located at San Pedro Sprirgs, was reinforced by the arrival of a 
larger one headed by the Marquis de Aguayo. It came with 
the avowed purpose of founding a permanent Franciscan Mis- 
sion. It joined forces with the first. Together the parties 
of Ramon and Aguayo erected another and stronger presidio, 
or fortress, a mile or more below on the San Pedro. It was 


located where the Military Plaza of this city now stands. They 
called it "la Plaza de las i\rmas," or the Plaza of Arms. Its 
martial title- still obtains. The stream ran through its western 
extremity, furnishing water for the force congregated within 
its citadel. 

The troops garrisoning it were lodged in barracks ranged 
along its northern sides. Its civil authorities occupied the 
western and its ecclesiastics the eastern side of the citadel, the 

Combats and Conquests of Im.mortal Heroes 13 

southern one being given over to occupancy b}' such savages 
as the priests succeeded in civilizing, and con\^erting. 

All of the structures were single-storied, except the church 
edifice. All were of adobe, or mud-bricks, or mortar of lime 
and mud packed into the interstices of palings of cypress, Cot- 
tonwood or mesquite. All were aligned along the four sides 
of the parallelogram. It was surrounded by a stout stockade 
formed of a wooden wall, perfectly perpendicular. Piercing 
this, at intervals, were loopholes enabling its defenders to fire 
upon any foes who might attack or endeavor to invade it. 

Such arrangement was indispensible, for the barbarous 
natives were ever ready to valiantly fight all who sought a 
footing in their territory. Hostilities had commenced almost 
immediately with the advent of the Spanish adventurers. Indians 
had attacked the Spaniards' first fort at San Pedro Springs, 
where the Aborigines had hitherto enjoyed indisputed posses- 
sion of its freely flowing fluid. They illy brooked its acquisition 
by their Spanish adversaries and bravely battled in defense 
of their prior title. 

It was not long before the aborigines had forced their 
paler visaged and armor clad enemies to retreat. Even at 
the advent of de Aguayo's force, the Indians had Ramon and 
his force at ba}^ It is not unlikely, but for this timeh^ succor 
all of them would have been slain. Thus it was that both Ra- 
mon and his colleagues were compelled to relinquish their first 
fortress and give back its immediate environment to those sav- 
ages who had sternly striven for its defense. So it was that the 
Spaniards set up their standards at their new post at the Plaza 
de las Armas. 

Not until the Spaniards had completed, lull}' equii:)ped 
and thoroughly strengthened their presidio at the Plaza, did 
the friars of St. Francis undertake their missionary work 
among the Indians and the erection of their missions. 

The first of these was the one of undying fame, the Ala- 
mo. It was in 1718 they commenced it. Next they built the 
Mission Concepcion Purrissima de Acuna, on the banks of 

14 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

the San Antonio river two miles below. It was in 1720 that 
they erected the most beautiful of all their missions, that 
poem of architecture, the Mission San Jose, now but a classic 
ruin, four miles farther down and a half a mile from the stream. 

Its sculpture and carving are unexcelled. Most of its 
statuary has either been stolen or battered and broken by 
vandals and relic hunters. Its carvings have either been ef- 
faced or eradicated in many places by such ruthless and impious 
iconoclasts. One of its windows is yet left almost intact. 
This is famous as one of the most beautiful fenestral speci- 
men of architecture in all America. 

Next, and but a few years later, w^as built the Mission de 
San Juan de Capistran, which is on the bank of the river at 
Berg's Mill, seven miles below the city of San Antonio. 

The last, or Mission Espada, or of the Sword, which was 
built in 1730, is located a mile down and half a mile west of 
this same river. 

When all of these had been completed, the colony having 
been meanwhile, from time to time, strengthened with more 
recruits and Conquestadores from Spain, the church, now 
San Fernando Cathedral, was reared. It did not, however, 
become a cathedral for some centuries later. There was no 
Catholic or other bishop here for many years. The parish 
priests and their assistants cared for the spiritual welfare of 
their flocks of faithful and taught the savages of the settlement 
to work as well as to pray in the fertile valleys along the ser- 
pentine streams coursing through them. These padres, with 
the aid of their Indian converts, builded all their missions 
and churches. And so it was that those Friars in frocks and 
capped with cowls, and those Dons encased in coats of mail, 
builded here even better than they knew or even recked, alt- 
though they builded by proxy through the aegis of the abor- 
igines. And those w^ho came after them found the gold the 
first comers vainly sought. They delved it from the bosom 
of the fertile soil upon which they freely poured the pearly 
waters of the unfailing streams. It was their tilling and toil- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


ing that grew the golden harvest. Even thus was it that there 
was sown the seeds and sprung the source from which grew 
such a si3lendid city and section, now the greatest of this grand- 
est state in the entire galaxy of a peerless nation's sisterhood 
of unsurpassed states. 



Sanguinary struggles have succeeded each other in rapid 
sequence ever since San Antonio was first settled in 1670 until 


the Spanish American war. of recent occurrence, when the 
doughty and dauntless Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Rid- 
ing rancheros out of here and to fame up San Juan Hill. 

First the French and the Spanish fought for possession of 
the province, when not fighting with the aborigines, against 
whom both were almost constantly engaged. After the char- 
ter was issued to the presidio and province by Ferdinand III. 
of Spain and Austria, from 1670 to 1733 there were almost con- 
tinuous contests between Indians and Spaniards. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

In 1776, the same year that witnessed the birth of the 
United States nation, the French, under La Harpe, here fought 
the Spaniards with alternating success and defeat, from that 
year and during the years following, 1812, 1813, when two 
battles were fought, and in 1835 and 1836 four battles were 
fought between the sympathizers with the Constitutionalistos, 
of Mexico, and the forces of the then dictator of Mexico. 


San Antonio had several minor skirmishes to occur near 
it during the struggle incident to the war between Spain and 
Mexico for the independence of the latter from the former 
when the grand patriot priest, Miguel Hidalgo, raised the sa- 
cred standard of liberty. 

But the great and memorable, as well as the most sangui- 
nary of all the sieges and struggles of San Antonio, were those 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


from 1835 to 1836. These were the engagements between the 
Texas forces under Ben Milam and the Mexicans under Cos, 
when Milam's men wrested the city from the grasp of the dic- 
tator's myrmidons after Milam, their leader, was slain in De- 
cember, 1835. This was a most brilliant achievement. 
The other was the entire extirpation of the dauntless defen- 


ders of the Alamo by the overwhelming hordes of the dire 
and dread dictator, Santa Anna, in February and the fore 
part of March, 1836, when none were left to tell the tale. 

Austin, Burleson and several other Constitutionalist offi- 
cers had their force of from 1,500 to 1,800 men camped near 
the head of the vSan Antonio river and along its banks down 
to where the old Molino Blanco, or famous "White Mill" stood, 
this mill at that time being the headquarters of the comman- 
ders, the time being the winter of 1835. There the force had 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


been encamped for some months, inactive, and its members 
eating their hearts out enduring suspense. In the meantime, 
Santa Anna's favorite general, de Cos, with from 5,000 to 
6,000 picked troops, the flower of the Mexican army, held San 


Antonio, defying Burleson and Austin and their small, brave, 
but infinitesimal fragment. 

Austin became so much disgruntled that he retired, leav- 
ing Burleson in command. Burleson believed retreat advis- 
able. He was preparing to retire his forces from the reach of 


Combats axd Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 

possible attack by de Cos. Most of Burleson's soldiers were 
averse to retreat. In it the}* saw hardships worse than hos- 

Among them rose up the peerless soldier, Ben Milam. He 
delivered an impassioned appeal to them. Only such an one 
as a hero could make. . It concluded with his question: 


"Who will follow old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" 
He was going there even if he had to go there alone. 
But the majority of the men shouted eagerly their determina- 
tion to join him. Deaf Smith shouted loudest. Maverick and John 
W. Smith had slipped out of San Antonio shortly before, bring- 
ing full information of the disposition of de Cos' forces and 
other important information. They volunteered to guide 

Combats and Conquests of Im\:ortal Heroes 21 

Milam and his men into the place. Maverick also urged them 
to go. 

Milam and his men marched in, surprising the Mexicans. 
But the Mexicans fought like demons. i\fterwards Burleson, with 
several of his officers and a handfull of soldiers who had re- 
mained behind a few hours, came up just when the fight was 
the thickest. Milam had divided his soldiers into three forces. 
One came down on the east side of the San Antonio river to en- 
gage the Mexicans then garrisoning the Alamo. The other 
two came west of the San Antonio river, one along Flores 
Street. The other, headed by Milam and guided by Maverick, 
came down Soledad street. 

Every step of the advance was stubbornly resisted. Mi- 
lam's soldiers had to tunnel and burrow from house to house. 
It took them two days to reach the Garza house on Veramendi 
Street, a short block from the first headquarters of Cos. When 
they reached there, Cos prudently moved his headquarters 
across the San Antonio river adjoining the ford of the stream 
at Garden Street. The historic house adjoins the electric pow- 
er plant on the east. It was there that Cos spent several days 
receiving reports from his officers. When a sharp-shooter 
picked off Milam and the noble hero fell into the arms of Mav- 
erick, he was so quickly taken into the Veramendi, where 
the tragedy occurred, that few of Milam's own soldiers knew of 
his death and none of the Mexicans, least of all Cos, heard of 
it until after the Mexican commander had capitulated. In 
yielding, Cos was accorded most liberal terms of surrender 
being permitted to march his arm}' out of the city with their 
arms and munitions of war. 

Milam was buried before the shouts of victory were heard, 
but he knew the Mexicans were wavering and felt, even in 
death, that his cause and troops would triumph, as they did. 

Ruthless is the hand of commercialism. Utterly re- 
lentless is its iconoclasm. Naught from it can escape. No 
shrine, whether of Faith or Valor, to it is sacred nor from it 
secure. One of the most venerable and historic of structures 

22 Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 

in San Antonio has fallen. Soon another, most sacred of 
all may succumb unless patriots rally to its rescue. The one 
which has been effaced is the Venerable Veramendi Palace, 
where dwelt and ruled those who governed San Antonio and 
the Province of Bexar; where brave Bowie wooed and won 
his blushing bride, where matchless Milam battled and died; 
where romance and chivalry were so strikingly strong as to 
be made immortal in song and story — naught is left but their 
memory. Veramendi 's palace was where James Bowie wooed 
and won Ursulla, the queenly and beautiful daughter of Don 
Juan Martin de Veramendi, the then dominant governor. 
There this twain was wed and but a few, all too brief moons 
before the bride was widowed , the groom slain in the Alamo 
with his companions. Bowie's bride won over her austere 
sire to the cause of her patriot lover. Thus Veramendi lost 
his sway over San Antonio. He was removed by Santa Anna 
and with his daughter, Ursulla, exiled to Coahuila, where both 
soon after perished of a then prevailing pestilence. 

It was at Veramendi's Palace that, soon after his question 
ever echoing down the corridors of time: "Who will follow 
Old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" that Milam, Hke Marco 
Bozzaris, died in its portal just as the shouts of his comrades 
acclaimed their victory by which his men vanquished the 
formidable force of Cos, Santa Anna's favorite emissary. 

The hoary walls that so bravely bore the brunt of battle 
have been obliterated. The double doors so scarred and 
shattered by shot and shell, during the same siege and that 
swung for centuries on pivots where they were placed by the 
hand of the master artisan, Manuel Cabrera, who fashioned 
them, will now swing there no more forever. 

Veramendi's Palace was where to the Southern Con- 
federacy's Commissioners, Thomas D. L. Devine, Samuel A. 
Maverick Sr. and Luckett, the United States Commander, 
General Twiggs, surrendered Federal authority. This was 
the last great historic episode enacted in this citadel which 
stood sentinel and kept ward over the destiny of the Pro- 
vince de Bejar and the city of San Antonio. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


There in all their pomp and punctilio was held the functions 
of the dons and grandees of Spain and Mexico. There flir- 
tations, fandangoes, intrigue, the duello amid dancing and 
revelry prevailed. There conquests of hearts and courts 
were carried on. The last prominent family that resided 
there before it was given over to commercial uses, was that 
of the Lockmars and the Angles, illustrious ones of early 
days, whose scions still dwell in San Antonio. 


Reminiscence and romance still are exhaled by its environ- 
ment, although every evidence of its former existence has been 
effaced. The echoes of commands uttered by august rulers 
seemed pent up in the old walls that have been demolished. 
While they stood, from the casements of its windows there 
seemed to come back the whispers of coy maidens and their 
sighs as they sat awaiting the tardy coming of loitering lovers. 
Sounds of lute strings long mute, seemed to be wafted again 
through those self same windows. Soft breezes stirring among 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

the shrubs and fluttering through the embrazures, seemed to 
bring back the vows of swains long since silent and dead. 
Flowers in the patio nodding with the stir of the zephyrs 
seemed to mock the vows long since pledged, broken and for- 



Ravishingly sweet was the fragrance of the shrubs and 
the flowers that grew in the garden of the Veramendi. Their 
incense filled the chambers of the palace, vicing with the subtle 
incense from the censors swung in the spacious one where 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 25 

pious padres performed the nuptial rites for the brides and the 
grooms that were mated there. 

Ere its fall, passing throngs almost expected to see stately 
shaped spectres, figures of former tenantry, step forth from 
arches and remote recesses. But none stepped forth to chide 
the thoughtless troupe that tore away this once magnificent ed- 
ifice, so majestic and so venerable. And so Vale el Vera- 
mendi. Alas soon may we have to say: Adios el Alamo. 

The latter is the next and the most sacred of shrines threat- 
ened with demolition. Women were given its custody. As 
customary they have quarreled. Some of the same sisterhood 
who loudest shouted and sweetest sang their slogan: "Save 
the Alamo" but several short seasons since, now, to spite the 
faction differing with them and desiring to preserve it from 
destruction, are as strongly bent on destroying and ut- 
terly obliterating it as the tyrant Santa Anna was determined 
to thoroughly annihilate its brave defenders, whose only 
monument the Alamo group now is. 

But let us still hope the sacred pile may be saved and 
stand. Its destruction would be a blot on the fair name of 
the city, the state and the nation that would be so supine 
as to permit it. Let it be taken from the custody of warring 
women. Place it in the hands of men sworn to restore it to 
the same contour and condition as when the combat commenced 
there that made it memorable. That won for its defenders 
immortal fame. That made San Antonio the Mecca of many 
millions who have come thither to worship at a shrine of such 
chivalry. This grand pile has been the cause that has made 
San Antonio such a splendid city. It has brought her not only 
renown, but untold wealth and to our state a vast and con- 
tinuous concourse. If any part of the venerable pile be permit- 
ted to be destroyed, possibly a Sampsonian fate may await 
those who wantonly destroy such a peerless place and pile. 
Let the state, the nation if not the city, truly save the Alamo. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 27 


immortal ALAMO 

The story of the Alamo is written in blood. That blood 
was the life current of nearly 200 martyrs. It was the sacri- 
fice offered upon the sacred shrine of liberty. There are more 
than a million who have made San Antonio their Mecca. They 
came to pay their tribute to the heroes who fell and were glori- 
fied there. Of these men of immortal fame were the brave 
Bowie and Bonham, the courageous Crokett, the undaunted 
Travis and their handful of unfaltering followers. Their exact 
number was one hundred and seventy nine. 

They made their most memorable struggle against the over- 
whelming odds of more than six thousand trained Mexican 
troops. The latter were led and directed by the dictator, Santa 
Anna. He commenced the siege of the Constitutionalists 
in the Alamo on Wednesday morning February 22, 1836. Santa 
Anna then sent a messenger to the commander, Lieutenant 
Colonel William Barrett Travis, demanding the immediate 
and unconditional surrender of the Alamo, informing Travis 
that all who did not surrender would be put to the sword. 
Santa Anna offered an armistice of 6 hours for the surrender 
and withdrawal of non-combatants. Travis disdained the offer. 
His answer was a well directed cannon shot from the piece 
of ordnance that Travis in person was commanding on the top 
of the Convent portion of the Alamo. His followers on the 
top of the Chapel adjoining it at once nailed the flag of the 
Constitution of 1824 to the staff so that it could not be low- 

Travis made an unheeded appeal to Houston and Fannin 
for succor. Fannin could not give heed, for his force was then 
surrounded by UgarthcBea at Goliadj where it was annihilated 
a few days after capture. Had he been inclined to do so, 
Houston was too far away to reach and rescue the Alamo's 

Combats and Conouests^of T^imortal Heroes 


beleaguered. Houston believed ^ that Travis and his futile 
force should have retreated before the overwhelming horde 
of Santa Anna. 

Houston, himself, had fallen back with his own army beyond 
the Colorado river and had even gone beyond the San Jacinto 
before making his stand against Santa Anna. It was 
there that Houston had halted and achieved his valiant victory, 


Utterly routing and scattering in wild flight the flower of his 
foeman's army or causing most of them to surrender. 

But this was after Travis and his heroic comrades had all 
gone down to death and doom on March 6, announcing they 
would neither surrender nor retreat. In the name of "Liberty 
and Patriotism and everything dear to the American character" 
Travis called for aid and re-inforcements, announcing if his 
call was unanswered, he and his small force had determined to 

30 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

sustain Santa Anna's attack as long as possible. Travis' words 
were: 'We will die like soldiers who do not forget their honor 
nor that of their Country," concluding with the exclamation: 
"Victory or Death." 

Out in bold relief stands the story of the struggle that 
followed these words. It is emblazoned on histoty's pages so 



it will never be obliterated. Such was the expression and 
spirit of valor animating these unterrified Texans. Mortal 
man never endured such terrible strife nor engaged in such san- 
guinary battle. Almost without cessation, it lasted for eleven 
days. Not one of the male garrison, except several small 
children, escaped after the struggle had commenced. Several 
women were among the garrison. One of them during the 

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Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

siege, Mrs. Dickinson, wife of Lieutenant Dickinson, of the 
United States army, became a mother, giving birth to the 
famous child known as the "Babe of the Alamo." During all 
of these eleven days those brave women gave ministration to 
the sick and wounded. 


In l)oth Convent and Chapel the battle waged fiercely. 
Both were equally involved in the hostilities. The Convent 
had been the barracks, but when the siege began its armed 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


defense was as active as that of the Chapel and as many if not 
more were slain in the Convent than in the Chapel, and yet 
there are those in San Antonio who would have this portion 
of the sacred structure destroyed to aid a realty scheme. Such 
action would be a blot on the city's and nation's names. 

Chapel and Convent were connected by a huge portal and 
several smaller apertures. In the Chapel, sick almost unto 
death, Bowie lay on a cot, prone and unable to rise. Travis, 


with his sword drew a line across the space in front of where his 
force had been assembled to hear his commands. To his men 
Travis said : 

"All who wish to leave, stand in their ])laccs. All who 
wish to remain and fii^ht to the end cross over this Vine and 

34 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

come to me." All but one crossed over to him. Bowie had 
his cot lifted and brought over. Rose was the only man who 
did not cross that line. He had fought for ten da3^s as bravely 
as any of the others, but weakened on the eleventh. It was 
Daw Crockett who said to him: "Stay with us, Rose. You've 
got to die some time, you might just as well die with us." 
Crockett did not speak in anger. It was he who during the 
night lifted Rose up and helped him out of one of the windows. 
Rose was never heard of after. Probably he perished miserably, 
butchered before he had gone many yards from the shadow of 
the structure in which his comrades remained. No one knows 
his fate, or if so, it has never been told. Far better for Rose 
would it have been had he remained and participated in the 
martyrdom of his brave companions, fighting to the last as 
chivalrously as at first. 

Far different was the act of Esparza, father of the boy, 
Enrique, who with his family was lifted into the self-same w4ndow 
out of which Rose went. Esparza came into this window 
after the hostilities began. The carnage was terrible. Blood 
ran in rivers where the slain and wounded fell. From the flat 
roof of the Convent, Travis continued to direct the fire of his 
cannon. Bonham commanded the cannon on the top of the 
Chapel. Crockett stood holding command at the double doors 
of the Chapel. While directing their deadly effective fire, 
both Bonham and Travis fell dead across their cannon. Both 
died just as the last of their ammunition was spent. Their's were 
the last shots fired by the Texans in their artillery duel with 
the invading host. Crockett many times emptied his unerring 
rifle and death-dealing pistols. At last, when all of his powder 
was burned, he clubbed his rifle. With its butt he, to the last 
breath he drew, dealt death to his enemies. Finally he, too, fell, 
when transfixed by the thrust of a bayonet. When he fell it was 
on top of a heap of foes he had slain. Brave Bow4e met death on 
his cot. Drawing himself up to a sitting posture with his back 
braced against the wall he emptied his pistols as often as he 
could until the foemen rushed upon him. Then he drew his 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


36 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

famous knife, afterward bearing his name and fashioned from a 
file. He plunged it into the hearts of those who rushed upon 
him. At last, he too died, riddled by the bullets of a blunder- 
buss, or escopeta, fired by one of Santa Anna's soldiers. This 
shot was fired over the shoulder of the last man Bowie killed 
and just as the knife blade had been driven home by that hero. 

All of the men died fighting. Even the boys fought. One, 
a lad of but sixteen, w^as bravest of them all, for he fought after 
his weapons w^ere useless. He died throttling an antagonist, 
not relaxing his grasp on the latter 's throat even when death 
seized the boy. He and his foe died together. When those 
who separated the Texans from the Mexicans before burning 
the bodies of the former, came to sunder this pair, they had to 
tear the boy's hands from the throat of his combatant. 

Weapons of every available kind were used b}' the defend- 
ers of the Alamo. Rifles, pistols, knives, axes, beams and 
clubs, all were used, as well as artillery. And all the defenders 
were slain, save some few^ of feminine sex, and several small 
children. After all had died, mercilessly their adversaries 
fired volley after volley into their prostrate and lifeless forms. 
Even in death the Texans were feared by their foes. From 
such coigns of vantage as they could the Mexicans fired until 
long after they were convinced the Texans were all dead. 

All the w^omen and children had been huddled together 
and driven into a corner of the Chapel. This was the only act 
of mercy shown. Then rudely the women and children were 
dragged out, through the smoke and after no male Texans were 
left alive. 

When the slaughter was done, Santa Anna was confronted 
with the problem of disposing of the dead. Utter annihilation 
was the fate he gave the defenders of the Alamo. He directed 
the Alcalde, Ruiz, to have built tw^o immense wooden pyres. 
These were located on what was then known as the Alameda, or 
Cottonwood grove roadway. It is now a wide portion of East 
Commerce street. The northeast end of one of these pyres 
extended into the eastern portion of the front yard of what is now 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 37 

the Ludlow House. The other pyre was in what is now the A^ard 
of Dr. Ferdinand Herff Sr.'s old Post, or Springfield House. I 
have had both pyres' positions positively located by those who 
saw the corpses of the slain placed there. 

I have failed to find someone who would mark these spots 
with a monument. I have longed for the means to do so mv- 
self. The Alamo is their only monument and there are those 
who, even now% w^ould tear it down. On those two pyres at 
these places the bodies of the brave Texans were placed. Alter- 
nate layers of men and wood w^ere laid. Then grease and oil 
was poured over the pyres. Finally torches w^ere applied. It 
took two days to consume the corpses of the noble dead. At the 
end of this time but a few^ skulls and charred limbs w^ere left. 
These lay exposed for several days in the sun until a small pit 
was dug in w^hat is now the east of the Ludlow front yard where 
they were buried. Ere this the wind had dispersed the ashes of 
the others and cast the result of the holocaust over the quarters 
of the earth. 

Pablo Diaz, now^ living in San Antonio, then a boy of 13 
years, saw the bodies burning. So did Enrique Esparza, also 
still living and who claims to have been with his father and 
mother in the Alamo. Diaz' brother, who was one of Santa 
Anna's soldiers, also saw the burning of the bodies there. 

But the disposal of the bodies of Santa Anna's men was 
another problem. More than half of them are said to have 
been slain by the gallant Texans. Their sur\'ivirg comrades 
and the town authorities had no time to dig graves for them, 
so most of them were cast into the then swiftl}' flowing current 
of the San Antonio river where Crockett street bridge now 
spans that stream. Many of the corpses floated off miles below, 
but the balance lodged against the banks, or obstructions and 
choked up the river, which for several days flowed blood as well 
as water. Huge vultures flocked along the stream, or hovered 
over it and blackened the sky. They swarmed and swooped 
down, devouring the decomposed and defiling objects, whose 
stench was so permeating, it is said to have made even the 
hardened Santa Anna, himself, sick. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Such was the story of the siege, storming and succumbirg 
of the Alamo. Nothing like it is revealed by history. 
Neither the gallant charge of Balacklava's Six Hundred, nor 
the struggle at Thermopols's Pass, the rout at Waterloo, 
the battles of Lucknow, Cremona, Plevna nor Manassas, compare 
with it, for some were left from all of them to tell the tale. "Ther- 
mopolae had her messenger of defeat; the Alamo had none." 
Nor had even any other conflict such carnage or such courage 
to crown its heroes. There never was, before, nor will there 
be ever again, such chivalry. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 39 


the history of the old SPANISH MISSION OF SAN ANTONIO 





Since the very persons who should be the last to do it 
any damage are threatening with destruction the sacred pile 
of masonry known as the old Alamo, or Spanish Mission of 
San Antonio de Valero, which the faction of women known 
as a branch of the Daughters of the Texas Revolution by 
official resolution seek to destroy, a history of this pile of 
edifices may prove interesting and possibly serve to avert 
such wanton and vandal desecration and destruction. 

This mission, as previously mentioned in another portion 
of this book, was first located at the headwaters and beside 
the springs forming the source of the San Pedro Creek some 
two miles northwest of its present location, about 1690, by 
Franciscan friars, whose object was the conversion of the 
aboriginal inhabitants and bring them under civilization so as to 
utilize the labor of the proposed converts in tilling the product- 
ive soil and developing the resources of the rich valley. For 
a long time the Aborigines refused to be converted and to 
be civilized. Their hostility to the Spaniards was so strong 
and active that they forced the latter to retire and abandon 
this first location. 

In 1718 the location on which it was again built is its 
present one on the north and northwest sides of Alamo Plaza. 
A copy of the official report relative to this mission in the 
documents of the Catholic church and the archives of the 
Mexican government, which was published in a work in the 
Spanish language entitled "La Historia de la Provincia de 
Tejas" in folios Nos. 163 to 167 inclusive, the following trans- 
lation furnishes a description of this mission San Antonio 
De Valero at its present location. This document bears 
date of 1762 and is authentic It follows: 

"In this province, (Bejar, or Bexar,) are some beautiful 
springs. So great is their volume that they send out within 
a short distance a considerable river which they form. 
This stream is called San Antonio. It runs from North to 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

South. West of it one league and one league below the spring 
is the town of San Fernando and the presidio of San Antonio. 
Across the river on its Eastern bank and about 2 gun-shots 
from the presidio, is the Mission of San Antonio de Valero. 


This mission was founded on the First of May 1718 by order 
of the most excellent Marquis de Valero. It was the first 
college of the Holy Cross that in its zeal for the salvation 
of the natives was planted in the province of Texas. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


"The records show that since its formation and up to 
this date, (1762), that seventeen hundred and ninety-two 
persons have been baptised here. At present there are seventy- 
six families here, which, counting widows, orphans and other 
children, comprise two hundred and seventy-five persons. 

"The settlement contains a convent, or monastery, fifty 
yards square with arcades above and below. In the monastery 
are the living rooms of the religious, the porters' lodge, the 


dining room, kitchen and the office. All of these rooms are 
adorned with sacred ornaments and furnished with such arti- 
cles as are needed by the religious, for their own use and for 
supplying the Indians. 

"In the second court is a large room; large enough for 
four looms. Upon these looms are made the fabrics of cotton 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


and wool needed to supply and properly clothe the Indians. 
Adjoining this room are two others, in which is kept the stocks 
of cotton and wool, combs, skeins, spindles, cards and other 
things used in making their clothing. 

"The church of this mission was finished, even to the 
towers and sacristy, but, on account of the stupidity of the 
builder, it tumbled down. Another of pleasing architecture 


is being now constructed of hewn stones. For the present a 
room, which was built as a granary, is serving as a church. 
In it are an altar with wooden table and steps, a niche con- 
taining a sculptured image of Christ crucified, St. Anthony 
and St. John. All of these are dressed in robes, undergarments 
and silken vestments. 

44 Combats and Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 

"A big room is used as a sacristy. In it are kept the large 
boxes that contain the ornaments. Among these are three 
covered chaHces, two large cups for communion vessels, a 
silken case for the cross, a vessel and a sprinkler for holy water, 
two candle-sticks, an immense boat and a spoon, a censor 
and three holy vials. All of these are made of silver. 

"The mission has a well built stone chapel eleven yards 
long. Among its ornaments is a stone cross two yards high 
and capped with silver. In the cross are hidden the relinqueries, 
four in number and each containing its own relic. The altar 
is adorned with carved and painted images. 

"There are seven rows of houses for dwellings for the 
Indians. These are made of stone and supplied with doors 
and windows. They are furnished with high beds, chests, 
metates, pots, flat earthen pans, kettles, cauldrons and boilers, 
With their arched porticoes, the houses form a beautiful plaza, 
through which runs a canal skirted with willows and by fruit 
trees and used by the Indians. To insure a supply of water 
in case of blockade by an enemy, a curbed well has been made. 

"For the defense of the settlement the plaza is surrounded 
by a wall. Over the gate is a large tower within whose em- 
brasures are three cannons, some fire arms and other appropriate 
supplies for warfare. 

"For cultivating the fields of corn, chile, and beans, that 
are tilled to feed the Indians and other inmates and of the 
cotton to clothe them, there are fifty pairs of cart oxen, thirty 
of which are driven in yoke. There are also traces, plough- 
shares, fifty axes, forty pick-axes, twenty-two crow bars, 
and twenty-five sickles. For hauling wood, stone and other 
things there are twelve carts. For carpentering they have 
the ordinary tools, such as adzes, chisels, planes, picks, ham- 
mers, saws, and plummets. For use in repairing implements 
they have an anvil, tongs, a screw, mallets, files and other 
things connected with a large forge. 

"In this large room where the grain is kept there are at 
present, (A. D. 1762,) about eighteen hundred bushels of 
corn and some beans. These supplies are to feed the Indians. 

"This mission owns a ranch upon which is a stone house 
about twenty yards long. It has an arched portico, and is 
divided into three rooms. These are occupied by the families 
that care for the stock, which consists of one hundred and 
fifteen head of cattle, two thousand and three hundred head 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 45 

of sheep and goats, and two hundred head of mares, fifteen 
jennets and eighteen saddle mules. 

"The mission and ranch have the necessary corrals. For 
the irrigation of the fields there is a fine main aquaduct." 

In his history on pages 18 to 21 Pennybacker mentions 
this document and so does Garrison on pages 55 to 60, and 
Baker and Bolton quote it in their "Makers of Texas" on 
pages 61 to 66, so there should be no doubt of its authenticity 
or truth. The original manuscript is on file in the archives 
of the Department of Fomento in the city of Mexico in the 
Federal District and from which this is copied and translated. 

This mission remained in the custody and under the 
management of the Catholic church until the Mexican govern- 
ment in 1835 turned out the religious inmates and other oc- 
cupants and converted it into a garrison for the defense of 
the East side of the San Antonio-San Fernando settlement, 
then threatened by the Texas Constitutional forces under 
Austin and Burleson. It was named by the Mexican soldiers 
when Milam's men took San Antonio from Cos' forces and its 
garrison capitulated at that time, December 7, 1835. Then it 
was occufjied by the victorious Americans who held it for 
nearly a year and a half. When Santa Anna's force marched 
on San Antonio the American, or Texan force abandoned 
other military locations and fortifications and took up their 
final defense there. 

The defense was planned and the ordnance placed under 
the direction of a kinsman of mine, my grandmother's first 
cousin, Green B. Jemison, who perished in the monastery 
building, described in the records quoted, as did the chief 
in command. Lieutenant Colonel William Barrett Travis 
who died directing the fire of the cannon beside which he stood 
and mounted on the top and at the southwest corner of the 
flat roof of this monastery, or convent structure, that those 
"Daughters" now want torn down and which but a few short 
years ago they sought to rescue from commercialism when 
they sounded the slogan anew: "vSave the Alamo." 

This building was the main fortification on and within 
which the Alamo's defenders fought. In, upon, and in front 
and beside it more of the force under Travis were killed than 
in any other portion of the premises. But a very few were 
left alive when the last stand was made in the old chapel 
joining the monastry on the south. 

46 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

The church was used as the powder magazine. The 
only prominent person connected with the combat slain there 
probably was Bowie, who is said to have died there on a cot. 

The appearance of the pile at the time of the commence- 
ment of this most memorable conflict is accurately deleniated 
in the painting by Theodore Gentil, the eminent French artist. 
It had never been questioned until these warring women fell 
out and this faction sought to destroy what the other as well 
as all true patriots wish to save. The exact appearance of 
the pile after the combat is shown by the picture by Beckman 
and particularly the delapidation of the old church by the 
official drawings made for the United States government by 
Captain Hughes of the United States army, which are on file 
in the archives of the United States government at W ashington 
and in those of the state of Texas and which I have had photo- 
graphed. These show the old church, which is the most modern 
portion of the pile, to have been much more battered than 
the monastery during the siege and that the old church edifice 
was more of a ruin than the monastery, or convent. 

In the exact condition that all of the pile was left after 
this most memorable combat the entire group remained until 
the United States Government leased the entire aggregation 
from the Catholic church at the end of the Mexican W ar, there 
having been in the interim a suit between the church and the 
city of San Antonio which suit was decided in favor of the 
church and the then Bishop Odin rented it to the Government 
when the church, as well as the monastery was repaired and 
restored as nearly as then possible to their former contours 
and conditions, the original material forming their respective 
walls being used for the restoration and repair. According 
to an official report of the United States government. Major 
Babbitt, of the U. S. Quartermaster's Department, expended 
the sum of $5,800 for repairing and restoring the entire group 
of buildings forming the Alamo, the church as well as the 
monastery in 1849. There is no gainsaying this record. It 
is an official government document, the money having been 
expended by an act of Congress appropriating it for that purpose. 

After this restoration the United States government 
occupied the entire group as a quartermasters' and commissary, 
depot and there stored and from them shipped supplies to 
its troops throughout the frontier from 1849 up to 1861. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 47 

During 1861 there was a fire in the old church caused 
by some boys, now very prominent personages in San Antonio. 
These boys were smoking cigarettes and set fire to some loose 
straw used for packing goods. This burning straw soon 
communicated its flames to the inflammable goods of the 
government, bacon, lard and other articles and the entire 
interior of the old church was burned. It then had a wooden 
roof which burned and fell in. The entire building had to be 
repaired. A portion of the top of the west or front wall fell 
to the ground and it had to be entirely rebuilt. There was 
much less of the church building then left than the adjoining 
monastery so that most of the present church, now tin-roofed 
and originally flat adobe crowned, is very modern and only 
dates from 1861. 

When General Twiggs as U. S. military commander sur- 
rendered the city of San Antonio and all of the supplies of the 
army to the Confederate commissioners Devine, Luckett and 
Maverick at the historic old Veramendi, the group of buildings 
known as the Alamo and their contents, except such portion 
of the latter as were reserv^ed for the use of the United States 
soldiers by the terms of capitulation, were delivered to the 
Confederacy. William H. Edgar, who was the quartermaster 
sergeant of the United States in charge of the Alamo property 
and contents then cast his fortune with the Confederacy and 
was continued as custodian until he organized an artillery com- 
mand and went with it to the front. 

When the Civil War ended the cluster of the Alamo was 
surrendered back to the United States. This government 
remained in possession until 1876 when it built the present 
quartermasters' depot on Government Hill at Ft. Sam Houston 
and then moved its stores to the latter location. 

Between the time of the destruction of the church by 
fire and its repair in 1861 temporary arrangements were made 
for the storing of government goods in a building standing 
where the Maverick Hotel now stands, in what was then used 
as a quartermasters' corral. The government also occupied 
property of the Maverick's on the north side of Houston Street 
extending from Navarro Street to Avenue D, for many years, 
for military purposes, it adjoining the old government barracks 
which stood on the square now occupied by the new Gunter 
Hotel, leasing them from the Vance brothers. 

The first restoration of the Alamo property in 1849 was 
done by John Fries, father of San Antonio's present city clerk. 

48 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

The second was in 1861, when the church had to be rebuilt, 
was done by M. G. Cotton, contractor, who, however, did not 
have to do anything to any other portion of the cluster. 

In 1872 the old granary running entirely across the plaza 
was condemned and purchased by the city of San Antonio 
and destroyed, a market house being built immediately south 
of where it stood. For some time after it was aquired by the 
city, the granary structure was used as a police station and 
calaboose for the east side of town. It was through the eastern 
portion of this structure that the troops of Santa Anna made 
their first breech and entered the enclosure of the Alamo Mission. 

Honore Grenet, in the 70 "s purchased the monastery 
portion of the pile from the Catholic church and also leased 
the church part, moving his store that stood where the new 
Odd Fellows building is now located to the Alamo. With- 
out disturbing the walls, Grenet above them placed some 
woodwork, since removed, and made to resemble a fort, there 
being wooden cannon protruding through the turrets. Grenet 
also built a portico about the south and west sides of that 

After his death the monastery was sold by his executor 
and administrator, Joseph E. Dwyer, to the firm of Hugo & 
Schmeltzer, the State, meanwhile, having purchased the old 
church. Hugo & Schmeltzer tore away Grenet 's imitation 
fortress, but left the walls of the monastery as restored in 
their original condition by Major Babbitt, that building now 
being as originally except for its ridged tin roof, the first roof 
having been 'fiat and of concrete and adobe. Very recently, 
by order of Mayor Callaghan the porticos on the South and 
West have been torn away. 

About five years ago an offer was made to the Hugo- 
Schmeltzer people for the purchase of the monastery portion 
of the pile by some Northern persons, wishing to erect a hotel 
there. It was then that Miss Adena de Zavalla, Miss Clara 
Driscoll and some of the other members of the Daughters of 
the Texas Revolution, resolved to purchase that portion of 
the Alamo and interested the then entire organization in the 
matter. Miss Driscoll, now Mrs. Sevier, put up a considerable 
portion of the purchase money. An appeal to "Save the 
Alamo" was made to the patriotic people of the state and 
considerable, but not enough cash was then obtained. The 
State, through the legislature, was then induced to make the 


necessary appropriation for the purchase of this monastery 
portion of the Alamo. Then and always before it was called 
a part and the principal part of the Alamo. But the sup- 
posed patriotic sisterhood, as women have ever done, disagreed 
among themselves. A portion of them went into litigation 
with the other faction. One faction at its last annual con- 
vention adopted a resolution deciding on the destruction of 
the monastery, or principal part of the Alamo. They even 
went so far as to ask permission of the Governor to permit 
them to demolish it. Very properly he refused their request, 
but these women are still bent on destroying the Alamo. 
Unless the legislature takes the property out of their hands, 
they will do so by means of one subterfuge or another. All 
of the Alamo property should be taken away from them and 
placed in the hands of a commission of men charged with 
the duty of restoring it all as nearly as possible to the exact 
condition and contour that characterized it at the commence- 
ment of the combat between the contending forces of Travis 
and Santa Anna. After having been so restored it should be 
perpetually kept in such condition. 

The church portion should be used as a museum for the 
preservation of relics of Texas history. The upper portion of 
the monastery should be used as a hall of fame for the portraits 
of the illustrious men and women of the Texas Republic and 
Lone Star State and as a meeting place for true patriotic 
organizations. The lower portion of the manastery should 
be used as an armory for an organization of the militia at 
San Antonio. There now is none such there for the very 
reason that it is impossible to secure a suitable place for an 
armory. Soon there would be, if this vacant structure were 
given use of for such proper purpose. 

The very appropriation act passed by the Legislature 
providing for the purchase of the monastery and its care and 
preservation declares it to be a portion of the Alamo Mission 
This is the caption of that law: S. H. B. Xo. 1 An Act to 
provide for the purchase and conveyance to the State of Texas 
of the land in the City of San Antonio known as the Hugo eK: 
Schmeltzer Company property which was a part of the Alamo 
Mission and for the Cake axd Preservation of said Propi-:rtv 
and of the Alamo Church pro]3erty now owned by the State, 
and appropriating the sum of Sixty-five Thousand Dollars 
($65, ()()()) to carry out the ]M-ovisions of this Act. "Surely 

50 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

the state did not appropriate this sum for the purpose of having 
this property torn down when it says specifically and distinctly 
as well as unequivocally that it was for the purpose of preserv- 
ing it. 

Section 3 of the law of which the above is the caption 
reads as follows: Upon receipt of the title to said land, the 
Governor shall deliver to the Custody and "Care" only, and 
not the title, of this property thus acquired and the Alamo 
Church, to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to be main- 
tained by them in good order and repair (not to tear down 
or destroy them,) but to keep them in such good order) with- 
out charge to the State, as a sacred memorial to the 
heroes who immolated themselves upon that hallowed 
ground. By the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to be 
maintained or remodeled upon plans adopted by the 
Daughters of the Republic of Texas approved by the Gover- 
nor," it clearly being the intention that the remodeling of 
the old monastery was for the purpose of removing the 
modern wood work which has been done, restoring it to its 
original contour and condition as at the time of the 
Alamo's brave battle and not to tear it down, the section 
concluding with the provision that no alterations are to be 
made in the more modern Alamo Church. 

No authority whatever has been given these women to 
destroy what the State has spent $85,000, of which $65,000, is 
to preserve this old monastery, nor should any governor ever 
sanction their so doing, especially as this statute states 
specifically that: "All of said property being subject to 
future legislation by the Legislature of the State of Texas." 

►Section 5. Says: The great importance to the people 
of Texas of conserving the existing monuments of the heroism 
of their fore-fathers, and the fact that this property must be 
acquired at once, if at all, creates an emergency and an im- 
perative public necessity for the suspension of the constitutional 
rule requiring bills to be read on three several days, and said 
rule is so suspended and that this act take effect and be in 
force from and after its passage and it is so enacted." 

The law suit between the city of San Antonio and the 
Catholic Church over the title to the property doubtless was 
the cause of preventing any repair to any of the cluster form- 
ing the Alamo Mission from the fall of the Alamo until this 
suit was settled in favor of the Church and it leased the clus- 

Combats and Conquests of Ialmortal Heroes 51 

ter to the United States for storage of army supplies in 1849. 
Up to that time, as stated by Captain Potter and Raines, in 
his Texas BibUography, the old church was in ruins, Raines 
saying the old convent or monastery was the only portion of 
the pile preserving its identity. 

Raines, after quoting from the public documents of the 
Mexican general Juan Jose Andrade, addressed to his com- 
patriots in 1836, recorded on pages 22 to 24, in Monterey, these 
documents relating to the dismantling of the Alamo Mission 
group, the evacuation of the City of San Antonio de Bexar, 
and the retreat of its Mexican garrison out of Texas, says: 

"The present Alamo church building, repaired and patch- 
ed up with a roof in 1849, for use as a depot for army stores, 
utterly obscures the dilapidation wrought by Andrade. Only 
the walls of the convent, or monastery, retain their identity." 
Raines then calls attention to the frontispiece in his book, 
of whch I have a copy, as I have photographed it from a source 
that clinches the matter. This is an official report that is 
document No. 32, in Volume No. 10, Senate Documents of 
the first session of the 31st United States Congress. This re- 
report was made to Col. J. J. Albert, Chief of U. S. Topograph- 
ical Engineers by Captain George W. Hughes, chief of staff of 
Topographical Engineers in 1846, and forwarded by Col. Al- 
bert to the Secretary of War who in turn referred it to Congress. 
This document is entitled "Memoir Descriptive of the March 
of a Division of the United States Army Under the Command 
of Brigadier General John E. Wool, from San Antonio de Bex- 
ar in Texas to Saltillo in Mexico." The drawing representing 
the interior of the Alamo Church ruins was made by Edward 
Everett, one of the topographical engineers accompanying this 
expedition. The drawing is absolutely and unquestionably 
correct and there is no question about the document being an 
official one. This drawing shows the utter dilapidation of the 
ancient ecclesiastical edifice and the ruin in which its walls were. 

Another of the drawings in the same report and made 
by the same draftsman shows the front of the church with its 
west wall so truncated as to be far below the level of the south 
wall of the adjoining convent or monastery. This official report 
and these two official drawings must and do settle the ques- 
tion regarding the comp£irative conditions of the two portions 
of the pile, the church and the convent, in favor of the con- 
vent and against the church. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

I had almost omitted to mention in this chapter that 
while it was in use by the United States Quartermaster's 
Department the old monastery building was used as a Masonic 
lodge for many years. It was in this building that the first 
Masonic lodge instituted in San Antonio, Alamo Lodge No. 44 
A. F. & A. M. was instituted. This fact should endear this 
old edifice to the heart of every Mason not only in Texas, but 
in the world and this craft should unite in an effort to save 
it from destruction. 

'^ But all of the people of the State and of the Nation should 
join hands as well as hearts and use arms, if necessary, to 
prevent the demolition of that structure whereat Travis 
perished with the greater portion of his companions. 

^i:W //-'"•' 



Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 53 


Though many days are dull and dreary — - 
Though many nights long and weary 
And many years but serve to double 
Our heavy loads of human trouble — ■ 
Though many eyes in tear drops languish 
While many hearts beat full of anguish, 
Still all such days we so are spending, 
Such nights — such years, iTiust have their ending, 
While they to us are surely sending 
Days, nights and years with bliss attending. 
When those same eyes shall all beam brightly 
And those same hearts shall all beat lightly. 
For life still hath, though much of sadness, 
Some golden gleams of grateful gladness. 
It hath its days of mirth and pleasure. 
It hath its nights of calm and leisure; 
Its years, that bring, in bounteous measure 
Their heavy hoards of harvest treasure. 
Unless, sometimes, our sun ceased shining, 
Whilst veil'd by clouds of silv'ry lining. 
Such constant sunshine then, of our's, 
Would kill the vines that form our bowers; 
While, had we never any showers 
We'd surely miss their fruit and flowers. 
So let Fair Hope • each morn awake us 
And never let her hand forsake us. 
Let cares and tears but serve to make us 
Prize more those joys that overtake us. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Hkroes 55 


Fitting was the finale and suitable the sequel at San Jacinto, 
to the sad, sanguinary struggle so futile at the Alamo in San 
Antonio and the brutal butchery at Goliad. Inseparably 
linked to them was the story of San Jacinto. Its events occurred 
soon after the Alamo had fallen at San Antonio and Fannin 
and his faithful force, having surrendered at Goliad under 
regularly signed terms of capitulation subscribed by Fannin 
and his Mexican adversary, Urrca. On March 17, 1835, Fannin's 
command capitulated. On March 21, they were led out and 
murdered, notwithstanding the stipulated terms of surrender 
according promises of life and safe conduct to their homes. 
Urrea and Ugartachea had marched straight on from San 
Antonio almost immediately after the Alamo fell. They went 
direct to Goliad. Fannin was just evacuating the old La Bahia 
Mission near there w^here he had assembled his small force. 
Fannin had started to obey Houston's order to retreat. Fannin 
had delayed, first hoping to give succor to the beleaguered in 
the Alamo, which he found would be impossible. Then he wait- 
ed, hoping some of his force sent to succor threatened families 
to return, but the absentees had been cut off, captured and slain, 
as his own force w^as, several days after. 

Santa Anna, Felisola, Almonte, Woll, Sesma and Tolsa 
marched from San Antonio, bent on capturing the main body 
of Texans under Houston then on the Colorado River not far 
from Bastrop. As Santa Anna's force advanced, that of 
Houston fell back. But a few days' marches apart were the 
opposing forces. The Mexicans never halted until they reached 
the Brazos. The Texans stopped for a short time at Harris- 
burg and made that town their temporary seat of government. 
Houston there learned all about Santa Anna's strength and 
intentions. Felisola was left with the large reserve force at 


the Brazos. Woll was with him. Santa xAnna, accompanied 
by Almonte, Sesma and Tolsa, formed the advance guard 
leaders, pushed on ahead. Cos came close behind, his force 
forming the support. 

Soon after Houston retreated down the stream from 
Harrisburg, Santa Anna's force reached and burned that place. 
It had burned and pillaged all along the route, annihilating 

Flushed by recent victories, never before having endured 
defeat, Santa Anna's horde advanced, their hands still smeared 
and their attire stained with the blood of the Alamo's slain. 
On they marched as swiftly as consonant with keeping in touch 
with their supplies, plundering the helpless, looting and burning 
everywhere and stopping to parley with the Indians abounding 
about the vicinity. The Mexicans endeavored to poison the 
minds of the Indians against the Texans and tried hard to in- 
duce the aborigines to join their still more savage band. For- 
tunately the Indians held aloof, wisely waiting to know which 
contending army would win, well knowing the valor of the 

Almost in its van, Santa i\nna pushed on his invading 
host. So rapidly it moved that Almonte, his trusted henchman 
came near capturing David G. Burnet, then president of the 
young Texas Republic. Burnet and his wife, with several 
companions in a small boat, were fleeing to Galveston, to 
which city the Texas seat of government had been moved 
from Harrisburg. They barely managed to get away beyond 
the range of Almonte's fire and at last escaped. 

Learrirg Cos' force had crossed Vince's bridge over Bray's 
Bayou, Houston sent Erasmus ("Deaf") Smith and Reeves 
to cut and l)urn it to prevent Felisola's command from crossirg 
and joining Santa Anna and to cut off the latter's retreat. 
Felisola had 5,000 men with him. Cos was the same Mexican 
commander who had surrendered at San Antonio to Milam's 
men soon after Milam was slain, but who was ignorant of that 
fact. This was the winter before. "Deaf" Smith had been 
in that fight and knew the faithlessness of Cos, who had pledged 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 57 

himself to march back to Mexico and fight no more against the 
Texan troops. So Smith gloried in the task of destroying the 
bridge.- He and Reeves soon burned it, preventing the flight 
of their foemen. 

Raguet,- wagon-master of Houston's army train, with a 
small force, had captured vehicles laden with flour and other 


Stores of Santa Anna's army subsistence. These stores, to- 
gether with beeves slain by Houston's men on the march to 
San Jacinto, furnished the first food the Tcxans had tasted for 
two whole days. This capture was timcl\' ar.d important. 

On the night of April 19, the Texans bivouacked in timber 
less than a mile from the Mexicans, whose bugles they heard 

58 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Combats and Conquests of I:\ii\iortal Heroes 59 

repeatedly through the night, another small oaken grove and 
a slight eminence separating the two contending forces. All 
told the Texans had but 738 men. More than double that 
number was the combined force of Santa Anna and Cos. The 
Texans were raw^ recruits. Their fee men were all seasoned 

Fortunately the Texans had two small cannon, these fired 
six-pound shot. They were gifts from Cincinnati sympathizers. 
Hockley had brought them from Galveston. Aptly they were 
named the "Twin-sisters." Santa Anna's cannon fired twelve- 
pound shot. Santa Anna had masked his cannon behind bar- 
racades of baggage. 

On April 20, Sidney Sherman, who commanded the Texas 
Cavalry, asked to charge the Mexican horse lodged then in the 
intervening grove. Permission was accorded and he did so. 
The Mexican riders swooped out of the woods and charged the 
Texans, who retreated so as to brirg the Mexicans in rarige of 
the "Twin-Sisters." These guns spoke to such purpose, the 
Mexican horsemen soon fled back to cover, the Texans losing then 
but two killed. Night came on. Both armies rested. But little ease 
had the Texans for many days before, having traversed muddy 
roads. All but their sentinels this night slept well. Refreshed 
by their slumber, again they feasted en feed furnished from 
Santa Anna's captured commissariat. Houston paraded his 
troops, tellir g them they seen would fight and to their full content. 
That victory was to crown their combat. Rusk, Secretary 
of War, was with them. So was young Lamar, who llic day 
before had been so gallant he was promoted to command one 
of the calvalry troops. Houston waited until the afternoon when 
lethargy prevailed in the Mexican camp and Santa Anna was 
enjoying his siesta, thinking he had at his mercy, as a cat a 
mouse, the forces in front of him. 

Again Sidney Sherman asked to pit his cavalr\' against 
the Mexican cavaliers and draw the enemy into conflict, again 
was he accorded permission, l)ut told to be cautious. Houston, 
riding at the head of his troops, commanded them to advance, 

Combats and Coxquests of Immortal Heroes 61 

but reserve their fire urtil they saw the white of the enemy's eyes. 
Burleson and Mihard ccmmanded the Texas infantry. Hcckley 
and Neill ccmmanded their artillery. The latter was moved 
up to the summit of the smjall emirerce. Soon after Sherman 
and Lamar charged, the Mexican horsemen returned the charge. 
Santa Anna, who slept, was awakened suddenly from his slum- 
ber by the duet of death surg by the "Twin-sisters." In con- 
fusion his cavalry fled back to his camp, abandoning their own 
guns in the grove. Slowh*, in perfect order and fine forma- 
tion, the Texans advanced up to Santa Anna's breast-works of 
equipage and wagons. They went on and over it and 
into and among his ranks. The}^ fired at close range 
and with rifles, shot guns and pistols. They captured 
cannon and turned the Mexicans' own artillery on 
them. The latter fought but eighteen minutes. They 
then fled madly and wildh^ utterly routed. Many 
mired and perished in the morass to their rear in 
which they were trampled underfoot by their comrades and 
pursuers. Others vainly essayed to cross back by Vince's 
bridge, but it was gone. Many more were drowned trying to 
cross the boggy bayou. Some, but very few, escaped to rejoin 
Felisola. The battle cries of the Texans: 

"Remember the Alamo!" 

"Remember Goliad!" 

Still rang in their ears. Felisola fell back to San 
Antonio, upon recieving the tidings of Santa Anna's de- 
feat. Six hundred and thirty of Santa Anna's soldiers 
were slain in battle. Two hundred and eight were seri- 
ously wounded, many of whom died after. Seven hundred 
and thirty surrendered and became prisoners -of war, among 
them the accomplished linguist and r.onchalant Almonte. 
The Texans had but eight killed and twenty-five wounded, 
eleven seriously. One of these was the only present survivor 
of the San Jacinto battle, who told me its stor}', the brave vet- 
eran, Alfonso Steele. 

Next day after the brittle, James A. Sylvester, heading a 

62 Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

scouting party saw some one crouching in the tall grass and 
covering his head with a blanket, This person was clad in the 
soiled duck of an ordinary Mexican soldier. On his head was 
an old straw hat, but his shirt was fine linen. In it were gold 
buttons. Abjectly he surrendered and was delivered to Major 
Forbes. Then he requested to be taken at once to General Sam 
Houston saying: 

"Yo estoi Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, el pres- 
idente y el commandante de todas las armas y soldados 
del Republica Mejicana." ('T am Don Antonio Lopez de Santa 
Anna the president and commander-in-chief of all of the arms 
and troops of the republic of Mexico.") 

First he was taken before General Rusk and afterwards 
before General Houston. The latter w^as reclining under a large 
oak tree, where a surgeon was dressing the wound in Houston's 
leg. Houston's horse had been shot under him in the battle 
and himself badly hurt. Houston did not recover from his 
injury for several months. 

Santa Anna was told to seat himself on a tool box near 
by and at his request Almonte was sent for to interpret for him. 
Young Lorenzo de Zavala, of Houston's army also acted as in- 
terpreter, that there might be no duplicity. Santa Anna said 
Houston might well be proud of receiving the surrender of 
himself and Santa Anna proclaimed himself the "Napoleon 
of the West" until then invincible and comparing 
Houston to Wellington, but Houston cut him short 
and told him it was better for him to explain, if 
he could, why he had mercilessly slain those at the Alamo 
and his subaltern those at Goliad, the latter after pledging 
the prisoners life and liberty. Santa Anna said it was a 
rule of w^ar to put to the sword an inferior force unnecessarily 
holding out against a superior one, besieging a fortress. Houston 
told him the custom was obsolete and contrary to principles of. 
humanity. Houston then asked him why Fannin and his force 
had been butchered at Goliad, Santa Anna replied it was because 
orders had been issued by the Mexican government to treat as 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 63 

pirates all found fighting against it, or with arms in their hands, 
who were under no flag of an}' nation recognized by Mexico. 
Houston told him he, Santa Anna, being the dictator, was 
the Mexican nation and his minion, Urrea, had no right after 
receiving their surrender to assassinate those w^hom he had stip- 
ulated to protect after surrender. Santa Anna, at first denied 
that Urrea had received their surrender or signed articles of 
capitulation w^ith Fannin. He likewise threatened to punish 
Urrea for so doing in violation of orders. 

Santa Anna complained of thirst and hunger. He was given 
w^ater first and then food. When about to drink from the cup 
handed him he gave the Masonic distress sign. Whether this 
saved his life, or w^hether Houston, against the protest of man)' 
of his officers and more of his men, spared Santa Anna because 
he could not afford to bring down odium on the Texan cause 
among other nations, as Santa Anna had by his merciless murd- 
ers, has ever been an open question. It is not unlikely Houston 
was influenced both by fraternal obligations and still broader 
humanity, and showed a sagacity that has since commended 
Houston to posterity. His conduct was in strong contrast to 
that of his captive, who was soon permitted to sail from Ve- 
lasco to Vera Cruz to consummate the treaty of peace between 
Mexico and Texas, but was hardly out of sight of land before 
violating his pledges. General Tom Green had endeavored to 
have Santa Anna held b}' President Burnet, and the prisoner 
was detained a few days but released. 

The character of Santa Anna, then head of the Mexican 
nation, is in strong contrast with the admirable attributes of 
her present ruler, the patriotic but pacific Porfirio Diaz, emi- 
nent aliKe as a statesman and a soldier. 

2 S 

w o 

ft! > 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 65 



Memorable in the annals of the Sunset City is the day- 
known on the Catholic church calendar as St. Joseph's day 
and on her own as that of the Indian massacre. The day w^as 
Tuesday, March 18, 1840. The Spanish speaking portion 
of the population generally called it: "El dia de San Jose." 

That day 65 Indians came into the town, then but a 
small village, and only about 6 years after the Alamo's fall. 
The purpose of their visit was ostensibly to make a treaty of 
peace in which was to be included terms for the restoration 
of numerous captives, all children, whom the Indians held 
in custody in their wigwams in the Sabinal Canon, some 90 
miles w^est of San Antonio. 

Reluctantly they brought with them Matilda Mary Lock- 
hart, who two years before, together with her sister, the Indians 
had carried off into captivity after killing two of the Lockhart 

When the Indians came into town they went to the Court 
House. It then stood at the north-east corner of Market street 
and the Main Plaza. At that time Market street was called 
la Calle de Calabosa, or the Calaboose street . because the jail, 
which was just across an alley from the Court House that 
stood facing that street and was in the rear of the Court 
House. The latter was a two-story structure, w^hile the cala- 
boose was but a single-storied affair. Captain Howard com- 
manded a company of rangers, which was then c(uartered in 
the Court House edifice or bivouacked about the jail. 

When the Indians reached the Court House, most of them 
came into the spacious court chamber, where they either stood 
or squatted about its area. They ke])t keen and scrutinous 
w^atch upon every movement of the whites with whom I hey 
w^ere then in council. As the deliberations ])rogressed some 
Indian boys and a squaw were in the yard behind the Court 
House. The boys were engaged in shooting witli tlicir bows 

Q W Z 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 67 

and arrows at the coins tossed into the air by Americans who 
were watching the marksmanship of the boys. 

Without being noticed this squaw slipped into the Court 
House during the deliberations. This council was the third 
pow-wow held between the Indians and the whites on the sub- 


ject of surrender and restoration of the captive children. 
The first had resulted in no agreement being reached. At 
the second the Americans had ' agreed to give money ransom 
liberally, as well as to make payments in ammunition, beads, 

9 ^ 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 69 

confections and food-stuffs. They sent the ransom to the 
savages by a party under a peace pact and truce flag. When 
this party reached the Indian village in the canon, small pox 
broke out among the inhabitants, many of whom died from it. 
Under the pretext that the whites had brought with them 
this small pox visitation, the Indians set upon the whites, 
slew the entire party, took all the ransom, but failed to restore 
any of the captives. 

When the third conclave was held, the whites were deter- 
mined to not be again duped. At this council the savages 
demanded large quantities of war paints, powder, lead, money, 
candy, beads, and other things for the restoration of the Lock- 
hart girl and a Mexican boy they brought with them. In 
turn the whites demanded the restoration of all captives held 
by the Indians, a considerable number, agreeing to pay all the 
ransom they asked, but proposed to hold five of the Indian 
chiefs as hostages while the balance of the savage party should 
return to their camp and bring back the ransomed captives 
from the Sabinal Cafion and deliver them in San Antonio in 
the Court House. The hostages were guaranteed safety and 
good treatment during the absence of their companions. The 
Indians were then given to understand unequivocally if they 
did not agree to these terms the rangers would capture and im- 
prison the entire party until its absent companions should 
bring in the captives. 

The ultimatum was delivered to them through an in- 
terpreter speaking the language of the Comanche Indian 

The reply of the Indians was characteristic. With a sud- 
den, swift and blood curdling warwhoop, they sprang upon 
the whites, attacking the soldiers and civilians in the Court 
room and made a dash for liberty. Captain Howard promptly 
ordered his rangers to fire upon the Indians. Unfortunately 
the first volley killed two of the San Antonians. But it like- 
wise killed quite a number of the aborigines. 

The fighting was hand to hand between the Rangers and 
the Comanches. The Indian boys who had been shooting 
at the coins and had their weapons ready when the combat 
began took part and killed some of the whites who were slain. 
Squaws also fought like fiends and likewise killed some of the 
whites. Among these was Judge Thompson, a prominent South 
Carolina lawyer, a recent arrival. Others who were killed were: 




Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 71 

Julius Hood, who was then the sheriff; G. W. Cayce, of Bra- 
zoria, an officer of the American garrison, one of its soldiers 
and a Mexican spectator. Those severely wounded were 
Lieutenant Thompson, a brother of one of the slain; Captain 
Thomas Howard; Captain Matthew Caldwell, of Gonzales; 
Judge Robinson; Deputy Sheriff Morgan and two of the ranger 
soldiers. Several others had minor wounds. Among them 
was a Mr. Higginbotham. 

Samuel A. Maverick's wife's brother, Andrew Adams, 
shot and killed several of the Indians on Soledad street. One 

"32^ ^llfl'M lllf^lf" 



was a savage who menaced the lives of the Maverick children 
then playing in their yard near the river and where the Kamp- 
mann building now stands. The nurse of the children, Jennie 
Anderson, a negress, then enacted the role of a heroine. She 
placed herself between the children and the Indian, enabling 
the children to flee in safety to the house. Adams went after 
the Indian, who saw him and sprang into the river. Just as 

72 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

the Comanche reached the middle of the stream Adams 
fired, shooting him through the head. The Savage sank to 
rise alive no more. 

Another Indian was lying mortally wounded out in Soledad 
street in front of the Maverick home. Just as a passing Cauca- 
sian was about to give the Commanche the coup de grace, 
by shooting him through the heart, Mrs. Mary A. Maverick, 
wife of Samuel A. Maverick Sr., implored him not to do so. 
The Caucasian passed on without further molestation to the 
Comanche. The latter died soon after. 

At this time Captain Lysander Wells, a prominent person- 
age, was passing northward riding a superb horse. His saddle 
and bridle had silver housings and mountings. Shortly be- 
fore he had purchased the animal and caparison to take back 
home with him to another state. As he reached the front of the 
Veramendi Palace, an Indian suddenly rushed up to his side 
and swung upon the horse behind Wells, closing his arms 
around Wells and endeavoring to seize the bridle reins. 

Wells and the Indian struggled for some time for supremacy. 
Finally Wells managed to draw a pistol he had in a holster 
on the pommel of the saddle. He placed the muzzle of the 
weapon against the Indian's side, near the heart and fired. 
The Indian rolled off head foremost from the horse falling to 
the ground limp and lifeless. 

All but a dozen of the Indians were slain, the dozen having 
been taken prisoners, among these being an aged squaw. She 
was the widow of one of the Chiefs who had been killed in this 
engagement. This woman was sent to inform the people of 
her tribe of the affair and to demand of them to bring in for 
immediate exchange all captives held by them. The captured 
Indians in San Antonio were to be exchanged for those children 
in the custody of the Indians in the Sabinal Canon. 

She hurried back on her mission. On reaching them 
she told her people that the whites had decreed if the captives 
held by the Indians were not brought into San Antonio in 12 
days all of the Indian prisoners held hostage there would be 

When their squaw reached the camp and told the tidings, 
the Indians began a most dismal howling and wailing which 
they continued for several days incessantly. They killed 
their horses, stuck knives into their own flesh and proceeded 
to dispose of their captives after torturing them in various 
ways. Finally roasting some of them slowly until death 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


relieved them of their agony. Only two of the children were 
spared, one was a girl whose surname was Putnam, the other 
a boy between 7 and 8 years old whose name was B. L. Webster. 
The age of the girl was then 5 years. The reason the twain 
were spared was because they both had been adopted into 
the tribe as members of it and as children of chiefs and squaws 
who had lost their own children. 


The .San Antonians, on hearing of the slaughter of the 
captive whites by the Comanches did not retaliate as they 
had threatened upon the hostages held by the whites. Ulti- 
mately they liberated their prisoners and permitted them to 
return to their tribe, but several refused to do so fearing lest 
upon return they should be murdered. 

; While the Indians were kept in captivity in San Antonio 
they were objects of much curiosity, almost the entire pop- 
ulation having taken occasion to visit them. Later on the 
tribesmen asked for exchange of some of them. The exchanges 
were /made and the Webster boy and Putnam girl returned 
to "the whites, but the girl frequently wept and begged to be 

74 Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 

permitted to return to her Comanche foster parents. A 
Mexican boy who had been exchanged did run away and re- 
turn to the Indians. This memorable miassacre by the whites 
of the Indians and the kilHng of a number of whites in con 
nection with it was the most important episode in the history 
of San Antonio connected with her Indian warfare. 




Thy crystal springs, those peariy founts 

That form thy gushing source — 
Thy mossy banks, thine azure depths — 

Thy rapid, ripphng course: 
Thy rocky fords, o'erhung by shade — 

Thy sparkHng merry flow: 
The verdure of thy fertile bed, 

So beauteous below — 

Those scented shrubs above thy brinks, 

Whose many tinted blooms 
Dispel about thy fair confines 

The choicest of perfumes: 
Thy bosom, pure, pellucid stream, 

Bedeck 'd with lillies white, 
All silv'ry in the moon's soft beam 

And mellow'd by her light: 

The music of thy murm'ring tide, 

That glides so gaily free 
And sings so many magic songs 

Of matchless melody 
These all, fair stream, God's praise exalt, 

In Nature's voice sublime. 
Let them proclaim His peerless Grace 

Unto the end of time. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


It was old Don .Vntonio Menchaca, the venerable seer 
of San Antonio, who in 1875, told me the legend depicting 
the origin of the San Antonio river. This story he narrated 
to me while he and I were guests of George W. Brackenridge 
at the latter's then beautiful home. Fern Ridge, at the head 
of this lovely river. It was there to me old Don Antonio said: 

"The first who rode here at the head of his brave Con- 
quistadores was the proud and haughty Don Domingo Ramon. 
He and his Spanish Cavaliers were then in quest of gold and 
adventure and came to conquer in the name of their King 
of Spain. 

'Tn their' train rode a number of Padres. These were 
holy missionaries. The most pious of these Padres was Marjil, 
who, with his Franciscan flock, came to convert to Christianity 
the natives whom Ramon and his cavaliers sought to conquer. 
These natives, before this, had no thought of Christianity, 
They worshipped the sun and stars, the moon and mountains, 
the rivers and other broad and deep waters. 

"Before the brave band of Spanish Knights and their 
meek missionary companions could bring under subjection 
and conversion these simple-minded aborigines, many long 
leagues had to be gone and long dry and dusty marches made 
over the trackless waste they had to traverse. 

'Tt was while they and their weary steeds were wending 
their w^ay over the immense expanse, that both beasts and 
riders became almost famished from thirst. This thirst became 
so intense it was almost as sharp as the thorns of the chapparal 
and cactus through which they clove their way, finding mean- 
while, naught with which to assuage their thirst. Their 
throats were as dry as the beds of what had once been swollen 
streams. Their tongues were as swollen, too, as erstwhile, 
the surceased streams had been. 

"But one day, after they had wearily crept along until 
almost noon, in the distance there appeared to their., vision 
some verdant foliage. To this they directed their course, 
deflecting it from the route they had been following. On 
reaching the valley in which it grew they found friendly shade 
and some succulent grass which refreshed their nearly famished 
steeds. But they saw no water wherewith to slake their 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Hkroes 77 

own thirst. Wearily the cavaliers threw themselves down 
from their saddles to the ground after loosening the girths. 

"The monks dismounted as well. They did not cast 
themselves upon the grass, although they undid the girths 
of their patient mounts. Led by Marjil, those monks devoutly 
prayed long for water for their companions, their steeds and 
themselves. In these orisons, most devout of all was Marjil. 
He had strong faith in the efficacy of his supplications. All 


of the monks knelt beneath the umbrageous branches of the 
broad spreading oak that canopied this cluster of pious |)riests 
and brave cavaliers. 

"Fervently clasping his hands upon his breast, Marjil 
reverently cast his eyes Heavenward as he poured forth his 
devotions. While thus engaged, at first he was so engrossed 
he did not then notice an object that later grew upon his gaze. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 79 

This was grapes, growing in clusters on a vine, and high up 
amid the branches of the stately oak beneath which he knelt. 
Leisurely Marjil finished his orisons. He knew his suppli- 
cations had been answered for the grapes would assuage the 
thirst of his cavalcade. 

"When his prayers were at an end he turned to his com- 
panions and told them soon w^ould their thirst be slaked. They 
had not, as he had done, looked upward and had not seen the 
purple spheres that Marjil 's vision had rested on. There- 
fore they marveled when he essayed to climb a vine which grew 
beside the tree and up into its branches. Slowly he climbed 
At last when he had almost reached the spot where grew the 
grapes he slipped suddenly and with great impact fell back to 
the root of the vine. It was pulled up by the force of his fall. 

"Before he had started to climb the vine, to his com- 
panions Marjil had exclaimed: 

"See, my brothers! Above us amid the limbs of this oak 
are grapes. These will our thirst appease. Let us give praise 
to our Lord for them, for it is He who has sent them to us." 

"But when he fell the jar from his sudden stop had 
uprooted the vine. From a deep orifice at once, to their 
great marvel, there came a bold flow of pure water, cool 
and delicious and gushing freely and sparkling like jewels in 
the sunlight. 

"Before they drank, all knelt and prayed with Marjil, 
offering up their fervent thanks. 

"Thus was the origin of this splendid stream, the San 
Antonio river. This is the oak and this the stream which 
sprung forth beneath it." said Don Antonio Menchaca, as he 
piously crossed himself and murmered a prayer, while we stood 
beneath the branches of the ancient oak standing beside the 
spring at Brackenridge Villa. 

Appropriatel}^ the place has fallen into the hands of the 
religious, where pious Padre Marjil and his missionary priests 
offered their orisons for water and uttered benedictions for 
securing it. A shrine has been there erected where the 
sacred Sisterhood of the Incarnate Word pray for the souls 
of the sinful who since have come to this jDropinquity. 

80 Combats and Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 


It was Don Antonio Menchaca who, likewise, told me 
another and startling story. This was another legend and 
one of enchantment at a critical moment. It ran thus: 

"As Don Domingo Ramon and his doughty Dons and 
Castillian Cavaliers, together with their little band of mission- 
aries rode leisurely along to the Eastward out of the golden West, 
suddenly they saw and found themselves surrounded by a 
swarm of savages. The aborigines, by their manner, indicated 
the intention of attacking the party of Spaniards. 

'Tt was then Padre Marjil, chief of the missionary group, 
a very pious prelate, found prayer a powerful preventive. 
He began to pray very earnestly and called on all in the 
train to do likewise for deliverance from the Indians. His 
cowded and hooded comrades followed his behest and knelt 
with bowed heads beside and around him after all had dis- 
mounted and even the cavaliers joined in prayer, but finally, 
the brave Ramon exclaimed: 

"'Look, Holy Father, the savages are upon us. It is much 
better that we fight than pray.' " But the holy friar, whose 
eyes until then had been cast upward, turned them in the 
direction indicated by Ramon and then meekly and softly 
replied : 

" 'Valorous and ilustrious knight, your eyes deceive you. 
I see no savages. Where some moments since I saw some 
warlike persons, now I only observe a herd of harmless deer 
peacefully browsing on the succulent sward surrounding us.' 

"Miraculously the swarm of savages had been mictamor- 
phosed by the agency of prayer into inofi^ensive deer. For 
their deliverance the Cavaliers and their leader, Ramon, joined 
the pious Padres in prayerful thanks and praise. Then all 
of them again rode forward on their journey which brought 
them into the valley where they afterward found the San 
Antonio river. 

"Although then the Spaniards hungered much, as well 
as thirsted, and could easily have killed many of those deer, they 
refrained from so doing. They feared they might have com- 
mitted canibalism if they had eaten the flesh of the enchanted 
deer which so shortly before had been human beings. Their 
priests also persuaded them it would be wrong to slay harm- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 81 

less deer since when they had been savage men none of them 
had been permitted to harm the Spaniards.'' 

Ever since then there has been a herd of deer about the 
head of the San Antonio river and in San Pedro park, but 
the deer, usually, have been specimens of zoological collections 
grouped there. If any of them are blood relatives to the 
enchanted herd no one knows, but they are stalwart and 
splendid specimens of the antlered tribe and their stride is as 
stately as the step of an Indian chief. 

The collection of deer, elk and buffalo at Brackenridge 
Park is pronounced one of the superb groups gathered about 
this seductive resort. All are tame and frequently feed 
from the hands of the many visitors and form prominent at- 
tractions at this park. In it there are also many peafowls, 
swans and other lovely birds. The zoological collection 
at San Pedro park is also an excellent one. The former 
taxidermist there, G. Germy, recently deceased, was a noted 
student of nature and an eminent savant. He prepared 
many of the specimens there. 


I am sitting 'neath the poplars 
At vSan Pedro's pearly springs 

Where the murmur of the waters 
To my soul sweet solace brings. 

Here the moonlight, soft and mellow 
O'er the lakelet sheds its beam 

And is shining on two lovers 
In a boat out on the stream. 

They are whispering in accents 
That are wafted to the shore 

And which tell the old, old story 
And repeat it o'er and o'er. 

82 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

There is music on the water — 
A guitar the maiden strings, 

As a song unto her lover 

Sweetly here the maiden sings. 

Now I'm thinking of a maiden 
In the distance far away, 

Who once was wont to sing me 
Measures soft and sweet as they. 

I am minded of one as tender 
And the love-tone in her lay 

For the song that then she sang me 
She had named it: "Far Away." 

While I hear this maiden singing 
Many memories awake, 

That 'til now have lightly slumber'd 
Like the lillies on the lake. 

But the wave hath wak'd the lilly 
As the oar caressed it's crest 

And these strains have rouse 'd my mem'ry, 
Like the lilly, from its rest. 

So I know that voice will linger 
In mine ear and fill my heart. 

For a spell it's pow'r hath waken'd 
That thro life can ne'er depart 

And I'll cherish it in mem'ry 
Tho the tones will sadly say 

The song is like my Darling 

And they both are: Far Away. 

Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 83 

romances of the river, charming trysting places and 




In early days — when I first came to San iVntonio, the 
waters of both the San Antonio and San Pedro streams were 
pure and clear, sparkling as they flowed through the city. 
There were deep but limpid pools in many places. They 
were all undefiled, for everyone delighted to drink from them. 
Much greater then was the volume of water that flowed in both 
and boats glided over them, although their currents were 
both strong and swift. 

Their banks were shady and seductive, inviting all. 
who had the leisure to loiter along them. Many and 
beautiful flowers grew and lined the banks, while many shrubs 
of varied hue there also grew and their foliage flourished 
nurtured by the rich soil. The banks and shady groves 
along the San Antonio river were favored resorts for lovers 
and many trysting places were there, where in days gone by, 
many lovers met or left missives of meeting and greeting. 

Many romances were enacted there. Beneath the broad 
spreading trees many troths were plighted and many vows 
of love and constancy pledged. But, most of those who vowed 
like their vows, are now forgotten. The words they then 
lightly uttered were wafted away upon the perfumed breezes 
that passed among the trees. Time has carried down life's 
streams to oblivion many of the forms then fair and young 
and full of life and love and hope. Those were such who 
pledged their troths there and kept their trysts beneath those 

While it rippled and sparkled and merrily meandered 
among its many crooks and curves, giving no suspicion thereof, 
sometimes, if not often, some dark secret was hidden beneath 
its shimmering waters and within its placid bosom. Some- 
times it revealed soine sombre spectacle that made strong men 
shudder and women weep. Sometimes, as loth to part 
from such precious burdens, it clasped the fair, fragile form 
of some maid of matchless beauty, or youth of athletic mould 



e--.i-M -A|Vi 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 85 

and superb shape. Sometimes, within its embrace, it bore 
the sere and old. But oftenest the burdens of human form 
it bore upon its bosom were the young and fair and these it 
seemed most loth to relinquish. 

Of the many romances of the river this is one. A maid of 
peerless grace and beauty was Maria Morales. She was the 
affianced of Alfonso Salinas. He was chosen from many who 
had paid her court. But Alfonso was not her father's choice. 
Instead he preferred her cousin, Diego Ximenes, who was 

But Alfonso played the guitar and sang sonnets to the 
senorita's eyes, while Diego was dull and heavy of speech 
and a gawk who could not lisp love nor praise her grace and 
charm as could the courtly Alfonso. It was Maria's father 
who made love for Diego and with such effect that Maria had 
once gone so far as to set the day when she was to wed Diego. 

While she named the day for him she named the night 
before for nuptials with Alfonso and it was Alfonso who brought 
not only his mandolin but his boat beneath her window. From 
the casement softly she glided down into Alfonso's arms and 
the boat. Swiftly he rowed up the stream until he paused 
at the bank near the plaza where he moored his boat, while 
he and Maria went to the padre at San Fernando Cathedral, 
rousing the pious priest from his sound slumber to perform 
the hymeneal rite, telling the priest their mission was such it 
had need of haste lest Maria's proud parent intervene. Not 
much favoring such celerity but consenting, knowing the lovers, 
bent, the padre wedded the pair and took the fee Alfonso gave. 
It he freely gave, although Alfonso had little left with which 
to dower his bride, except his wealth of song and sonnet. 

Again they got into Alfonso's waiting boat. Although 
he was skilled in the use of the oar, so consumed with joy, 
was he that his skill and care was forgotten. As the boat 
reached a deep whirlpool near Nueva street, in Bowen's 
Bend it was suddenly overturned. There the newly wedded 
pair were caught in the vortex, which swallowed them up. 

Three days later Maria's father and Alfonso's friemls 
found the twain clasped in each other's arms. Thus had they 
died. The long locks of deepest black, that graced Maria's 
crown had loosened and were wound about her and her lover's 
forms. Her Hps, that in life had been so red and luscious, 
but in death were so purple, were pressed against Alfonso's. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

So firm was their clasp in death that those who tried to sunder 
them failed. So the same casket and a single grave held them 
united. For the Padre had made them one. So had fate. 

But neither Alfonso, nor Maria were the river's only 
victims, nor was this one deep whirlpool the only death-dealing 
vortex. vSome were drowned who went to swim in the treacher- 
ous stream. vSome there were who were slain and thrown into 
its depths. 

One of those was the aged huntsman, Maddox. Jaques 
Handline, who was hanged for the crime in 1879, slew Maddox. 
Some there were who sought surcease of sorrow in the river's 
inviting depths and cast themselves into the river, whose 
romances and tragedies are many — too many for me to write, 
or you to read, for men and maids will love and leap from life 
to death so long as the river will run. 



Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 87 


A man who believ'd that La Fitte's gold 
Was buried on his freehold 
With zeal dug there for it each day 
'Til thus he'd thrown some years away. 
The site, tho. of his ducat field 
A sad'ning sight one day reveal'd, 
For there he found an empty chest, 
He thought had held the hoard in quest. 
And near it found a silver piece 
Made many years before in Greece. 
So he believed that all this w^ealth 
Some ruthless rogue had gained by stealth. 
The cause of all his grief and pain. 
Is easy, c|uite, to here explain. 
The boys around his neighborhood, 
That fellow's hobby understood, 
So they, as all boys would have done, 
Resolv'd to eke from it some fun. 
They chose a sombre, stormy night, 
When clouds obscured fair Luna's light, 
To bring an old, worm-eaten box. 
They found among the trash and rocks 
And place it up quite close and snug 
Beside the pit he last had dug. 
Leaving that shekel near the same 
To better back their little game. 
Their prank then had one good effect. 
That fellow's hobby on it wreck 'd. 
His hope of wealth passed like a dream 
And floated down dark Lethe's strean 


of the rhyme you've read 
Is just what some sage should have said: 
"One should not think to find a penny 
Where no one else hath hidden any." 

88 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 



Thirteen was the unlucky number of famihes who came 
from the Canary Islands to San Antonio and to some of them 
bad luck came. One of these was the Rodriguez family. 
One of their number, Francisco, was a grandee of Spain. 
He was a haughty scion of her austere nobility. He is said to 
have located somewhere in the neighborhood of the head of 
the San Pedro in which neighborhood some of the descendants 
live. There is a legend about the lucre that Don Francisco 
Rodriguez is said to have once possessed, that was told me by 
Don Antonio Menchaca. This legend is weird and fell with 
grew. It runs thus: 

Among the daughters of Don Francisco Rodriguez, one, 
Dolores, was as lovely as she was devout and gentle as she 
was fair. He had one son who was as brave as his sister was 
good. He had his father's name, Francisco. To distinguish 
them the father was called Don Francisco, the son Pancho. 
When Spain's king still claimed dominion over San Antonio 
and its province, De Bejar, or Bexar, and fighting the French 
for supremacy, this son was a soldier and bore arms under 
the standard of the Spanish crown. 

Antonio Cordero was a young captain in the army of 
Spain. He was the favored suitor of Dolores. Likewise he 
was a descendant and namesake of a former Spanish governor 
of San Antonio de Bexar, who had been beheaded by the 
order of the King of Spain. AVhile the troops of Spain were 
struggling against the French, this young officer, Antonio 
Cordero, fell under suspicion and was compelled to leave after 
bidding a fond farewell to Dolores. Wishing to again and 
soon be near her, he joined the ranks of the invading French 
marching upon San Antonio. 

Young Rodriguez had joined the Spanish defenders of 
his natal city and was in their van to meet the onslaught of 
their French foemen. A man of much wealth and more dis- 
cretion was the father, Don Francisco. Several chests of 
vSpanish doubloons and other gold and silver coin he is said to 
have been possessed of. Not knowing what turn affairs might 

Combats and Conquests of I.mmortal Heroes 89 

take, nor what might be the fate of the city or his estate in 
case the ^merciless mercurial men of France might prevail 
over the sons of sunny Spain, nor whether the Spaniards 
themselves would levy a "prestimo" or forced loan upon 
him and his hoard, sagely Don Francisco decided to bury his 
chests and coin. This stealthily he did and by night. None 
saw him. None but he knew where his treasure was hidden. 
Taking no one into his confidence, with his own hands he dug 
the ]:)it in which he stored his wealth, that none might find 
his treasure trench. 

Meanwhile, Dolores remained at home with her father 
to pray for him, her lover and her brother's safety. Much 
anxiet}^ about his son and sunken treasure soon sickened old 
Don Francisco. His confessor, the Padre, who often came 
to converse with him after his siesta, made him the worse by 
telling him he would never see his boy again alive. The 
Padre did not tell him that his son had already been slain 
in the battle in which he had fought against the French. This 
news the Padre had learned from the courier who had brought 
the tidings of the combat to the Governor. The message 
was that the battle had been stern and long with much blood 
spilled and little gain to either side. Then came the long list 
of those who were hurt or slain. Being at the forefront, young 
Francisco was among the first to fall. 

AVhile the Padre was silent, not so the servants. As 
Don Francisco sat at his meat one of them told him his 
son was slain. Suddenly then Don Francisco fell forward. 
He asked for Dolores before his spirit fled for he felt his end 
was near. He wished to tell her where his treasure lay. But 
she was at the church and knelt in prayer. None of the other 
sons or daughters of the Don were by his side. When Dolores 
returned Don Francisco was no more. 

He had died, taking with him to eternity the secret of 
his buried wealth. In life he had told Dolores some day she 
would be very rich. For wealth she cared naught but for 
her lover all w^as her thought now that her father and her 
brother both were gone. 

Dolores did not know that both her brother and her lover 
had gone down to death together in a deadly duel in the bat- 
tle of the French and Spanish troops. Long and vain she 
waited for a written greeting from Antonio, her Cavalier, for 
many had she written him. Long she wept and often, for 

90 Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

never an answer came. But how could it, while he was stark 
and slain? She did not know. But at last her hope was 
gone and then her health gave way. With long vigils by 
night and much weeping by day over the silence of her lover 
and the death of her father at last she pined and faded away, 
although the pious Padre sought to comfort and hold out 
hope for her she could not feel. At last she gently sunk to 
endless sleep. Beside her father's her grave was made. 

Then came many searches for the coin. All searched 
stealthily and under the sable mantle of the night. All searched 
in vain. None ever made more than a single search. The 
quests of all but booted naught. As each one sought the treas- 
ure chests, a spectre grim stood in front and none was so brave 
that he would remain to dig when once the wraith was seen. 
Sometimes the spectre revealed was that of the decrepit 
Don. Again it was that of the fragile girl. Next it was 
that of the young son. Sometimes it was the lover's shadow. 
In pairs sometimes the spectres came and once when a searcher, 
bolder than the rest, stayed with his spade longer than other 
delvers had, all four of the spectres came and drove him away, 
chasing him even to the threshold of his door and warning 
him to never dig more for their store and hoard. 

The bony hands of those ethereal shades, always pointed 
warningly away from the spot where the searchers stood. 
Through their shrouds, the skeletons of the spectres were 
seen. Their forms would float about and melt away. All 
who saw were filled with fear nor cared to see again such un- 
canny sights, so all who once went to seek went never back 

Some there were who have said this wealth lies hidden 
near San Pedro's sparkling springs and some on what is known 
as "Treasure Hill." But where old Don Francisco left his 
ducats and doubloons has never been divulged, and they are 
securely hid. 

There is a cavern deep and dark and near San Pedro park 
There this treasure is said to be, but all knowledge ot this 
cavern's trace is gone. Into its mouth a hugest one was rolled 
that stopped and hid its orifice from view. More than a 
generation ago a last effort was made to find this spot. A 
woman w4th a chart came there with several men. They 
are said to have found and rolled away the stone and gone 
down into the cave taking with them lights and food. Within 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


they found a swollen stream. \Yhen they essayed to cross 
its current was all too swift. There they found a bottle and 
some wine. As they drank from it their lights burned blue 
and low and dim and out of the crannies of the cave came 
the spectres and then the woman and her male Cvscorts fled 
fast and back to the cavern's mouth. 

And others went to this selfsame cave and down within 
and found the wine and flask. There were snakes and wolves 
and bats all there. One fired to kill a wolf. As he fired part 
of the cavern's roof fell down. Those then there escaped 
unscathed but in haste, nor went again, although no spectres 
came. I was with them once, but cared no more to search. 

Untasted was the wine; Uncorked its flask was left. 
Another band of bolder ones again went there. Again their 
lights burned blue and to them the spectres all four came. 
Even to the cavern's mouth they pursued. There they held 
the searchers in thrall until they had rolled back the stone 
into the cavern's mouth. Since then no others there have 
gone. And now this cave is lost. This treasure still evades 
all quest. 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 93 


many spacious and beautiful parks adorn the seductive 
city of san antonio. one was the gift of a spanish 
sovereign, others were given by 
generous citizens. 

Next to her historic and venerable and stately structures 
San Antonio holds as one of her great charms the many 
beautiful, spacious and well kept parks that adorn this se- 
ductive city. They measure from less than an acre to several 
miles in area. Some are triangular; others are paralellograms 
and still others have no similitudes of geometric, trigonometric 
or other mathematical topography. 

The first public park, or "exido" that she boasts of is the San 
Pedro Park. It was a favor of royal grant from the hand of a 
reigning sovereign of sunny Spain. The seal affixed to the grant 
bears date of the year 1729. This was nearly two centuries 
ago. Then it was much larger in area than now. That city, 
only by compromising with numerous litigants, who have at 
various times filed suits to assert claims to it, has been able 
to save to her populace the possession of its present dimension 
of less than a tenth of its original domain. 

It is located immediately at the head waters of the San 
Pedro Creek, whose many springs form the source of that once 
splendid, but now insignificant stream. For many years 
this park formed the camping grounds of troopers and travelers 
and it was the first location of the old mission of San Antonio 
de Valero, later moved to the middle of the city and now 
known as the Alamo Mission of San Antonio de Valero on 
Alamo Plaza. The original location was an oft and eagerly 
sought spot by man and beast. Its sparkling waters assuaged 
their thirst when both were weary and footsore. 

From the primitive Red Man, who pitched his tepee 
among its nooks, to the present sighing swain who tells his 
love tale, gently pouring it into the' ear of blushing maid of 
the present century, it has always been a welcome spot. First 
to come there was the Aztec, next the Spanish adventurer, 
then the French Cavalier, next the Mexican settlers and then 
the American pioneer and finally the Texan patriot and his 
northern brother, the homeseeker. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 95 

But all, up to and including the advent of the American 
soldier, had to fight and make a stern struggle for supremacy 
against the sturdy savage who disputed its possession and 
rightly claimed first title. Even as late as the latter 61) 's 
and early 70 's of the last century he kindled his council fires 
where he made his primal claim and until his ultimate exter- 
mination. Beneath the broad spreading branches of the 
trees and all about the spots where he dwelt even now 
may be found the flint tipped arrows he made and fought 
with until he went down undaunted to defeat. 

Many sanguinary scenes have been enacted there. From 
the time the Aborigines strove among themselves for supremacy 
of their different tribes on through their contestswith the pale- 
face throng that finally crowded the Indian off the earth and 
down to the day it became the plaisance for the populace of a 
splendid city, there many scenes of slaughter were enacted. 
Even since several tragedies have occurred there. 

This park has also played its part and been prominent 
in history. It was from the first a war-like camp. Here the 
Spanish soldiers first to come with Cortez, bivouacked here; 
the soldiers of the sanguinary Santa Anna slumbered with 
their escopetas in their grasp. Here the Texas Ranger after 
the birth of the Lone Star Republic began to shine, staked 
his steed and slept lightly beneath the broad shade of the 
stately trees. On his way to battle with his brother of the 
North, in the great fratricidal struggle of the Civil War, the 
Confederate soldier had his camp, while in turn, after that 
terrible struggle had ended his victorious adversary pitched 
his tentage. 

It was here and at the head of the San Antonio river 
that the great cholera scourge of 1869 dealt death in more 
horrible form and decimated the Federal ranks, leaving many 
to their eternal slumber after white winged peace spread her 
snowy pinions above the hallowed dead. Now the living 
are re-united in a grand brotherhood, intermingled in which 
are those who had donned the blue and those who had doficd 
the grey. 

Here the Aboriginal Indian will be seen nevermore, but 
the mute testimony of his former presence is often found 
in the shape of his rude and crude pottery, frequently un- 
earthed about the springs where his camp fires burned and 
his spears and arrows yet may be picked up at its base wlicrc 


he hurled them against the old building still standing on the 
brow of the hill overlooking the sparkling waters. It was 
through the loopholes of this building, still to be seen 
standing there, that its defenders fired upon the cruel Com- 
anche and the still more barberous Apache. The arrows, 
spears and pottery are mute evidences of the departed Indian, 
while the loopholes of this low squat structure scarred and 
fractured by the miissiles striking there, testify to the valor 
of the successful defenders and the edifice itself is a monument 
to courageous heroes who contended there. Although the^r 
names have never been written on the pages of history, their 
bravery was as valliant as any that chivalry may boast. 

Until a few years ago, this naturally beautiful park was 
left almost in the state that Nature originally formed it, but 
when Marshall Hicks became the mayor of San Antonio his 
administration expended a considerable sum in improving 
and giving it additional beauty and added charms, among 
them the extensive zoological collection to be found there, 
probably the most extensive in the South. 

Within the writer's memory this lovely resort has been 
in the custody of the following well known citizens of San 
Antonio, all deceased: Louis Duerler, whose tragic death 
forms a sad page in her history, Major I. N. Lerich, Captain 
Fred Kerble, Franz Krisch and Joseph Cooley, while beside 
the present incumbent a former one, C. B. Hice is still living. 

But the greatest park in area and most beautiful expanse 
is that known as Brackenridge park. It is the most magnifi- 
cent gift by George W. Brackenridge, John J. Stevens. Frank 
Grice, Ferd HerfT, Sr., Eleanor A. Stribbling, Henry B. Andrews 
and their associates of the San Antonio waterworks, taking its 
name from the first mentioned who was the owner of its domain 
prior to its aquirement by the Waterworks Company. It 
iDcars favorable comparison with the famous Golden Gate Park 
of San Francisco and is of greater area than either Central park 
of New York, or Lincoln Park of Chicago. It has been but 
little changed from its virgin forest state, although some arti- 
ficial beauty spots planted in foliage and flowers are scattered 
about it. In it roam over considerable areas devoted to their 
occupancy considerable herds of buffalo, elk and deer, while 
aquatic fowls and other birds abound there. Many speci- 
mens of peacocks, pheasants, swans and other shapely feather- 
ed creatures flock and mate there, while the songsters in its 

98 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

trees till the air with their melody. Many sturdy trees stand 
there, the oak, cypress, pecan and hackberry. Among them 
and threading its way gracefully like a silvery ribbon about 
the shapely form of a fair woman, the San Antonio river flows. 
Its source is found in the many bold flowing springs located 
in the Eden-like tract adjoining it, the former home of Mr. 
Brackenridge, now that of the religious order of the Incarnate 
Word. It was there, more than a quarter century ago, that 
this writer, while a guest of Mr. Brackenridge, wrote the poem 
entitled "The San Antonio River," published on another page 
of this book. Here Wm. C Sullivan, a dutiful son, has built 
a shrine as a memorial to his mother. 

The beauties of this stream and park well deserve to be 
perpetuated in song and story, as in their primitive state 
ere the hand of man had touched them, their beauty has been 
superb and is greatly enhanced in portions where adornment 
by the modern landscape gardener has worked. .When the 
icy hand of winter touches and withers the plants and flowers 
of parks in other places those here are perennial, shedding 
their fragrance and marshalling their beauty before the hosts 
of visitors to them. 

But there are many other beautiful parks in this city. 
Among these is Travis Park, where the patriotic members of 
Barnard E. Bee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy 
have placed the statue to the "Lost Cause" and aptly inscribed 
with Kipling's motto: "Lest We Forget," Moses, Jones, Callag- 
han, Pawly, Franklin and Selligson all being interesting beauty 
and breathing spots. 

Milam square is another. Here repose finally the remains 
of the hero of the Veramendi and he who won San Antonio 
from the thrall of the Mexican commander Cos, Ben R. Milam. 
His grave is in its center, eight feet east of where the present 
truncated grey granite monument placed there by the De 
Zavalla Chapter of the Daughters of the Texas Revolution 
stands. This grave was first marked by a long rough ashler 
placed there by the late General John R. Baylor and other 
admirers. It bore the simple inscription: "Ben R. Milam." 
A building contractor once made an attempt to steal this stone, 
but was stopped by Captain Phillip Shardein, then city marshal, 
who talked to him so plainly that this person never attempted 
to steal another grave-stone. The excuse he gave when called 
to task was he thought the stone had fallen from one of his 

Combats and Conquests of ImmortaI Heroes 99 

wagons on its way between the city and the San Geronimo 
quarry, but great was his confusion when his attention was 
directed to the inscription. Camden and Madison Square 
have fine parks and the Washington Square is also a pretty 
one. There are numerous other very pretty but small sized 
ones like the Maverick Park at Tenth Stret, but two of the 
very beautiful parks of this city are those on two of its princi- 
pal plazas, Main and Alamo. Both of these originally were 
nothing but mud holes, when one of the. city Aldermen, the 
late A. Wulff, who owned what was known as: "Wulff's Castle" 
on King William street, conceived the idea and obtained 
the commission of beautifying them. The grounds about his 
"Castle" have been adorned by him and were considered for 
many years as the handsomest in the city. His work with 
these two parks was so successful that he was appointed the 
first city park commissioner of San Antonio during the regime 
of the late honorable mayor James H. French. Under him 
for a number of years the parks of the city received needed 
attention and added beauty was given them. 

He was succeeded by L. W. Madarasz, whose efficient 
efforts directed to his mother's magnificent estate adjoining 
that of Mr. Brackenridge had previously accomplished much 
in the way of scenic improvement. But probably the principal 
and master hand in the management and beautifying of San 
Antonio's parks was that of the late Ludwig Mahncke, to 
whom a grateful people have erected a bronze monument 
near the center of Brackenridge park and have also named 
one of their spacious parks for him. Mahncke found much to 
be done. His most efficient efforts were those given to Bracken- 
ridge Park, but all of the many parks of San Antonio came 
under his direct attention and personal touch. He planted 
palms and flowers, shrubs and trees, grass and ferns. Although 
he is dead, even the very trees nodding in the brisk Gulf 
breeze seem to speak his name as they bow about his monu- 

After him came Hansel and others, good in their work. 
but none compare with the master hand of Mahncke. but 
now forever still. 

100 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


many and mammoth caves found in and about SAN ANTONIO 



Tn and about the parks and about San Antonio are to 
be found some caves of great interest, a number of them 
being mammoth ones, whose entire expanses have never been 
thoroughly explored. It is not unlikely that when they shall 
have been explored they will compare favorably with the 
Mammoth Cave of Kentucky and probably reach, if not exceed, 
its area and length. 

At San Pedro park the water flowing from the orifice 
at the eastern end of the lakelet comes from a cave whose 
dimensions have never been defined, while in the same park 
either the same or another cave was recently discovered by 
some of the city workmen while blasting stone in the north- 
east part. In it were found the skeletons of Indians of 
huge stature, some exceeding seven feet in height. 

Besides these skeletons were found some stone pottery and 
a number of arrow heads as well as stone spear heads 
and other relics of a portion of a tribe of an aboriginal race. 
This race evidently had its burial ground in this portion of 
the cave, which may also be one of the numerous chambers 
of the treasure cave mentioned in another chapter of this 
book. About ten years previous to this time another clus- 
ter of corpses or the bones of human beings of similar size and 
with the same character of relics were unearthed in the 
same immediate vicinity by another gang of the City's work- 
men while blasting the rock in this park. 

Through the center of the cave at the northeast corner 
of San Pedro Park there runs a boldly flowing stream of water 
about 20 feet in width and directly towards the point from 
whence the springs forming the San Pedro river emerge. 
This is another indication that the water supplying those 
springs and forming that stream comes through this cave 
and probably companions of it at greater or less distances north 
of the San Pedro springs. The mouth of this cave has been 
hermetically sealed by a stone of very large size and great 
weight being placed in it which those who know its lo- 

Combats and Conquest.s of Immortal Heroes 101 

cation have been unable to remove. Captain Fred Bader, 
recently deceased, who had partially explored it with Andrew 
Bonnet and several others in quest of supposed buried trea- 
sure there, went back some time later to complete the explora- 
tion with another party. This they were unable to accomplish 
on account of the immense boulder lodging there that clogged 
its mouth. 

But a short distance northeast of this cave is another, 
but very small one with a single chamber about ten feet square 
and eight or nine feet high. In what was formicrly a pasture 
of Dr. F. Herff. Sr. now a portion of one of the City's northeast 
suburbs is another cave, which when I visited it twice, had 
two entrances and three rooms. One of these entrances and 
the greatest in width but only about eighteen inches at 
its widest point, was almost perpendicular and difficult to 
to traverse, while the other ran at an angle of about 45 degrees 
and was so small that it was difficult to pass through. Its cham- 
bers were about 50 feet below the two entrances to this 
cave. One was rather large, probably about forty feet long 
by thirty broad and fifteen high. The other two were both 
small, one about ten and the other about twelve feet broad 
and of irregular shape. The two smaller chambers were about 
half filled with guano, myriads of bats having made it their 
roosting place for many years. The large chamber was the 
lair of coyotes and lobo wolves, one of which was killed in 
this chamber, but when the shot was fired that killed it, 
the explosion dislodged a large stone in the roof that fell in 
dangerous close proximity to the party then exploring the 
cave, all of whose members were nearly deafened by the con- 
cussion produced by the discharge of the weapon. All about 
this cave were scattered the bones of fowls and animals brought 
their cave and devoured by the wolves. I suppose since 
the new^ addition to the city has been opened up in this lo- 
cality that this cave has been closed up and lost irretrievably. 

There* is another and a very small cave very near 
the head of the San Antonio river close to the road leading 
to the largest and main spring forming the source of the San 
Antonio river and called the "Rattlesnake Cave" because 
of the many of these deadly vipers infesting it. It was for- 
merly frequented and occupied by the Comanche and A])ache 
Indians on their raids to this vicinity and taken jjossession 
of by the snakes when the savages were run out of the country. 

102 Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

A very interesting cave is the one known as "The Robbers" 
Cave" located about 20 miles northwest of those in San Antonio 
and not very far from Leon Springs. It takes its name from 
a gang of outlaws whose leaders w^as known as Jim Pitts. This 
gang operated extensively for about 100 miles around San 
Antonio and this cave was their rendezvouz. They robbed 
country postoffices, stores, stages and even churches. The. 
musical instrument, or organ, belonging to a church not very 
far from this cave was stolen by this gang. The mouth of 
the cave was large enough to enable the robbers, who emulated 
the example of the famous thirty-nine followers of AH Baba, 
mentioned in the Arabian Knights, to remove and hide this 
church organ within its recesses. 

This cave has never been fully explored and it is not 
unlikely it is many miles long and in some places very broad. 
A dog that chased a rabbit into it was gone for 
three days and emerged nine miles from the point he entered. 
When found the animal was nearly famished and exhausted. 
This gang of robbers, during the regime of the late lamented 
and gifted Hal Gosling, as United States marshal of this dis- 
trict, was broken up, most of its members having been cap- 
tured and carried to Austin, where some of them, Pitts among 
the number, were given life sentences. Gosling, ever kind 
hearted and considerate, lost his life by doing Pitts an act 
of kindness. Pitts and some of the others of his gang, after 
conviction, were being brought from Austin to San Antonio 
by Gosling, who ]3ermitted Pitts to sit beside his wife. While 
on the train Pitts got hold of a pistol with which he shot Gosling, 
killing him instantly just as the train was nearing the Gua- 
dalupe river bridge at the edge of New Braunfels. Pitts and 
one of his comrades jumped from the train, but Pitts, who 
was shot by its conductor, was mortally wounded and died 
in the brush near the bridge. His companion, with a stone 
mashed the wrist of Pitts so as to get one of the handcuffs 
loose. This companion was captured shortly afterward by 
Deputy Sheriff Edward Stevens and others of a posse which 
went in pursuit of him, and still had the handcuifs dangling 
from his own wrist. 

Not very far from the "Robbers' Cave" in the Leon Springs 
neighborhood is another, which has at least one if not more 
than one tragedy connected with it. In it was accidentally 
found the skeleton- of a man w^ho had been murdered and 

Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes WS 

his body thrown into this cave. The person making the dis- 
covery came very near losing his own life. Just as 
he saw the skeleton and was going closer to it, a large .rattle- 
snake struck at him burying its fangs in the thick leather chaps, 
or leggings, he wore. This saved him. He shot the snake 
with a pistol he had and then proceeded to take a close view 
of the skeleton after which he went at once to a coroner and 
reported the finding of the skeleton. It proved to be that 
of a man named Harris who was an important witness in a 
criminal case. Harris disappeared shortly before it was time 
for his testimony to be heard. The body was indentified from 
gold filling in the teeth of the skull. Harris died literally 
with his boots on and the bones of his feet and lower portion 
of his legs were found in the boots and removed from them. 

These bones and boots were kept for some time in the 
.sheriff's office at the old Court House in San Antonio where 
many curiously inclined persons inspected them and were horri- 
fied with the sight. Harris had disappeared several years 
before his bones were found in the cave. 

Another cave murder mystery was solved but a short 
time after the crime had been committed, which was connec- 
ted with a cave close to Van Raub, about nine miles north 
of Leon Springs. This is the story of the tragedy: 

Cypriano Hernandez, a young Mexican shepherd, some 
time before had eloped with and wedded a very pretty young 
senorita of the neighborhood. Shortly after the nuptial 
rites uniting them had been performed the groom disappeared 
as if the earth had opened up 'and swallowed him. It had. 
His young bride for a few days was inconsolable. But only 
for a few days. A former lover, w^hose suit had been favored 
by her parents, disappeared with her in her second elopement. 
Not many days afterward a sudden storm coming up, some 
shepherds drove their flock into a cave. vSoon after enter- 
ing it they were surprised at their collie dogs acting very strange 
and especially one that had belonged to Hernandez. The 
dogs kept coming to the goat herds and then running back into 
the recesses of the cave until the latter followed Hernandez's 
dog which guided them to his corpse. It was in an advanced 
state of decomposition but easily identified by the clothing 
and other objects. The same functionary who had united 
Hernandez in wedlock to his bride held the inquest over 
his corpse. Van Raub was his name. The faithless l^ride 

104 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

and her levanting lover have ever since been sought in vain 
by the law. Probably they disappeared into Mexico. 

In most of these caves in this region and especially in 
those where water percolates downward many curious 
and beautiful colonades and broken columns of stalagmites 
and stalactites of weird form are to be found that when lights 
are brought into the caves cause their rays to be reflected, 
reminding one of that portion of the poet, Gray's elegy saying: 
"Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear." 
Dazzling the eyes of beholders and reminding them of the 
descriptions of the enchanted caves in "Spencer's Fairy Tales," 
or Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," 
and kindred fiction. 





One of the many historic houses in San Antonio is the 
quaint old "Quinta," a name given it probably because it 
served as the barracks for the Fifth Company of Spanish soldiers. 
It belonged to the Curbelo family of Canary Island settlers. 
In it was perpetrated one of the crudest persecutions of a 
number of prominent San Antonio women by the tyranical 
Spanish general, Arredondo, who on August 20, 1813, arrived 
in San Antonio at the head of 5,000 troops sent to quell a revo- 
lutionary uprising. 

These revolutionists had previously beheaded the gover- 
nor of the province of Bexar Saucedo, to avenge the death of 
a former governor, Delgado, whom the Spaniards had deposed 
because he was said to have sympathized with the revolu- 
tionists, who had likewise beheaded a previous governor, An- 
tonio Cordero, whose head, together with that of Saucedo, 
the revolutionists had displayed at the top of tall poles set 
up in the center of the Plaza de las Armas, where the City 
Hall now stands on Military Plaza. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 105 

On his way to the city Arredondo had captured one hun- 
dred and seventy-five men of the revolutionary party. These 
he had tried by summary process, dooming them to speedy 
death. He had his soldiers kill them in relays of ten, each 



relay of that number being placed in sitting posture on a log 
spanning a narrow trench or shallow pit that formed the com- 
mon grave of all. The victims fell into it as fast as the detail 
of executioners fired, the log being moved a short dis- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 107 

tance after each relay bad been dispatched until the entire 
number was slain. 

This was hardly half the number whom he had killed 
soon after Arredondo entered the city. Here he took over 
three hundred male prisoners and quite a large number of 
female ones. The entire 300 males he packed closely into a 
single structure. They were so densely squeezed therein 
that 18 of them perished the first night of incarceration. The 
balance were tried and executed in coteries from a dozen to 
twenty, the method of their trial and execution being identical 
with that of the 175 slain on the Medina River. 

The women were not slaughtered. They, however, were 
subjected to all manner of indignities and to shameful con- 
tumely. Most of them were either the mothers, wives or other 
relatives of those actively engaged in the revolution or sup- 
posed to have been in sympathy with it. These women were 
confined in this "Quinta" building under a strong guard, where 
they were compelled to grind corn into "tortillas," or ash cakes, 
to feed the Spanish soldiers. 

Arredondo paid frequent visits to the place and often 
personally insulted the prisoners. On one such occasion a 
woman, who was greatly outraged by an affront which had- 
been offered her by one of the soldiers remonstrated with Arre- 
dondo, who drew his sword and struck her with the flat part 
of it across her bare shoulders. This woman sprang at him 
like a tigress and begged to be given a sword. She offered 
if one should be given her to tie one of her hands behind her 
back and fight Arredondo a duel to the death. All of the 
other women in the Quinta also rushed upon Arredondo, who 
only escaped by precipitate flight, as they spat upon him and 
jeered in derision. When he got outside he slunk discreetly 
from the scene. 

Soon after a mob formed about the building determined 
despite the soldiers to liberate the women. They attacked the 
soldiers with sticks, stones and any other weapon they could 
obtain, slaying over a dozen of the numerous guard, some of 
the soldiers being thrown into the river and drowned in a deep 
whirlpool back of the adjoining or Groesbeck place, this 
whirlpool at that time being a very deadly place in the river. 

Realizing the incarceration of the women had greatly 
incensed the populace and fearing that he, in consequence 
of it, would be assassinated, Arredondo sent the priests to re- 

108 Combats and ConouesTvS of Immortal Heroes 

monstrate with the mob and promised if it would disperse 
he would liberate the prisoners. The mob insisted on their 
being freed first. This being done it dispersed. The entire 
time he was here Arredondo was in constant dread of assassi- 
nation, as just retribution for the innumerable cruelties and 
butcheries he perpetrated on different members of the populace, 
over 500 of whom death in various ways under orders 
issued by him, within less than a fortnight. 

There have been great floods of the San Antonio and [San 
Pedro rivers which did great damage and caused considerable 
loss of life. The first mentioned in history appears to have oc- 
curred July 5, 1817, according to a report by Antonio Martinez, 
then governor of the Bexar province to the Intendant at San 
Louis, Potosi. In this report is given a list of the houses dam- 
aged and swept away. It speaks of many of the inhabitants 
being victims of the deluge caused by a cloudburst above 
the village and concludes by stating that a number of the 
residents, whose homes had been swept away, were left desti- 
tute, a charge upon the community. This flood also destroyed 
growing crops and left the land unfit for cultivation for some 
time. It also drowned besides human beings, inany cattle, 
horses, sheep, goats, domestic animals and fowls. The inunda- 
tion for the time being prevented the sale of a considerable 
quantity of land and a number of dwellings that had been 
confiscated by the government from previous owners who 
w^ere alleged to have taken part in a revolution. 

Out of this confiscation the celebrated vSabrigo law-suit 
grew, this suit being based on the confiscation title given pur- 
chasers from the Government under it, the suits being filed 
against those who held it under the original title granted by 
the vSpanish Crown. 

Since this flood several others have occurred within the 
past century in which the two streams mentioned have met 
and the principal plazas and streets as well as the most of 
the central portion of the city were completely covered with 
water ranging in depth from a few inches to several feet. Num- 
erous dwellings were destroyed and many people perished 
in each flood, but the practice of confining the flow of both 
streams, and notably the San Antonio river has continued 
to prevail, although each time there has been a flood after 
constriction of the current the devastation has increased. 
Ordinarily now there is but little water, hardly enough to 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 1(39 

make either stream flow or show a current. When there is a 
cloudburst north of the city the water from the Olmos, a 
stream usually dry is brought in a torrent to the San Antonio 
River. Cupidity of persons eager to acquire riparian property 
have caused the narrowing of the stream and the constriction 
of its current. '- he prediction has been made by aged prophets, 
witnesses of previous deluges, that the next flood to 
visit the city will be like the one at Monterey a short time 
since and will involve great loss of life and property. 


The scene a tent where miners camp. 

A group the "ardent" sip, 
With one, a stranger, just arriv'd. 

The place is Grizzly-Grip. 
The stranger asks a miner, grim. 

Concerning one nam'd Sy. 
That miner spins this spicy sketch 

As they consume their "rye." 

"Yes, we know'd wSy. We larnt his ways, 

Tho he was sort'er sly. 
"Thar never warn't no meaner skunk 

Than that same sinner, Sy. 
"We struck this lead on Grizzly-Grip 

And then had skads of dust, 
But Sy came in and scooped our tin, 

While we rub'd off the rust. 

"For we were green as collard tops. 

And Sy were sooner stuff. 
And, tho we hilt the highest hands. 

Sy yank'd us on the 1)1 uff. 
"But scamps like Sy bucks onc't too much 

Agin that game of 'draw' 
And when they do, it does me good 

To see them sent to taw. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 111 

"Sy struck across a gawky cuss 

That look'd so awful raw — 
He was the greenest looking cuss 

Sy almost ever saw. 
"But when he played his poker game. 

He warn't that awful green, 
But what he know'd a sorter dodge 

As Sv had never seen. 

"Sy lost the stakes, which got him ril'd 

And awful loud Sy swore. 
"That ril'd the chap as took the chips 

Prehaps a leetle more. 
"Then, for a bluff, Sy said: 'We'll shoot' 

To try the greener's pluck. 
But thar wuz whar vSy fool'd his-self 

And vSpil'd his run of luck. 

"That chap he hail'd from Arkinsaw 

And didn't bat his eye, 
And when the smoke had blow'd away 

Thar warn't no wind in Sy. 
"So, stranger, don't you be too brash 

But button up your lip, 
Because you'll find sich games don't go 

No more at Grizzly-Grip." 

112 Combats and Conquests of Im.mortal Heroes 


TIFUL "flower battle" its origin and history. A 


Always forming a prominent part of the history of either 
a Nation, a State or a City have been the pastimes and pleasures 
of its populace. Those of Texas and particularly of San Antonio 


have ever been enticing and distinctive. Nearly all of them 
up to recently and including the period of the Civil War re- 
mained unique. One of them, even now the principal one, 
as well as the most attractive is yet such. 

The chivalric sons of sunny Spain and those of effervescent 
France brought hither with them their pastimes as well as 

Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 113 

their other customs. First and most popular of these was the 
dance. Stately as the minuet were some of the figures of the 
fandango of olden days, while to the accompaniment of cast- 
anets as well as the music of the mandolin and the guitar, 
the flute or the harp w^as danced the graceful gyrations of 
"El Jarabe," a very ancient and popular one for the display 
of the poetry of motion and seductiveness of pose. 

The grand balls given at the seat of government, the palace 
of the potentate of the province in old Bexar, were all affairs 
of state participated in by the most prominent personages 
of the region. They were generally commemorative of some 
great national event or the celebration of some regular season 
of festivity, such as the anniversary of the birth of a reigning 
monarch, the advent of a new governor or other dignitary civil 
or military, or the feast day of the Church or some of its saints, 
patrons of a Nation, State or City. The mien of the rulers 
was ever austere. Their revelry was stately and characterized 
by a graceful dignity that gave an added charm. While the 
revels of the haut ton were of that kind, even those of the middle 
or lower classes partook of a certain amount of dignity and 
grace that gave them likewise charming glamour when the 
lower or middle classes found time for gayety. 

Amid all of this revelry where the strictest punctilio was 
practiced, ever present as an accompaniment was the deadly 
duello, the principals of which did not leave the scene of pleasure 
to perpetrate deeds of death, or if they left the immediate 
scene of it they enacted the latter in some nearby environment. 
This was true both as to the revels of the rich and exclusive 
as to those of the poor and lowly. The sword and pistol, but 
more often the more deadly dagger punctuated the final period 
for one and sometimes both participants in the duel that followed 
either jealousy over some fair or shapely beauty or some dis- 
pute as to prestige or valor. 

But the incidents of the duello never disturbed the pro- 
gress of the dance. "On with the dance. Let joy be uncon- 
fined," was the ruling passion of the hour and night. 

In the palace of the governors on the west side of Military 
Plaza and of theVeramendi on Soledad, the former still stand- 
ing, though dilapidated, the latter forever gone, were licld 
the stately functions and revels of the official families of ihc 
various regimes of Spain and Mexico, the duels taking place 
either immediately beneath their roofs or in the ])lazas and 

114 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

streets liard by. The old Veramendi later became the place 
for holding the public revelry of the middle and lower class 
and more deadly duels probably occurred there than at any 
other of the scenes of Terpsichorean transport. 

The fandango was the most popular of the public dances. 
It held sway here from the coming of the Cavaliers from Castille 
to the 70 's of the 19th century and was in full effect when I 
first came to San Antonio. 

In the latter days of the festivities of this character the 
presiding genius under whose direction they were held was 
old Madam Candalaria. She claimed to have been a survivor 
of the Alamo's siege and fall. The fandangoes were held in 
an old adobe building, a part of which still stands on the west 
side of Main Plaza at the place afterward known as the old 
"Hole in the Wall" restaurant, which was run there for many 
years by Frank Hemholz, a famous chef and caterer, after 
the fandangoes had sought other environment and location. 
From thence fandango's scene changed to Market street near 
the classic structure of Grecian architecture still standing 
there near Main plaza and were held in a flat and square struc- 
ture opposite what was known as the "Bull's Head." This 
latter was a famous saloon and gambling house where the 
play was high and death frequently dealt a hand. 

Again the scene shifted and the Southwest corner of South 
Flores and Nueva streets became the stage on which the festi- 
vities and tragedies combined were enacted. Among the 
tragedies that may be mentioned was a double one in which 
a very tall and portly American met death in the middle of 
the floor when the dance was at the zenith. The corpse was 
hastily removed while the dance, but momentarily halted, 
w^as resumed before the body was hastily flung on the floor 
of an adjoining room wdiere it lay while the dancers continued 
to hold their revel. Another man was also wounded at the 
same time. His name was Pareida. He did not die then 
but soon after being carried away to his home. Juan E. Barera, 
son of a former governor of the province of Bexar and still 
living in San Antonio, was twice shot at fandangoes, one at 
a house at the Southeast corner of Alamo Plaza and Blum 
streets and the other as he left the one near Military Plaza. 
The man. Miller, who shot him at the last fandango, was one 
of two men killed by the "Vigilance Committee" the other 
being Bill Hart, both meeting death in a battle at a house 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 115 

at the Northwest corner of Market and Alamo streets in which 
Field Stroup. one of those forming the attacking force also 
fell dead at the door of this house. 

Another tragedy memorable in connection with the old 
fandangoes took place in a tent in which they were conducted. 
A man who was jealous of the attentions received by the woman 
running the resort shot through the tent, but instead of killing 
his intended victim mortally wounded a woman named Juana 
"Tambora," or the "Drum." The latter was a well known 
character, a harmless and popular one, whose death created 
great indignation. One of the other noted female characters 
who frec{uented the fandangoes and was very popular at 
them was a woman bull fighter. She had killed several men 
as well as many bulls. 

A man named Domingo Bustillo also ran a fandango 
resort at the corner of Acequia and Obraje streets, but had 
as a very strong rival a woman named Donna Dolores Martinez, 
whose dancing resort was on the same street and near by. 

The last place that fandangoes were held was on the Alazan 
creek and Madam Candalaria managed this resort, which closed 
about 1876. 

One of the sports that ruled here until about 1878 was 
bull fighting. This recreation was also imported from Spain 
and attracted all of the populace to witness it who could raise 
the necessary peso to pay the admission fee. The m.atadors 
were, most of them, from Spain or Mexico, although there 
were several of local nativity and notably the woman men- 
tioned in connection with fandangoes. Usually at these affairs 
more horses than bulls were sacrificed, the former being cheaper 
than the latter 

The early bull fights were conducted by Jose Maria de la 
Plata, known as "El Empressario, "who was illiterate but was 
a personage as important as the mayor and almost as great 
an individual as the chief matador. The latter, however, 
was the idol of the entire j)opulace and most worshipped 
by the women, therefore envied by all other men. 

The first arena was erected near Cloud's old store not very 
far south of San Pedro Park and west of the stream of that 
name, but forays of Indians became so freriuent and the savages 
becoming to bold as to raid the arena when the l)ull fights were 
in progress, the management prudently concluded to move the 
Scene of attraction from the outskirts of town as the first ]ilace 

116 Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 

then was, to one somewhat less remote, but itself then none 
too safe, as Indians, even occasionally swooped down 
and interruped there the gory sport. The next place where 
the arena was located was where Franklin square is now sit- 
uated and adjacent to the present city hospital. The last 


"Empressario" w^as Antonio Valdez, now very aged, but en- 
gaged in the more laborious pursuit of gardening in Beanville, 
a Southern suburb of San Antonio. 

The very latest bull fight was a dual contest first between 
a bull and a lion and that followed by one between the same 
bull and the lioness, mate of the lion. This was in 1878. For 


the New York Herald and Leslie's Magazine I furnished the 
account. The pair of lions had been left behind by a stranded 
circus. The male had been formerly a very fierce beast. One 
of his eyes bad been burned out with a hot iron when he was 
killing a keeper. But at the time of the alleged combat with 
the bull he was old, decrepit and almost toothless. For three 
days preceeding the "combat" he and his mate had been starved 
to make them savage. The arena was a steel cage about thirty 
feet in diameter The bull was really, a bold brute. The 
circus wagon cage in which the pair of lions were held, a double 
compartment concern, was placed against a wicket of the 
arena. The scene of the brutal affair was in the Southern part 
of the city, near the battle ground in which Bowie had defeated 
a force of Mexicans near a ford on the river in 1835. When 
the door of the lion's compartment was opened he had to be 
forced from his cage with a pole held by one of the men con- 
ducting the "combat," and was so weak that he could scarcely 
stand. He staggered about the arena until he attracted the 
bull's attention. The latter rushed at him. The lion did 
not seem to realize that he was to defend himself. He was 
caught upon the horns of the bull and tossed hard against 
the steel bars. He fell at their base to be mashed and squeezed 
against them, the while uttering piercing shrieks of agony 
far different from the usual roar of the king of beasts. The 
spectacle was so barbarous that the spectators cried out against 
it. The bull was prodded away from the lion with the same 
pole, by the same man who had pushed the lion from his cage 
like a reluctant rat from his trap before an expectant terrier. 
The bull was lassoed and held on the opposite side of the arena. 
Ropes were placed about the lion and he was dragged back 
to his compartment. He was in a pitiful plight and horribly 
gored. It was then announced that next day the lioness would be 
pitted against the bull. Less than half the size of the crowd 
on the previous day was that of the next. The lioness had 
still been starved, but notwithstanding her weak condition 
she showed bravery that, but for her weakness would have 
enabled her to defeat the bull. When her cage was opened she 
leaped into the arena. Half crouched she partly encircled it, 
keeping her eyes on the bull. That animal appeared confident of 
easy victory. He waited until she came close to him then 
lowered his head and made a deliberate dash at her. This 
she avoided by leaping over his head and horns, landing on 

118 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

his flank. She proceeded to tear her claws into his flesh and 
it was then the time for the bull to roar with pain and run 
about the arena. wShe released her hold on his haunches to 
take one upon his neck, but as she did so she was shaken from 
her perch and fell to the ground. Before she coulri again, 
as she attempted to, spring back upon him, the bull had her, 
like he h a d previously her mate, pinioned against 
the steel bars and pressed there while she roared piteously, 
but kept scratching the face of her assailant. 1 his she con- 
tinued to do. The proceedings of the day before were repeated. 
The bull was roped and pulled away. The lioness was able 
to limp around the arena to where her cage was backed up 
against it but was so weak she had to be lifted back into it. 
The "management" then announced that next day both animals 
would be fought against the bull, but the spectators protested 
and the off"icials refused to pern: it renewal of the barbarous 
and sickening affair. 

The bull was badly lacerated by the lioness in their combat, 
but was still as bellicose as ever. He was sold to some bull 
fighters from Mexico and may have been taken there for another 
fight. The lion and his mate were caged in vSan Antonio for 
some days. The male died but the lioness lived and was sold 
to a zoo elsewhere after having been kept on exhibition west 
of the San Pedro for some months. This concluded bull bait- 
ing and fighting between m.en and animals or bulls and lions. 

But another of the early day sports has continued up 
to the prescTit year, that of cock fighting. In early days the 
combats were held out on Main and Military Plazas. The 
arbiter sat in a huge chair. He wielded a big stick. When 
one of the birds evinced cowardice and ran he promptly killed 
it with this club. Later the place for holding such combats 
was changed to the trans-San Pedro where instead of being 
held in the open air, enclosed arenas were erected, admission 
fees charged and there was more privacy than had character- 
ized them previously. But as at the fandangoes, disputes fre- 
quently occurred, resulting in human blood being shed as well as 
that of the fighting fowls. Of course there was gambling on the 
results of the combats and each owner and his friends would 
back the respective birds. Cock fighting has only been pro- 
hibited by law a short time and even since prohibition, has 
frequently been surreptitiously ])racticed. 

For many years and from the commencement of the colo- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 119 

ny's settlement here cockfightino: was in voo-ue and was legal, 
but the colonists also introduced different kinds of gambHng 
besides that incident to betting on the birds. Gambling with 
cards and by means of other devices prevailed in San Antonio 
from the coming of the Conquistadores to the latter part of 
the first decade of the present century. The play was higher, 
however, about the days shortly ])receeding the Civil War. 

>" / 


Great stacks and piles of silver were heaped upon the tables 
at the various gambling houses. The most notorious of them 
all was the Bull's Head, at the corner of Market and Yturri 
streets. There many fortunes were lost by prominent people, 
many murders occurred, growing out of the gambling there 
carried on. 

Gambling rooms also adjoined the variety shows and 
cockpits. One known as Jack Harris' was located at the 
northwest corner of Main Plaza and Soledad street. Its 

120 Combats and Conquests of Immortal ITeroes 

owner, Harris, was killed by Ben Thompson, who was city 
marshal of Austin at the time of this tragedy. Thompson, 
accompanied by King Fisher, who like Thompson, had 
killed many men before his death, entered the variety show 
part of the establishment some considerable time after killing 
Harris and started to where Harris' partner, Joe 
Foster was. Vvith one hand he offered to shake 
with Foster. At the same time he had his other hand suspic- 
iously near his hip. Foster told him he did not care to 
either shake hands with him or to have any trouble with him and 
asked him to leave the place. Thompson then drew his pistol 
and fired, the shot striking Foster in the leg as Jacob Coy, 
the special policeman of the place, struck Thompson's pistol 
down. Foster then fired, striking Thompson in the head 
as the latter fired his second shot that was intended for Coy, 
who again knocked the pistol down. This shot struck the floor 
at Coy's feet. Shooting then became general at both Thomp- 
son and Fisher. The latter, although usually very quick 
with a pistol, never got a chance to draw his weapon. He 
was behind Thompson who pressed Fisher back against the 
wall in such a way as to prevent him getting a chance to pull 
his pistol. Both Thompson and Fisher fell riddled with bullets, 
which struck their heads and breasts. The floor where they 
fell had many bullet holes in it, showing even after they were 
down those firing at them gave them no chance to do any 
further shooting at the inmates of the place that Thompson 
came there to kill. Foster lived for several days, but had an 
aneurism in his leg resulting from an old wound inflicted dur- 
ing the Civil War. When the surgeons went to operate Foster 
bled to death from this aneurism, which unawares they cut 
into. All of the principals in this tragedy are dead. Harris 
was the first killed. Thompson and Fisher were killed the 
night Thompson tried to annihilate the inmates of the estab- 
lishment. Foster died a few days later. Coy died recently 
as did Bob Churchill, who with a shotgun fired several times 
at both Thompson and Fisher. 

Many noted professional gamblers operated in San Anto- 
nio during the days of public gaming. Among these were 
Warren Allen, Mat Woodlief, both of whom had slain numerous 
victims prior to being killed themselves, "Rowdy" Joe, Joel 
Collins, "Sore Eyed Bill," and "Shirt Collar Sam." 

The Fashion Theatre, the old Washington, the Grey Mule 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Hkroks 121 

and Bella Union were well known variety shows with gambling 
attachments and there was a variety show held in a building 
recently torn down located at the northwest corner of North 
Flores street and Military Plaza in which a memorable traged}^ 
occurred w^herein Georgia Drake, a beautiful song and dance 
woman was slain by a soldier named Lanham, who was given 
a life sentence for the murder, but has since been pardoned. 

Another of the old time sports, principally participated 
in by the Mexican portion of the populace, was what was termed 
"El Gallo Coriendo," the "running rooster. " This sport was 
usually practiced on Catholic feast days, notably San Juan, 
San Fernando and San Antonio days. Then a man mounted 
on a very fleet horse carried a rooster, generally some noted 
fighting bird, decorated with ribbons and flowers. Going as 
fast as his steed could carry him and his bird, a prize to be 
kept by the last one capturing and bringing it to the agreed 
goal after pursuing a route previously designated. 

The chase was usually long and stern, during it many 
scuffles for possession of the coveted trophy rendering it more 
strenuous than courteous. Many of the competitors were 
unseated from their mounts and fell, quite a number of them 
having been seriously injured and some killed. Their brains 
were dashed out against rocks on which they fell, their necks, 
or limbs broken or they were otherwise injured. It is need- 
less to add that very frequently the fowl was injured or killed 
consequent to the contest. 

Sometimes " the prize, instead of a rooster, was a water- 
melon, the proceedure otherwise being the same and usually 
with similar results and casualties. 

Among other sports of olden days w^ere tournaments and 
jousts wherein skill with lance and spear were displayed. While 
"town " ball that later gave way to baseball was another and 
polo were in vogue here long before they became the fad of 
the wealthy North, the tough wiry and cheap mustang ponies 
furnishing admirable and game mounts for the contestants 
who with more zeal than civility played the game that now 
is commonly called "croquet on horseback." 

While nearly all of the old time sports have been super- 
ceeded by more modern ones, those that have been substituted 
have charms as great as those possessed by their predecessors. 

One of the great institutions peculiar to San Antonio 
and famous the world over is her Spring Carnival, its principal 

122 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Combats and Conquests of I.vlmortal Heroes 12.'^ 

and literally crowning and concluding event being her fasci- 
nating fete called, "Ihe Battle of Flowers." It is of com- 
paratively modern origin. The year of its conception was 
1891, the suggestion being made then by W. J. Ballard when 
the matter of program for entertainment of the first president 
of the United States to visit here during his incumbency was 
discussed. The President was Benjamin Harrison, who was 
to reach San Antonio on the dayof the anniversary of the battle 
of San Jacinto. Ihe suggestion found favor with the com- 
munity. J. S. Alexander was then president of the Business 
Men's Club under whose aupices it was to be held, but rain 
almost in deluge form occurred on the day of the presidential 
visit, so the fete was postponed until the following Saturday. 

Possibly no more fitting commemoration of an anniver- 
sary can be found any^^'here than that of the celebration at 
San Antonio annually of the San Jacinto battle on the 21st 
day of April of each year. Then instead of the shrieking shells 
and death dealing bullets that were hurled from smoking guns 
at the memorable battle between Mexican and American com- 
batants, no harsher missiles are used than the petals of roses 
and the stems of lillies. These are cast by the gentle 
hands of the city's fair sisterhood and those of surrounding 
localities, who in passing, pelt the gallant youth gathered along 
the pathway of the pageant as it describes sinuous evolutions 
about the historic Alamo Plaza, scene of a former and even 
more memorable combat. These effectively create havoc 
among the hearts against which they are hurled. 

Seated in vehicles of various kinds from which they scatter 
flowers, this sisterhood ride, attired in radiant and resplendent 
raiment. Their equipages and the steeds drawing them are 
decked in floral and other gala ornamentation. On reaching 
the plaza the pageant's forces are divided into double cohnnn 
formation and encircle it in opposite directions. 

But this "battle" is preceeded by a peerless pageant par- 
ticipated in by the patriotic civic and military organizations 
and augmented by fraternal and educational as well as historic 
associations. They all form a long line of kaleidoscopic color, 
blending beauty and chivalry that traverse the principal plazas 
and streets of the celebrated city. 

Usually a "Queen" has been previously selected for this 
Flower fete by the Omala Knights. Her identity is ke])t se- 
cret until on this brilliant occasion she is ])ublicly crowned. 

124 Combats axd Conquests of Lmimortal Heroes 

She has follo\ting in her train a court comprised of these mimic 
"Knights" and ladies of honor and in waiting usually selected 
from surrounding cities and towns. The "Knights" generally 
ride in cavalcade or about the coach of state of the "Queen of 
Flowers" and beside the carriages carrying her attendant 
maids. This train and the entire pageant forms a dazzling 
spectacle whose brilliance, beauty and color cast a sheen sur- 
passing all else to be seen as it traverses the parks, plazas and 
streets densely packed with people from far and near. Always 
the "Queen and Court" are greeted with loud acclaim by the 
immense mass through which the pageant passes. All of the 
porticos, piazzas and balconies are thickly thronged with eager 
and admiring spectators. The martial features too, of this 
pageant are ever numerous, glittering and attractive. They 
always form an important element of it. 

For the first time in history this anniversary was recog- 
nized officially by this Government in 1896. The then Sec- 
retary of War Daniel Lamont ordered that 21 guns be fired 
on the occasion of this anniversary. This has been done at 
Fort Sam Houston every year since then. The year after 
the organization for the celebration of the anniversary was 
formed its management was placed in the hands of the ladies 
of San Antonio. Mrs. J. J. Stevens was chosen its first president. 
The following year the wife of a former mayor of the city Mrs. 
James H. French, was the head of the organization. The 
next two years followino: Mrs. Elizabeth C- Ogden, who served 
from 1896 to 1899, after which several other prominent San 
Antonio society dames succeeded her and each other, among 
them being Mrs. Herman D. Kampman, Miss Clara DriscoU 
now Mrs. Hal Sevier and later others. The ladies relinquished 
the management to a chartered Carnival association whose 
first president was Frank H. Bushick, its next, Ben M. Hammond 
and finally its present one Col. George Leroy Brown, U. S. Army, 
retired. Conspicuous in the work connected with this and 
other carnival pagantry have been Charles Simmang and Louis 
Heuermann, originators of the Knights of Omala train and 
Ben M. Hammond, Frank H. Bushick, John and W. G. Tobin, 
while Charles Graebner, W. E. Tuttle, J. Hampton Sullivan, 
F. A. Chapa, John J. Stevens and F. W. Cook have also contri- 
buted greatly to the annual success of this fete which usually 
ends with a grand charity ball and the San Jacinto cotillion, 
both l)rilliant social events. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 125 

While the ladies no longer take an active part in the man- 
agement of the financial details of the Carnival and its incident 
San Jacinto commemoration they participate in the page£mtry 
and .the social functions incident to it, their participation 
rendering it the great and beautiful annual affair that is so 
eminently successful and attractive. 



From ox-cart to aeroplane is a far flight. There have 
been many means of traction in vogue since I first came to 
the section of which I speak. Prior to and up to the time of 
my arrival the principal means of transportation was the wagon, 
drawn either by oxen, horses or mules. Singular as it may 
seem, a small war arose over the transportation industry of 
the western part of the Lone Star state. This was what was 
known as the "Cart War," about 60 years ago. At that time 
most of the freight brought to that section from the coast was 
hauled from Indianola. It was brought in carts of large size 
mounted on a single pair of wooden wheels. These wheels 
had no spokes. They were made by joining very thick and 
broad boards transvers to each other, sawing them into circular 
shape and making a hole in the center for the axle of the 
vehicle. Their height was 6 feet or more. The cart-bodies 
resembled immense crates into which the freight was placed 
and screened with thick canvass sheets to shed the rain and 
keep out the sun. The vehicles were drawn by a single pair, 
or yoke of oxen. Their yoke was fastened by thongs to the 
horns instead of the neck of the patient plodding beasts, 
leaving them no freedom of movement of the head whatever. 

Most of these carts were owned by Mexicans who were 
enjoying a very lucrative business and had almost a monopoly 
of it, but German and American teamsters introduced what 
was known as the "prairie schooner" and came into successful 
competition with them. The "prairie schooner" was an 
immicnse wagon, very high and long, its body usually painted 
a sky blue and its wheels and running gear a rich red color. 

126 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

It was drawn either by horses or mules, or frequently both. 
To these were hitched sometimes as many as six and eight 
abreast in platoons of four and six, there having been some- 
times as many as thirty or more of these beasts drawing a single 
"schooner." There were generally not less than eight or ten 
of these "schooners" and often twenty- five in a train. 

The rivalry was so great and the feeling so intensely bit- 
ter between the owners of the "carretas" or carts, and the 
"schooners" or wagons that a feud broke out which culminated 
in a series of pitched battles. One of these which took place 



near Goliad and almost on the identical spot where Fannin 
and his force were annihilated, resulted in the death of about 
a dozen of the owners of the "schooners" and fully forty of 
those who owned the "carretas." 

This war lasted for several months, but was finally sup- 
pressed and a peace pact made between the rival interests. 
In those days not only all of the freight but many passengers 
were conveyed in either the carts or the "schooners" both 

Combats and Conox^ests of Immortal Ukroes 127 

from the coast into the interior and from city to city, or town 
to town, or from Texas to Mexico as well as from San Antonio 
to the different frontier forts to which supplies for the troops 
were transported and sometimes even the troops themselves. 

In those days there was much less timber than now. No 
pasture fences intervened. xA.ll the country was open. There 
were well defined trails instead of regular roads. Stock was 
driven over these trails. Horsemen followed them and wagons 
ran along or in them. The growth of timber was retarded by 
the frequent fires that burned off the grass and destroyed the 
young shrubs and trees. These usually left the praries bleak 
and bare or black and sere until the grass grew again upon 
them or flowers mantled them in resplendent rainbow hues, 
making them like an immense carpet of real floral figures 
spreading for miles and forming such a splendid sward as is 
seldom or never seen now. 

On this grass grazed not dozens, or hundreds, but thousands, 
tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of bison, 
the buffalo frequently being so numerous and compact that 
it was im]30ssible to pass through their immense herds and 
there was always danger of a stampede, or their trampling 
under their hoofs and destroying those who were with the 
trains. The buffalo had regular trails which they followed, 
these usually being in close proximity to the streams that fur- 
nished them water. 

There was probably no grander sight to be witnessed than 
these immense herds of buffalo, especially when in flight and 
the thunder sound of their myriad hoofs was an awe-inspring 
one. But hunters other than the Indians came among them 
and slew thern wantonly. As long as they had but the Indians 
alone to hunt them, their herds grew and increased. But the 
American hunter with his modern cartridge Winchester rifle 
got among them and slew them right and left without mercy 
or heed and intent other than to wantonly kill the noble beasts 
and leave their mammoth cadavers to rot in the sun and taint 
the air until devoured by the vulture and the wolf. Then 
their numbers soon declined until there were none left except 
the few now to be seen in the zoos and Xhv ])arks or with the 
"Wild- West" shows. 

In those days too, there were many nnistangs or wild 
horses. These in droves of hundre':is and sometimes thousands, 
roamed over the vast domain imfcttercd and free fnnn human 

128 Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 

thrall until caught with the cruel lasso or lariat of the caballero, 
who brought them under subjection, carried them to San 
Antonio, then the greatest horse market of the world and 
sold them. These horses, although small in stature, were 
generally very hardy and able to withstand much rough 
usage and many hardships of the highway and travel. 

It is said these mustangs originated from the steeds the 
Spanish cavaliers brought from Spain, among which were 
some genuine Arabian ones of pure blood. These, unmolested 
for more than a centur}^ seemed to multiply until they almost 
vied in numbers with the buffalo of the lianas, or plains. 

The late Captain William H. Edgar related to me an 
exciting incident which occurred in 1858 during a trip which 
he took from Corpus Christi to Brownsville, during a period 
when wild mustang herds roamed at will over that section. 

"We had a train comprising two wagons and an ambulance. 
There were ten in our party. We frequently saw herds of 
these horses to Vv^hich we usually paid little or no attention 
unless they got in too close proximity. They, like the buf- 
faloes, when excited or disturbed, usually proceeded on a direct 
line froiTi which it was difficult to deflect them. On this 
occasion we encountered a herd of about 300. Their leader 
was a, stallion. They followed him implicitly, as sheep do a 
bell wether or as the buffaloes in those days did the big bull 
at the head of the herd. They had been quietly grazing about 
a quarter of a mile to our right, when suddenly something 
seemed to startle and stampede them. The stallion lifted his 
head, shook his long mane and reared. Lunging forward 
as he trumpeted, he broke into a mad run straight towards 
us. His entire herd followed close upon his heels. They ran 
like a whirlwind straight forward. AVe saw at a glance that 
we were directly in their course and would be run into and 
over if we did not do something and do it quick. I felt my 
hair lifting my hat up, but I jumped out of the ambulance I 
was seated in, grabbing my rifle as I did so. All the others 
of our party did likewise. Selecting the stallion as my target 
I fired, but missed him. The hurtling herd sped at us. All 
our rifles failed us. We had but our pistols left. vSome of 
these were the old single-chambered "Derringer" of those 
days. They, like the rifles of those times, were muzzle-loaders 
with but a single charge. Some of us had the old style cap 
and ball Colt revolver with five or six cylinders charged. The 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 129 

avalanche of horse-flesh still swooped down until we could 
see the eyes of the menacing mustangs distinctly. We kept 
firing repeatedly and as rapidly as possible, having no time 
to reload and discarding a weapon as soon as emptied. 


Just when it seemed absolutely certain that we were all to 
be mangled beneath the hoofs of these brown demons, they 
suddenly checked. Then their column split asunder. One 
portion sped by the front and the other the rear of our train. 


They seemed to fly by us in such a bewildering way as to al- 
most take our breath, which we held until they had cleared 
us. The feeling of relief succeeding the tension was a welcome 
sensation that can only be understood by being experienced. 
I never 'will be able to describe it." 

hijWAklj KiilLLA. I'lONEEk WOOL iMERCHAiXl. 

They were still being caught and marketed when I first 
came to Texas. The horse-market in those days was on 
Dolorosa Street, from the old Herald Building south of 
the present Southern Hotel and along South Flores street 
to Nueva Street and even below for several blocks. 

Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 131 

Among the most prominent of the horse traders of those 
days was old Don Narcisso Leal, recently deceased, and the 
Morin brothers, some of whom are still in San Antonio. But 
the buffalo and the mustang are gone forever. The last of 
their race is probably seen among the few polo ponies being 
even now raised for and sold in San Antonio to the northern 
sportsmen. When I was in McMullen County about ten 
years ago there was still a small herd of wild mustangs in a 
pasture there and its owner was willing to give them to any 


one who would drive them out, for they were consuming range 
grass he needed for his steers and other cattle. There is also 
a small herd of hybrid buffalo in the pasture of Charles Good- 
night on the Texas Pandhandle, the bison having interbred 
with Goodnight's cattle as those in the Brackenridge park at 
San Antonio have crossed with the cattle of this vicinity. 

Side by side with the buffalo and the broncho mustang 
had grazed the Texas steer, its typical "longhorn." Countless 
cattle in the early days roamed over the vast ranges of this 
state. Their pioneer owners were called "Cattle Barons." 

132 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

They were surely an aristocracy unto themselves. Their 
cattle in the early history of the Texas Republic and State 
were of the longhorn species, which until within the past 
decade predominated, but have since been supplanted by the 
"shorthorn" or the dehorned "muley." Many of the Cattle 
Kings were unable to enumerate their stock. Probably the 
most extensive cattle owner in the world was in reality a 
cattle sovereign. His name was Richard King. His ranch 
included the greater portion of three counties, Nueces, San 
Patricio and Uuval. His ranch fence had a single panel 
of more han lOO miles in length. His ranch house was twenty 
miles distant from his gate after he built his first fence, which 
was one of the first to enclose a Texas pasture. His partner, 
Captain Miflin Kennedy, had extensive livestock possessions 
also but not comparable with those of King. Besides being 
Barons of livestock both were pioneer steamboatmen, owning 
and operating the steamers that ran on the Rio Grande river 
and plied between its mouth and Brownsville, Matamoras, 
and as far up that stream as Hidalgo and even Rio Grande 
City in the days before the heavy flow of that stream 
was diverted into the irrigation canals and railway interests 
caused the closing up of the channel at Brazos Santigo. 

Great holdings of cattle had Samuel A. Maverick, Sr. 
He had them at Matagorda on an island and so numerous 
were they that he never knew how many he owned. His 
landed estates were also as extensive as his cattle interests, 
it being his boast that he was able to travel all the way from 
San Antonio to the Rio Grande river over his own land, which 
was even greater in area than that of Captain King. 

George W. Fulton, of the town of his name, near Rock- 
port, also owned an immense herd as did his partners Mat- 
this and Thomas Coleman, Sr. Their ranch was that now 
owned by Charles Taft, brother of the present president of the 
United States, which is also in two counties Aransas and San 

In the early 70 's of the last century at this town of Fulton 
there were four beef packeries wherein more cattle were 
slaughtered than in Kansas City, St Louis or Chicago, or by 
the Armours, the Swifts and Cudahy's or the Morrises of 
the present day. The meat then canned at these packing 
houses w^as shipped extensively, regular lines of steamships 
being engaged in carrying it to various distant ports. The 

Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 133 

principal of these steamship lines was the old Morgan line. 
One of its former pursers, the veteran, M. D. Monseratte, 
is still living in San Antonio. 

Adjoining the King ranch in Nueces County was that 
of another prominent family of cattle owners, the Rabbs, who 
had thousands and even hundreds of thousands of head of 
cattle. It is estimated that King's cattle numbered at least 
30,000 at one time. Mrs. Rabb was called the "Cattle 

Among other well known cattlemen may well be men- 
tioned the father of W. A. Lowe, who at one time owned 3,000 
different cattle brands, the different brandings being placed 
on many thousands of cattle. Other stockmen worthy of 
mention in this connection are J. B. Armstrong of Cath- 
arine, Ed. Lassittir of Falfurrias, C. C. Slaughter of Dallas, 
Burke Burnett of Fort Worth, Jot Gunter, Sol, Ike and George 
West, James T. Thornton, John J. Stevens, Nat Lewis, W. S. 
Hall, Henry Shiner, Louis Oge, all of San Antonio; W. S. Por- 
ter and George Witting of Yorktown, the Toms of Floresville 
and Atascosa County, Ray Franklin, the Wheelers and Kuy- 
kendalls, the Teels, Charley Pyrne, all of McMullen County; 
the Bells, Dillard R. Fant of Live Oak County, Al McFaddin, 
the McCutcheons, Archie Clark and Tom O'Connor of Vic- 
toria, Albert Irvin, Hines Clark, Nick Bluntzer, all of Nueces 
County; the Taylors, Roeder, Eckhart and the Bells of De- 
Witt County; Joe Tumlinson of Yorktown, Ike T. Pryor, all of 
whom owned large herds of cattle. Albert Irvin and Chas. 
Callaghan owned great herds of goats near Laredo and Jas. 
Kinney owned many head of sheep. 

Another of the cattle kings was "Shanghigh" Pierce 
of Goliad, while Btick Pettus of Karnes, was still another. 
The West brothers, George, Sol and Ike, all living now in San 
Antonio, owned immense herds in Liveoak and other adjacent 
counties, while Louis Oge, another San Antonian, owned many 
thousand head of cattle and often now recounts many incidents 
of the trail when cattle were driven on the hoof to Kansas. 
But most of the old cattle kings are dead. Maverick and 
King sleep not far apart on the white hill in the silent city of 
the dead on the edge of San Antonio. Fulton, Coleman, 
Rabb and Pierce as well as Kennedy and Matthis have been 
called to that boundless ranch beyond the Great Divide. 
Jim Dobie has sold most of his large herd. Jim Cliittim 

134 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

and Davidson have left but a few in number compared to 
what they once owned at their ranch near old Ft. Clark. 
Dillard R. Fant who owned hundreds of thousands of steers 
and acres sleeps his last sleep at Goliad and most, if not all 
of the old "Longhorn" cattle have passed away, there being 
but a few left, most of these being in Mexico and down on 
the Rio Grande near Brownsville. Gail Borden of Colum- 
bus, originator of condensed milk, and his son Guy, both 
have passed away. 

Several years ago Jim Dobie and George Saunders ex- 
hibited specimens of "outlaw" longhorned Texas steers at 
the San Antonio International Fair after which these animals, 
the last mundane "Mohicans" of that class of animals, were 
sent to slaughter. Their heads with the broad horns were 
mounted by a taxidermist and may be seen at a resort in San 
Antonio, noted for the large horn collection there. 

With the passing of the longhorn there also went the 
typical Texas cow-boy. He was sometimes somewhat soaked 
in "tangle-foot" tipple, was always rampant, carried and 
wielded with deadly effect his famous "six-shooter" revolver 
and terrorized the tenderfoot. The literature of yesterday 
was replete with his thrilling and hair lifting exploits. But 
the cowboy of today is as docile as the "muley" cow that his 
gentle sister milks at sundown and he, eke at break of day. 

And from the prairie has passed all but the coyote and 
the rattlesnake that were found along the old cattle trail and 
still sneak or glide stealthily among the chaparral and the 
tall grass that now grows over its former broad expanse. 

And San Antonio was once the greatest wool market 
of the world, there having in the early seventies of the last 
century and even as late as the early 80 's, been more sheep 
in the region tributary to that market than in Australia or 
any other portion of the globe. In those days, the great wool 
kings were Ed. Cotulla, T. C. Frost, the Halff's and towards 
the latter part, T. H. Zanderson, while Charles Schreiner, of 
Kerrville, then and even now markets many hundred thousand 
pounds of that staple. Jim McLymont, probably was the 
largest individual sheep owner in the world before he sold to 
Swift & Co. his big mutton herd because the tarriff on wool 
had been reduced so low as to render sheep raising unprofitable 
in comparison to what it had been. 

During one of the seasons, not years, of the 70's there 

Combats and Conquests of Im.mortal Heroes 135 

were sold in and shipped from San Antonio more than 11,000,- 
000 pounds of wool, this having been a single clip of the fall 
wool sheared in the sheep raising regions around here. 

But to return to transjDortation from which we went 
wool gathering, there were many prominent people interested 
in wagon transportation in the West, among those in San 
Antonio being Messrs. Harden B. Adams and his partner E. D. 
L. Wickes, Nat Lewis Sr. and his partner, Groesbeck, Edward 
Froboese and August Santleben, A. Talamantes, Peter Jonas, 
Henry Bitter, Louis Oge, x\. A. Wulff, Charles Guerguin, 
Jesus Hernandez, William H. Edgar, Anastacio Gonzales, 
Enoch Jones and a host of others, of whom but few are now 
alive, among these latter being August Santleben, author of a 
very interesting book, "A Texas Pioneer" and Louis Oge, 
who was also one of the very prominent cattlemen of early 
Texas days, their teams having hauled many millions of 
dollars worth of stores and government supplies to the old 
forts on the frontier as well as the merchandise that went 
to the border towns and into the interior of Mexico. 

But the wagons were not the only means of transportation. 
Passenger traction has ever been an important factor in the 
proposition of transportation and before the advent of the 
railways, many different means and vehicles were used in this 
connection, but the most prominent equipage for that purpose 
devoted to public traft'ic was the old time stage coach. There 
were many stage lines in Texas but the principal and most 
prominent ones were those owned by an uncle of 
mine, Robert Jemison, and his partner, Ben Ficklin, and 
the one owned by Col. George H. Giddings. The latter's 
heirs now have a claim for several millions of dollars against 
the United States government for damages done to the vehicles, 
animals and other property of his line by the Indians who 
frequently attacked the occupants of the stages, murdered 
them, carried off the animals hauling them and Inu'ned the 
vehicles. The Indians also frequently attacked the freight 
trains, ran off the animals, slew the teamsters and those with 
the trains, sometimes torturing their victims. Up to very 
recently there was an old man, a beggar on San Antonio, 
who was with one of the wagon trains in charge of Anastascio 
Gonzales, and several other men and a woman were coming 
from El Paso with this train. It was attacked by the Indians 
who carried the woman off with them after roasting Gonzales 

136 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

and his companions tying them to the wagon wheels to which 
the Indians set fire. This old man was found alive by those 
who rescued him, but with both hands burned off. His 
•comDanions were dead when relief came. The house Anas- 
tacio Gonzales had commenced to build before he left San 
Antonio on this trip was never finished. It stands on North 
Loredo Street, near Salinas, just as he left it, 

The old Ben Ficklin stage office was in the building on 
Alamo Plaza next to where Dreiss' drug store is now. Henry 
Carter and Charley Bain, both deceased, were its agents. But 
few of the old time stage drivers are still alive, among those 
who have answered the long roll-call are T. P. Mc Call, former 
sheriff, "Pap" Howard, Tom Finucane and his brother Jim, 
two brothers with whom I first came to San Antonio from 
Austin when a boy, from Louisiana to Texas. Among those 
still living are Clay Drennan, Jim Brown, and August Sant- 
leben. The latter owned his stage line. 

All of these old stage drivers had exciting adventures. 
Not only did they have many narrow escapes from Indians 
who attacked theixi but they were frequently held up by "road 
agents" or highwaymen, who robbed them, their passengers 
and the registered mail their stages carried. Of the San 
Antonians now living who were in such robberies were George 
W. Brackenridge and Oscar Bergstrom, who were passengers 
in the stage of which "Pap" Howard was the driver at Nance 
stage stand near the Blanco river, a short distance from San 
Marcos on the San Antonio and Austin road, and Alfred Giles 
who was a passenger with Brown on the Fredericksburg stage 
near Comfort. There were in this affair two robbers known 
as the "long and the short" man, who compelled Giles to help 
them rifle the mail sacks. They took his gold watch but he 
recovered it and still has the trophy. ; ^ 

Besides the stages which were common carriers there 
were many prominent coaches of state owned by pioneers 
who traveled in them. These vehicles, somewhat cumberson, 
were rather royal and were upholstered lavishly and had 
mountings and trappings, as did the harness and housings 
of the horses that drew them, while their drivers wore livery, 
the owners putting on great style and dignity which however 
they very suddenly sunk when attacked by Indians or high- 
waymen. Then they usually attempted to make their get- 
away with as much despatch as possible. 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 137 

One of the prominent families of pioneers who owned 
the most hirid of all of the coaches was the Paschal family 
mentioned in another part of this volume. But the Grenets 
had a coach they brought out from France that was also a 
very gaudy affair, patterned somewhat after the coaches in 
which the Great Napoleon and the ill-starred Maximillian 
rode before their respective downfalls. But the horse and 
the mule were also favorite means of transportation, and 
many long pilgrimages and journeys were made on them. 

Then there was the old time family carriage with a device 
in its rear on which either to hang a trunk or the urchin that 
accompanied it. But besides the barouches and buggies 
there were many styles and kinds of vehicles too numerous 
to mention and all running down through the gamut including 
the bicycle, the auto car, the locomotive and palace car, and 
to the very latest aeroplane now making daily flights with 
its human freight. Thus have we traveled from the pace of 
the tortoise and in the ox-cart to that of the full fledged flight 
of the fleet fowl as we sail in the air ship. 


This flag is a token of sentiment spoken. 

It speaks of their parting and sorrow. 
But it bids you not grieve like the love'd ones you leave. 

It speaks of fresh hopes for each 'morrow. 

Wherever you may roam, 'twill remind you of home, 
Recalling those fond hearts far away 

Who lovingly sent it — For whom I present it 
On this broad, tented field here today. 

Than all else, too, above, it tells you of their love. 

'Tis hallow'd by womanhood's beauty, 
While its touch from her hand was a solemn command 

Laid on you of honor and duty. 

In each stripe and each fold, is an emblem, behold, 

Of love and touching sweet story. 
While its stars, like the eyes of the women you prize. 

Make brighter the field with their glory. 

138 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 139 



Many of this Nation's immortal heroes, who were ani- 
mated by that indomitable spirit inculcated by the conquest 
of this continent by the Caucasian, thus were made men 
of martial mien. They have evinced the same inconquer- 
able courage manifested not only by the Spanish and French 
conquistadores, cavaliers and chevaliers as well as the American 
soldiers, but by the aboriginal Red Men, all of whom exhibi- 
ted undaunted valor. All served as exemplars and made 
martial attributes innate in all true sons of Texas. Most of 
the illustrious warriors of this Nation, while chronicling 
their careers with their swords, spent some portion of 
time there when Texas was either a republic or a state and 
most of them in its most historic of cities, San Antonio. All 
of them contributed considerably to the success of the Nation, 
State and this City. 

This most masterful one w^as the incentive that has in- 
spired the sons of this state and city to do deeds of bravery 
and engage in battle whenever war was on. From her earliest 
days, in proportion to her population, San Antonio has fur- 
nished more soldiery for the ranks of various armies than 
any other city extant. Such has been the case from the com- 
bat at the Alamo to the close of the Spanish- American, that 
short but brilliant and memorable war. Such was the case 
not only in the war for Texan independence froin Mexico, 
but the war between the Union and Mexico growing out of 
of it, and the Civil War. 

Her chivalric sons have not only enlisted in and recruited 
to full quota the ranks of the regulars, but her volunteer or- 
ganizations have been likewise as numerous as historic. 

At the close of the war between Texas and Mexico the 
first Texan soldiers were known as her "Rangers," well named, 
for they rode far and long in pursuit of her foes, the Indians 
and the outlaws. Her most famous commander. Jack Hays, 
was a San Antonian, as were others almost as famous, among 
them being "Legs" Lewis, "Big Foot" Wallace, "San An- 
tonio Bill" Hall, "Rip" Ford, E. Dosch, Theodore Gentilz, 


Conquests ard Combats of I.maiortal Heroes 141 

J. W. Sansom, John Earl, Fred Bader, J. S. McNeil, Charles 
Hummel, "Net" Devine, Edgar Schram, Lee Hall and 'Bill" 

Besides San Antonio's ranger troops she had numerous 
militia and other military volunteer organizations, conspic- 
uous in many campaigns. Her first was the militia company 
known as the Alamo Rifles, formed in 1857 with John Wilcox 
as its first commander and with sixty members and mustered 
in the old U. S. Barracks, recently demoHshed to give place 
to the Gunter Hotel. It saw its first, which was stern 
and long service throughout the Civil War to which it marched 
under command of S. W. McAllister, who after was succeeded 
in command by George S. D eats, subsequently known as "The 
One Horse Farmer." After the war its first commander 
was Hardin B. Adams, Sr. Soon after its return from war 
one of its lieutenants, Harry McCormick, died very suddenly. 
In 1876, the Centennial year, A. I. Lockwood was its com- 
mander and it attended the first state militia encampment 
held at Austin w^here Lockwood was promoted to the rank 
of major, which advanced G. W. Runner to captain. Its 
armory then was in the old Martin Muench establishment 
at the southeast corner of Alamo and South Streets that also 
subsequently served as a theater. J. C. Neal succeeded Runner 
and in turn was succeeded by A. Frederickson. Oscar Bergstrom, 
who had been first a drummer boy, became its first and Charles 
M. Barnes, myself, second lieutenant and such were its officers 
when it and they were honorably mustered out of the service 
at its armory in Krisch Hall 

The Alamo Guards was the second vohmteer mihtary 
organization formed in San Antonio in 1859. WilHam H. 
Edgar was its first captain, James Ransom its first and Horace 
Grace and John Goode its second lieutenants. It had one 
hundred and twenty members. The ladies of San Antonio 
made for and xjresented it a genuine "Bonnie Blue Flag" that 
bore a single star. The motto on it was: "Fiat Justicia, Ruat 
Coelum," "Though the Heavens Fall, Let Justice Be done." 
This company performed the first military duty in Texas for 
the Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil W^ar. From 
Samuel A. Maverick, Sr. president, of the secession convention 
then in session, Captain Edgar received an order to seize a 
safe in the hands of the United States Quartermaster, Captain 
Reynolds, containing S3, ()()() in silver and other U. S. Currency. 
It is needless to say that Edgar obeyed this, as he did all other 

142 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

military commands, and turned the captured coin over to 
Major Minter, the Confederacy's Quartermaster. In this 
connection it is appropriate to state that at the outbreak 
of the Civil War Albert Sidney Johnston was colonel and Robert 




E. Lee, lieutenant colonel of the United States Second Dra- 
goons, whose headquarters was at vSan Antonio, Johnston 
and Lee having their quarters in an old two story adobe house 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 143 

recently destroyed, located on St. Mary's near Houston street 
and owned by a man named White who died recently. The 
ladies of the local chapter of Daughters of the Confederacy 
vainly attempted to purchase it, previous to its destruction 
to give place to a commercial edifice. 

Johnson, immediately on the outbreak of the War, threw 
up his command and became a general officer of the Confederac}^. 
Lee waited until the people of his state Virginia, voted to se- 
cede from the Union. He was then out at Camp Cooper, 
but came immediately into San Antonio, doffed his uniform 
and stored his effects in the Alamo except such as was necessary 
for his journey. 

William H. Edgar was the custodian of the Alamo 
and received them from Lee, who also handed to Edgar 
his resignation as an officer of the United States i\rmy and 
asked Edgar to mail it for him, which Edgar did. The docu- 
ment did not reach the designated destination and on arrival 
at his home in Arlington Lee wrote another, the one that was 
accepted. When Lee handed the paper to Edgar to mail he 
was asked his plans to which Lee replied: 

"I am going home to Virginia to cast my lot with her. 
My sword is at her service. If I am honored with any com- 
mand, no matter how humble, I shall accept it and perform 
its incident duties to the best of my ablity. Further than 
this I cannot speak." 

Sibley's Brigade whicli invaded New Mexico was organized 
in San Antonio, Joseph D. Sayers, Trevanion T. Teel and 
Joseph E. Dwyer, its three majors, were San Antonians as were 
Juan T. Cardenas. John A. Ferris, Frank H. Bushick, Sr., 
Captains, and Ham P. Bee afterward a. general officer of the 

Hood's Brigade and Terry's Rangers, both highly famous 
and conspicuous commands in the Civil War, were Texas or- 
ganizations, and John B. Hood, like Lee, had previously been 
a prominent United States Army officer. Henry E. McCulloch 
recruited his famous Confederate cavalry in San Antonio, 
x^mong its distinguished officers who were residents of that 
city being David Morril Poor, Charles Pyron. Governor Nel- 
son, William Tobin, Albert Wallace, John Bradley, Martin 
Braden, Stephen Dauenhauer, H. Kampmann, N. O. 
and J. A. Green. "Rip" Ford, and W. C. and C. F. Kroeger. 
Louis Maverick was also another distinguished San Antonio 
soldier, as also was Sam Maverick, Jr., his brother. 

144 Co:\iBATs AND Conquests of lAnioRTAL Heroes 

Combats and Conquests of Lm^iortal Heroes 145 

A command consisting of those who either were too old 
or too young to be accepted in service at the front was or- 
ganized in San Antonio, prominent among its members having 
been the brothers Thomas ]., Greggory and James Devine and 
Sam S. Smith. 

San Antonio also contributed members to two companies 
of vokniteer United States soldiers, B. J. Mauermann being 
a member of one of them. 

During the interegnum between the Civil and the Span- 
ish American wars, the next volunteer miHtary organization 
was the San Antonio Rifles, organized in 1884, their first patron 
having been the genial and generous Hal Goshng, and their 
last the popular Colonel Henry B. Andrews. Its first captain 
was C. M. Granger, Henry E. Vernor its first and Duval West 
its second lieutenant. Frank J. Badger succeeded Granger; 
Duval West was promoted to first lieutenant and Perry J. 
Lewis became second lieutenant. It scon became the crack 
military company of the state. It was so splendidly drilled 
that it defeated the famous Houston Light Guard until then 
never before vanquished; and the Sealey Rifles, likewise a 
well drilled company, as well as several other prominent com- 
panies. Three of its officers, Oscar C. Guessaz, Duval West 
and Albert E. Devine, held commissions in the volunteer ar- 
my and served gallantly with the Texas Volunteer Infantry in 
the Cuban campaign in the Spanish American war. Devine 
after that war served as Colonel and Assista^nt U. S. Quarter- 
master General in charge of United vStates equipment of the 
Texas National Guard. Guessaz became Lieutenant Colonel 
and Chief of Ordnance of the Texas National Guard. He 
is a splendid marksman, has been on the rifle team of the 
Guard many years and holds numerous gold and other m.edals 
for his shooting scores made at the annual national army 

Two causes combined to consummate the disbandment 
of the San Antonio Rifles. One was matrimon}^ Most of 
the most prominent and most gallant of its miCmbership, as 
was natural, were vanquished by fair conquerors who made 
them enlist in the army of Benedicts. This left them no time 
to attend to military duties in time of peace. The other was 
the fact that this company was defeated by one composed 
of much more youthful members and contemptuously referred 
to as the "Kid Company." 

146 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

This latter was the Beh^nap Rifles. It was comprised 
of a membership so adolescent that it was considered ineligi- 
ble to enlistment into the ranks of its competitor above aamed . 
Its first patron was the late Colonel Augustus Belknap, and 
its last :Capt. Sam Maverick. Captain Robert B. Green led 
it to victory in numerous state competitive and one interstate 


drills where it captured many trophies and some money prizes. 
One of the latter that it won at Washington D. C, the sum 
of one thousand dollars, was never paid. It defeated the 
San Antonio Rifles, when the latter held the championship, 
and many' other of the finest drilled companies in Texas and 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 147 

other states. "Bob" Green, as his comrades affectionately 
called him, later became Colonel and Judge Advocate General 
of the Texas National Guard. At the time of his sudden death 
he was county Judge of Bexar county. Among others who 
became its captains were Will C. Rote, Will Herff, John W. 
Tobin, Hal Howard and Solon Mc Adoo, and its lieutenants were 
E. W. Richardson, W. B. Hamilton, W. G. Tobin, and J. F. 
Green. Among its prominent charter and early members 
were, besides the above named, Frank H. Wash, James Simpson, 
Lee W. Earnest, George W. Chamberlain, George Dashiel, George 
Wurzbach, James R. Davis, Carlos and Tarver Bee, Zoraster 
Fisk, Louis. William and George Heuermann, Otto Storms, 
Ed G. and William Sengg, H. Heuermann, Frank James 
Guido Ditmar, R. J. Boyle, Harden W. Adams, N. 0. Green, 
Louis W. Degen, Phil H. Shook, H. C. King, Jr., H. L. 
Howard, Nic L. Petrich, Henry L. Marucheau, Hal Howard, 
Wm. Prescott, J. C. Mangham, J. J. Volz, and Emil Blum. 

When the Spanish American War came on this company 
split in twain, one half forming an infantry and the other a 
cavalry command. The infantry organization was then headed 
by Solon McAdoo, W. B. Hamilton, Jr., and Raymond Keller 
being its lieutenants. It was known as Company F, 1st Texas 
U. S. Infantry Volunteers. The cavalry troop was one of 
the 1st Texas Cavalry U. S. Volunteers, the regiment organized 
and commanded by Luther R. Hare, the Captain of the Belknap 
Troop being John A. Green, Jno. W. Tobin, first lieutenant 
and Hal L. Howard its first lieutenant. The Infantry 
organization got away to war. It went to Cuba, 
being stationed near Havana from December 1898 to April 
1899, when it was mustered out. Captain McAdoo became 
a Colonel in the Texas National Guard, but the climate of 
Cuba undermined his health and he died in San Antonio a short 
time after returning from that war. 

The San Antonio Zouaves was the next volunteer miUtary 
organization formed in San Antonio, its natal day being July 
4, 1896. It soon became another of that city's crack com- 
panies, winning numerous state and interstate prizes and 
trophies. Its first officers were Eugene Hernandez Captain, 
Edward Stapp first and Gabe Gazell second lieutenants. It 
was in line in the Flower Battle fete parade on April 21, 1898, 
the anniversary of San Jacinto battle and the day on which 
President McKinley issued his proclamation declaring war 
by the United States against Spain. The Zouaves happened 

148 Combats and Conquests of Lm.aiortal Heroes 

to be briefly halted before the telegraph office when a bulletin 
was posted there announcing the war declaration. Unanimously 
the company voted to volunteer for service and instructed its 
captain at once to tender the President its military services which 
was done forthwith and the tender accepted. This company 
was the first to so volunteer and to have its ofter accepted by 
the President. All of its members but one, went to and through 
the war. Many men offered and paid high premiums to be- 
come members and march off with it. 

When the Belknap's infantry company marched away from 
San Antonio at the same time that the Zouaves did, going to 


the war, the Belknap company carried w^ith it a Texas flag 
presented by Elsa Weiss, grand daughter of Colonel Belknap. 
The Zouaves then carried no flag, but a short time after the 
latter company left home the mothers, sisters, wives and sweet- 
hearts of its members met and resolved to send them one. I 
was selected to carry it to them to Camp Coppinger, Spring 
Hill, Alabama, near Mobile where, with ten thousand other 
troops, the Zouaves were encamped. When I discharged this 
duty Mrs. Blair, formerly Miss Weir, a daughter of San Antonio, 
held the banner during the delivery of my presentation address. 
At its conclusion one of the two bands present played, "The 
vStar Spangled Banner," while the other at the end of the res- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 149 

ponse by Captain Hernandez played, "The Old FollvS at Home," 
both airs being very appropriate to the occasion. 

Zouave Flag Presentation Address. 

My poem, The Zouaves Flag, published as the prelude to 
this chapter, concluded my address when I presented this 
historic flag. The address was brief. It ran thus: 

Captain Hernandez, brave soldiers forming the San An- 


tonio Zouaves, my friends and my countrymen: The citizens 
of San Antonio have honored me by selecting me to bear to 
you for them this, their gracious gift, a standard of our great and 
noble nation, fit emblem of its grandeur and glory. Had 
not your country's cause called you away so suddenly they 
would, themselves, more acceptably have in person presented 
it, ere you parted from them and left your bright and happy 
homes. But deprived of the pleasure of placing it in your 

150 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

hands, those patriotic donors whose beautiful gift it is, chose 
me instead to bring it to you here. • 

Chiefly through the efforts of noble and unselfish ladies, 
the fair sisterhood of our Sunset City, it was secured. They 
rested little and seldom slept while securing the means to 
make the purchase of this elegant ensign. As a token of their 
tender trtist and gentle affection I bring it to you. Thus they 
suitably express their unbounded affection with a most appro- 
priate offering. 

Each color of its folds is emblematic: the red of the glory 
they expect you to achieve, the white the purity of their 
affection for you, and the blue their full faith in you. As it 
droops on its staff it portrays the grief they felt at your leaving 
them, but when freely it floats full spread, its resplendent gold 
fringed borders typify the rapture that will animate them 
on your victorious return. 

Its staff is tipped with the single star, emblematic of your 
owm Lone Star State, most suitable device to be borne to battle 
by her sons. Her people hope it may be chosen as the standard 
of your regiment: that you may be the color company to 
bear it. 

Carry it with you unsullied and bring it back untarnished, 
as they know you will, after you shall have placed it upon 
the topmost pinnacle surmounting the loftiest peak of the soil 
where Spain so long and so treacherously has ruled. Let 
the American Eagle on it above its lone star be perched upon 
the tallest tower of the uppermast battlement of Morro's cre- 
nallated castle. Let it supplant Spain's sickening saffron and 
sanguinary crimson soon to be torn down and there proudly 
let these stars and these stripes float and wave above Cuba 
Libre, an appropriate emblem of freedom attained for her 
by you, its bearers. 

As bravely you bear it always forward let it ever be in 
the van and float at the forefront of the field and in the fray. 
As you advance with the charge let your battle cries be: 

"Remember the Alamo," "Avenge the Maine." 

The Zouaves flag was one of a set of regulation United 
States regimental colors. The Zouaves were chosen as the color 
company of their regiment. Sergeant Louis Magozawich was 
made its color bearer. The 1st Texas Infantry w^as the first 
regiment of United States troops to land at Havana, Cuba. 


This flag was the first regimental flag to float above Morro 
Castle there. I have not only a cablegram from Capt. Eugene 
Hernandez announcing that fact on the day it was hoisted there 
but the truth is attested by the photograph, taken at the time 
sent me subsequently and reproduced in this book. It was 
not however the first United States flag to float there. A gar- 
rison flag succeeded the one of Spain when the latter was 
hauled down and the American ensign carried by the hal- 
yards to the staff's tip. 

After the war, when the company re-entered the militia 
service subsequent to its having been mustered out at Gal- 
veston, I was selected color bearer and the color sergeant of 
the 1st Texas Infantry, Texas National Guard, the company 
having again become the color company of its regiment. As 
such sergeant I bore it at various state encampments. I 
likewise bore it in the land parade ovation to Admiral George 
Dewey at New York on the occasion of his triumphal return 
from Manilla in September, 1899, when the Garrity Rifles, 
of Corsicana, acted as its escort. Senator W. R. Holsey, now 
captain in the ordnance department Texas National Guard, 
being with me on that occasion. I also bore it in the parade 
honoring President William McKinley, when on his trip through 
Texas he visited Austin and San Antonio, but a short time before 
his horrible assassination in Buffalo. On the occasion when 
he was in Austin the Zouaves were the President's body guard 
and guard of honor. They were grouped about him at the 
capitol. The flag was there close to him. It remained in 
my keeping until I was promoted from an enlisted man to 
the rank of a commissioned officer in the Texas National Guard, 
when I placed it in the hands of Captain Robert Schmerbeck, 
then commander of the Zouaves and one of its members who 
had hoisted it above Morro. After the company was mustered 
out of service it was resolved to lend it to the custodian of 
the Alamo church and it was placed in that edifice until the 
women threatened to tear down the Alamo when it was removed 
and is now in the possession of Captain Schmerbeck. 

The honor of having borne it and the rank of its color 
sergeant, I consider the highest I have ever attained. The 
New York World did me the further honor of pronouncing 
my poem, "The Zouaves Flag," the best specimen of martial 
verse inspired by the Spanish American war. Captain Her- 
nandez, like Captain McAdoo, of the Belknaps, did not live 

152 Combats and Coxquests of Immortal Heroes 

long after that war. His constitution was ruined by the cU- 
mate of Cuba. He died soon after his return and after attain- 
ing the rank of major in the Texas National Guard and having 
been the Major General of the Spanish American Veteran 

Besides the Belknaps and the Zouaves, some other 
military organizations and regiments, more or less famous, 
were organized in San Antonio, some participating in the war 
and the others deprived of the chances to do so. One of these 
and the most famous was the First United States Volunteer 
Cavalry, best known as, "Roosevelt's Rough Riders." Doctor 
Leonard Wood, who had before then been in the medical de- 
partment of the regular army and in it had attained, justly, 
the rank of major, was its colonel. The Honorable Theodore 
Roosevelt, former assistant Secretary of the Navy in President 
McKinley's first term, and who resigned that position to 
accept this command, became its lieutenant colonel and could, 
had he so said, have been its colonel. Major Brodie, of Arizona, 
was one of its majors. It was mustered into service on the 
grounds of the International Fair Association in Riverside 
Park at vSan Antonio in May 1898. Soon after it went to 
Cuba, being the first regiment to land at Las Guasimas. It 
figured in the first fighting there. Soon afterward Colonel 
Wood became a brigadier and its lieutenant colonel succeeded 
him and Major Brodie became lieutenant colonel. It figured 
prominently at the battle of San Juan Hill. Several of its 
most daring members were killed among them Captain Bucky 
O'Neil and young Ham Fish, the latter an athlete and a giant 
in stature. One of its best known members is private Lewis 
Maverick, vice president of the Rough Rider's Association. 
Dr. Wood has since become the ranking general officer of the 
United States army. Colonel Roosevelt in rapid succession be- 
came governor of New York, Vice President and President of 
the United vStates. The latter position he can have again if he 
but announces his acceptance. He is today the greatest pri 
vate citizen of his country, the great apostle of peace, and 
one of the real and great men of the world. 

The next famous volunteer organization mustered at San 
Antonio was the Thirty- third Infantry, U. S. V. Luther 
R. Hare, a Texan, commanded it. It rescued Lieutenant 
Gilmore from captivity among the Philippinos after a march 
that was as tiresome as thrilling and leaving the participants 

Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 153 

at its end barefoot and little short of being naked of all except 
of honor. Their's was a heroic achievement. Frederick Fun- 
ston, who, by a ruse, captured the insurgent leader Aguinaldo, 
was given, and deserved, a brigadier generalship, although 
the task accomplished by him and his regiment was not nearly 
so full of toil or peril as was the trying one of Hare and his 
men on Gilmore's trail. Hare should have been awarded a 
star, but instead was retired from the service with the same 
rank Wood had at the commencement of the War, that of 
Major. This injustice is one of the few unworthy acts, or omis- 
sions, directly chargeable to Roosevelt. Doubtless such a 
great man as he has since regretted it. 

Among those who distinguished themselves by gallantry 
with the Thirty-third were Major Frederick Hadra, Captains 
Lee Hall and John F. Green, the latter having been severely 
wounded. Sergeant Radzinsky who was killed, all of these 
being San Antonians, and Captain John A. Hulen. With 
the exception of Radzinsky and Green the others were present 
and participated personally in the rescue of Gilmore. Green 
is now Chief of Philippine police at Manilla. He enjoys the 
reputation of having succeeded in effecting the restoration 
of every article that has been either lost or stolen since his 
incumbency began in that capacity. It might not be amiss to 
have his services applied in some of the cities of his own country. 
Hulen attained the rank of Brigadier General and held the 
position of adjutant general of Texas for several terms before 
his retirement to private life. 

The Fourth Texas Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, was another 
regiment mustered into and out of service at San Antonio, 
like the First Texas U. S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish 
American war without ever getting into it. 

Besides the volunteer commands mustered, several of 
the regular army organizations were recruited there and the 
very first United States troops to reach the Philippines, after 
Dewey's great naval victory, were companies of the Eighteenth 
and Twenty-second Infantry, which went from San Antonio. 
The Sixth Infantry, the Fifth and Tenth Cavalry and Light 
Battery K, of the First Artillery were troops recruited to proper 
strength there and most of them went direct from there either 
to Cuba, Porto Rico or the Philippines. Light Battery K 
figured prominently at San Juan Hill in the engagement in 
which the gallant young San Antonian, Garesche Ord, was 

154 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

treacherously slain by a wounded Spaniard while giving the 
latter a drink of water from his canteen. Under Edgar Kel- 
logg, who became before his death, a brigadier, the Sixth Infantry 
fought gallantly in both Cuba and the Philippines. One of 
its majors, Minor, who was badly wounded, also became a gen- 
eral ofhcer. Colonel Samuel M. Whitesides, its commander 
led the Tenth Cavalry from San Antonio to victory. He died 
soon after his last return from a disease contracted in Cuba. 
Brigadier General Chambers McKibbin who commanded the 
Texas department was also a prominent figure in both Cuban 
and Philippine campaigns. 





Many men and women, too, of merit and note have dwelt 
or sojotirned in San Antonio. The men were both those who 
write and those who fight and do other noble and lofty deeds. 

Five presidents of this nation and two of the one that 
preceeded this present state, have sojourned in San Antonio. 
The two latter were Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar, execu- 
tive heads of the Texan Nation. The other five were Benja- 
min Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and 
William PI. Taft. A sixth president of the United States, 
like Roosevelt, served there in the army before becoming presi- 
dent and revisited there afterward. He was Ulysses S. Grant, 
who was there when a second lieutenant on his way to the 
Mexican War. He returned when he had finished his globe 
circling tour and landed in Galveston in 1878. At that time 
he was accompanied by the celebrated little cavalryman known 
as "Fighting Phil" Sheriden. The latter had served on the 
frontier and had made an uncomiplimentary remark regarding 
Texas and disparaging the state, but I heard him recall it 
at a banquet to Grant and him at Galveston. 

Besides Grant and Sheridan many who wore and justly 
won the star earned deserved promotion in Texas. Zachariah 
Taylor, marched in and fought for Texas, but was never at San 

Co:\iBATs AND CoxouESTs OF Immortal Heroes 155 

Chief to be mentioned among Texas fighters is John L. 
Bullis. He commenced his carreer there as a second Heutenant 
in command of Seminole scouts, at whose head he rode hard, 
long and far, chasing brutal savages and barbarous outlaws 
off of the face of the earth. Both the people of Texas and those 
of its frontier gave him swords of honor, the first with silver 
scabbard and hilt, the second with golden sheath and jeweled 
grip. He earned every step of his promotion, from a first lieu- 
tenant's single bar to a brigadier's bright star. His exploits 
would fill a volume of thrilling adventure. None of them 
would need embellishment. All would be facts stranger than 
fiction and romiance that is real. Now he is enjoying at San 
Antonio, in an elegant home, a well earned rest after long 
years in strenuous campaigns in Texas, Cuba and the 

Stationed in San Antonio, which will probably be his last 
post before his promotion to a general officership and retire- 
ment from active service, is the one who was the youngest 
soldier in the Civil War, known far and wide as the "Little 
Drummer Boy." Frequently his comrades carried him on 
their shoulders or in their arms and no matter how tired the 
little fellow on the Federal side was he always managed to keep 
at the front. He is now Colonel John L. Clem. He will 
retire as Brigadier General John L. Clem. 

The late lam^ented General David S. Stanley fought Indians, 
served long and well on the Texas frontier and until his pro- 
motion from Colonel in command at Fort Clark to Brigadier and 
department commander at San Antonio, retiring from active 
service to take charge of the Soldiers' Home at Washington. 
There he died after serving his country through wars during 
which he was several times seriously wounded. 

W. R. Shafter, called, "Old Bull," was another cavalry- 
man who fought on the frontier with good effect. He attained 
a star and concluded his active military career shortly after 
the Spanish American Cuban campaign. 

B. H. Grierson, too. was an effective frontier lighter whose 
exploits compared favorably with his contemporaries and he 
likewise became a general officer deservedly. 

General Zenas R. Bliss, who was department commander 
here after General Stanley, was another of the fine fighters, 
who w^as always hot on the trail of marauding Indians when- 
ever they made a raid anywhere within striking distance of 
his military frontier force. Bliss was a splendid shot and 

156 Combats axd Conquests of Ialmortal Heroes 


Combats and Conquests of I:\imortal Heroes 157 

impressed on his soldiers the necessity of marksmanship as 
a means of self preservation. He made as good a department, 
as he did a company or regimental commander. 

Ronald Mackenzie, that fiery Scot, who preferred a hot 
fight to a warm meal, followed, killed and captured Indians 
by the hundred and deserved the house presented to him by 
the people of San Antonio, when he became brigadier and 
department commander. 

Henry W. Lawton, started his career, in Texas as a lieu- 
tenant and when a captain, demonstrated the superiority 
of the American soldier over the crafty savage on the latter 's 
own battle and camping grounds by worrying and tiring out 
old Geronim^o, his younger chief Neche, or Natchez, and cap- 
turing their Apache band in Mexico aided by Lieutenant Gate- 
wood and the Scout Edwardy. He delivered them to General 
Nelson Miles, who received their surrender after which they 
were taken by Lawton to San Antonio, put in the Quarter- 
master's quadrangle and from thence taken to Tortugas, Florida. 
Lawton, after having justly been awarded a star, was slain 
by a Philippine bullet soon after saying the bullet was not 
moulded that would kill him. 

Miles, who was the last Lieutenant General of the United 
States army service also served in Texas as did Henry C. Corbin, 
who became a major general. Adna R. Chaft'ee went from San 
Antonio into the Spanish American with a major's clover 
leaf on his shoulder and after leading the American force, the 
first to scale the Chinese wall at the Capture of Pekin by the 
combined armies, wore deservedly the two stars of a major 
general. John Reynolds, who commanded the Texas depart- 
ment during reconstruction. General Merritt, J. M. Schofield, 
a major general, C. M. Terrell, Frank Wheaton, Brigadiers 
Samuel Bird Young, a major general, Thomas A. Graham, 
Christopher C. Augur and J. C. Clous, all served in Texas, 
some commanding that department and all attained a general 
officer's rank. 

The Ord family was one of the fighting people who ac- 
quired fame in Texas. The most famous of these was E, O. C. 
Ord. He was the brigadier in command when the headquarters 
were moved first from the French to the Maverick building 
and thence to their pressent location on Government Hill, He 
is entitled to the credit of impressing the importance of marks- 
manship by the American soldier upon the war department at 
Washington, up to which time it had been given a secondary" 

158 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 


Combats and Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 159 

consideration. Ord urged and obtained the establishment of 
rifle ranges and rifle competition. From that time the shooting 
by United States soldiers began to improve and steadily did 
so until today, they, like the Yankee sailors of the navy, are 
the best shots in the world. His brother, Major Ord, who owned 
two splendid thoroughbred Arabian horses, was killed in 1876 
when they ran away. Father Johnston, who was with him 
in his carriage was then thrown out and badly hurt. I first 
drew Jimanaw Ord from under the hoofs- of one of the horses 
and carried Father Johnston into a residence near by. Jimanaw 
Ord was not hurt, but stunned. Father Johnston recovered 
after an extended ilhiess. One of General Ord's nieces, 
Julia, married Jack Ryan, the first U. S. Signal Corps man to 
string a military wire in Cuba and who kept all of the various 
arms of the service during the battles of Las Guasimas, El 
Caney and San Juan Hill in direct and constant communi- 
cation in the Cuban campaign. Ryan, with a small party, 
constructed three miles of military telegraph line in a single 
day and during it, was almost constantly under the enemy's 
fire. Garesche Ord, the San Juan Hill hero mentioned else- 
where, was of this Ord family. Bertie, a daughter of Gen- 
eral Ord, married General Trevino, of the Mexican army, and 
James Ord, a son, is one of its colonels. 

J. G. C. Lee and Jesse M. Lee served in Texas, the latter 
commanding that department immediately preceeding the 
coming thither of Frederick Dent Grant, son of the silent and 
great Ulysses. Fred Grant is now a major general. 
Ulysses S. Grant, IIL, while a lieutenant of Engineers, and 
of the third Grant generation was very recently stationed 
in Texas, where most of the famous Grants and Lees have 
served and fought. 

Colonel Robert R. Stevens is another officer of the United 
States army who served in San Antonio and Texas long, 
well and faithfully. He it was who had charge of the con- 
struction work at Leon Springs maneuver grounds, a duty 
he executed admirably as he did all others. He will make 
his home at San Antonio on retirment. He will not get, 
although he should receive, a brigadier's rank. 

Colonels L. M. Maus and J. B. Girard, of the medical depart- 
ment are both officers who have faced the perils of plagues as well 
as shot and shell on foreign fields in Cuban and Philippine 
campaigns and served efficiently in averting and lessening 

160 Co:mbats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

disease in the Texan territory. They both should be given, 
but may not get stars at or prior to retirement. 

The present commander at San Antonio, Albert Myer, 
is a brigadier who has had an eventful career. He was a success- 
ful Indian fighter and captured the infamous savages Santanta 
and Big Tree not far from the Concho and delivered theiTi 
over to merited punishment. General Myer was also present 
together with General U. S. Grant, General Tecumseh Sherman, 
General Dodge and other distuinguished characters at the 
completion of the Union Pacific Railway. Since his advent 
to Texas and his command of this department he has success- 
fully directed its affairs. During his regime many of the 
improvements have been made and numerous structures 


erected at the new post. He has had charge of and personally 
conducted the maneuvers at the new grounds at Leon Springs, 
that have been instructive alike to the regular and volunteer 

But while brave soldiers have battled around and about 
San Antonio, poets, scholars, statesmen and jurists have dwelt, 
sung, studied and compiled, literary, legal and statecraft gems 
and scattered them about the globe. 

Of the poets first to be named is Sydney Lanier, who; 
swanlike sang his dying song there. Mollie E. Moore Davis, who 
was born on the bank of the San Marcos river, dwelt and wrote 
some of her sweetest songs and gave forth her best lyrics from 
San Antonio. vShe died in my old home. New Orleans, not 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 161 

long since. Augusta Evans lived and wrote her first novel 
to bring her fame when in San Antonio. This was "Inez, or the 
Child of the Alamo." Her sister, Mrs. Leo Tarleton, herself 
a writer and a painter, lived there until recently. 

Charles R. Quarles, the poet, died in San Antonio but 
a short time since. Mrs. John R. Shook is writing a book 
there now. Mrs. William Ferguson, who has written a 
clever story with the Alamo as its scene spent many 
years there. Mrs. Robert Symington, a poetess, under the 
pseudonym of Crepe Myrtle, wrote many fine specimens of 
verse there. 

E. Knowles, a great sculptor, shortly before his death modeled 
there in clay and made plaster casts. 

Bret Harte and Bill Nye, both humorists, stopped there 
long enough to absorb inspirations. Juaquin Miller, "Poet 
of the Sierras," tarried there. Opie Reed wrote persiflage 
profitably there. 

Jack and Alexander Hamilton, statesmen, sojourned at 
San Antonio for some time. Colonel Tom Pierce, Colonel 
Henry B. Andrew^s, Major James Converse, C. C. Gibbs and 
Capt. Polk, all connected with the building of the Southern 
Pacific, the first railway to reach San Antonio, made it their 
home or headquarters. The two last named live there yet. 
Uriah Lott, another railwayman, together with Peter Nelson 
and Tom Johnson built the Aransas Pass Railway. 

Its first president was Augustus Belknap, likewise the 
progenitor of San Antonio's street railway service. 

B. F. Yoakum, the great railway magnate, practically 
commenced his career there when co-receiver with J. S. Mc- 
Namara, of the Aransas Pass railway. Frank Yoakum married 
Bettie Porter, the widowed and beautiful daughter of W. A. 
Bennett, the San Antonio banker, built a splendid home there 
but found the environment too circumscribed to suit the broad 
scope of his lofty aims, so he went first to St. Louis and thence 
to New York. There he soon forged to the front and is now 
the chief force directing the great Frisco Railway system. He 
is considered second in railway mergers of magnitude only 
to the late E. H. Harriman who died recently. 

Harrimian, frequently visited and shortly before his death 
spent a portion of his time at San Antonio. Jay Gould 
and H. M. Hoxie, of the International and other great railway 
systems were frequent visitors there. 

162 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Col. Sam Fordyce, prominently connected with the St. 
Louis, Brownsville & Mexico, a railway built through the genius 
of Yoakum and the skill of Lott, often comes and enjoys a 
trip to San Antonio. He is one of the high officials of not 
only that railway, but of the Pierce-Fordyce Oil company, 
which succeeded the Waters Pierce Company in Texas. 


A prominent jDcrsonage who paid periodical pilgrimages 
to San Antonio was Prince Solms Braunfels, head of the colony 
that founded the lovely city of New Braunfels, San Antonio's 
near neighbor and friendly business competitor, where Harry 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 163 

Landa and Joseph Faust, heads of gigantic commercial and 
financial institutions, operate. 

Another poetess, whose verse has been lofty and patriotic 
is Nettie Power Houston Bringhurst, daughter of General 
Sam Houston and wife of the savant Dr. W. H. Bringhurst. 
They dwell in San Antonio. 

Other prominent literati are Miss Marian B. Fen- 
wyke, (Aunt Ruth), Mrs Johnnie Jones, her partner former- 
ly in conducting the Passing Show, Miss Eudocia Bell, while 
formerly Miss Sarah Hartman, with Mrs. Foute, now de- 
ceased, conducted a magazine, The Gulf, that was a publica- 
tion of a high order of merit. 

R. R. Claridge, a writer of satire as well as practical mat- 
ter formerly lived there and founded the Stockman, now ably 
conducted by Vories P. Brown, the latter being the present 
head of the International Fair Association. 

Mrs. Fannie Wheeler is a forceful writer who enjoys the 
distinction of being the only woman in Texas running a daily 
newspaper owned by her. After the death of her husband, 
management devolved on her and she has been equal to the 
occasion. Her paper, the Brownsville Herald, is a better 
one than the place deserves and the local patronage it receives 
is much less in proportion than the benefit the paper is to the 
town in which it is published. Jesse Wheeler, her husband, 
was a martyr to duty and died in harness, working hard for the 
locality that failed to appreciate his heroic efforts on its be- 

Mrs. Isabel Bonsai Grice Russell is a poetess whose 
verse has considerable merit. She is also a very beauti- 
ful woman, and wealthy, once owning more than a majority 
of the capital stock of the San Antonio Express Publishing 
Company, a considerable block in the Traction, Gas and 
Electric corporation, besides considerable realty. 

A visitor to San Antonio frequently and one of its bene- 
factors, the donor of its handsome library building, Andrew 
Carnegie, is one of the world's prominent personages and a 
philanthropist of fame throughout the globe. 

The philanthropist who has been most lil^eral in benefac- 
tions to Texas and San Antonio, and who lives in that city 
is George W^ Brackenridge. who has made munificent donations 
to the San Antonio public schools both white and colored, 
and who built one of the handsomest edifices of the State Uni- 

164 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

versity group at Austin and donated it to the State. He 
also presented the Salvation Army with a tract of land near 
the head of the river on which to build a rescue home and pro- 
fusely contributed funds for its erection. He has done other 
numerous acts of charity to individuals that have never been 
mentioned. When I first came to San Antonio, a vStripHng 
and ill, he gave me shelter and employment and I shall always 
be equally grateful to him, his mother and sister, Miss Eleanor 
Brackenridge. The latter is also very prominent in women's 
work for the alleviation and advancement of her sex and has 


made many magnificent donations and contributions to such 

Mrs. Eli Herzberg is another San Antonian who is not 
only well known in literary circles, but in woman's relief and 
charity work which she does in a very quiet but effective 

One of San Antonio's very brilliant orators and success- 
ful charity workers is Rabbi Samuel Marks. 

Among the most prominent and sucessful religious and 
charitable workers of San Antonio were Bishops Odin, Dupuis, 
Pellicer and Neraz and Mother St. Pierre, of the Incarnate 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 165 

Word. Bishop Forest is also well known for his charitable 
ministrations as was the late Father Johnston. 

Mother Alphonse, the present Superior of the Incarnate 
Word order is also a well known w^orker in alleviating the 
sufferings of mankind as well as in promoting education. 

Bishop Johnston, head of the Episcopal church and Bishop 
Mouzon of the Methodists in this diocese have performed excel- 
lent work in humanity's cause as well as in the advancement 
of religion. 

Smith S. Thomas is another philanthropist, who in such a 
quiet way that his right hand has hardly known what has been 
done by his left, has kept the two busy alleviating the suffer- 
ings of his fellow man and relieving the distress of the poor 
and afflicted. He is one of the few unselfish and noble men 
who early in life w^as marked as a victim of a malady that he 
has valiantly fought alone. He early loved but would not 
wed the woman dearest to his heart because he was too just 
to afflict her with the care of an invalid, although she was 
willing to undertake the task. Neither of them has wed but 
both have gone through the greater part of life's journey and 
will end it unmarried. Mr. Thomas is a hero in other ways. 
He w^as one of the few who crossed the plains and mountains 
before the Union Pacific railway was built, traveling by wagon 
train. He successfully resisted the attacks of Indians and 
rescued others beset by them and likewise the assault of an 
outlaw band, utterly routing them with a much inferior force. 
When its leader told Thomas to surrender the latter coolly 
informed the desperado he had less than a minute to live if 
he and his band did not leave within that time and instead 
of drawing a weapon pulled out his watch and began to count 
seconds to the desperate villains who before the expiration 
of the time departed with great celerity. He has giv^en much 
to Masonry and the churches and was the first to give me a 
helping hand w^hen I undertook to publish this book. Know- 
ing that life is as uncertain as death is sure, he has even made 
preparation for his demise. His handsome tomb of poHshed 
granite in the cemetery of Anchor Lodge A. F. & A. M. 
has been there completed for some time. The friends who 
wdll act as his pallbearers, if they survive him. have been 
selected. Even his obituary has been wTitten in adv^mce of 
his final summons. He only awaits its call, having rounded 
out almost to its full period, a splendidly spent life. His is 
one of the names on the list of immortal heroes. 

166 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Sons and daughters of San Antonio have inscribed their 
names in the haUs of fame in many ways. Some have Hterally 
painted their's there. They appear on the canvasses which 
hang in some of the art salons, and have achieved fame for 
them. Others who have not yet done so are destined soon 
to acquire such fam.e. The art galleries of Europe, notably 
the Louvre, as well as those of America contain the art creations 
from San Antonio, earning for the creators celebrity, while 
many of these artists are better known abroad than at home. 
While dwehing in San Antonio they have toiled in obscurity 


and somiC in poverty, none acquiring here their reputation 
or remuneration, which only camic to them when they went 
abroad. But such is the history of genius the world 
over. With the painter as with the prophet. " He is not 
without honor save in his own land. " Although San Antonio 
and her environment abound with themes whether from Na- 
ture's open book, historic, heroic or picturesque, for the pencil 
and brush of the artist always, when such themes have been 
portrayed on canvass or otherwise depicted with added charm 
and touch of the true artist, he has had to go away with 

Combats axd Conquests of Immortal Heroes 167 

them to place them on some shrine of art, far distant from 
his home to render them acceptable. To young manhood 
grew young Eduard Grenet, here known only to an admiring 
few. Unencouraged he struggled and painted, choosing as 
his subjects the forms, faces and garbs of the characters about 
him. To him these were a mine of ideal art-wealth. 
To others who saw the originals daily they were too com- 
mionplace to have any charm. So when Grenet grouped 
the tones of the local fandango, portraying the typical 
Mexican beauty making the central figure of a local 
female an attendant at one of the fondas, no one noticed it. 
He called it "El Jarabe." He took the picture with him to 
Paris, where he went to study art and all Paris raved over it. 
Mexican beauty w^as so common in San Antonio as to only 
attract admiration from visitors. Grenet impressed it so 
charmingly on canvas that when he exhibited his painting, 
Parisians hungered for m.ore. Soon several of his pictures 
were accorded space in the salons of Paris. It was not very 
long after they were given honor spots in the art gallaries of 
the principle cities of Europe. Grenet did not have to wait 
long to be known not only in Paris, but in Naples, Venice and 
even Rome. He was kept busier than he wished and too busy 
to have the leisure he desired to study the works of other 
artists. Now his name is known in every capitol of Europe. 
Possibly less than a hundred remember him in his old home 
of San Antonio. 

So it was with Seymour Thomas, who by leaving San 
Antonio leaped into fame. With no instruction he began to 
draw and paint the scenes about him. Rambling along the 
banks of the San Antonio river and among the historic old 
Missions, where he stopped long enough to study and sketch 
the scenes and subjects he saw about him. They were scenes 
of realism and possessed a novel charm. His pictures bear 
close scrutinization and inspection. They are neither rough 
nor rugged. All have a classic finish about them. Of course, 
critics condemned them because this was an innovation of 
his own in art. There was nothing else about his pictures 
to condemn, but what they condemned and called down was 
a new charm. 

Thomas painted the colors as well as the details just as 
he saw them and just as nature herself had painted them. 
He never attempted to tone down the brilliant high-lights in 


order to brighten Nature's shades. His hghts were never too 
bright nor his shadows too somber. None sugested caUing 
out the fire department, nor created an impulse toward suicide 
as do pictures of some impressionists. These circumstances 
were not objects to his advancement and success at home 
but his was a genius, that could not be supressed. He 
only had to go as far as New Orleans and hang up a canvas 
of the San Jose mission showing the beautiful window on its 
south side to wii; full appreciation and encouragement. It came 
immediately from people who know the truth of art when they 


see it. It did not take Thomas long to make his way to Europe. 
Like Grenet, he too, has had too much wisdom to return to 
Texas to paint. An occasional visit to his parents and 
sketching of a few subjects here sufficed. Portraiture, a 
profession in which he excels, to him proved profitable. 
Probably his best portrait is the equestrian one of Sam 
Houston, which created great interest at the Pan American 
Exposition at Buffalo, as did another, whose title is "The 
Bath." Both Grenet and Thomas have contributed sketches 
for illustration in this book. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 169 

Edgar vS. Hamilton, recently deceased, is another San 
Antonian whose art creations are better known in Xew York 
and Europe than his own home where he died but a few years 
asfo. San Antonio's best known and best artist in his own 
immediate environments as well as abroad is R. J. Onderdonk, 
copies of whose "At the Alamo's Brave Battle" and "Santa 
Anna Before Houston at San Jacinto" adorn and illustrate 
this work. 

H. A. McArdle, who died but a short time since, was another 
of San Antonio's great historic painters. His canvas depicting 
the battle of San Jacinto and the Alamo now hang on the 
walls of the Texas Senate Chamber and are so meritorious 
they should be purchased for the people of the State by her 

Tom Brown, another San Antonian, self-taught, has painted 
many splendid pictures. His best themes are representations 
of scenes of the gray morning peculiar to this city. To this 
book he has contributed a sketch of vSoledad street showing 
at its right the historic old Veram.endi palace. 

Leo Cotton is another lad who has genius, which has been 
aided by culture. His penchant has been portraiture and 
he excels in caricature. For several years he was in charge 
of the illustrations of the San Antonio Daily Express, but to 
better his fortunes he has recently gone North. One of his 
contributions is to be found in this book. An ideal sketch 
depicting the scene of the burning of the bodies of those who 
perished in defense of the Alamo. 

A. Toepperwein, another former illustrator of the Express, 
is a natural born artist. He can not only draw with the pen 
and pencil but literally shoots likenesses with his rifle, and 
was the first to perform such a feat. He is an all-around 
genius, painting in oil or water colors, burning on wood or 

Mrs. B. G. Duval who lived for a long time in San Antonio, 
possessed considerable artistic ability which has attracted 
admiration. vShe has drawn and painted a great many pictures 
of great merit, as also has Mrs. C. Kroi'iin£er who lately lived 
here, but since has gone to Europe where she has acquired 
much greater fame than in her former home. 

Pauline Paschal, now Mrs. Chas. H. Benson, and a daughter 
of the late Col. Jas. P. Newcomb, Florence, both possess con- 
siderable talent and are clever at pen and ink sketches and 
other art work. Mrs. W. H. Weiss, daughter of the late Col. 

170 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Augustus Bellnap, likewise a San Antonio girl but now living 
in Europe has a penchant for art running in the channels of 
keramics. A lady who was formerly Flo Eager, now Mrs. 
Roberts, also excels in china decorative work. For some 
years she was custodian of the Alamo Church in which posi- 
tion she has been succeeded by her mother, its present 
custodian. Mrs. Sarah A. Eager. Mrs. Eloise Pope McGill, 
formerly residing in San Antonio developed considerable 
ability in art, her talent being principally in the line of flow- 
ers. She also seemiS to show considerable talent for keramics. 
Miss Emma Giddings, daughter of the late Col. Geo H. Gid- 
dings. is another San Antonian excelHng in oil and water coloring. 


Chas. Simmang is a San Antonian who evinces great talent 
in the cutting of cameos as well as the making of medallions. 

A. T. Mills is an artist who has done good work in news- 
paper illustration and has made most of the cuts forming 
pictures published in this book. Art here has not been con- 
fined entirely to the Caucausian. J. Todd Walton, a colored 
man, has manifested much talent in several lines of art. He 
not only paints in oil and water colors but models in clay 
from life, with considerable merit. 

Bob Minor is another young San Antonian who is a success- 
ful illustrator of newspapers and magazines, who had to leave 
home to win fame and fortune. His first work was on the 
"Lanijtern" and later on the Gazette. He left his home to 

Combats and Coxouests of Immortal Heroes 171 

accept a much more lucrative place on a large daily at St. 
Louis and since has gone to New York to fill a similar one on a 
great daily news paper of Gotham. He inherits his talent 
from his mother, also an artist, who paints well. 




Not all of the heroes deserving immortality are soldiers. 
Many battle just as bravely with the pen as with the sword 
Oftener more effectively. Under the most untoward circum- 
stances probably that ever a publication was conducted 
and issued, although deprived of the use of type or printer's ink, 
was probably the most patriotic, although not the first in Texas. 
It was that published by the Texan Santa Fe prisoners in the 
palace, or Castle of Santiago, in the City of Mexico. Its 
title was appropriate. It was named "True Blue" and written 
on blue paper with a pen by its editor who was known as Simon 
Pure. G. W. Grover was his real name. He had to write 
in full each individual number of each issue, this being before 
the day of the mimeograph or the multigraph and had it not 
been, neither of these would have been issued to or been per- 
mitted the use of by prisoners. The first issue was dated 
April 1, 1842. It ran through but five issues, the last being 
dated on the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto, April 21. 

Another patriotic publication was that originated by 
Gail Borden, Thomas H. Borden and Julius Baker at Colorado 
in 1836 shortly before the San Jacinto battle. Santa Ana's 
soldiers captured the printers and imprisoned them, threw 
their type and printing press into the river and chased the 
editors, who had a narrow escape, with a few copies of the issue 
just printed. The |)ress was afterward fished from the bottom 
of the stream and used in Houston to print the Houston Tele- 
graph of which J. H. Crugar was business manager and Dr. 
Moore, editor. The original name given it by the Bordens 
and Baker was the Telegraph and Texas Register and the press 
was a Hoe, (Smith medium.) 

172 Combats axd Conquests of Laimortal Heroes 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 173 

The first printing press brought to Texas was that carried 
to Galveston in 1816 long before the founding of the RepubHc, 
Samuel Bangs using it for printing the records of an ill-starred 
expedition, but the name of the publication, if it had one, has 
been lost in oblivion. 

The first regular newspaper publication established in 
Texas was founded by Horatio N. Bigelow at Nacogdoches 
in 1828, the place where they have permitted the destruction 
of the historic old fort and ever since regretted its dem- 
olition. Soon after the fort was destroyed the historic old 
"Liberty Tree" there was blown down by a hurricane and 
now the Nacogdoches people are without any historic relics. 
They did not preserve Bigelow's historic press. He called 
his paper by a name that has even been forgotten. But 
the following year at San Felipe de Austin, 1829, Godwin 
Cotten instituted the Cotton Plant, while in 1834 D. W. Anthony 
established at Brazoria the Constitutional Advocate and 
Advertiser and in 1836 Harris & Gray, at old Washington, 
on the Brazos, originated the Texas Emigrant. But this pub- 
lication had been preceded in 1834 by the Peoples' Rights, 
run by Oliver Allen at Victoria. In 1839 James Burke, at 
Austin, started the Epitomist and Samuel Whiting the Texas 
Gazette. The same year the Richmond Register entered the 
arena under the lead of David L. Wood. An unique and in- 
teresting old time Texas newspaper was the Jimplecute, pub- 
lished at Jefferson, but the Jefferson Times preceded it in 
1865. The Herald was the first paper published at Dallas 
but was later hyphenated w^th the Times. It runs yet and 
is likely to much longer. 

Probably the oldest Texas newspaper still running is 
located at Bastrop. Its name is the Advertiser. Another 
unique paper was the Houston Age founded by Dan McGary, 
himself a picturescjue character. McGary and John Rankin 
previously established the Banner at Brenham but disagreed 
and McGary retired, leaving Rankin to wave the Banner un- 
til Rankin was called to furl its folds and himself went to his 
last sleep not long since. 

The oldest daily newspaper running continuously is the 
Galveston News. It was originated in 1842 by Michael Cronican, 
a typical Irishman and Wilbur Cherry, the latter having been 
one of Sam Houston's San Jacinto soldiers. The second oldest 
living Texas daily would be the Brownsville Herald had it kept 
the title of one of the papers with which it consolidated, 

174 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

but this it dropped and took up a new title, thus losing 
its claim to antiquity and seniority, surrendering it to the 
San Antonio Daily Express. The Statesman, at Austin, of 
which Asher Smoot is head, is third in point of age although 
it only originated in 1S71, but the Express did not become 
a daily until 1S75, although established much earlier as a 

Next to the Houston Telegram and Houston Morning 
Star, was the old San Antonio Herald. Its last editor happened 
to have been the last editor of the Houston Telegram. He 




was Edmond P. Claudon, who before had been an editor of 
La Beille, (The Bee) at New Orleans. The Bee is still alive 
although the Star has ceased to twinkle, the Telegram has been 
delivered to its last subscriber and the Herald has gone to 
its long home with its last editor. A. H. Belo and the Dealeys 
after they secured the Galveston News from Richardson 
established in the early 'SO's the Dallas end, which is now 
the head of the hyphenated and dual daily. Among the famous 
men of the news were Hamilton wStuart, and W. G. Sterrett, 
generally known as "Bill." 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 175 

At Austin, in 1849 Jacob de Cordova started the South- 
western which he sold in 1852 to John S. ("Old Rip") Ford. 
The same year T. A. & F. J. Paddillo, established the Texas 
Republic which was merged into the Messenger now running 
as a daily at Marshall, while George Robinson, in 185!) origi- 
nated the Item, a weekly, still regularly issued at Huntsville. 

The oldest and only daily German newspaper in Texas 
is the Freie Presse fuer Texas established at vSan Antonio by 
A. Siemering and his partner Pollmer, hi 1869. It is yet 
being most profitably conducted by Robert Hanschke, for- 
merly of the New Orleans German Gazette. 

The first newspaper published in San Antonio was owned 
by Nat Lewis, Sr. and his partner J. D. Groesbeck. It was printed 
in the old Lewis Mill whose mill stones were the first in Texas 
and brought over by the thirteen Canary Island colonists. 
One of these stones is now in the Alamo chapel placed there 
by myself through the instrumentality of the late Frank Grice, 
who obtained it from the owner, Nat Lewis Jr. The paper, 
a weekly, was called the West Texan, its editor and progenitor 
having been Henry Lewis, one of the very early brainy men 
of Texas. It made its initial appearance in 1848. Lewis 
was succeeded by a man named Glass after the cholera scourge 
in 1849 carried off one of its editors. It lived just a decade 
when it was succeeded by the Ledger established by Jacob 
Walker, who had been one of its staff until dissention arose. 
Walker finally secured control of the Texan and merged it 
into the Ledger. The fight between the two rival publica- 
tions has been aptly described as resembling the battle be- 
tween the kingsnake and the rattlesnake wherein the rattle- 
snake always succeeds in being swallowed by the kingsnake. 

One. of the very conspicuous features of the newspapers of 
that period was the advertisements relative to negro slaves. 
These had reference to escaped ones for restoration of whom 
rewards were offered and sales of them announced. The 
newspaper cuts then very crude, were of wood and usually 
very small, generally less than an inch square. The cuts 
represented runaway negroes and houses, boats and ships. 
These as well as advertisements of strayed or stolen horses, 
were the principal sources of profit to the ]3ublishcrs. The 
Ledger was purchased by Vanderlip & Hewitt, who had it 
but a short time when it passed into the hands of Michael 
Burke. He converted it into a daily, the first published in 
San Antonio in 1856. Soon after it was accjuired by William 

176 Combats and Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 

Maverick and conducted in the historic Veramendi building, 
by John A. Logan. Major Biggar, then U. S. quartermaster, 
who swore by the New York Herald and who had great in- 
fluence with the management, succeeded in having its name 
changed to the Herald. From the Veramendi it was moved 
over to Dolorosa Street at the Southwest extremity of Main 
Plaza. Logan & Palmer purchased it, running it until Palmer 
retired. Henry C. Thompson, recently deceased editor of 
the Floresville Chronicle, succeeded him and for the next fifteen 
years it was the leading daily newspaper of Texas. Logan 
was succeeded as editor by Col. J. Y. Dashiell, former U. S. 
paymaster, and Thompson as business manager;by his brother 


George R. Dashiel, such a shrewd politician that he could fore- 
cast within half a dozen votes, how Bexar County's elections 
would go. Major Sweet succeeded George Dashiel on the latter's 
election to the position of district clerk and Alex Sweet, the 
greatest humorist the South has produced, not excepting Joel 
Chanler Harris, was its city editor when I was one of its reporters. 
Sweet's career is not nearly so well known as his inimitable 
writings. Col. Dashiell could not appreciate Alex's wit, so 
about the time the Herald was ready to collapse Sweet retired. 
I got him the position of local correspondent of the Galveston 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 177 

News at San Antonio. He called his column "San Antonio 
Sittings. ' ' It was eagerly read. Sweet also at that period wrote 
for the Express, but a short time after went to Austin where 
he established the Texas Siftings, which had such phenomenal 
success that it was moved to New York in order to secure 
proper facilities for its immense circulation. Meanwhile Sweet 
had associated with him another eminent humorist, J. Armoy 
Knox. I came over from San Antonio to Austin with Sweet, 
but when he and Knox took the paper North I went back to 
San Antonio. After publishing the paper in New York in 
partnership for some time Alex retired on account of a dis- 
agreement with Knox who continued its publication, but the 
paper lost the spice and ginger Sweet had infused into it and 
soon after died. vSweet became editor of the Tammany Times 
in New York and died in harness there a few years ago. One 
of his daughters lives in San Antonio. One of his sons was 
a volunteer in the recent Spanish-American War and distin- 
guished himself by braver}^ as Alex had done on the Confederate 
side during the Civil War. Sweet's old home at C and Fourth 
streets was recently destroyed to give place to another struc- 

On account of espousing the unpopular side in a political 
campaign the old Herald died. Up to the time of the failure 
of the Democratic congressional convention to nominate either 
John Ireland or Gustav Schleicher and turned them both 
loose to run against each other before the people, the Herald 
had been the successful competitor of the Express, but the Herald 
espoused the cause of Ireland, lost most of its subscribers 
and advertising patrons and soon went to its grave, while 
the Express, sagely sounding Schleicher's praise, the latter 
then having been the most popular and the successful one 
of those two candidates, took the ascendency. 

In 1861 James P. Newcomb started the Express, calling 
it the Alamo Express, and running it but a short time after. 
He espoused the wrong side then in his community, by oppos- 
ing Secession. His printing office was visited by a mob that 
pied and threw his type out of the window, broke his press 
and Newcomb left the city and joined the Federal army, 
serving in it throughout the Civil War. At its end he re- 
turned to San Antonio. He became the Secretary of State 
during the reconstruction period under Governor Edmond 
J. Davis's regime, after which he went back to newspaper 
work at San Antonio. 

178 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

In 1875 E. A. Siceluff, Charles F. Cotton, Charles Seabaugh, 
George, Ike and John Martin, together with Herman Schuetze 
secured the Express from A. Siemering and converted it into 
a daily. Siceluff was its business manager, Col. Gilles- 
pie its editor, Charles Seabaugh its city editor and all the 
balance of those founding it set type or circulated it, Cotton 
being in charge of its circulation. Shortly after this 
Frank Grice came from Missouri to work as a printer 
for the Express, but soon gained an interest and later a con- 
trolling one, buying out the stock of all of the others, who 



all retired except Cotton. He succeeded Siceluff, the latter re- 
turning to his former home in Aurora, Mo., where he now is. Mr. 
Cotton, tw^o years after the death of Mr. Grice, resigned after 
a constant connection of over 35 years with it, being succeeded 
by its present business manager, Frank Huntress Jr. the old- 
est in service of any of the present regime, except the printers 
Wiliam Patchousky and Klepper. To this ]3aper I gave over 
thirty of the best years of my life, but after the death of Mr. 
Grice retired from its employ. In this connection I do not 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 179 

believe it is vanity that prompts me to say I have contributed 
considerably to its success. My reminiscent and historic 
special Sunday feature articles augmented its circulation. 
Mr. Grice, himself, took a deep personal interest in them, 
often suggesting subjects and supplying data, although both 
he and the former managing editor, Frank H. Bushick, gave 
me a free hand and, generally speaking, I chose my own sub- 
jects. Many requests of hundreds of readers of those arti- 
cles and of that paper came to me urging me to put them in 
book form. Those requests are largely responsible for my 
doing so and I have culled my best thought previously pub- 
lished and added some hitherto unpublished matter and 
put them into print here. Frank Grice died in 191)7. His 
son-in-law, Robert Maverick, has succeeded him as president. 

Cotemporaneously with me on the Express during my ser- 
vice with it have been some of the brightest and most brilliant 
writers of the present century. The first of these is Col. Henry 
C. King, Sr., now living in Boerne, who served before coming 
to San Antonio, with George Wilkins Kendall on the old New 
Orleans Picayune, the first paper that I ever worked on. Col. 
Gillespie, who died suddenly in Austin was a brilliant writer. 
A Siemering, although a German, was able to write in both 
the German and English languages in a powerful and 
a polished manner. Col. Howard, who died near Travis Park 
was a splendid writer. W. C. Brann, whom I consider the 
most brilliant literary genius of the newspaper world of the 
past two centuries was its most gifted editor. I believe he 
would be alive today had he abided by advice I offered him 
at New Orleans less than two weeks before his untimely end 
when I urged him to go to Chicago, New York, San Francisco, 
or some other large city where he would have bettered his for- 
tune, but he said if he did it might be said he had been run 
out of Waco. So he stayed there, made a game fight and 
died fighting. Harry S. Canfield, another who met a tragic 
fate, was one of the very bright editors of the Express. He, 
like a number of others, however, had to go North to find 
the appreciation not to be obtained in a small local field. Wil- 
liam Ransom, now manager of the New York City Associated 
Press, a dram.atic critic and musician, failed to find pro])er 
appreciation until he also went on to New York. 

J. T. Dickenson, one of the former Express staff, went 
to Washington where he soon became staff correspondent 
of Whitekiw Reid's New ^'ork Tribune. Charles A. Edwards. 

180 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Frank H. Bushick, and Otto Praeger, all three brainy and 
forceful writers, found proper appreciation at Washington, 
D. C. There Edwards now holds a prominent position as does 
Dickinson, the latter being in the department of Commerce 
and Labor, while Praeger is not only an editor of one of the 
leading dailies there but is the correspondent of more than 
a hundred of outside papers that he has syndicated. Bushick 
came back to his native state and is wielding the Archimedian 
lever and directing the destinies of the Corpus Christi Caller. 
Incidentally it may be added he is doing so with great verve. 
HoUis Field, poetry and prose writer of great power, had to 
leave the Express to go to Chicago to bring out his latent 


ability. Frank Brittain also left it to go to San Francisco, 
where he soon attained eminence at the bar. J. Hampton 
Sullivan, propably the Nestor of Texas newspaper writers 
and the oldest writer on its present staff attained his reputa- 
tion as a paragraph and leader writer before he entered its 
employ. James A. Barnes, whose friends endearingly term 
the "Deacon," has been with it longer than Sullivan and is 
likely to remain as long as he choses. John A. Ford, its live- 
stock and commercial editor, a very capable man and a very 
estimable one, has been with it more than a decade and a 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 181 

Richard H. Russell, formerly its livestock and commercial 
editor has since retired as vice-president and general 
manager and was succeeded by Frank Huntress, Jr., and 
George McQuaid has been replaced as managing editor by 
John R. Lunsford, who had before served it long and well. 

Shirley Johns, who died recently, was one of its best 
all around workers, E. J. O'Reilly, who made the ride 
on a mustang from San Antonio to Chicago, served on its 
staff. George Waverly Briggs, Austin Cunningham and 
Chester Crowell are three of its present very bright staff 
members. W. D. Hornady formerly was its city editor. He 
is doing excellent magazine work now. Stephen Gould, who 
like myself grew grey in its service, and it was good service 
too, was for years its commercial editor. Albert Hartman 
left it to become Secretary of the International Club. 

T. B. Johnson, James P. New^comb, A. W. Gifford and W. L. 
Winter established the Light in 1881. The Light w^as the 
outgrowth of the Surprise, an occasional originated by Gift'ord, 
who retired some time afterward and W. S. Messmer 
obtained an interest. Newcomb and Messmer both re- 
tired later. Winter having preceded both in sever- 
ing connection with it. Johnson died in harness and it finally 
has become the property of Geo. D. Robbins, its present 
principal proprietor. For many years Frank J. Caldwell 
was its citv editor. He was a faithful and efficient worker. 

F.W.Mosebach, Harry Johnson and A. B. Hillan are its pres- 
ent oldest reporters. A.M.Munro, its manager, was formerly 
employed in a similar capacity on the Gazette which it absorbed 
not long ago. Its brightest and best writer recently is Joseph 
Emerson Smith, who 'is also an artist with pencil and brush 
and a gifted orator. 

In 1886 Nat Lewis, W. L. Winter and Dr. I\Iax Lindner 
started The Evening Paper with F. H. Bushick and William 
Ransom as editors and reporters. It did not long survive. 
Dr. Lindner and Edmond P. Claudon started a satirical car- 
toon paper called the Lantern, but its was a light that failed 
soon after the match was struck. 

McHenry Claytor, Robert Nelson, Frank Caldwell and 
Charles Cochran originated the old Daily Times as the phoenix 
of the Herald in 1879. Soon afterward William Ferguson 

182 Combats and Conquests of I:\niORTAL Heroes 

became its managing editor. It lived for several years and 
during the business management of Claytor flourished, but 
died soon after the firebug, McDonald, had burned it out twice 
in succession and attempted to do so the third time. 

The Times ran behind for six years, although ably edited, 
but its business management was not of a nature to make the 
paper succeed until O. C. Guessaz, printer and newspaper man 
came to the city in 1886 and was tendered the business man- 
agement. Under his guidance the paper began to make money 
and in one short year it was one of the most successful papers 
financially in the Southwest, but a prominent real estate dealer, 
desiring to create a "boom" sheet for San Antonio, caused a 
lot of alleged newspaper men to come to San Antonio to buy 
out the Daily Times. The new-comers, Stinchcomb and God- 
dard, then organized a company with a capital stock of $50,000, 
purchased the paper from Wm. Ferguson and in less than one 
year had successfully absorbed everything in sight, paper, 
printing plant and all. Thus went out of existence one of the 
most promising dailies in the state. 

During the first campaign of William Jennings Bryan 
and when James L. Slayden led what everyone, himself in- 
cluded, considered a forlorn hope, but succeeding in defeating 
Judge George H. Noonan, the powerful congressional candi- 
date, Oscar C. Guessaz started and through that campaign 
conducted the Democrat. He and it contributed more to 
Slayden's success than any one else or thing, although 
the attempt to lead Mr. Bryan into the AVhite House was 
futile, then as afterward. Col. W. A. H. Miller, formerly 
of Llano, now a leading lawyer at Cotulla next became its 
editor and publisher. 

Major Moses Harris originated and some years ran the 
News, a daily at San Antonio. He is now successfully con- 
ducting and ably editing the Republic the only strictly Re- 
publican newspaper in the state of Texas. 

One of the very brainy writers who once made San An- 
tonio his hom.e and was then the secretary of the Interna- 
tional Fair association is Col. Louis F. Wortham, now editor 
of the Ft. Worth Star and the Current Issue magazine. He 
is brilliant as a writer and an eloquent orator as w^ell. He 
is now a member of the legislature. 

But these are not all of the eminent nor the prominent 
papers and periodicals of Texas and I have only mentioned 
some of the principal ones, the others being too numerous 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 183 

for me to attempt to even allude to. But all have had their 
places, wielded their influence and done what they could. 
They succeeded in promoting the causes and growth of this 
great empire state and developed the environment in which 
they dwelt. They deserve and have places in the hearts of a 
grateful people. Most of their writers have replaced their pens, 
let us hope, with harps, if not crowns and are singing celestial 
praises instead of the paeons they produced here on earth. 



Many of the early settlers of the city and state were pro- 
minent personages who participated in a number of the prin- 
cipal events forming their history or had careers that were 
interesting. Scions of the families of many of these old set- 
tlers still reside on or about the sites and scenes of the 
dwellings and dramas which made their ancestors men of 
mark and women of note- 
Perhaps the most distinguished of these families is the 
Maverick, whose head was vSamuel A. Maverick, Sr., a lawyer 
who came to San Antonio shortly before the 
outbreak of trouble between the Texans, or "Constitutional- 
ists" and the Mexicans. Mr. Maverick first dwelt at the north 
east corner of Soledad and Commerce streets where the Kamp- 
mann building now stands. He acquired a great deal of 
land, which in those days, was very cheap, ten cents per acre 
being considered an extremely liberal and twenty-five cents 
an acre a most extravagant price. The site on which the pre- 
sent Bexar County court house is located is said at one time 
to have been exchanged for a pair of boots, while a GO acre 
tract, now in the heart of the city, its west front being South 
Alamo and northern one North street, was swapped by its 
then owner, Joseph F. Beck, for ten wagons and their yokes of 
steers, Beck considering he had made an excellent bargain. 
Samuel A. Maverick, Sr.,wasa historic and ])ictures(jue charac- 
ter. He first became ])rominent as one of those who guided 
Benjamin R. Milam and the hitter's victorious forces into the 

184 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

city from the Molino Blanco. He was standing beside Milam 
when the latter was killed b}^ a shot from a concealed sharp 
shooter. Milam fell into Maverick's arms and died at the 
Veramendi. Next he added more fame to his stock by being 
chosen one of the delegates to the convention that declared 
Texan independence from Mexico March 2, 1836. He was 
first. Congressman from the San Antonio district to serve in 
the House of representatives of the Texan Republic. He was then 
carried into captivity to Mexico and spent over 2 years there 
in the Perote Prison. Samuel A. Maverick was the president 
of the Secession Convention of Texas. As such officer he signed 
the first military order issued in Texas by the Confederate States 
government. It directed the seizure of United States funds 
in the hands of the Federal Quartermaster. 

Together with Thomas J. Devine and P. N. Luckett, he 
was chosen a commissioner to arrange the terms of surrender 
by General Twiggs of the U. S. i\rmy and troops commanded 
by Twiggs as well as property of the U. S. government to Gen- 
eral Ben McCullough's Confederate command. The pro- 
perty was delivered to the Commission headed by Maverick 
by McCullough immediately after the surrender, the delivery 
taking place at the Veramendi palace which was then Twiggs 
headquarters, as well as the U. S. arsenal, the surrender having 
occurred previously at the Plaza house on Main Plaza. 

The Maverick family is a race of warriors. Although it 
is probable that Samuel Maverick Sr., never fired a shot at a 
human being or spilled a drop of one's blood, the shedding 
of which was abhorrent to him, he was an active participant 
in the governments and wars as mentioned, while three of 
his sons, George A., Lewis and Sam, Jr., were all gallant Con- 
federate soldiers, Lewis, Sr. , having commanded a company 
of Cavalry, while Sam Jr. distinguished himself by swimming 
to the middle of the Cumberland river, setting fire to a steam- 
boat then in charge of United States troops and after doing 
so swimming back to the shore from whence he started, although 
under heavy fire from the soldiers of the burning steamer. 
The boat was entirely destroyed, but those on it saved their 
lives by stranding it on the bank opposite that to which Maver- 
ick swam. A grandson, Lewis, Jr. , was a private soldier in 
Roosevelt's famous Rough Rider regiment and with it in all 
of the battles it took part during the Spanish American 
War from its landing at Las Guasimas to the charge at San 
Juan Hill, the regiment then being commanded by Colonel 

Combats axd Coxouests of Lmmortal Heroes 185 

Theodore Roosevelt. Lewis Maverick is now the vice presi- 
dent of the Rough Rider's organization. Thus this family 
figured in three wars. Samuel A. Maverick's other sons, Wil- 
liam and Albert, as well as George and Sam, reside in San i\nto- 
nio. Lewis, Sr., died many years ago, as did Samuel A. Maverick 



Sr. A daughter, Mary now deceased was the first v/ife of the late 
Edwin H. Terrell, U. S. Minister Plenipotentiary and Ambas- 
sador to Belgium under the administration of President Ben- 
jamin Harrison. A sister of Albert Maverick's wife is the 
wife of James L. Slaydcn, j^rescnt congressional rei^rcsentative 

186 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

of the 14th Texas district. A grandson of Samuel A. Maverick, Sr., 
Robert, married Laura Grice, daughter of Frank Grice, deceased, 
former owner of the Daily Express. Both Samuel A Maverick 
Sr., and his wife, Mrs. Mary A. Maverick, kept interesting diaries 
and wrote memoirs from which I published many interesting 
extracts in the San Antonio Express. 

John D. Groesbeck, who was born in Albany, N. Y. came 
to Texas in 1836 just after the battle of San Jacinto and located 
at Galveston where he for four or five years engaged in a whole- 
sale drug business. He was a civil engineer by profession and 
it was he who laid out the city of Galveston, his survey being 
the recognized official one today. He moved to Houston in the 
early '40 's, remaining there until '46, when he sold out his 
business to William M. Rice, who was murdered in New York, 
and to his cousin A. Grosebeck, one time president of the H. 
& T. C. Railway and one of the builders of that road and of 
the Capitol, afterwards the Rice hotel on the site of the old Texas 
Capitol. John D. Groesbeck was married in Houston to Phoebe 
Henrietta Tuttle. He moved in '46 to San Antonio, where he 
formed a parnership with his brother-in-law, Nat Lewis, in 
a general mercantile and banking business and sutler for the 
U. S. Army, furnishing supplies to all of its troops and posts 
west and northwest of San Antonio. Their store was situated 
out on Main Plaza directly in front of the present court house 
its front being on a line with Market street and with Bryan 
Callaghan's store, which was on a line with Galan street. Its 
east boundary was what was then called Quinta street. This 
property, together with Callaghan's has since become and 
forms the southern portion of Main Plaza. Lewis and Groes- 
beck owned a large number of wagons and mules forming trains 
which hauled their supplies. The late Capt. William M. Edgar 
was for years in charge of some of their trains. John D. Groes- 
beck purchased the old Tom Howard home on Quinta, now 
Dwyer Avenue, where he lived until his death in 1856. His 
son, J. N. Groesbeck and other descendants still live there. 
It adjoins the old Quinta and former home of John Bowen, 
first American postmaster of San Antonio. John D. Groesbeck 
was an alderman in 1852. The Groesbeck is one of the 
most important families in San Antonio today. 

William A. Wallis, generally called. "Big Foot, ^' was a Virgin- 
ian who came to Texas in 1837, locating first near Lagrange 
on the west side of the Colorado River. While there he was cap- 
tured by Comanche Indians. One of their number was a 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 187 

comely squaw who fell in love with Wallis, She liberated him 
and he escaped. In 1840, with John H. Moore he served in 
a campaign against Kickapoo Indians whom they routed, 
He was with Caldwell in the disastrous battle of the Salado 
against Mexicans. He was a member of the ill-fated Mier ex- 
pedition, but was one of those fortunate enough to draw a 
white bean, thus saving his life. Returning from the 
Mexican prison he joined Jack Hay's ranger force. In 
the Twin Sisters' fight, the first in which revolving 
pistols were used, he killed every Indian at whom 
he shot, riding fearlessly up to close quarters with 
each of his adversaries. At the battle of Agua Dulce, (Sweet 
Water), he was made a lieutenant for gallantry. Next year 
Governor Bell gave "Big Foot" Wallis a commission to or- 
ganize a company of his own. On August 5, 1850, with this 
company of but 23 rangers he fought and vanquished 125 
Indians on the Laredo road. The fight lasted seven hours 
and was resumed the next day. In it 20 Indians were killed 
and 65 captured. In 1852 he was guide and guard for the stage 
plying 680 miles between San Antonio and El Paso and had 
but 5 men in his escort. October 8th of that year 50 Lipan 
Indians attacked his party near Devil's River. Wallis' force 
fought from one o'clock p. m. the balance of the day and all 
night, killing several of the savages. On November 19th of 
this same year Apaches attacked his party at El Muerto, (Death) 
Springs, killing some and capturing others of his mules. In 
1853 near Van Horn one of his men was killed in a fight with 
Indians. He had another engagement with them on his re- 
turn during the same trip near the same place and was vic- 
torious in all encounters with them, although he was wounded 
several times and showed me where arrows had been pulled 
out of his breast, arms and legs. 

He also fought bravely during the Civil War on the Con- 
federate side. On one occasion he stated that Capt. Morril 
Poor had saved his life when he had typhoid fever, by gi\'ing 
him buttermilk of which Wallis said he drank fully a gallon 
without stopping. W^allis in one of his encounters with Indians 
captured one of their chiefs, a very large and powerful Indian, 
to whom he promised protection when the Indian surrendered. 
Wallis took him to Austin and delivered him to Governor Bell. 
This was just after Indians had made a raid about Austin 
in which several of the people of that ]jlace had been killed 
and wounded and much of their stock driven off bv the Indians. 

188 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

They attempted to kill this Indian chief while Wallis had him 
in his custody, but Wallis told them they would have to kill 
him first and he would kill the first one who attempted to harm 
his Indian. They knew Wallis and let the Indian then alone 
but vowed vengeance later. The Governor did not know 
what to do with the Indian and told Wallis to dispose of him 
as he saw fit, but in some humane way. "Big Foot" mounted 
his horse and told the Indian to walk beside him. They went 
out into the mountains and across the Colorado River about 
five miles northwest of Austin. There Wallis dismounted, 
told the Indian to take the horse and leave but never again 
to molest any white people. Wallis walked back all the way 
to Austin and told the Governor he owed him a horse, a bridle 
and a saddle for ridding him of the Indian. He got them. 
Wallis frequently met that Indian under a tree in the Sabinal 
Canyon afterward and they often smoked the calumet. Co- 
manches never molested Wallis after that. Whenever they 
knew of his coming all of them but this chief kept out of his 
way. This chief made him many presents and offered him 
a very fine horse, but Wallis feared to keep it lest it had 
been stolen. 

Willis Wallace, Sr., and Frank Wallace were two distin- 
guished San Antonians of early days, but not related to "Big 
Foot," both were veterans of the Mexican and Civil wars. 
Onecimus Evans, a merchant, was also one of the early set- 
lers here and a partner of one of these Wallaces. Albert Wal- 
lace, a Confederate Captain, belonged to the Wallace family. 

O 'Sullivan Addicks in early days was county clerk. He 
together with Anton Lockmar and James Dunn were cap- 
tured by Comanche Indians and carried into captivity. Dunn, 
then a very small boy, was given by one of the chiefs to his 
squaw. The boy had a very red complexion as well as hair 
and was freckled. The Indian woman thought the child's 
color was paint and also his freckles. She tried by scrubbing 
to remove them, but the process made Dunn still redder. Ad- 
dick's chief deputy when clerk was Ben Edwards, father of 
Frank Edwards, a present resident of this city who served as 
the model for Crockett in Onderdonk's painting, "At the Alamo's 
Brave Battle." Addicks was an officer under General Ilarne}^ 
in the Mexican War. 

Dunn had other Indian adventures. While bathing in 
the Leona with John Ackland and Rufus Perry, Indians came 
upon them and drove their horses off and w^ounded all three 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 189 

severely with arrows. The wounded men straggled into town 
one at a time, having become separated and each believing the 
others had succumbed to their wounds. On another occasion 
while John James St., was attacked by a large and strong In- 
dian, who was about to kill James, with a knife, Jim Dunn'ar- 


rived opportunely and shot the Indian, killing him. Dunn 
had to put his arm around James to shoot this Indian. Dunn's 
son, Clemente, resides in San Antonio. Dunn was killed in 
the last battle fought near Brownsville, at the end of the Civil 

190 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

John James was a surveyer, who frequently, in his trips 
over immense areas of the frontier, encountered Indians. 
He lived on Commerce street at the head of Presa, where his 
dwelling still stands, being now used for commercial purposes. 
He also owned the site and buildings at Ft- Davis, where the Gov- 
ernment during the Indian raids, kept troops, commanded by 
Colonels, afterwards Generals, Stanley, Shafter, McKenzie and 
Grierson, all famous Indian fighters. A brother of General 
Grierson lives there now. 

John James Sr., was the father of Chief Justice J. H. James 
of the Fourth Court of Civil Appeals, of Thomas James deceased, 
an excellent musician, Vinton James, former City Auditor, 
Scott and Sidney James. His daughters were Annie Laurie, 
deceased, wife of Alfred Giles, Lottie, wife of John Sehorn, 
Diana, wife of John T. Dickinson and a deceased daughter, 
Agnes, wife of Dr. L. L. Shropshire. John James Sr., was in 
the well known "Grass Fight," which took place between San 
Antonians and Mexicans a short distance from the city when 
the residents went out on the prairie to cut hay for their horses. 
They were intercepted by their adversaries and several were 
killed, but they mangaged to defeat their foes and retreat to 
town. A brother of John James, Sr., a major in the Confederate 
army was killed in the battle of Glorietta. 

Colonel John S.Ford, ("Old Rip,") who was another Texas 
pioneer and ranger as well as successful Indian fighter was 
in command of the Confederate forces when the last battle 
of the Civil war was fought and he was victorious, capturing 
a large Federal force and many supplies and horses, tord 
fought this engagement several weeks after Lee had surrend- 
ered to Grant at Appomatox, Virginia, but was ignorant of 
that fact, there then having been no telegraphic communica- 
tion, and news and orders that came by courier traveled slowly. 
When Ford heard the news of Lee's surrender he roared like 
a lion and kept his tent for several days during which none 
of his command dared approach him. Finally it dawned 
on him that a huge joke had been perpetrated whereupon 
he roared equally loud with laughter. He told the United 
States officer in command of his Federal prisoners he would 
release him and his troops but he would keep all of the suppHes 
and particularly the horses captured with them so Ford's own 
men would have mounts and food enough to reach home with. 
They had to travel overland. The Union forces had ships 
and other transports at Brazos Santiago to carry them back to 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 191 

the North if they wished to go, as they did. His daughter 
Mrs. Joseph Maddox, lives in San Antonio- Ford was also a 
good writer and historian- 

A prominent family was the Jacques. Mrs. Jacques was 
a heroine. During two of the cholera epidemics she nursed 
a number of those stricken with it, first in 1849 and next in 
1866 in which latter year she died of the epidemic while engaged 
in nursing patients afflicted with it. Her husband owned 
a ranch on the Medina and she kept a boarding house in the 
old two-story building on vSoledad street recently demolished 
to open Travis street across the San Antonio river. Both 
of these epidemics created panics here and many died from 
the disease. Quite a number fled to the mountains where 
some died of the disease that broke out there among them 
and was communicated to the Indians who attacked their 
camps, the Indians falling victims to the dreadful malady. 
A daughter of hers, who was the widow of a man named Shane, 
married Dr- George Cupples, one of the old time physicians and 
humanitarians here. The doctor practiced extensively among 
the poor whom he treated gratis. Many of his patients were 
so poverty stricken as not to be able to afford burning lights 
so Cupplies always carried a candle in his pocket to be avail- 
able when visiting the homes of such. He was a noted surgeon 
and performed some remarkable operations, among them 
the "Caesarian" and "hip joint" amputation successfully. His 
widow died here several years ago. Her daughter, Kate Shane, 
lives here. She is the wife of an English gentleman named 

William Henry, known as "Big" Henry, was a noted 
character in San Antonio. He was the sheriff and a nephew 
of the celebrated orator, Patrick Henry. He was killed in a 
difficulty with a man named Adams over the question which 
should command a company of Confederate soldiers. This 
killing occurred on the north side of Main Plaza in front of 
the Old Plaza House, a three-story structure then kept by 
William Tobin. In this immediate vicinity a number of other 
memorable tragedies occurred. Almost on the same spot 
where Henry fell in another fight between two other Confeder- 
ate Captains named respectively Hunter and Philli])s, the 
former shot and slew the kitter. Just in front of there a man 
from Austin called "Beaut" Robinson, while sitting on his 
horse was shot by a passing horseman, whose identity was never 
afterward definitely established. On the corner I'ust east 

192 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

of there Doctor Devine killed a man named McDonald while 
on the same corner but inside the building at the time of the 
latter tragedies, known as the Vaudeville variety show Ben 
Thompson, at that time city marshal of Austin, killed its 
proprietor, Jack Harris, while at the same place Thompson 
and King Fisher, his companion, in turn, some time afterward 
were killed by Joe Foster, a partner of Harris, and other in- 
mates of the place. Thompson had previously shot Foster 
in the leg, from the effects of the operation for that wound 
Foster died several days later. Foster had been wounded 
in the same limb during the civil war. An aneurism had formed 
in one of its arteries. The aneurism burst, causing Foster's 
death from hemorrhage. 

On this same corner a man named Walpole was also killed 
by a shot fired in a duel between two men named respectively 
Brady and John, or "Buck" Bennett, Walpole having been 
merely a spectator who was in range. 

Enoch Jones was a merchant who built the first three 
story store in San Antonio. Just as he built it it stands at 
the northeast corner of Market street and Main Plaza on the 
site of the structure made memorable by being the old court- 
house wherein the Indian massacre, described in another 
chapter, took place, and also where a number of prominent 
San Antonians were captured and carried off to Perote prison 
in Mexico subsequent to the Texas war for independence. 

Enoch Jones's partner in this establishment was Joseph 
LTrich yet residing here at the corner of Avenue C and Fourth 
street. Ulrich, who was a printer, set up the prospectus an- 
nouncing the forthcoming of Horace Greely's New York Tribune. 
He enjoys the distinction of being the only present San An- 
tonian whose name has consecutively appeared on every city 
directory in that city from the first one published up to the 
one issued this year. He for years, was secretary of the Water- 
works company. From him I have obtained considerable of the 
data I have herein published. 

Russell Howard was a brilliant lawyer who lived here for 
many years and died here several years ago. He was 
a cholera sufferer in 1866, and was nursed by Mrs. Jacques 
up to a few hours before her death from that disease. His 
widow was a Miss Elliott, the ElHotts being prominent pioneers 
who owned property on the north side of Main Plaza, among 
it the Plaza house. She is residing here now and is a sister 
of the late Captain William Elliott. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 193 

Captain William Tobin was quite a prominent personage of 
early days, besides having been the host of the Plaza House and 
the old Vance House, the latter having stood where the Gunter 
now stands , he figured prominently in what was known as the ' ' Cor- 
tina" war, which has been erroneously confounded with the "Cart 
war.' Cortina was a bandit who operated on the Rio Grande 
border all the way from Brownsville to Laredo shortly before 
the Civil War and raided Brownsville, killing several of the 
citizens there, stealing stock and killing Americans and others 
who opposed him. William Tobin, who endeavored to capture 
Cortina, was also a Captain in the Confederate army and in 
the service during the entire Civil War. He was the father 
of John W. Tobin now Sheriff, former fire chief, William G. 
Tobin, Charles Tobin and of Mrs. John A. Fraser, Mrs Sam 
Bell, Mrs. J. M. Carr and Mrs. Burrows. His wife was a 
daughter of John W. Smith, San Antonio's first Amer- 
ican mayor, who with Maverick, lead Milam's forces into 
San Antonio, and a sister of the late J. W. Smith, a mer- 
chant and postmaster at Pleasanton. 

Bryan Callaghan Sr., was a prominent merchant and served 
a term as mayor of San Antonio. He owned a store that stood 
on the southwest side of Main Plaza, its front being parallel 
to Galan street and its rear to the north side of Dolorosa street. 
It was removed and its site now forms the southwest corner 
of that Plaza. He was the father of the present mayor of 
this city who is his namesake. The latter married the daughter 
of Francisco Guilbeau, a French merchant. His other son was 
James Callaghan, also a merchant here who married a daughter 
of Honore Grenet, sister of Edward Grenet, the celebrated art- 
ist. The widow of Bryan Callaghan, Sr., married a Navarro, 
a brother of one of the signers of the Texas declaration of In- 
dependence. She died in San x\ntonio very recently. 

Nat Lewis was a well known merchant and stockman, who 
had a very narrow escape from death when Santa Anna's army 
invaded the city. His store was also on Main Plaza on a line 
with the front of Callaghan 's, but east of it. Its site forms the 
present corner of that plaza. He left on the approach of Santa 
Anna. He was a brother of Henry Lewis, a very brilliant lawyer 
and editor of the West Texan, the first paper published in 
San Antonio. Nat Lewis was the father of Nat Lewis Jr., and 
Dan Lewis, present residents of San Antonio. 

Edward Dwyer, who was the father of Joseph E. Dwyer, 
and grandfather of the present district judge, his namesake, 

194 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

and of Joseph and Pat Dwyer and Mrs. Annette Schmitt, widow 
of the late George J. F. Schmitt, was an early San Antonio 
settler. He owned the corner where Bexar County's court house 
is located. His son, Joseph's home, just behind, still stands 
there opposite the old Quinta. Joseph E. Dwyer was a Major 
in Sibley's brigade of the Confederate army. Edward Dwyer 
Sr., together with Major Thomas Howard, John Duzenbury 
and Charles J. Burgess were scouts of the United States army, 
who discovered the approach of the Mexican army during the 
]\Iexican war. Edward Dwyer brought the news to San Antonio, 
while the other scouts carried the information to the commanding 
officer of a regiment to whom they reported the approach of the 
Mexicans, but the regimental commander discredited the infom- 
mation and said it was his opinion the Mexicans seen were only 
a SQiall force wishing to trade "piloncillos," small cones of sugar, 
to the American troops. This officer's incredulity caused the 
capture by the Mexicans of himself and his entire command. 

Judge Thomas A. Dwyer, brother of Edward Dwyer, was a 
pioneer and true type of the old Irish gentleman. He was county 
Judge here about the time I came to San Antonio, One of his 
sons Jack, is a well known actor. One of his daughters, Annie, 
married Major Nolan, a United States army officer and In- 
dian fighter, another daughter, Mollie, also married another 
officer of the U. S. army. Bessie, his youngest daughter, for 
some time was a librarian of the Congressional library at Wash- 
ington, D. C. She took a lawyer's degree in a law university 
and went out to the Philippines, where she is now one of the 
judges, having spent several years as a prominent legal prac- 

There were two families of Howards very prominent in 
San Antonio. One of them lived on Quinta street, now Dwyer 
Avenue, of whom there were three brothers, Volney, a lawyer and 
congressman from this district during the days of the Texas 
Republic, Richard and Russell, the latter previously men- 
tioned. All are dead. 

The other Howard family lived on South Alamo at the 
head of Market street. There were also three brothers of this 
family, who were George Thomas, deceased, a Major in the Mexican 
war and also a scout and Indian fighter and U. S. Indian agent. 
The second brother, Clem, was also an Indian fighter, now 
a resident of San Angelo and the third. Dr. Henry Peyton 
Howard, called by his many friends, "Hal" Howard, residing 
now in Dallas. He was a leading medical practitioner of early 

Combats and Coxouests of Lmmortal Heroes 195 

days and was also postmaster here during Cleveland's first 
presidential incumbency. His son and namesake, residing 
near Floresville, served in the Spanish American war as a lieu- 
tenant of the Belknap troop of the 1st Texas \^olunteer Cav- 


Jack Hays was another celebrity of San Antonio and Texas. 
He was a noted scout and ranger, who commanded first a 
company of rangers, afterward a regiment of them and ultimately 
became a bris^adier "general after he left here and went to Cali- 

196 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

fornia. He was related to the Calvert family of Seguin and 
also of the Rutland family of Mississippi, my wife's people. 
He died in California. He had many successful engagements 
with Indians. Many prominent Indian fighters served with 
and under him. He is said, like "Big Foot" Wallis, to have 
been utterly fearless. 

John Twohig was another typical Irish gentleman. He 
was a banker and merchant. He was C|uite eccentric and 
also very charitable. When he heard the Mexican army 
was marching here, knowing it would loot his store, which was 
then near the corner of Main Plaza and Commerce street, he 
invited all of the poor of the population to come to it and help 
themselves. The invitation was accepted. It is needless 
to state when Waul's army arrived the Mexican soldiers found 
nothing to carry away. Twohig was one of those who was 
taken by this Mexican general as a captive to the celebrated 
Perote Prison, from which he made a sensational escape and 
boldly rode in a carriage through the streets of the City of Mexico. 
His home was a c|uaint structure on the San Antonio River, 
fronting on St. Mary's street. He always entertained every 
visitor of prominence soon after arrival here. 

John Carolan was another Irishman of note. He was 
for a time district and county clerk and was an autioneer and 
merchant, his store being where Frost's bank is now. 

Francisco Guilbeau was a French merchant whose home 
was on South Flores street and his store was at the northeast 
comer of Laredo and Commerce streets. He was also the 
consular agent here of France. The great Napoleon decorated 
him on the battle field for bravery, giving him the Cross of 
the Legion of Honor, an heirloom now in his family. Two 
sons and a daughter survive him and live in San Antonio. His 
daughter is the wife of San Antonio's present mayor, Bryan 

Ben Hill was a brave Texan of olden days, who met with 
a tragic death at Victoria. Besides having been a frontiersman, 
Indian fighter and ranger, he was a Confederate soldier. When 
he returned from the war he was wearing a Confederate uni- 
form. Some United States soldiers at Victoria tried to make 
him take it off and also attempted to cut the brass buttons 
from his coat. In the scuffle that arose over this he killed one 
of the soldiers. He was then assailed by several more of them 
and killed three others before taking refuge in a small build- 

Combats and Coxquests of Immortal Heroes 197 

ing where they killed him, after he had exhausetd all his am- 
munition. After he fell they litterally chopped his body into 
fragments with axes. 

P. L. Buquor, a Louisianan, was an early settler, who 


was one of the mayors of San Antonio. His widow died at 
Floresville several years ago. 

Gore Newcomb Sr., a lawyer and a very briUiant man, 
was a prominent pioneer. He was the father of James P. New- 
comb and Gore Newcomb Jr. James P. Newcoml) was a brainy 

198 ■ Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

newspaper writer. He wrote satire and was vitriolic. He 
was the founder of the Alamo Express, since the Daily Express, 
and one of those of the Evening Light, since hyphenated with 
the^Gazette. He died several years ago. His brother, Gore's 
life ended with a tragic fate. He was killed by a trap gun 
he had set to kill wolves with. 

James L. Trueheart was a Texan with an eventful carreer. 
He was the county clerk at the time of the raid by the Mexican 
general who captured the court officers and other prominent 
citizens and was with them taken to Perote Prison. 

James Peacock, who was a ranger was also one of the 
ill-stared Santa Fe expedition and spent some time in prison 
there. He drew one of the white beans, thus escaping execution. 

Sam S. Smith was a well known citizen and official. He 
owned the corner of Main Plaza and Soledad street where so 
many casualties previously mentioned occurred. He was 
county clerk for over 30 years, but during the interim of re- 
construction was replaced by Peyton Smith, whom in time he 
succeeded. His son Thad W. Smith, was his successor for twenty 
years, that office having been in that family for half a century. 
Sam S- Smith was a son-in-law of O. G. Brackett, for whom 
the town of Brackettville is named and who died here many years 
many ago. The grave of Brackett had been lost, but was found 
recently and the remains removed. Sam Smith resided on 
Obraje street. He left two sons, Oscar B. B. Smith, a farmer, 
and Thadeus W. Smith now in the city tax collector's office. 
Thad Smith was succeeded by F. C. Newton, a pioneer, who 
had previously been city public weigher and died in office 
while county clerk. Newton was succeeded also by his son, 
present incumbent. 

Major Michael Chevalier was a Virginia gentleman, who 
commanded a battalion of dragoons during the Mexican war 
and lived in San Antonio for sometime thereafter. 

Captain William M. Edgar, recently deceased, who has 
been mentioned in several other places in this book, was one 
of the old residents prominent as a frontiersman, Indian fighter, 
wagon train master and commander of a Confederate battery 
of artillery. He was U. S. Consular agent at the City of Mex- 
ico during the administration of president Cleveland. 

Samuel Gallatin Newton was one of the prominent lawyers, 
of early days. His office was located in the three story build- 
ing erected by Enoch Jones. His law partner was Ira L. Hewitt. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 199 

Newton's son and namesake is now a distinguished jurist of 
Texas. He was formerly district judge at San Antonio. 

William Lytle was a veteran settler here who saw service 
in the Texas, the Mexican and Civil Wars, besides fighting 
Indians and outlaw^s. His ranch was on the Medina. He 
was the head of the Lytle family and came here in 1845. He 
had a blacksmith establishment. His sons were Sam and 
Charles. The latter was killed on the ranch just mentioned. 
Sam Lytle was a Confederate captain and also a Mexican War 
veteran. He resides in San Antonio where he has two sons 
William J. and Nelson and a daughter, Nellie, the latter as- 
sistant to the postmaster. 

John Conrad Beckmann was another pioneer blacksmith, 
who died here in 1907. He was employed by the government 
in the Alamo and had two sons, John A., living near Leon Springs 
and Albert, deceased. 

Charles Hummel and B. Mauermann, both of whom died 
some years since were pioneer gunsmiths and expert lock- 
makers. The latter was the father of Bernhardt J. Mauermann, 
alderman at large and Gustav Mauermann, former city mar- 
shal. C. F. A. Hummel, present city treasurer, is a son of 
the late Charles Hummel. 

John Earl was an old scout and Indian fighter who lived 
on Fifth street. He is survived by his daughter, the wife 
of B. J. Mauermann. 

Ira S. Poor, a merchant and farmer as well as a stock- 
man was one of the pioneers who was a veteran of both the 
Texas independence and Mexican wars. He came to Texas 
in 1832 and to San Antonio in 1848. His ranch was located 
west of the San Antonio River just below the Concepcion Mis- 
sion. He was the father of D. M. and Fred S. Poor and had 
two stepsons, R. W. and Colon D. McRae. His son, David 
Morrill Poor, was born during the days of the Texas Republic 
in 1,838. He served four years throughout the Civil War 
as private, lieutenant and Captain of Company B., 2nd regi- 
ment of Texas Cavalry which was part of Sibley's, Green's 
and Hardeman's brigades of the Confederate army and was 
Major General commanding the Texas division of the Trans- 
Mississippi department U. C. V. He was county assessor 
for 6 years and 4 years commissioner of the fourth county 

Thomas Grayson, an early settler, was attorney general 
of the Texas Republic, for whom Grayson county was named. 
He lived in the vicinity of San Antonio for some years. 

200 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

Capt. Phillip Shardein, was city marshal for twenty-five 
years, and arrested many of the most desperate characters 
of this section in early days. He was city recorder at the time 
of his death. His wife, recently deceased, was a niece of Jef- 
ferson Davis. 

Reimann Neuman, a gun and locksmith, still living in San 
Antonio, built the first church organ there. He also estab- 
lished the first rifle range on Powder House Hill at the house 
of a man named Miller. It's owner died on the Salado many 
years ago. This house was used for theatricals. Indians 
several times chased its inmates away- The old house is still 
standing. Neumann was the president of the first rifle club 
here and is a fine shot. He later built many of the promi- 
nent business houses and dwellings in San Antonio. 

The Reverend J. W. De Vilbiss, known as the "Fighting 
Preacher," was a noted soldier and Methodist minister, who 
lived here and built several churches in and around San Anto- 
nio while he was not busy fighting Indians. One of the city 
streets is named for him. 

Major James Laurence Dial was a prominent planter of 
earh^ days. His daughter is the wife of John R. Shook. She is 
a writer of merit. Her husband is the second oldest member 
of the San Antonio bar. Its Nestor is Thomas S. Harrison, son 
of the late Thomas Harrison, himself a noted lawyer of San An- 
tonio. John R. Shook is the father of the present county Judge 
of Bexar county, Phillip Shook. 

Harvey Canterbery was a pioneer business man of early 
days, as was Wilson I. Riddle, who was a merchant and one 
of the Perote prisoners. At one time he was the owner of 
the famous Molino Blanco, or White Mill. He came from 
Tennessee where he knew David Crockett when the latter was 
a congressman before coming here and falling in the i\lamo. 
He and Honore Grenet were the first to bring pianos here. 
Riddle's piano fell into the hands of Mexican soldiers who 
sawed it in twain. His widow married Harvey Canterberry, 
a former city assessor. 

Riddle's daughter, Sarah, married Robert Eager, a mer- 
chant. She is the present custodian of the Alamo church 
in which she succeeded her daughter, Flo, w^ho retired from 
it when she became the wife of Major Roberts of the United 
army. Mrs. Eager's brother, James Wilson Riddle, who was 
a merchant at Brackettville, was a major in the Spanish Amer- 
ican War and died shortlv after it. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 201 

When a child Mrs. Eager had a very thrilling adventure. 
Ari Indian squaw whom her father traded with rode by where 
she was, picked up and placed the child on her horse and then 
rode off very rapidly, creating Cjuite a panic. After going 
several miles with her at full speed and during which she was 


much frightened the Indian turned about and brought her 
back safe and unharmed and placed her in her parent's arms, 
both of whom were rejoiced at her return. The Indian told 
them she thought the child would enjoy a swift ride with her. 

202 Combats and Conquests of Im.mortal Heroes 

Mrs. Eager was a beautiful child and a belle of early San An- 
tonio society. She is said to be the first x\merican girl born in 
San Antonio. 

John Bowen, who owned the peninsula called "Eowen's 
Island," was the first American postmaster of San Antonio 
and the first postmaster under the Texas Republic. He was 
born in Pennsylvania in 1801. His father was Ralph B. Pea- 
cock Sr., and his mother, Marie Steinm.etz. Bowen spent 
many years in South America prior to settling in Texas, which 
he did in the early days of the Texas Republic. He was an 
intimate friend of Stephen F. Austin. He had his nam^e changed 
from Ralph William Peacock to John Bowen by the Texas 
legislature pursuant to the dying request of a half brother, 
John Bowen, of Bowen Hall, near Kingston on the Island of 
Jamaica. He married the widow of his brother George S. 
Peacock, Mary Elizabeth Murphy, after the death of his brother, 
which took place at Lavaca in 1848, of the cholera. John 
Bowen, form.erly Ralph. W. Peacock, died in San Antonio 
in 1867. He was a strong Unionist and died such. During 
his incumbency as postmaster he received the miunificent sal- 
ary of $25 per month. His assistant, who was Henry Radaz, 
succeeded him as postmaster and removed the post office 
from the historic old Quinta, which was Bowen's dwelling, to 
the southwest corner of Quinta street and Dolorosa street 
where the present Court House is located. At the time of 
Bowen's incumbency the mail coming to the San Antonio 
post office was distributed over a large area and it was the 
only post office for many miles around. 

Besides his stepdaughter, Mary Peacock, the widow of 
of Dr. J. J. Gaenslen, he left the following children all living 
in San Antonio. Cornelia, the widow of the late Hon. George 
H. Noonan, Isabella, the wife of L. Orynski, Dr. George R. 
Bowen, Elizabeth, widow of J. C. Nelson, and Francis J. Bowen. 
The wife of John Bowen died in 1903, his son, John G. Bowen, 
died in 1886. 

One of the distinguished jurists of Texas was the late 
Hon. George H. Noonan. He was a native of Essex County, 
New Jersey and was born in 1827. He was the son of George 
Noonan and Margaret Casey Noonan of Limerick, Ireland. 
He was a law student of the late John Whitehead of Newark, 
N. J. In 1852 he came to Castroville near which place he had 
a ranch of considerable size on 'which he raised many fine 
horses, quite a number of which were stolen by Indians and 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 203 

other outlaws. He came to San Antonio in 1868 and although 
a strong Unionist in 1,862 was elected district judge and served 
on the bench almost continuously under various phases of 
government, Confederate and Federal, covering the military- 
rule and the reconstruction period. He held the district judg- 
ship until 1894 when he vacated it to qualify as the member 
of congress from the San Antonio district and served a single 
term. He was married June 23, 1875 to Miss Cornelia Bowen, 
a native San i\ntonian, of which marriage there are two sons 
George Brackenridge Noonan and Ralph Joseph Noon an, 
who, with his widow, survive him. Judge Noonan died 
in San Antonio August 11, 1907, He was universally beloved 
and popular. 

Of the eminent physicians of the old shcool of San Antonio 
was Dr. John Jacob Gaenslen, who was born in New York and 
educated at Winchester, Va. He was a member of the medical 
corps of the United States army. He established a reputation 
for successfully treating the cholera in the epidemic of .1866, 
many of the patients treated by him being saved. He was 
also a successful medical practitioner in this city and section 
up to the time of his death which occurred in 1879 on the 
anniversary of his w^edding. He married Miss Mary Peacock 
Bowen in 1868. She survives him as do four children, Freder- 
ick B., Mary Cornelia, now Mrs. Hermann Wagenfehr, George 
Ralph and Mary Elizabeth Gaenslen. 

Dr. C. E. R. King, next to Dr. Ferdinand Herff, Sr., is the 
oldest practicing physician of San Antonio. He has been in 
that city for fully a half century. He is an Englishman who 
first came to New Orleans where he went through several 
yellow fever epidemics before coming to Texas and has also been 
through two of the cholera epidemics. He is a very prominent 
member of the Texas Medical Association, is an excellent after- 
dinner speaker and always delivers entertaining addresses 
at its annual banquets. 

Dr. Ralph L. Graves, some time deceased, was another 
old time physician who served as county and city physician 
in San Antonio and Bexar County for a number of years and 
until shortly before his death. He was also a very prominent 
politician and had two very narrow escapes from death. In 
the first, when the court house then on Soledad street was in 
course of construction, and he was leaning back against a loose 
post, his chair tilted over, precipitating him to the street below. 
At that time he and quite a number of others were attending 

204 Combats and Conquests of ImiMortal Heroes 

a political meeting in this unfinished structure. Alex Sweet 
then perpetrated at the doctor's expense the joke that the 
doctor had fallen out of the Democratic party, but the doctor 
got back at Alex by telling him that Alex was not heavy enough 
to fall into the Democratic fold. Dr. Graves's second narrow 
escape from death was while driving his horse through the 
ford of the river below the Lewis mill when a huge wave came 
down it sweeping the physician, his horse and buggy 
swiftly down the stream a considerable distance, but he was 
rescued by daring men with strong ropes, which they entwined 
about the horse and vehicle and drew them ashore. His son, 
Everett, is a well known civil engineer in San Antonio. 

Dr. Amos Graves, Sr., is another of the veteran physicians 
and skilful surgeons of San Antonio, who is still very much 
engaged in the medical practice. He has been in the city 
of San Antonio over a generation and prior to coming here 
from Mississippi attended many cases of genuine yellow fever 
and cholera. 

One of Texas's and San Antonio's most brilliant, brainy 
and lovable men was the late Hon. Columbus Upson. He 
was a gifted orator, whose voice thrilled many audiences on 
different occasions on the hustings in the courts, and the halls 
of congress. He was born in (Jnondaga County New York, 
October 17, 1829, educated in Williams College, Massachusetts, 
and admitted to the bar in Syracuse, in 1851, coming to Texas 
in 1854. In that year he landed at Galveston and went thence 
to Austin. He accompanied, as the guest of its owner, a wagon 
train carrying merchandise from San Antonio to El Paso. 
When one of the teamsters deserted where no substitute 
could be obtained he pluckily volunteered to take the 
deserter's place and drove its ox team a distance of 70!) 

He was a brave Confederate soldier, who at the battle 
of Gains' Mill saw a wounded Federal soldier lying on the 
field, suft'ering great pain. Upson dismounted and asked 
him if there was something he could do for him. The sufferer 
complained most of a wound in his shoulder although wounded 
in several other places, so Upson bandaged it, thus 
stopping the flow of blood. He also placed his own blanket 
under the wounded man's head, filled his own and the latter 's 
canteens with water and left them, as he had to leave him. 
At that time Upson's horse was killed and he had 
to walk oft' the field under fire from both bellio^erents. 

Combats and Conqi^ests of Immortal Heroes 205 


TEXANS OX THE T l< A 1 1. 

206 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

The wounded man was Major Chambliss, who lay in great 
pain on the field for ten days, where he was finally found by 
a friendly negro, who took him into Richmond where he was 
sent to the hospital and later exchanged. Chambliss' wounds 
were so severe as to incapacitate him from further service 
and he resigned. 

One day while Upson was a member of the Forty-Seventh 
congress. Congressman Steele introduced a bill in the House 
of Representatives to restore Major Chambliss to the army 
and immediately retire him with the rank of major. Steele, 
in his address introducing the bill, narrated the circumstance 
of Chambliss being succored by an unknown Confederate, where- 
upon Upson arose and stated he was the Samaritan. Cham- 
bliss, who was in Washington, was sent for and immediately 
recognized Upson as such. The bill was passed in the House, 
but lost in the Senate. He held the rank of Colonel in the 
Confederate army and was aide to General W. H. C. Whiting, 
serving until the end of the seven days battle before Richmond 
when his health became so shattered he had to be sent to Texas, 
being entrusted with important ofiicial dispatches. He was 
frequently complimented in general orders for personal bravery 
on the battle fields and gallantry in action. To him was en- 
trusted the mission of running the blockade and bringing $20,- 
000,000 of bonds of the Confederacy to Texas. Learning 
that this mission if undertaken by water route, would be fruit- 
less, he traveled the entire distance between Richmond Va., 
and San Antonio on horseback, leaving the first named city 
the night before it fell finally into the hands of the Federals. 
For every object pertaining to the Southern Confederacy 
he had the utmost affection. His greatest masterpiece of 
oratory, uttered shortly before his death, was the address de- 
livered by him on the occasion of the dedication of the Con- 
federate monument in Travis park at San Antonio. 

He married Miss Martha D. Vance December 27, 1865. 
She, together with his two sons James V. and George Upson 
and a daughter, Mrs. Lee Upson Palfrey, survive him. He 
died February 8th, 1902, writing, shortly before his death and 
placing them in a sealed envelope with a friend whom he re- 
quested that these lines that follow be inscribed on his casket, 
as well as the epitaph for his monument: 

Exit: "To the World of Rest and Tranquility, where 
God Reigns, and Neither Pain nor Sorrow Ever Enters." 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 207 

One of the very prominent of the old German families 
of San Antonio is that headed by the late William Heuermann, 
who was one of the partners of the former firm of Hugo & 
Schmeltzer, which for some years and from the time it passed 
out of the hands of the estate of Honore Grenet until it be- 
came the property of the State, owned the monastery, or most 
important portion of the Alamo or Mission of San Antonio 
de Valero. William Heuermann is survived by several sons, 
George and Louis, msmbers of the Belknap Rifles organization, 
and William. 

One of the old-time physicians was the late Dr. Thomas 
T. Vander Hoven, who was a prominent practitioner and 
is survived by a son, Thomas T. Vander Hoven, partner of 
John R. Shook, and brother-in-law of Phillip H. Shook. 

One of the very prominent German families is the Steves 
family, whose head was the late Edward Steves Sr. , whose widow 
and sons, Albert and Ernest survive him and are prominent 
lumbermen. His other son and namesake was former city 
collector, whose first wife was a daughter of John Martin, Sr., 
and whose second was the widow of the later Dr. Trexler. 

Dr. Phineas Lounsberry, who formerly kept the St- Leonard 
Hotel and Isaac N- Baker, father of I. Charles Baker, who was 
the Boniface of the old Central Hotel, the first place that I 
stopped at when I came to San Antonio, and the late Edward 
Braden, were three of the early day hotelkeepers and a fourth 
was Schmitt, whose hotel was where Duerler's wholesale con- 
fectionary is now. 

Carl Hilmer Guenther was a pioneer miller, who came 
to Fredericksburg in 1848 and built a mill there on Live Oak 
River, but never got water enough to turn its wheels. He 
went to San Antonio and found there an abundance of water, 
so he built two of the early mills there. The upper mill, which 
was located at the crossing at Arsenal street, had an under- 
shot wooden wheel and for many years was used for grind- 
ing corn. Recently the wheel was removed and the estab- 
lishment used for making macaroni by a company headed by 
Edward Dreiss. The lower mill was the one at which the 
first wheat ground in San Antonio was milled. As the water 
power diminished with the inroads on the source of supply 
by the Waterworks artesian wells that have sapped and nearly 
run the river dry, steam was introduced to augment the power 
sufficiently. Carl Hilmer Guenther, who was a native of Wiesen- 
fels, Germany, is survived by his sons, Arthur W. Guenther, 

208 Combats axd Conquests of Lmaiortal Heroes 

Hilmer L. Guenther, Carl F. Guenther and Erhard Guenther, 
all of them, like their father, are millers and one of them, Hilmer, 
is a manufacturer of ice. 

Warwick Tunstall was an attorney of early days, who 
owned the property on wiiich was located the famous Molino 
Blanco on the San Antonio River near the old Abbatt crossing. 
It was from this point that Milam and his brave band marched 
on and captured San Antonio from the Mexicans under Santa 
Anna's brother-in-law, Cos. Warwick Tunstall's daughter, 
Mrs- Henry P. Drought, resides in a new and elegant home, 
not far from this spot, the Molino Blanco having been on the 
old Story place. The old home of her mother nearby is shown 
in another place. This latter home was sold not long ago and 
is soon to be demolished to give way to a more modern structure. 
Warwick Tunstall's widow, Mrs. Florida Tunstall, and his 
daughters, Mrs. H. P. Drought and Mrs. Lockwood, survive 

Geo. DuUnig was a merchant, banker and railway builder, 
who was a very distinguished citizen. Capt. George Davis, 
himself and the late Governor, John Ireland, built the old 
Gulf Shore Railway now owned by the Southern Pacific and 
running to Port Lavaca by connecting at Cuero with the 
old "Macaroni" road. He owned an immense establishment 
at the corner of Commerce and vSouth Alamo streets and a 
magnificent ranch seven miles south of San Antonio, on which 
there are eleven wells, each with a different quality of mineral 
water. One of these wells flows the finest and best medicinal 
thermal w^ater in the country. He was the first to strike natural 
gas in sufficient quantity on one of his wells to utilize it. It 
serves the purpose of lighting, heating and for cooking at this 
ranch. Mr. Dullnig died here several years ago. 

John and Christian Dullnig, members of the same family, 
are merchants here now. 

James Fisk, former sheriff, and son-in-law of Deaf Smith, 
was a well known officer of olden days. His son and name- 
sake, also deceased, was a lawyer. There survive him a son, 
Ben, who is Justice of the Peace, and three daughters, Mrs. 
Sarah Roach, widow of the late Major Roach, Mrs. W. C. Kroe- 
ger, and Mrs. Broadbent. Erasmus, or "Deaf" Smith, lived 
in San Antonio at the corner of Presa and Arceniega streets, 
his dwelling remaining there very much as it was originally 
built and is occupied by his grand daughter, Mrs. Roach- She 
also has some antique rosewood furniture that belonged to 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 209 

the late Congressman, Gustav Schleicher. "Deaf" Smith's 
house is not far from that occupied by General Cos, in La 
Villita, when Cos surrendered to Milam's men. 

William A. Howell, who is one of the quaint and veteran 
inhabitants of the Sunset City, is an ancient actor,who played 
with Edward, Junius and John Wilkes Booth, Edwin Forrest, 
Southern, McCready, Charlotte Cushman, Mrs. Chanfrau, 
Barrett, and most of the eminent actors of early days in Balti- 
more, Washington, New York and other cities and is probably 

tt:*/. ^t?:„ 


guenther's lower mill, sninsixG u.\dei;sh(jt whkki. 

the last of that old school of actors. He looks much like John 
Wilkes Booth, for whom he has frequently been taken. He 
had one of his legs broken and limps. This gave rise to an 
unfounded story that he is John Wilkes, although the kitter, 
really killed not long after slaying President Lincoln, was yet 
alive in the person of Howell. He often laughs over the story 
now, although it caused great annoyance and put him in peril. 
For some time after the story started, numerous government 
secret service men were on his trail for quite a while. What com- 
plicated matters was that he and John Wilkes Booth had been 


room mates and were boon companions, their calling associating 
them very closely. This caused each frequently to be mis- 
taken for the other prior to the terrible tragedy that ended 
Lincoln's life. It caused Howell to go into exile on a farm 
and quit the stage for several years after the death of Lincoln. 

John C. Crawford, who was a former sheriff and justice 
of the peace lived near the confluence of the San Antonio and 
Medina Rivers on a ranch that was until recently well stocked 
with deer. He married Miss Garza, a descendant of one of the 
Canary Island settlers, who was a sister to James L. Trueheart 
and of Bart De Witt, Sr. 

The latter, who was a surveyor, died suddenly while in 
the field making a survey. He was the father of Bart De 
Witt, Jr., and owned the property at the corner of Houston 
Street and the river and running along that stream and St. 
Mary's street to and including the old house in which Lee and 
Albert Sydney Johnston lived. His son was former county 
and assistant city attorney. His daughter is the wife of Fran- 
cois De Hymel. 

Franklin L. Paschal was a Georgian and a Texas Veteran 
of 1832. He was a lieutenant of the Georgia company sent 
out to avenge the massacre of the Georgia battalion at Goliad. 
He joined Jack Hays' company of scouts. While performing that 
duty with it he was severely wounded. In 1846 he was sheriff 
of Bexar County and also served in several San Antonio muni- 
cipal offices. At Charleston, S. C, he married Miss Frances 
Roach, a lady of extremely high intellectual attainments and 
whose ancestry extended back to the McGreggors, of Scottish 
fame. To them six children were born: Ann, George, Frank, 
Mary, Augustus and Ernest, George Paschal was a prominent 
lawyer. He was district attorney and Mayor of San Antonio. 
During his regime the splendid sewer system of the city was 
constructed, the citizens voting bonds to the amount of $500, 
000 for their construction. His administration thus made 
this city not only progressive, but sanitary. 

Dr. Frank Paschal, another son, is the only surviving 
member of this branch of the Paschals. He is prominent in 
his profession, having received the highest honors in its gift, 
not only in San Antonio, but in the state, He is deeply inter- 
ested in the upbuilding of his native city and takes a prominent 
part in public affairs. He alone perpetuates his father's name 
as the other male members left no issue. He has five living 
children: Edwin, Nellie. Bettie, Frank and George. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 211 

I. A. Paschal was another prominent San Antonian and 
an able lawyer and George H. Paschal was another and an 
emment one, the author of Paschal's Digest of the Decisions 
of the Texas Supreme Court. 

Mrs. Bettie Paschal, a widow, was also well known 
and was a Samaritan who was always found where there was 
sickness and sorrow. 

Thomas A. Paschal, who was formerly congressman of 
this district and his brother Emmet Paschal, are members 
of the Paschal family living in San Antonio. 

Ridge Paschal, deceased, was a picturesque character and 
also a member of one of the branches of the Paschal family. 

Two San Antonio celebrities are A. Toepperwein and his 
wife. Both of them are crack shots with either the rifle, 
shotgun, or pistol. They have given exhibitions all over the 
United States which have been witnessed by many thousands 
of people and were both conspicuous at the St. Louis World's 
Fair. Toepperwein 's feats of marksmanship at moving 
targets are marvelous. On thirteen different occasions he 
has broken the world's record while shooting at flying tar- 
gets. Perhaps his greatest feat and score was when shooting 
for ten consecutive days, seventy-three hours, during which 
he shot at 72,500 wooden targets and only missed nine out 
of the entire number. He hit 14,561 consecutively with- 
out a miss. On another occasion he only missed 4 shots out 
of a total of 50,000. He has made the best scores ever made 
with rifle or shotgun, but some times and especially with the 
shotgun his wife defeats him in some of the matches in the 
field. She is the champion woman shot of the world. 

Francois Giraud was a mayor of San Antonio and also 
an architect and civil engineer. He planned the method of 
the restoration of the San Fernando Cathedral after the front 
portion bad been destroyed by fire, but his plans were 
lost and those of another substituted for them when the sacred 
structure was restored. His widow, the late Mrs. Apollinaria 
Giraud was the former widow of Antoine Lockmar and was 
one of the original Canary Island settlers. While she was 
the wife of Mr. Lockmar, they occupied the famous old Vera- 
mendi Palace and this family was among the last to use it 
as a private residence before it was entirely given over to com- 
mercialism. When a youth, Lockmar was captured by Indians 
but escaped to the settlement of Dolores, in Kinney County 
near where Brackettville now is and ultimately got back to 

212 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

San Antonio. While the Lockmar family lived in the Vera- 
mendi several children were born there, among them Mrs. 
George W. Angle, Mrs. A. Raphall, of San Antonio and Mrs. 
Louis Leon, of Bilboa, Spain. 

Dr. Schleyman was an eminent physician, who was an 
early settler. He was a great botanist and entomologist as 
well as a successful medical practitioner. He was prominent 
during the cholera epidemic of 1848. 

The pioneer apothecary and druggist was the late August 
Nette Sr.,who had a drug store on Commerce street. He was 
succeeded by his son and namesake since deceased 

Frederick Kalteyer was another pioneer in the drug busi- 
ness. He came to Texas from New Orleans and established 
later the Eagle Drug Store on Military Plaza, where, after his 
death he was succeeded by his son, George H. Kalteyer, a form- 
er alderman and very prominent and public spirited citizen, 
founder of the Alamo Cement Company. One of Frederick 
Kalteyer's daughters is the wife of Dr. Adolph Herff and another 
is Mrs. George Altgelt. George Kalteyer's son, the namesake 
of his grandfather. Dr. Frederick Kalteyer, is a very prominent 
Philadelphia physician. One of the late George Kalteyer's 
daughters, Minna, married Frederick W. Cook, head of the 
largest wholesale drug establishment in the state and president 
of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. His other daughter, 
Stella married Mr. Probst and resides in Germany. George H. 
Kalteyer's widow, resides part of the time with her and part of 
it with her daughter, Mrs. Cook. William C. Kalteyer, a cousin 
is also a prominent San Antonio druggist. 

Albert Dreiss was another of the San Antonio pioneer 
druggists, whose establishment in which he was joined by his 
son Adolph in 1S68, was located on Alamo Street of which 
later his son, Edward, became a member, this business being 
now conducted by Herman, the son of i\dolph Dreiss. Ed- 
ward Dreiss is now the head of the San Antonio Macaroni 

The colony of Spaniards who came out from the Canary 
Islands, arriving in the year 1731, embraced thirteen different 
families and fifty- six different persons. They settled in and 
around the then hamlets of San Antonio de Bexar, the Mission 
San Antonio de Valero and the village of La Villita, some of 
of them going as far as the Medina River southward and some 
located within the shadows and near the shelter of the different 
missions below San Antonio and along the river. The colonists 


214 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

included two families named Leal, one of these, their mother, 
was Donna Francesca Arocha. Her sons were Juan Leal, 
Vicente, Alvarez, Francisco and Santos. While the mother 
of the other Leal family was Josef a Caberera, Juan Curbelo 
and Manuel Juan Leal Jr., being her sons. The heads of 
both Leal families being named Juan Leal, Sr. 

Another w^as the family of Salvador Rodriguez and in 
addition to his were the families of Garcia, Garza. Felipe Perez, 
Juan Delgado. There were four brothers of the Armas family, 
Jose, Antonio, Martin Lorenzo, and Ygnacio Armas, all single 
men at the time of their arrival and who found lodgings about 
the Military Plaza, some people ascribing the name Plaza 
de las Armas given to that Plaza to that fact, but it took its 
name from the circumstance of it being the military seat 
of the city and province. There were also three widows among 
the Canary Island settlers who were Josefa de Padron, Maria 
Robina de Betancourt, whose maiden name was Rodriguez and 
the widow Maria Meliano. These colonists all came by way of 
Mexico from Spain and did not receive horses until they reached 
Saltillo. At that point they also received mules, oxen and 
provisions which were exhausted as were themselves and their 
animals when they reached San Antonio, beyond which they 
could not have gone further had they desired. 

The Spanish crown gave them liberal grants of land and 
it was they, emulating the example of the Franciscan friars, 
who had preceeded them and founded the missions, dug ditches 
and tilled the soil which they irrigated with the waters of the 
two principal streams, the San Antonio and San Pedro. When 
they arrived, these Canary Islanders had eighty-six horses, 
seventy-seven mules and thirty- eight oxen. They planted 
grain, vegetables, fruits, flowers and cotton and made this 
vicinity look like an Eden. 

It is a fact not generally appreciated that irrigation was 
first practiced in Texas in and about San Antonio and on a 
scale much larger than it is now. The many irrigation ditches 
opened by the friars and colonists then flowed the purest and 
clearest of water, but since then the source of flow of the water 
has been sapped by sinking artesian wells by the water cor- 
poration, the ditches, by order of the board of health have 
been filled up and irrigation is but little practiced and much 
less appreciated than it was two centuries ago, in which re- 
pects the vicinity has greatly retrograded. 

Combats and Coxouests of Lmmortal Heroes 215 

In those days it was the water that was valuable and the 
water rights were sold instead of the land, which was valuable 
only in so far as it possessed irrigation privileges. 

Among the early settlers of San Antonio were four brothers, 
Milesians, who were interesting members of the community. 
They were John, James, Edward and x'\ndrew Stevens, who 
came here from Tipperary, Ireland, in 1848. Prior to coming 
here John had lived for a time in New York, where he had 
been employed as a clerk by General Longstreet, afterward 
of Confederate fame, but at that time a United States army 
officer with whom, during the Mexican war, Stevens came to 
Texas. Their friendship lasted during life, both passing away 
within short periods of each other, only a few days elapsing 
between their respective deaths. John Stevens, Sr., is survived 
by his sons, John J. Stevens, present postmaster of San Antonio, 
intimately identified with the constrtiction to San Antonio 
of the Galveston Harrisburg and San Antonio, now the South- 
ern Pacific Railway, the Waterworks and City Brewery as well 
as other public enterprises, and his other sons Andrew and 
Thomas Stevens and his daughters, Mrs Annie, wife of A. 
I. Lockwood Jr., and Mrs. Julia Newm^an. His other daughters 
were Mrs. Mary Lockwood, deceased wife of ex-mayor A. I. 
Lockwood, Sr., Mrs. Lizzie McCormick, widow of Harry Mc- 
Cormick, a former prominent member of the San Antonio 
bar, and Mrs. Maggie Evarts. 

John Stevens, Sr., and his brother James married sisters, 
the former wedding Miss Mary and the latter Miss Bridgett 
McDermott. Mrs. John Stevens died in May 1902 and her 
husband survived her but a few weeks. His brothers died at 
different intervals during previous years. 

Edward and Andrew Stevens, Sr., were both bachelors. 
James Stevens is survived by his son and namesake James 
Stevens, Jr. John A. Stevens, Mrs. Horace Daniels and Mrs. 
Magner. Until the summer of 1907 Mrs. James Stevens enjoyed 
the unique distinction of never having ridden on a railway 
train. She came from Europe on a sailing vessel, landed at 
Indianola and traveled thence here by means of an ox wagon. 
She was a very young girl at the time of her arrival and never 
left San Antonio until she took a trip to Kerrville in the sum- 
mer of 1907. 

Andrew Stevens, who was considered a very (piaint and 
witty specimen of the Irish race, for many years was wagon 
master for the United States s^overnment. He wns with 

216 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

General Shafter when the latter was a subaltern and Shafter's 
command was surrounded by Indians, who were attempting 
to stampede the mules of the train. This Andrew prevented 
by coolness and courage, fighting the Indians at close range 
with his revolver and making every one of its shots count. 

\V. A. Bennett and James T. Thornton were two of the 
early bankers of San Antonio, their first banking institution 
having been located where Critzer Brothers' estalishment now 
is. Later they moved to the Southwest corner of Commerce 
and Yturri streets where their firm became Bennett, Thornton 
& Lockwood, J. S., Lockwood being admitted into it then. 

Mrs. Bettie Stevens is the daughter of the late James 
T. Thornton. She is the wife of the present postmaster. 

Surviving W. A. Bennett is his son, Sam W. Bennett, a 
prominent banker and society man, and his daughter, Bettie, 
who was the widow of Charles Porter, but is now the wife of the 
railway magnate Col. B. F. Yoakum. The old Bennett home 
is on Nueva street between Dwyer avenue and South Flores 
Street and is one of the old time palatial residences. 

The Menger family is another of the interesting old German 
stock, who came to Texas at a fairly early period. William 
A. Menger was the most conspicuous, from the fact of his having 
built the Menger Hotel, but not with the idea when doing so 
of erecting a hostelry. It was first a brewery and the only 
brewery anywhere within a radius of many hundreds of miles. 
It attracted so many persons to patronize it that Menger had 
to build additions to his brewery in order to shelter and ac- 
comodate them. It was in this way that he had the hotel 
business thrust upon him. He built first a small two-story 
structure for his hotel, but had to increase the size and height 
and died during the enlargement that was carried out by his 
widow. Menger's beer was famous. Charles Degen was his 
brewer. After Menger's death the brewery business in con- 
nection with the hotel establishment was abandoned. Degen 
then established another a short distance east on Blum Street 
which is now conducted by himself and his son, Louis, who 
was a member of the Belknap infantry company during the 
Spanish-American war. W. A. Menger's son, L. W. Menger, 
is the principal proprietor of the Catholic paper, the Southern 
Messenger and was for many years the clerk of the Menger 
Hotel. Simon Menger, Erich Menger and Dr. Rudolph 
Menger are relatives of the late W. A. Menger. Dr. Rudolph 
Menger, who is a celebrated scientist, his specialty being natural 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 217 

science and reptology particularly, was for some time city 

John C. French, who owned the French building at the 
Southeast corner of Dolorosa and Dwyer Avenue, was a well 
known capitalist. James H. French, who was the best mayor 
San Antonio ever had and who made more improvements and 
built more bridges than any mayor with less money, was a well 


known merchant and a man of splendid physique and of great 
dignity. He was very handsome and of distinguished appearance. 
He was mayor for nearly two decades, being generally elected 
without opposition. His widow survives him, as does a son, 
Junius French, a Presbyterian minister now located at Ft. 
Worth. Mrs. James H. French is an entertaining writer, 
her themes generally being historic. 

218 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

The late James B. Sweet, formerly a mayor of San Antonio, 
and father of Alex S. Sweet the humorist, was a very disting- 
uished citizen. He built the magnificent house at the head of 
the San Antonio River owned by George W. Brackenridge, 
at which I was a guest shortly after my arrival. 

Hiram McLane was a pioneer living just above the head 
of the San Antonio River. He was the owner of a genuine 
Stradivarius violin that was stolen from him and was never 

Juan Antonio Chavez, residing on Obraje Street, is a native 
who as a child lived here with his parents when the Alamo was 
besieged. They fled with him to their Calaveras ranch, where 
they remained until the siege was over. He returned in time 
to witness the burning of the bodies of the victims which 
circumstance he well remembers, although he was quite young. 
He also remembers the entrance into San Antonio of Milam's 
men w^hen they captured San Antonio from the Mexicans. 
The home he then lived in at the corner of Obraje and North Flo- 
res Street, down which a portion of the attacking force came, 
was riddled with shot, the marks of w^hich it bore for many 
3'-ears, as do the rear doors of the old Garza building. 

Colonel Henry Percy Brewster was a prominent lawyer of 
San Antonio. He was, at the time of his death. Commissioner of 
Insurance, statistics and history at Austin, and in accordance 
with his last wish, his remains were taken to Galveston, placed 
on board a vessel and carried out to sea, where they were 
weighted with a heavy cannon shot and sunk. He has rela- 
tives residing here now, one of them a daughter. 

Julius Schuetze was a very brilliant German writer, who 
established the Texas Vorwaerts, first published here and 
later at Austin. He was one of the principal founders, and 
up to his death the head of the German Order of Herman 
Sons. He was a member of a colony that was founded by the 
late Baron Von Meusebach, then located on the Llano River 
near the town of Llano but had to relinquish their residence 
there on account of the hostile Indians. 

Theodore Schleuning was a pioneer German merchant who 
was a member of the same colony. He had a store at the south- 
east corner of Commerce Street and Military Plaza. 

Colonel Charles L. Pyron was a commander of a regiment 
of Confederate cavalry which served throughout the Civil 
War. He owned a fine ranch on the San Antonio River not 
far below the San Jose Mission and near where an English 

Combats and Conquests of Lm.mortal Heroes 219 

gentleman named Robinson established the first beef canning 
and chili con carne manufacturing enterprise in Texas, which 
was succeeded by a similar enterprise conducted by Captain 
William Tobin and others near San Pedro Park. Colonel 
Pyron's widow, his son Charles and daughter, Mrs. Clara 
Muller, who survive him, reside on his ranch, while another 
surviving son, Dr. Matthew Pyron, resides at Boerne. 

Confederate generals Henry and Ben McCulloch were two 
famous fighters who figured in the Civil War and spent some 
time in San Antonio. Henry McCulloch was in command of 
the Confederate forces to whom the Union General Twigges 
surrendered his troops, the latter receiving liberal terms ac- 
corded them by the Confederate commissioners, Maverick De- 
vine and Luckett, being permitted to march away to the coast 
with their arms and horses. These were as liberal as the terms 
granted Cos, the Mexican commander when he surrendered to 
Milam's men. Twigges and his officers kept their faith with 
the Confederacy, while Cos violated his obligation to Milam's 
army, as did his brother- indaw, Santa Anna, after the latter 's 
release from San Jacinto. 

Dr. Sutherland, founder of the celebrated springs in AVil- 
son County, w^as a former prominent San Antonio physician. 
He was in an Indian raid where the savages killed and carried 
into captivity several people at and near Sutherland Springs, 
but he fortunately escaped with his family. 

William, James and John Vance were three brothers 
who came here from Yell, Arkansas. James and William had 
a store at the northeast corner of Main Plaza and Acequia 
streets, now Main Avenue, in the old Yturri building where 
Santa Anna made his headquarters. They also owned the 
block where the United States had its barracks for soldiers 
on Houston, St. Mary's, Travis and Navarro streets. John 
Vance was a merchant at Castroville where he owned a mill 
operated by water power. 

General William Worth was a United States Army officer 
for whom Fort Worth was named. He died of the cholera near 
the head of the San Antonio River in a house erroneously 
ascribed as the residence of David Crockett. 

John S. McDonald was a noted lawyer, killed in a diffi- 
culty with Dr. Devine, at the corner of Soledad and Commerce 


The lats Max Neuendorf, formerly a justice of the peace, 
was a well known San Antonian of early days. He married 
a daughter of Don Antonio Menchaca. Three daughters and 
a son survive him. 

Jack Wilcox was another of the prominent members of 
the Texas Bar who resided in San Antonio. He was a Mex- 
ican War veteran and also a member of the Confederate Con- 
gress from this district. 

Samuel Moore was a well known Mexican War veteran 
who died recently, after participating in many adventures 
with Indians. He was a very taciturn man in which respect 
he was compared to General Grant. 

William Chrysler was a noted San Antonio furniture mer- 
chant, whose store was in the French Building. He was quite 
eccentric and very loquatious. When General U. S. Grant 
visited here on his tour around the world, and Chrysler was 
introduced to him by the then Mayor James H. French, Mr. 
Chrysler said to Genera] Grant: "I expect I might have be- 
come as distinguished a character as you if I could have been 
able to keep my mouth shut." 

Two interesting families named Gallagher were among 
the early settlers. One was headed by the late Peter Galla- 
gher, whose widow died here a few years ago. She was Mrs. 
Eliza Gallagher. The niece of this couple, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Conroy, and their nephew Hugh Rice, survive them. This 
family of Gallaghers owned and to that estate belongs the 
property on Nacogdoches Street, just east of and adjoining 
the Alamo cluster. 

The head of the other Gallagher family is Edward J. 
Gallagher, whose sons are E. J. Gallagher, Jr., and John Walter 
Gallagher, the latter being a postal Clerk. One of his daughters, 
Bessie, is the wife of Richard J. Lawrence, of Pittsburg, and 
the other is Miss Mollie Gallagher. E. J. Gallagher possesses 
considerable histrionic talent and is prominent in amateur the- 
atricals. Both Peter Gallagher and J. E. Gallagher are among 
the contractors who have erected a considerable number of 
the dwelling and busienss edifices of this city. 

Sam C. Bennett was a former merchant and ranchman 
who owned a considerable quantity of land on the Leona, 
near Uvalde. For a time he was custodian of the Alamo chapel 
to which position he was succeeded by a daughter, Eleanor, 
who wrote one of the best accounts of the siege and fall of the 
Alamo extant. She, with a sister, Mollie, and brother Anson, 
survive their father. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 221 

I 'I I'll I 1 'I MOV i>l-- Sllll.i iH , 

222 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

The late Major Hardin B. Adams, who was a gallant con- 
federate officer during the Civil War, and commander of the 
Alamo Rifles about the time of its close, together with Colonel 
Edward D. L. Wickes, owned a large number of wagons and 
draft animals, their trains hauling supplies to the various army 
posts on the frontier. Major Adams is survived by his son and 
namesake, Hardin B. Adams and his widow. 

Colonel Wickes, who married Miss Eliza A. Thompson, 
built the San Antonio Club and Opera House and the build- 
ing adjoining it, owning the latter, while the major part of 
tlie stock of the former is owned by his widow, Mrs. E. A. T. 

Jean Espiasse Loustaunau, together with his deceased 
partner, Paul Bergeron, founded the former well known French 
restaurant on Market Street known as La Maison Blanche, 
and later they became proprietors of the Elite Hotel. Lous- 
taunau, his wife and son, Julien, reside in the southern part 
of San Antonio. 

Eli Arnaud was another French citizen who has several 
times served as the alderman of his ward, as also Charles Guer- 
guin, another well known French citizen. Mr. Guerguin 
owns the former palace of Antonio Cordero on the arch of 
whose portal are the blended coats of arms of Spain and Austria. 

General William B. Knox, who was a former sheriff of 
Bexar County, and a very prominent citizen of early days, 
was one of the leading politicians with great influence, especially 
among the Mexican portion of the populace. His son recent- 
ly deceased, who was also his namesake, served faithfully for 
some years as a peace officer and up to the time of his death 
a few years ago. 

Miss Martha Knox, a sister of General Knox, and a niece, 
reside in San Antonio. 

Joseph Schmitt, lately deceased, was a German pioneer 
who built many of the prominent houses in San Antonio. 
Principle of these is St. Mary's Catholic Church at St. Mary's 
and College streets. His old home, a very pretty and unique 
old time stone structure, stands at Garden and Nueva streets. 
His daughter, Mrs. Steinhardt, resides in Aguas Calientes, 
Mexico. One of his sons, George J. F. Schmitt, was an emi- 
nent chemist, and for years was president of the examining 
board of chemists and druggists. He, at the death of the late 
George Kalteyer, became proprietor of the Eagle Drug Store 
on Military Plaza. He died a few years ago, leaving a widow, 

Combats and Coxouests of Lm.mortal Heroes 223 

whose maiden name was Annette Dwyer, also several daugh- 
ters. Herman Schmitt, another son of Joseph Schmitt, is a 
leading merchant and banker at Hondo, Texas. 

Louis and Fritz Rummell were early German settlers. 
Fritz still resides here, and was formerly with the late Paul 
Wagner, a toy merchant. Hulda Rummel, a daughter of 
Fritz Rummel, and a very beautiful woman, married Gus. 
Schreiner, of Kerrville. 

A. A. Wulff, deceased, who built Wulff's Castle, said to 
be a replica of one of the Rhenish castles, was the owner of 
a large wagon train. He was alderman and mayor protempore 
for several terms and the projector of the parks on Alamo and 
Main Plazas. He was San Antonio's first Park Commissioner. 

Xhe Gross brothers, Carl, Gustav and Frederick, the lat- 
ter being the only survivor, were leading merchants of San 
Antonio and Eagle Pass for many years, and conducted Gross' 
private bank, an old and long established institution of San 
Antonio doing business at Commerce and Navarro streets. 
They were among the founders of the old German-English 
school. All three of these brothers were charter members of 
the Casino, San Antonio's oldest social organization. 

Nic Tengg is one of the old citizens of San Antonio. He 
succeeded the late A. Pentenrieder in the stationary business. 
He was one of the founders of the San Antonio Turn Verein, 
also an ancient athletic and social institution. 

Conrad Zuschlag, also a pioneer German settler, was one 
of the founders of the Turn Verein and prominent as a mem- 
ber of its fire-fighting branch, known in the days of the vol- 
unteer fire department as Turner Hook and Ladder Company 
No. L Mr. Zuschlag resides opposite the widow of the late 
Major J. H. Kampmann and very near the new Turner Hall. 

The late William Hoefling was also a prominent fireman, 
and the foreman of one of the volunteer engine companies. 
He was also county commissioner and alderman several terms. 

Edward Braden, deceased, and Philip Menger, also some- 
time deceased, were both prominent volunteer firemen and fore- 
men of different engine companies. In the days of the volun- 
teer service there was a great rivalry between the different 
organizations, especially which should reach the scene of con- 
flagration first and throw the first water. Braden was a Con- 
federate army captain also. H 

Where the St. James Hotel now stands was the dwelling 
of the late B. R. Sappington, a Confederate veteran and owner 

224 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

of a livery stable on Houston Street, adjoining the San Anto- 
nio River. His wife was a sister of the wife of Captain Philip 
Shardein and a niece of Jefferson Davis, president of the Con- 
federate States. 

A. J. Lockwood was a merchant and one of the early may- 
ors of San Antonio. 

George H. Giddings, also a merchant, was the principal 
owner of a stage line from New Orleans to San Francisco pas- 
sing through San Antonio. Indians committed many depre- 
dations, murdering his men and stock and stealing a great 
part of the animals. They burned a number of the stages 
and killed quite a number of the passengers. One of his brothers, 
James, w^as killed by Indians. The surviving members of 
the Giddings family have a large claim against the United States 
Government for the damages mentioned. 

M. G. Cotton was a contractor and builder who restored 
the Alamo church after it was destroyed by fire in 1861 while 
being used by the U. S. Quartermaster and Commissary officers 
for storing supplies for the troops. At that time some boys 
smoking cigarettes set fire to some straw, communicating to 
other inflammable material. Mr. Cotton later became^one 
of the justices of the peace, while Anton Adam was the other, 
holding that of!ice up to the time of his death. He was the 
father of Charles F. Cotton, one of the founders of and up to 
recently business manager of the San Antonio Daily Express. 
Clem Cotton, also a contractor and builder, now in the Phil- 
ippines, is another son. One of his sons was drowned in the 
San Antonio River during a flood. A daughter of his is the 
wife of C. Schasse. Another danghter is Miss Agnes Cotton, 
for some time a principal of one of the city public schools. 

Gustav Frasch is a San Antonio pioneer who served in 
the second U. S. Dragoons when that military organization 
was commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston and Robert E. 
Lee its lieutenant colonel. Mr. Frasch, for over 20 years 
was city tax assessor. He has a most remarkable memory. 

Captain Edward vStevens was one of the brave and tireless 
peace officers of Bexar County who lost an arm in a fight with 
horse thieves while he was sheriff, and ultimately died from 
the effects of the wounds received on that occasion. His 
son Edward, known as "Little Ed" Stevens, was for some 
years a deputy sheriff, and was the constable for the first pre- 
cinct when I was its justice. Another son, Charles F. Stevens, 
was later constable and is now a deputy U. S. marshall. Like 

Combats and Conquests of Ialmortal Heroes 225 

their father, both brothers arrested many noted criminals. 
Ed Stevens, Jr., was with the posse that killed McDaniel the 
stage robber, and he captured one of the Pitts gang that es- 
caped at the time that Pitts killed U. S. Marshal Gosling, 
and when Pitts, while trying to get away, was killed by the 
train conductor. 

Jose Cassiano, who was for many years county collector 
of Bexar County, is a descendant of one of the thirteen fami- 
lies of colonists from the Canary Islands. The Cassianos 
originally had their homes at the corner of Galan Street and 
Main Plaza, adjacent to the San Fernando Cathedral. He 
is the brother of Jesus Cassiano, like himself prominent in local 

The late Edward Froboese was forerly county treasurer. 
He was associated with August Santleben in the transfer busi- 
ness and they owned many wagons and mules forming a large 
number of the trains hauling freight to Mexico and the frontier 
military posts and settlements. One of his sons is a city police- 

The late Peter Jonas, who was also an old time freighter, 
was for some time market master and county judge. Jonas 
was in charge of a train of whose teamsters two were captured, 
tied to the tires of the wagon wheels and burned, one of them 
until he died and the other until his hands were burned off. 
The latter made his escape and for years and up to very re- 
cently was a well known figure who sat on the sidewalk receiv- 
ing alms for years and until shortly before his death. Peter 
Jonas' son and namesake and his widow live here. 

Gustav A. Duerler, son of one of the early custodians of 
San Pedro Park is a prominent citizen who was a chief 
of the old volunteer fire department. His son and name- 
sake is an astronomer and meteorologist and has other scientific 
attainments. His daughter is the wife of August Herff. 

One of the old time lawyers of Texas was the late Judge 
Thomas Stribling, whose widow, Mrs. Eleanor A. Stribling, 
a son Ben and two daughters, Mrs. Maury, living in Virginia, 
and Mrs. O. S. Newel, survive him. 

The late Captain Willam McMaster, who was for some time 
custodian of the Alamo church, and Captain Thomas Rife, 
another, were both Texas veterans. Captain McMaster, who 
died in 1907, was also a Mexican War veteran. 

The late Andrew Jackson Evans was one of the l)rilliant 
lawyers of the Texas bar. He was United States district at- 

226 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

torney in this district for a number of years and prosecuted 
most of the mail and stage robbers tried here. 

Nathan O. Green was another brihant lawyer, and for 
years was the state district attorney. He was in charge of 
stores seized by the Confederacy. He was the father of Robert 
B. Green, district and county judge and famous captain of 
the Belknap Rifles when the latter won most of their trophies. 
He was also the father of N. A. Geeen, a prominent San An- 
tonio legal practitioner. 

John A. Green was a Mexican War and Confederate 
veteran. He was a major in the Confederate army and a 
brother of the celebrated General Tom Green of Mexican and 
Civil War fame. His widow, who was Miss Kate West, died 
in San Antonio very recently. 

Malcolm Gilchrist Anderson and his brother Theodore 
G. Anderson, were two very prominent lawyers. Both were 
judges of the city recorder's court and M. G. Anderson was for 
several years district attorney. Like N. O. Green, both were 
noted criminal lawyers. 

Trevanion T. Teel was another noted San Antonio crimi- 
nal lawyer, and was also a major in command of a battery of 
Confederate artillery in Sibley's brigade which figured promi- 
nently in the engagement at Valverde. His daughter, Mrs. 
Ed. Haltom and his son Van Teel, survive him. 

H. Tournat is a French pioneer who recently sold a large 
ranch he owned in Bexar County for many years. He was 
for several terms a county commissioners. 

One of the old French pioneer families is that headed by 
the late A. Fretellierre, who are relatives of the late eminent 
artist and civil engineer, Theodore Gentilz. Henry and Au- 
gust Fretellierre and two daughters survive him. 

Mrs. Josephine Roberts, residing at Nacogdoches, who fre- 
quently visits her daughter, Mrs. Josephine Walker and Grand- 
daughter Josephine, is the grand niece of Ben R. Milam. She 
uttered a strong protest against the destruction of the Vera- 
mendi Palace, where her disitnguished kinsman was killed, 
but her protest proved of no avail. She had witnessed with 
extreme disgust previously the destruction at Nacogdoches 
of the historic old stone fort. The inhabitants of Nacog- 
doches have ever since been ashamed of permitting the demo- 
lition of the stone fort. They since have built an imitation of 
it on a different site. The original site was sacrificed to com- 
mercialism, just as the Veramendi, at San Antonio, has been. 

Co^iBATs AXD Conquests of Immortal Heroes 227 

Enrique Esparza, a nonogenarian of San Antonio, claim- 
ing to have been .in the Alamo with his parents and a .brother 
is a picturesque character. He tells a very straight story of 
the siege and fall of the Alamo. The name of his father 

and brother appear upon the list of those killed there. He 
says he was a child at the time but old enough to distinctly 
remember all of the horrible incidents. After the fall of the 
cluster he and his mother, he says, were taken from the church 
wherein the last stand was made, and carried before Santa 
Anna, together with several other women and children. He 
states that the Mexican dictator gave each of the women two 
silver dollars. 

Madam Candelaria, who died here at the age of 110 years, 
also claimed to have been in the Alamo during its siege and cap- 
ture. She told an interesting story of the struggle. 

Mrs. Perez, who was the mother of Alejo Perez, a former 
deputy sheriff, undoubtedly was in the Alamo. She was the 
widow of one of the Alsbery brothers, one of whom is said to 
have been slain in the Alamo. Another lady who lived in 
San Antonio for some time was the wife of Lieutenant Dicken- 
son. She was the mother of the child known as the "Babe 
of the Alamo." There is no question of her having been in the 
Alamo during its siege, although the giving birth there by her 
to a daughter has been questioned. It is not unlikely, how- 
ever, that this child was born there. The one said to have 
been the babe of the Alamo lived for many years in Galves- 
ton. Her daughter married a furniture dealer in San Antonio 
named Hanning about twenty years ago. 

The Huisar family was a very distinguished one. Its head. 
Antonio, was a sculptor and architect whose chisel carved 
most of the 'beautiful statuary that adorned the old San Jose 
Mission until vandals destroyed the different figures. He also 
designed the wonderful window yet almost intact in that 
mission famous for its beauty and copied in many modern 
buildings. He is also said to have planned the mission itself 
and to have been aided in the work by Bruno Huisar, a kins- 

Francisco Perez was the head of another prominent Mex- 
ican family who lived on the Medina River and owned a con- 
siderable number of cattle. His son. surviving liim, Antonio 
Perez, is a well known S£in Antonian. 

Another very prominent and popular Mexican family 
was the Montez'. whose home home was at the southeast corner 

228 Combats and Conquests of Lm:\iortal Heroes 

of Market Street and Main Plaza. It was recently demol- 
ished to give place to an office building covering the entire 
front of the block extending to Dolorosa Street. This family 
is related to the Bishop Montez de Oca, owner of the famous 
black marble palace at Monterey. 

The Trevinio familiy was another very prominent family 
of the old Spanish families. Their home was on the street 
named for them on the north side of the San Fernando Cathe- 
dral. The head of the family was an army officer who com- 
manded a part of the garrison. 

Another and very illustrious old Spanish family and mem- 
bers of the nobility, are the Garcias. residing on Salinas Street. 
Mariano Garcia, w^ho died very suddenly two years ago, was 
one of its prominent members. He served many years as a 
member of the police force. Of the Garcia family it is re- 
lated that one of their ancestors, w^ho was very wealthy, died, 
leaving a fortune of some millions of Spanish duloons to a close re- 
lative here, his only heir, and a letter conveying the tidings 
w^as sent from Spain. This letter, as did all mail then com- 
ing here, had to pass through the hands of the then governor 
of the province, who opened it and perused its contents. While 
doing so he was observed by the priest of his household who 
advised him to seal it and deliver it to the person to whom it 
w^as directed. This the governor promised to do, but instead 
of so doing retained it. This governor w^as familiar with all 
of the family affairs of the Garcia family and determined to go 
to Spain, impersonate the heir, take the letter with him and 
claim the fortune. He disappeared one night but had only 
gone a short distance into the chapparal when he was beset 
by Indians w^ho slew and burned him. A burnt fragment of 
that letter was found by the body 

The corpse was not found for a long time after the dis- 
appearance of the governor, and the priest, to whom the let- 
ter's burnt fragment w^as given, took it to the heir and gave it 
to him, but he did not attempt to go to Spain after his heritage 
for some time, fearing the family of the governor and the lat- 
ter 's officers, who w^ere powerful and influential. The result 
was that none of the San Antonio branch of the Garcia family 
ever got any portion of the rich legacy beciueathed to their 

Among other old Mexican families were the Euritia, the 
Torres and the Talamantes, the latter being one of the old 

Combats and Conquests of Laimortal Heroes 229 

waggoners whose prairie schooners pHed over the prairies haul- 
ing cargos of freight. 

The Quintana family, whose head was the late Don Rafael 
Quintana, is an old and honored one. Its head came from Min- 
orca. He came to Texas as the band master of the regimental 
band of United States Dragoons. He was a very large, tall 
and powerful man. Although the leader, or chief musi- 
cian of this band he frequently served as its drum major. His 
daughters, all of whom are beautiful women, were blondes with 
golden hair. Two of his sons have served as members of the 
police force. The home of this family adjoined that of the 
Trevinios and was in the immediate rear of the present Frost 
Bank Building. 

Among the prominent old French families are the Halffs, 
the heads of both of which, A. and M. Halff, recently died. 
Both were wholesale merchants. Their sons and heirs are 
their successors. 

The late A. B. Frank was a very prominent and wealthy 
wholesale merchant, and besides being the head of the A. B. 
Frank Wholesale Grocery Company, was a member of the 
Goldfrank, Frank & Co., wholesale dry goods firm. Their 
business place was located where the San Antonio Drug Com- 
pany now has its establishment. 

Wiliam Hiener was a German pioneer. He was for years 
the city sexton and conducted an undertaking institution. 
Joseph Sheern was another undertaker who buried a great 
many of the early inhabitants and especially during two cholera 

Erasmo Seguin, for whom the town of Seguin was named, 
was one of the mayors of San Antonio about the time of the in- 
vasion by Santa Anna's army. He owned considerable land 
acreage near Seguin. 

Wentzel Seffel was a pioneer who came from Germany 
in 1856 with his sons Edward A., P. W.. /Vnton and Frank 
A. Seffel. Wentzel Seffel was a weaver but finding no looms 
here became the principal truck gardener, raising vegetables 
and fruits. His son Edward is a decorator. Peter W. Seftel 
was a blacksmith and farrier, working many years for the United 
States Government, also a city policeman for eight years. 
He died in 1896. Fran k Seffel, who was a tinner, is also dead. 
The other surviving son of Wentzel Seffel is Anton Seffel, a 
painter who for the past 36 years has been in the employ of 
the U. S. Government. Edward Seffel and Anton Seffel were 

230 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

summarily drafted into the Confederate service at their homes, 
but sympathizing with the Union cause left the Confederates, 
went to Mexico and thence to New Orleans where they joined 
a company of Federal cavalry commanded by Captain Speed. 
The regiment was composed of Texans. 


Jacob Schiffers is a German pioneer. He is a brother 'of 
the late Peter Schiffer. an old time blacksmith and carriage 
maker who died not long since. 

August Krawitz was a gun and locksmith whose establish- 
ment was where the orphanage at the northeast corner of Cam- 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 231 

eron and Commerce Street is located. His son and namesake 
live here now. 

The Oppenheimers are an old family of whom Dan Oppen- 
heimer, a banker, is the oldest male survivor. He is also a 
Confederate veteran. He and Anton Oppenheimer, deceased, 
were partners in the banking business and owned a large ranch 
in Atascosa County. They as well as the Halffs dealt exten- 
sively in wool when San Antonio was the wool market of the 

Juan E. Barera is a San Antonio veteran whose father was 
provisional governor here replacing Veramendi when the latter 
was removed by Santa Anna. The provisional governor men- 
tioned was arrested by Antonio Menchaca and Juan N. Seguin, 
but on trial was acquitted, no circumstances of an incriminat- 
ing nature being proven against him. While he served at a 
very critical period of the city's history and when the Alamo 
fell, the government was conducted in person by Santa Anna 
himself, Barera "s duties being purely perfunctory. Juan E. 
Barera, who was many years a deputy county clerk, remembers 
the arrival of Santa Anna's army, noticing particularly the 
peculiarity of some of the musical instruments of one of its 
bands. This instrument, he says, reminded him of an alligator. 
He was a little child then. The Barera family resided on Dolo- 
rosa Street on the south side of Main Plaza next and east of 
the acequia, or ditch, that formerly flowed uncovered. Dr. 
Charles A. R. Campbell resides in a house fronting on Nueva 
Street, back of their old home. He is a relative of the Barera 

Charles W. Baumberger, who was a prominent educator 
of early days and taught many of the former generation of 
San Antonians, was one of the early teachers in San Antonio 
schools. His son and namesake is now the head of the cement 
company located five miles north of the city, which has suc- 
ceeded the former Alamo Cement Company plant at the city 
rock quarries founded by the late George H. Kalteyer. 

Phillip Schweitzer formerly a German professor in whose 
life there was a romance, was one of the familiar characters 
on the streets of San Antonio up to the time of his death about 
a decade ago. He was disappointed in a love affair. Later 
he had the misfortune to fall in a deep well striking his head 
against the rock curbing which caused concussion of the brain. 
This affected his mind and caused him to wander about carry- 
ing a lot of newspapers given him at different newspaper offi- 

232 Combats and Conquests of Heroes 

ces. He was picked up nearly frozen and carried to a hospital 
where he died shortly after of pneumonia. 

Carl Bergstrom was an early German settler who landed 
at Indianola and lived first at New Braunfels, but later came 
here. At first he was a farmer but later became a dealer in 
hides on Military Plaza. His children were Louis, head of 
the large packing house in San Antonio, Otto, deceased, Sophia, 
deceased, Oscar, a prominent attorney living in New York 
and Augusta wife of Thomas H. Gray. 

The Flores family were prominent people of early days 
whose descendants reside here. They own the northeast cor- 
ner of Alamo and Commerce Street on which they have given 
a long lease to a commercial firm which has erected a large build- 
ing there. 

Another prominent San x-\ntonio family are the Cant us 
who foiTiierly lived on Houston, near Nacogdoches Street, 
and still another is the Caravajal family who lived not very far 
from the Madre, or Mother ditch, in which, in early days, many 
of the inhabitants were accustomed to bathe. At that time 
this ditch was on the edge of town and Indians vised to raid 
in that region and water their horses therein. On one occasion, 
while a party of young girls were bathing in this ditch, among 
whom was a maiden of the Caravajal family about fourteen 
years old, and very beautiful, Indians came upon them sud- 
denly unawares. A young chief caught the Caravajal girl as 
she ran out trying to escape, put her on his horse and ran away 
with lier. Fortunately some mounted men were not far off 
who responded to the alarm, gave chase and pursued the Indian 
so closely that he was compelled to drop his beautiful i:»urden. 
She escaped unharmed save for the fright she got and some 
scratches from thorns in the brush in which she was dropped, 
a little more than two miles from where she was captured. She 
was brought home by the party that rescued her and which 
abandoned further pursuit of the Indians. She was aftenvards 
a great society belle of San Antonio and wedded one of the gal- 
lant youths who rescued her. 

Louis and A. Zork were two of the old time merchants 
whose store was on Commerce Street near the San Antonio 
National Bank. 

Charles Griesenbeck was a German pioneer who was ex- 
tensively engaged in buying and selling cotton and was cashier 
of Twohig's bank. A son of his, Hugo, mamed Miss Lulu 
McAllister, who is a very sweet singer. 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 233 

Erastus Reed was a furniture dealer of early days. His 
daughter married Joe George, recently deceased, who was post- 
master here during the second term of President Cleveland. 

Jose Penaloza, who was a butcher and deputy sheriff, was 
a politician who had great influence among the Mexican consti- 

Captain Charles H. Merritt was a successful merchant 
whose store was on Commerce Street not far from Main Plaza. 
His widow survives him, as does his daughter Minnie M.,the 
wife of Frank H. Bushick, editor of the Corpus Christi Caller 
Mrs. Bushick has a very sweet voice and sings often in church 
and social functions. 

George Horner was a German pioneer business man who 
raised a large family. His son and namesake is a leading mer- 
chant at Uvalde. Another son, Caspar, is manager of the 
Eagle Drug Store, and one of his daughters is the wife of F. 
A. Piper, also a prominent business man of San Antonio and 

Edward Degener was formerly a congressman froin this 
district when it was republican. Tw^o of his sons were killed 
in the battle between Duff's Confederate command and the 
Texas Union force, of which the Degeners were members, at 
which a number of others were also killed. Many of those then 
slain were from Comfort, where a monument to their memory 
has been erected. A son of his, Hans L. Degener, lives in Mex- 

The late Baron v^on Meusebach was a member of the Ger- 
man nobiilty who founded a colony which he brought out 
from there with him, locating a portion of them on the Llano 
River near where the town of Llano now is and the balance 
at and around Fredericksburg and Comfort. The Indians 
became so hostile, however, the colonists at Llano had to 
abandon the locality. Those at Fredericksburg remained. 
Meusebach discarded the "von," or title of nobility, moved to 
near Leon Springs, where he built a fine house over a boldly 
flowing spring located on the present United States maneuvers 
reservation. The Meusebach family, descendants of his, is a 
prominent one to-day in San Antonio. To propitiate the 
Indians Meusebach presented them with discarded uniforms 
of the German army. Not long ago, in making an excavation 
near Fredericksburg, the body of a very large Indian chief 
was exhumed. It was clad in the remnants of one of these 


Margaret Olive Jordan, Avife of A. H. Jordan, is 
a writer of some excellent verse and has written a couple of 
successful works of sentiment and fiction. 

Major James B. Armstrong, now living at his ranch near 
Catharine, is a noted scout and ranger who has been a hard 
frontier fighter of outlaws and desperadoes as well as Indians. 
During his services as a ranger covering a long period, he cap- 
tured many notorious criminals. 

Captain William Scott, residing in San Antonio, is another 
famous Texas ranger who has fought and caught many harden- 
ed criminals. He was dreadfully wounded several times 
in encounters with them, notwithstanding which he always 
managed to get the ones he went after. 

William Cassin is another noted pioneer who has acquired 
considerable landed estate. When he first came to Texas 
he proposed to teach in one of the County public schools, 
where the district was sparsely settled and the parents of the 
pupils of scholastic age generally in need of the services of the 
children to aid them in the work on their farms and ranches. 
Mr. Cassin applied to the trustees of one of the schools who 
told him he might try and if the school proved a success they 
would give him a permanent position. He was furnished 
with a full list of the pupils and given directions how to find 
their parents. He called on all of the latter, this involving 
much hard riding over a considerable area, during which he 
told them he would be at the school house on a certain day 
to open and commence the school. Most of the parents pro- 
fusely promised to send their children. Cassin was at the 
school house on the appointed day bright and early and full 
of eager hope of making the school a success so as to secure 
the promised permanent position. He was there all day 
long and until after the lengthening shadows presaging the 
setting of the sun were succeeded by nightfall. Cassin says 
he then rode away firmly convinced that particular school 
was not, either a brilliant, a howling or any other kind of a 
success. Not a single child appeared to attend the school. 

This circumstance so discouraged him he concluded not 
to further pursue pedagogy. He then engaged in the land 
business which proved much more to his advantage than his 
other pursuit would have done if "school had kept." 

Several San Antonians are survivors of the terrible hurri- 
cane that swept Indianola off the map and out into the Gulf 
of Mexico on September 15, 1875. One of these is John Mil- 

Combats axd Conquests of Lmmortal Heroes 235 

ler, a fish dealer who had a most thrilhng experience. He 
was on the roof of one of the houses that was swept away 
and went to pieces during the hurricane. He managed to 
keep hold of a large board capable of sustaining his weight, 
clinging to it desperately, although during the long night he 
became very cold and numb. "When daylight came on the 
morning of the 16th, he was horrified to see lying on the same 
board, but at its other end, a monster rattle snake which had 
coiled itself securely around the board. For cjuite a while the 
snake seemed dumb from the cold and lay perfectly motionless, 
but when the gale began to subside, the waves to become 
less mountainous and the sun came out and warmed the ser- 
pent and the water, it began to move and creep along the 
board toward the end which Miller was clinging to. When it 
got within a few feet of him it began to coil in a striking atti- 
tude and to vigorously rattle. Miller, who was a good swimmer, 
released that end of the board and swam at some distance round 
it until he reached the end relinquished by the snake. The 
serpent remained coiled where he was and rattling vigorously 
for some time, but again uncoiled and started to creep toward 
Miller, who waited until the rattlesnake again began to coil 
threateningly when Miller relinquished the end of the board to 
which he was then clinging and swam to the other end. This 
program was repeated quite a number of times. Miller noticed 
the tide was carrying the board back towards the land and 
when he was not a very great distance from shore he released 
the board. He felt his feet touch bottom, and abandoned the 
board altogether to the snake and struck out for land, which 
he reached a short while before the board with the snake on 
it struck the beach. Miller deliberated when the snake was 
thrown ashore, whether he should kill it or not and had pos- 
sessesed himself of a large pole with which to dispatch it, but 
finally concluded to spare the snake's life and let it crawl away 
into the brush. He said the snake had always given warning 
with its rattles and never attempted to strike without doing 
so, giving him an opportunity of getting out of its way, so he 
concluded to be equally magnanimous. 

Tom Rabb, who now lives in Deming, New Mexico, is an 
old Texas scout and ranger who had many adventures with 
Indians by whom he was wounded. He captured a number 
of noted chiefs and killed several others, among them the 
celebrated Seminole "Big Foot," who was at one time superior 
to Osceola in that tribe. He was over an hundred years old 


when slain by Rabb. The latter is the uncle of the late Dr. 
E. M. Rabb who died a few years since at Brownsville, who gave 
me the manuscript bequeathed to him by William Smalley, 
an ancestor whose father was slain and himself carried into 
captivity by Indians, among whom he had many adventures 
and was made one of the chiefs of the Iroquois tribe. Smalley 
returned from captivity, was sent back to them by President 
George Washington as one of seven commissioners to conclude 
a peace pact between them and the whites. This Smalley 
was enabled to do alone some years later, the Indians having 
massacred the other six members of the commission, return- 
ing in time to reach the bedside of his dying wife before she 
expired and Smalley had delivered the treaty to Thomas Jef- 
ferson, third President of the United States, With the title, 
"Savage Smalley 's Speaking Leaf," I have from this manus- 
cript written another book, which I expect to have published 

Daniel Sullivan and his family are among San Antonians 
who survived almost miraculously the Indianola flood m^en 
tioned and Commodore M. D. Monseratte and his wife are two 
others who also escaped alive from it. 

Dr. Frank Fanning and D. C. Fanning, of San Antonio 
are descendants of a branch of the same family as Colonel 
Fannin who commanded the force massacred by Santa Anna's 
minion, Urrea near Goliad. 

The Zambrano family was one of the pioneer families, as 
also was that of the Sabriego, the Delgado, the Losoya, the 
Salinas, the Olivari, and the Lombrano families, members of 
all of which were citizens of influence and standing. 

The late Major James H. Kampmann, who was an early 
settler, was also a well known contractor and builder who 
constructed a large number of the buildings of early days in 
San Antonio. Prominent among these were the Menger Hotel, 
which he acquired after building, as he did the old Alamo 
Literary Hall, now the Bexar Hotel, the Kampmann Building 
and numerous others. His widow, Mrs. Caroline Kampmann 
survives him and resides in their old home. One of his sons, 
Gus, and a daughter, Mrs. Ida Meyer, who was the widow of 
Dr. John Herff, also survive him, as do several grandchildren, 
among them Ike and Herman Kampmann Jr., and J. H. Kamp- 
mann Jr. Herman D. Kampmann, one of the two sons of 
James H. Kampmann, was also the owner of the Menger Hotel, 
which is now the property of his widow. Herman Kampmann 

Combats And Conquests Of Ialmortal Heroes 237 

was a very liberal and progressive citizen and one of the foun- 
ders of the San Antonio Jockey Club and the International 
Fair Association. 

The late Judge I. P. Simpson was a very prominent and 
witty member of the Texas bar. He was quick at repartee, 
always having a ready answer, even for the most quizzical ques- 
tion. He is survived by a son James, and three daughters, 
Elizabeth, widow of the late Herman D. Kampman, Fannie, 
unmarried, and Caro, wife of George C. Eichlitz. James 
Simpson was a sergeant of the Belknap squadron of the 1st 
Texas Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish American War, 
and assisted J. P. Nelson in the construction of a number of the 
good roads in Bexar County. 

P. N. Luckett, one of the three Confederate Commissioners 
who received the Federal property surrendered by General 
Twigges, afterv^^ard became a Colonel of a Texas Confederate 
Infantry regiment and served throughout the Civil War. 

Wade Hampton, another Confederate soldier and a near 
relative of the Confederate General of that name was a well 
known resident of San Antonio, who, although quite old, was a 
commercial traveler with the reputation of being able to, with 
his persuasive powers, to sell soap to a "Digger" Indian. He 
was a prominent participant in the battle of Corpus Christi 
that ended in the capture of Commodore Kittredge, commander 
of the fleet that attacked that city. 

W. B. Leigh was a well known lawyer of early days, as also 
was D. J. S. Vanderlip, the latter having been a ready waiter 
for dilTerent newspaper publications. 

Charles King was one of the early mayors of San Anto- 
nio. He was a brother-in-law of Sam C. Smith. His son and 
namesake, Charles F. King, and his daughters, Mrs. Emily 
Cooley and Miss Sarah Smith King, the latter prominently 
identified with school and literary work, survive him. Charles 
King was a merchant, the partner of John Carolan. 

Sam Hall was one of the erstwhile picturesque characters 
who owned most the property on Market Street from Navarro 
to Yturri Street. He built the first bath house on the San 
Antonio River for public use. He was a Scotchman and 
danced in costume, the Fishers ' and Sailors ' Hornpipe and 
the "Highland Fling," as did another Scottish old timer, 
Colonel Munroe. Hall was found dead with a bullet w^ound 
through his head following a period of financial reverses and 
ill health. 

238 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

Cornelius Van Ness was the plenipotentiary ambassador 
from the Texas Republic to Spain. His two sons, Cornelius 




and George lived in San Antonio some time after his death 
and their descendants still reside here. 

Mrs. Sallie Barrera, who is said to be a errand -daughter of 

Combats x\xd Coxouests Of Immortal Heroes 239 

Lieutenant Dickenson and a daughter of the "Child of the 
Alamo," resides in San Antonio at 118 Connelly Street. 

John Bradley, Sr., was a San Antonian who was one of 
the Perote prisoners. He is survived by his son and name- 
sake, John Bradley, Jr., and his daughter, Mrs. Jacob Waelder, 
widow of a former prominent lawyer for whom the town of 
Texas was named. Mrs. Waelder was left a widow^ first by 
Lewis Maverick, Sr., who was the second male American child 
born in San Antonio. 

R. T. Higgenbotham was a pioneer who was a soldier in 
both the Texas independence and the Meixcan wars. He 
was wounded severely during the Indian massacre elsewhere 
detailed. He was given a grant of land by the Texas Republic 
on which now over 1,000 persons reside. It is in the neighbor- 
hood of and on the west side of the river from Concepcion 

Dietrich Stumberg was a Mexican war veteran who was the 
father of the late Henry D. Stumberg and of George Stumberg 
and Mrs. Lena McAllester, widow of the late F. W. McAllester, 
a lady prominent now in literary and women's social work. 
Dietrich Stumberg served in the United States Army with the 
late Stephen Dauenhauer, a blacksmith and carriage maker 
and building contractor, owner of the building at the Southeast 
corner of Commerce Street and Main Plaza. 

The McAllester family headed by S. W. McAllester, is an 
old and honored one. S. W. McAllester, who was a builder, 
was a captain of the Alamo Rifles at the outbreak of the Civil 
War. He w^as also justice of the peace and county judge of 
Bexar County. The family were all musicians and formed an 
orchestra among their own members exclusively. Mrs. Annie 
Katzenberger, now residing in Chicago and Mrs. Lulu Griesen- 
beck, two of the daughters of the late S. W. McAllester, are 
vocalists of note. Joe McAllester, a San Antonio merchant, 
is a violinist of considerable repute. F. W. McAllester, who 
was secretary of the retail Merchant's Association up to the 
time of his death, was also an excellent violinist. Another 
son of S. W. McAllester's, Edward B. McAllester, is a deputy 
of the present county assessor. 

Dr. G. J. Houston, father of A. W. Houston, Reagan Hous- 
ton, the late Bryan Houston and Mrs. T. C. Frost, was a pro- 
minent physician and planter whose plantation was on the 
Cibolo. He owned a large number of negroes. 

Thomas Whitehead, an Englishman, was an early resi- 
dent who married the widow ^'turri. owner of the proi^erty 

240 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

at the northeast corner of Main Avenue and Main Plaza where 
Santa Anna made his headquarters Avhen he came to besiege 
the City of San Antonio and beleaguer the defenders of the 
i\lamo. Her son, Manuel Yturri de Castillo, and her daughter, 
Mrs. Vicenta Evans, survive her. Her grandson, Manuel _ 
Yturri, Jr., who was formerly deputy district clerk here is 
now a resident and prominent manufacturer of San Luis Potosi, 
Mexico. One of the Yturri family was the wife of "Big Henry," 
former sheriff of Bexar County. 

Perhaps the oldest printer actively engaged in that pur- 
suit in Texas lives in San Antonio. He is Robert Clark, Sr., 
head of the Clark Printing Company. He, early in life, worked 
on the CiviHan, the News, and other papers in Galveston, and 
was engaged in job printing there for many years before 
coming here. He has a number of historic souvenirs in the 
shape of programs he printed for various patriotic celebrations 
during the days of the Texas Republic, the Mexican War and 
other occasions of import. On them are printed the names 
of persons who figured very prominently in the history of both 
the Texas Republic and State. 

Asa Mitchell w^as the head of a very prominent family 
whose descendants are still living in San Antonio. He came 
to Texas in 1822, then locating near Brazoria. He and one 
of his sons, Nat, were in General Sam Houston's army and 
took active parts in the battle of San Jacinto. Asa Mitchell 
first located wdien he came to San Antonio in LS-tG near where 
the International Fair Grounds are now situated. One of his 
sons, William, was one of the ill-starred Mier prisoners, who 
although he drew a white bean, thus escaping death in the exe- 
cutions there. He made his escape from the prison walls, 
after which he was never heard from afterward, it being sup- 
posed he was either killed by a pursuing party or died of de- 
privation in the surrounding country. Asa Mitchell's daughter 
Caroline, married a Methodist preacher named Belvin at Aus- 
tin. She, Nat and William, were the children by his first mar- 
riage, the issue was tw^o sons, Milam and Hiram and twin 
daughters, Laura, who also married a preacher named Joyce, 
and Medora, who married Henry C. Thompson, recently de- 
ceased. His other sons w^ere Jack, Martin Luther and Wal- 
lace, the latter now^ being a member of the San Antonio po- 
lice force. Asa Mitchell owned 10,000 acres at the confluence 
of the Leon and Medina rivers and this tract included Mitchell's 
Lake, a celebrated duck hunting resort. There he built a 
palatial residence w^here many great social functions were held. 

Combats And Conquests Of Lm.mortal Heroes 241 

The house got the reputation of being haunted and to this day 
the superstitious in that vicinity will not go near its ruins after 
dark, although there is the temptation of alleged buried treasure 
to draw them. It is said that during the Civil War a large 
sum was concealed there and many pits have been sunk all 
about the place by those in quest of it, but they invariably dig 
during the day. The widow of the late Frank Caldwell is a 
member of the Mitchell family. 

There were two brothers who came from Louisiana about 
185t). Their names were Heerman. One of them was a great 
naturalist and ornithologist who spent the ' greater portion 
of his time gathering collections of birds and their eggs. The 
other, Theodore, was a physician, who built a partially finished 
house, the ruins of which are near the Leon, and which are also 
said to be haunted. It was near these ruins that the petrified 
body of an Indian Chief was found, who had been a prisoner 
of the Lnited States military authorities but who made his 
escape and sought refuge in a small sized cave infested with 
rattlesnakes, one of which had evidently bitten him and caused 
his death, for the corpse was clasping the vertebrae of a ser- 
pent of that kind when found. The Doctor's son, Alfred, met 
with a tragic death several years ago. His other son lives 
in the neighborhood. 

J. B. LaCoste was a prominent and progressive citizen. 
He was the originator of the present system of waterworks 
here and also one of the first to manufacture ice on a large 
scale and profitably. The first to make ice here in small quan- 
tities having been the late V. Foutrelle, while the late Wil- 
liam Heuschkel also made ice in small quantities prior to the 
operations of LaCoste. Julius Braimnagel. now a very promi- 
nent physician of San Antonio, and several times City Physi- 
cian, prior to devoting his attention exclusively to the prac- 
tice of medicine, was in charge of LaCoste's ice manufacturing 
plant. J. B. LaCoste was a son-in-law of Don Antonio Men- 
chaca, whom I have frequently mentioned in this book. Mr. 
LaCoste's son Lucien J. LaCoste, is a prominent San Antonio 
business man. One of J. B. LaCoste's daughters married 
Ferdinand Herfi^, Jr., cashier of the San Antonio National 
Bank, and he has two single daughters residing here. 

George W. Brackenridge is a prominent i^hilanthroi^ist 
and capitalist. He founded the San Antonio National Bank and 
the Water W^orks system originated by LaCoste, becoming its 
principal stockholder. He has made liberal donations to San 
Antonio's public schools, both for white and negro pupils. He 

242 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

also liberally contributed to the State University at Austin, 
having built one of the principle wings and dormitories of that 
institution. He has been president of the San Antonio School 
Board and has always taken a deep interest in San Antonio's 
public affairs and her progress. He and his associates in the 
water company donated the magnificent Brackenridge Park to 
the public and he has made other munificent park donations to 
San Antonio. 

John McMullin, for whom AICiMuUin County was named, 
was another prominent San Antonian. He lived where the 
Carnegie Library building now stands. He was murdered, no 
clue being left to the identity of his murderer. The motive 
for the murder was robbery, as he was known to be quite weal- 
thy and to have always kept a considerable sum in an old 
style safe at his place. 

There were two families of Bells here who were quite pro- 
minent. The head of one of them was Samuel Bell, Sr.. He 
was a strong Unionist and stood on Commerce Street where he 
waved the Federal flag after secession had been proclaimed 
and excitement was at a very high degree. He, however, was 
so universally esteemed personally, that no attempt was made 
to harm him. His sons were Samuel, Jr., his namesake, Pow- 
hattan, Jesse, David, Edward and James, and his daughter 
Margaret. She is the widow of John Newton, and besides her 
there survive him his two sons David and Jesse. His son Pow- 
hattan, notwithstanding the father's strong Union proclivities, 
was a gallant Confederate soldier. 

Col. H. P. Hord, who kept Hord's Hotelwhere the Southern 
Hotel now is, and afterward kept the Menger Hotel for several 
seasons, was one of the true types of the Southern gentleman. 
After retiring from the hotel business he formed a partnership 
with Louis S. Berg, but died soon afterward. He is survived 
by his niece, Mrs. Sue Wash. The late George Grandjean 
was a clerk of Colonel Hord when the Colonel conducted Hord's 
Hotel. It was a mooted quetion which of the two was the most 
courteous to guests. It was said of both and truly, that they 
took off their own coats and loaned them to guests to wear at 
meal times, it being an inflexible rule of the hotel that no male 
should enter the dining room without a coat. Grandjean, how- 
ever, out-did the Colonel in courtesy on one occasion, when he 
loaned a full suit of clothes to a friend to get married in. 

Louis S. Berg, now the president of one of the Frisco 
Railway System's branches, and his brother, Henry, deceased, 

Combats And Coxquests Of I:\i.mortal Heroes 243 

were also in business in San Antonio up to the time of the 
latter's death. 

Gustav Toudouze, a naturahst, a taxidermist and a musi- 
cian, was the head of a French family that settled near Carmen, 
close to the Losoya crossing of the Medina. One of his daugh- 
ters married Leon LeCompte. He had two sons, Emil and 
Frank, the latter recently deceased. 

The Compte de Watin was a French nobleman who lived 
in a small structure near the river where Mitchell Street is now 
and who was mysteriously murdered. Before he died he man- 
aged to crawl to the Mission Concepcion where he was cared 
for until he succumbed. This was near where Mrs. Sarah Gib- 
son was robbed and thrown in the river where she was left 
for dead but escaped alive. 

A. Pancoast, Sr., was a pioneer clothing merchant. His 
three sons, Josiah, Abe, the assistant city engineer, and W. T. 
Pancoast, survive him. 

George H. Judson, who was one of the founders of the 
woolen mills at New Braunfels, and for some time county com- 
missioner of Bexar County was the father of Moses and Wil- 
liam Judson and Mrs. Josiah Pancoast. 

George Martin, who was a trader and speculator, was one 
of the pioneers. He married Miss Julia Merrick, a sister of 
Wulf Merrick. Their sons were George, Jr., now a prominent 
attorney at Pleasanton, John who was a manufacturer in Sal- 
tillo, Mexico, and his daughters were Belle, first wife of Ed. 
Steves, Jr., killed in a runaway accident and Mattie, who is the 
wife of Lee Bernard Miller. 

Wulf Merrick is a genial and witty San Antonian who was 
a Confederate veteran. He is also skillful at sketching and 
through his talent in this line I have been able to give a repro- 
duction of the old Molino Blanco, all trace of which would have 
been lost but for his having sketched its ruins over half a cen- 
tury ago, from which Will N. Noonan was enabled to portray 
the historic old structure as it originally stood. In an en- 
gagement at Val Verde with the Federals, in which Mr. Mer- 
rick participated, on the body of one of the Union soldiers 
killed in that engagement, was found this soldier's diary, a 
most interesting one, which I have previously published in serial 
articles in the Express and expect to re])ubhsh later, having 
copyrighted it. The diary is stained with the life blood of 
the soldier which flooded it as the blood flowed from his breast. 
That Union soldier had many interesting adventures during 

244 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

the time of his mihtary service up to the time his Hfe was cut 
short by the bullet in his brave breast. He and his comrades 
killed with him received full military honors at Camp Verde. 

Mrs. A. H. Jordan is a wTiter of excellent verse and author 
of several books of sentiment and fiction that rank high as 
literary productions. 

Wash Trayon who was a partner of McMullen, was one of 
Jack Hayes' brave rangers, and Morris Symonds another. Sy- 
monds and McMullen were the messengers sent for it that 
brought up Prentiss' artillery at the crucial moment during 
the battle of Buena Vista. Excellent time was made by both 
the messengers and the artillery on that occasion. 

Judge Luckie was a Confederate officer during the Civil 
War whose descendants reside still in Bexar County, one of 
them, Eugene, being a well-known farmer. He died from a 
wound incurred during the Mexican War, after suffering from 
it many years. 

Leonardo Garza, a very prominent citizen and former 
teacher of Spanish in the public schools of San Antonio, is 
the son of one of the Canary Island colonists. The former 
home of this family was the block bounded by Veramendi, 
Acequia (now Main Avenue), Soledad and Houston streets, 
The senior Garza was the first and only one to legally coin 
money in San Antonio, which he did under a commission issued 
directly to him by the crown of Spain. Bullion in considerable 
quantities was brought to his mint here up to the conclusion 
of his authority when Mexican domination succeeded the 
Spanish. He was also a miller and had a mill on the San Anto- 
nio River a short distance above Josephine Street, and it was 
the uppermost mill on the river. It was not, however, the 
famous Molino Blanco, the latter being located but a short 
distance below the old Abatt crossing. The old Garza build- 
ing on Veramendi is doomed to destruction shortly. It was 
from this building that Milam fought his way to the Veramendi 
palace where he was killed. The building was also used by 
both the elder Garza and his son as a bank and when one of the 
partition walls was torn down a large sum of money that had 
been hidden there was found. 

Major R. S. Neighbors was an Indian agent here for some 
years. While such he secured the return of a boy named Ig- 
nacio Serna who had been stolen by Indians. Neighbors 
thought so much of the boy that he adopted him. Major 
Neighbors owned a ranch on the Salado where his adopted son 

Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 245 

Ignacio Serna now resides. Major Neighbors was killed in 
an Indian raid. Ignacio Serna was a Confederate soldier. 
His son, Ignacio Serna, Jr., is a member of the present police 

John Fitzhenry, the veteran policeman, who for nearly half 
a century has been a member of the San Antonio police force 
and previous to that fought Indians, is one of the very few old 
time peace officers left. He is just as active and efficient as 
when he first went on duty. He has arrested many of the noted 
criminals and hard characters of early days. Among the pro- 
minent characters he has arrested were Ben Thompson, King 
Fisher, Warren Allen, "Rowdy" Joe and Bob Augustine. He 
served under every city administration from the days of the 
old "Bat Cave," the nick name given the old combined city hall 
and city and county jail that stood on and formed the north- 
west quarter of Military Plaza, until torn down when the pres- 
ent city hall in its center was erected. He has seen a very 
active and interesting career. 

The late Captain Thomas P. McCall who commenced 
life here by driving a stage all the way from San Antonio to 
El Paso, and for years was exposed to conflict with Indians 
and desperadoes, was another old-time peace officer who had 
an interesting career. His stage was frequently guarded by 
Captain Skillman, Big Foot Wallis and other rangers and 
scouts. His widow was a Miss Krempkau, daughter of a promi- 
nent pioneer, of whose four sons were Albert, John, Henry 
and William. Only one, the latter, survive. One of Kremp- 
kau's daughters married Richard, and another Fred Heilig, 
members of another very prominent old German family, one 
of whose daughters, Rose Fleilig, is a noted musician. Captain 
McCall's daughter, Mattie, married George Walter. His single 
daughter, Minnie, is an assistant to the County Clerk. Captain 
McCall was sheriff of Bexar County for a number of years. 

The late John Dobbin was sheriff and city marshal here 
for a number of years. He was a splendid officer and one of 
the kindest hearted men in the whole country, but spoke in 
such a harsh abrupt way that those who did not know him 
thought him the reverse. Once when I asked him why he spoke 
so severely he said to prevent any one finding out how "chick- 
en-hearted" he really was. He was as brave as a lion, never 
hesitating to tackle the hardest and toughest of the many des- 
perate characters that infested this city and section during 
the days of his administration, both as sheriff and as marslial. 

246 Combats And Coxquests Of Immortal Heroes 

but whenerver he knew of suffering or sorrow he relieved, but 
generally though some one else so he would not be known. 
He was a typical Irishman and possessed the warmth of'heart 
and generous impulses of the true sons of Erin. 

One of the old German Pioneers was the late Peter Shiner, 


who was quite a politician and served several terms as county 
commissioner of the first precinct. He had several sons, Joe 
and M. K. Shiner, deceased, and M. C, present city assessor. 
Bee Shiner and Henry B. Shiner, the latter a stockman with 
a considerable cattle herd in McMullen County. One of his 

Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 247 

daughters is the wife of James Brady, owner of the Empire 
Opera House. 

John Mussey w^as an eminent attorney of early days. He 
was the father of Wihiam and Alfred Mussey, recently de- 
ceased, Hart Mussey, former animal inspector and his daughter, 
Susie, was the first wife of Captain David Morrill Poor. 

Jose Antonio Navarro, who w^as one of the three signers of 
the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico, was a 
patriotic citizens of San Antonio at the time of the war of Texas 
independence. He was a member of the Santa Fe ex- 
pedition and was imprisoned in San Juan Uloa prison in Mexico. 
Another was Captain Juan N. Seguin, who was the captain 
of a company that participated in the battle of San Jacinto. 
Seguin left San Antonio as a messenger to Houston to appeal to 
him for help when the news reached San Antonio that Santa 
Anna was on his way hither with a large army. There seem 
to have been two men of the same name, Francisco Ruiz, wdio 
participated actively in San Antonio history contemporaneously 
One of them was one of the signers of the Texas independence 
declaration and together with Maverick and Navarro previous- 
ly mentioned, was a delegate to the convention at which the 
determination to secede from Mexico was reached. Luciano 
and Angel Navarro were members of the same Navarro family. 
Angel Navarro married the widow of Bryan Callaghan, Sr., 
and mother of San Antonio's present mayor, who died recently. 

The other Francisco Ruiz was the Alcalde or Mexican 
mayor of San Antonio at the time of the siege and fall of the 
Alamo, to whom Santa Anna gave the task of disposing of the 
dead. It was he, under Santa Anna's instructions, who burned 
the bodies of the defenders of the Alamo on the funeral pyres, 
on what was then the Alameda, or broad portion of East Com- 
merce Street elsewhere mentioned. 

Harrison Presnall was an old time stockman with large 
sized cattle herds. His son, Jesse, surviving him, resides on 
Garden Street. 

Charles Hugo was a pioneer German wholesale merchant, 
who together with G. Schmeltzer and William Heuermann, 
owned the Monastery, or convent portion of the Alamo group 
of buildings. His widow and son, Victor, reside here. 

Alex Sartor is the oldst jeweler in San Antonio and has 
been in business here over 60 years. He is a German who came 
here with one of the early colonies. 

William Small was an early settler who built and for a 
time owned the Lewis Mill mentioned elsewhere. He died of 

248 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

cholera in 1849. Lycurgus Small, a Confederate veteran, is 
a relative of his. 

Five brothers, named Devine, figured prominently in the 
early history of San Antonio and Texas. They were Dr. James 
A. Devine, who in 1859 was mayor of San Antonio and who 
owned the property on which the present United States Arsenal 
at San Antonio is situated. He sold it to the Southern Con- 
federate States Government during the late Civil War. The 
Confederacy having lost, one of the results of its unavailing 
struggle was the successful confiscation of this magnificent 
property by the United States Government. 

Thomas Jefferson Devine, the second of these brothers, 
was district attorney from 1842 to 1856 inclusive, after which 
he became district judge and was such during the Confederate 
regime. He was appointed associate justice of the Texas Su- 
preme Court by Governor Coke, at that time Hon. Oran M. 
Roberts being its chief justice. He was not only one of the 
Confederate commissioners to receive the property surrendered 
at San Antonio by General Twigges, the other two being Sam- 
uel A. Maverick and P. N. Luckett, but he was one of its com- 
missioners to receive all property seized in Texas by the Con- 
federacy. He was arrested and carried to Fort Jackson below 
New Orleans, where he remained in prison some time. Dur- 
ing such captivity he became very ill and was released. He 
enjoyed the distinction, together with Jefferson Davis and 
Clement Clay of being the only three who were charged 
with treason during the Civil War and the only ones to have 
been pardoned without trial, accused of such offence. He, 
Maverick and Luckett, the three Confederate commissioners, 
were sued by the United States Government for ?l^2,500,00, 
the valuation placed by the United vStates upon the seized 
property placed in their charge as such commissioners. This 
suit was dismissed by the late United States District Attorney 
Andrew Jackson Evans shortly before the latter's death, sur- 
viving Thos. J. Devine and his sons T. N. and A. E. Divine 
and daughters Mrs. Alice Smith and Kate Elder May. The other 
three of these brothers were Daniel, Joseph P. and Gregory 
Phillip Devine, all of whom were quite prominent and wealthy, 
owning property on Main Plaza, South Flores Street and in 
other portions of San Antonio. 

John Fries was a builder and contractor who, under an 
appropriation in 1849, restored the Alam.o Mission cluster, 
devoting particular attention to the front of the church as 

Combats and Conquests Cf Lmmortal Heroes 249 

well as its interior, which were in a great state of ruin as left 
after the combat in 1836, the Monastery, or convent, as it was 
erroneously called, having preserved its integrity. M. G. 
Cotton was the contractor who repaired the church and placed 
its present roof on after the fire that left it again in ruins in 
1861. The original roof of the church was flat, as were the roofs 
of the buildings comprising the entire cluster. Besides restor- 
ing the Alamo group. Fries built the former market house of 
classic Grecian architecture on Market Street, and quite a 
number of other prominent buildings in and about San Anto- 

Will and Phil Crump were two brothers who ran the Vera- 
mendi as a hotel, and so did one of the Allsberry brothers. 
Edward Allsberry. At the time the Veramendi was run by the 
Crumps, and also by Henry Allsberry, the guests were required 
to furnish their own bedding. W. P. Allsberry generally called 
Perry Allsberry, was another of the Allsberry brothers and 
both were brothers of Dr. Allsberry who was killed in the 
Alamo siege and whose widow was one of the survivors of it 
and afterwards married a man named Perez. Her son, Ale jo 
Perez, is a resident of San Antonio to-day. 

Colonel Hugh Rice, who was a native of Newry County 
Down, Ireland, came to New York in 1819, where he engaged 
in business for a time after which he went to Virginia where 
during the Civil War he was chosen manager of the Confederate 
railway service in Virginia and North Carolina with the rank 
of Colonel in the Confederate army. He was a civil engineer 
and made the official survey in 1866 and 1867 of Buffalo Bayou 
on which Houston to-day bases her claim to being a deep water 
port. He, in December, married Ann Conran, a sister of Mrs. 
Elizabeth Gallagher, his wife having been a sister of Mrs. John 
M. Carolan, Mrs. Patrick Ryan and Mrs. Julia Gallagher, wife 
of Edward Gallagher. Hugh Rice died at Houston, April 
3iJ, 1868, and his wife at San Antonio later. They left a son, 
John, who died at Dallas in 1873, and another, his namesake. 
Hugh B. Rice, a banker and real estate operator in San Anto- 

Edward Gallagher was a brother of Peter Gallagher, who 
was a ranchman living near San Antonio, and was the father 
of Mrs. Elizabeth Conroy, wife of Thomas L. Conroy. 

There were two brothers. Irishmen, named Tynan, wlio 
were early and prominent citizens of San Antonio, the first hav- 
ing been a bachelor named Edward K., and the other was 

250 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

Walter C. Tynan. They came from Kilkenney County, Ireland. 
Walter C. Tynan was the father of E. W. Tynan, a well known 
business man of San Antonio, likewise of Mrs. Kate Tynan 
Rice, wife of Hugh B. Rice, and of Miss Elizabeth Tynan, a 
teacher in the city public schools. 

Leopold Veith is a pioneer of San Antonio, a Rabbi of the 
Israelite faith, who has lived long in San Antonio, but is now 
in California. He is the father of Simon Veith of the adver- 
tising department of the Express and Moses Veith, residing in 

Erastus A. Florian was a pioneer business man of San An- 
tonio who left several descendants. Two of these, Calhoun 
and John Florian, are dead. The survivors are his sons Charles 
H. and Paul Florian, and his daughter. Miss Kate Florian. 

Two of the early day dentists were Doctors D. S. Leman 
and W. G. Kingsbury. Dr. Leman lived en North Flores 
Street and had his ofhce on Commerce Street. His widow and 
a daughter survive him. Dr. Kingsbury, a Mexican War veteran, 
who was an Englishman, first lived on Curbelo or Ouinta Street, 
but later built a fine stone house at the comer of North Flores 
and Kingsbury streets, which was recently destroyed to give 
place to a more modern and much less substantial structure. 
On his cheek Kingsbury carried a saber cut scar. It was at 
Dr. Kingsbury's latter dwelling, then occupied by N. O. Green, 
that a catastrophe occurred or rather in front of it, when the 
Arabian horses owned by Major Ord while running away col- 
lided with a large stone at the corner mentioned and the driver, 
Jimanau, son of Major Ord, and Father Johnson, were thrown 
out, the latter being seriously hurt. A short distance from there, 
and in front of the home of Henry Weir, Major Ord had been 
thrown from the vehicle. He was carried into Weir's residence 
where he died within an hour. 

Prominent among the French inhabitants was a family, 
the head of which was Henri Toutant Beauregard. He was a 
brother of General G. J. T. Beauregard of Confederate fame. 
Henri Beauregard had three sons and a daughter. The latter 
and son survive him. The living son is Leo Toutant Beaure- 
gard. The deceased ones were Alcee, J. Toutant and Richard 
Toutant Beauregard. The latter was a major in the Confeder- 
ate army. His widow, Mrs. Agalia T. Beauregard, survives 
him. Amelia Beauregard, a daughter of Henri Toutant Beau- 
regard, is well known as a teacher of the French language and 
resides in San Antonio. A grandson of Henri Toutant Beaure- 

Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 251 

gard is an officer of the United States navy, having graduated 
from AnnapoHs Naval Academy with the rank of midshipman 
several years ago. 

John H. Duncan was an old time San Antonio lawyer, 
while Major Ludovic Colquohoun, a picturesque character of 
San Antonio, was one of its well-known citizens. 

Colonel Thomas G. Williams, father-in-law of Judge John 
H. James, was also a well-known resident of early times. He 
was an army officer. His wife was a descendant of President 
John Tyler. Their son, Tyler Williams, is named for the for- 
mer president. 

George W. Caldwell was a prominent business man and 
politician of early days. He was for over 20 years the secre- 
tary of the democratic executive committee of Bexar County, 
a position held by me for a considerable period. 

Ernest Altgeld, a German pioneer and prominent lawyer, 
father of George, August and Ernest Altgeld, lived in San 
Antonio many years and owned the property at the corner of 
Main Plaza and Galan streets, formerly owned by the Bustillos 
and Cassiano families. His son George is a well known member 
of the San Antonio bar. 

General, President and Governor Sam Houston has a 
daughter and two granddaughters living now in San Antonio. 
The daughter is Mrs. Nettie Power Houston Bringhurst, whose 
daughter is one of the two granddaughters, the other being 
Mrs. Madge Hearne, wife of General Roy White Hearne. General 
Hearne, a Spanish-i\merican War veteran, w^ho was the com- 
mander of the Second Texas Infantry, Texas National Guard, 
has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and 
he has succeeded Brigadier General Thomas L. Scurry, since 
retired. Mrs. Margaret Houston WilHams, who died recently, 
was the mother of Mrs. Hearne. 

Dr. Bringhurst, the husband of the daughter of Sam Hous- 
ton first mentioned, is an eminent scientist and Confederate 

General Hamilton P. Bee was a prominent San Antonian 
and Texan. He was a Texas Independence War, a Mexican 
War and a Civl War veteran, attaining in the latter service the 
rank of Brigadier General. He was a brother of Barnard E. 
Bee, also a prominent Confederate General. His sons Carlos 
and Hamilton Bee reside in San Antonio, the former being a 
member of the school board. Carlos Bee is a brother-in-law 
of Congressman Albert Burleson. Hamilton Bee married Miss 
Zella DeHymel, sister of F. O. DeHymel. 

252 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

Prominent among the Milesians who located in San Antonio 
were several named Ryan. The head of one of these families 
waslMichael Ryan, who came in the oO's and was a business 
man in San Antonio until he retired with a fortune and went 
to Gonzales where he died several years ago, leaving as descend- 


ants his sons Joseph Ryan, city attorney of San Antonio, 
M. S Ryan of Laredo, Gus. B. Ryan, Mrs. Hilary Adams and 
Mrs. R. L. Christian, the three latter residing at Gonzales. 

Another was the family headed by John Ryan, a gunsmith, 
whose sons. James M. Ryan and John F. Ryan, and a daughter, 

Combats And Conquests Of Imaiortal Heroes 253 

Mrs. J. T. McOueeney, succeed him. His first named son and 
his daughter hve in San Antonio. His son J. F. Ryan, resides 
in New Orleans and is the chief and confidential clerk of Louis 
S. Berg, president of the Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City Rail- 
way, of the Frisco System. J. F. Ryan has furnished me data 
for some of the most interesting articles I have written for the 

Dan Ryan, who was a butcher in early days, was one of 
the heads of another of the Ryan families. He has a son, John 
Ryan, living in Mills County. 

Patrick Ryan, formerly a merchant of Eagle Pass and 
long a resident of San Antonio, was another head of a well 
known family of Ryans. He died during the Civil War. 
His wife was Alicia Ryan, a sister of Mesdames Julia and Eliza 
Gallagher and of Mrs. Hugh B. Rice, Sr., as well as of Mrs. 
John M. Carolan. There were two children born to this 
family, Harry Ryan and Alice, the wife of John N. Brennan. 

Captain Duncan Campbell Ogden, who was the son of 
David A. Ogden, of Ogdensburg, N. Y., the latter a partner of 
the great Alexander Hamilton, came to San Antonio in 1838. 
He took a very active part in both the Texas Republic and the 
Lone Star State. During the Cherokee Indian War he com- 
manded a company under Edward Burleson. He was also a 
member of the surviving expedition commanded by General 
William G. Cook, when a highway between Red River and 
Austin was located and defined. He was a member of Jack 
Hays' ranger force and was also carried into captivity to Mexico 
where he spent two years in Perote prison from which he escaped 
at the same time that John Twohig and others did but was re- 
captured and carried back. He was finally released through 
the efforts of Henry Clay. In 1846 he served as acting adjutant 
general of Texas previous to that time having been commissioned 
as second and first lieutenant and captain of ranger forces, 
his commissions bearing the signatures of Sam Houston, Mira- 
beau Lamiar and other executives of the Republic and the State 
of Texas. He was a soldier, a scholar and a patriot, as well as 
an eloquent orator. His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza- 
beth Cox, herself a patriot, came to Texas in 1832 from Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, and she lived under six different flags that 
floated over Texas. At the age of ten years, together with her 
father, mother and elder sister, she was in the "run-away", or 
scare and flight occasioned by the advent of the Mexican army 
Her family was in camp when Mrs. Dickenson, wife of Lieuten- 

254 Combats xA-xd Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

ant Dickenson, came into it after her release following the 
fall of the Alamo. She stood at Mrs. Dickenson's knee and 
listened to her recite the tragic tale of the Alamo's terrible 
fall. Mrs. Ogden passed through all of the privations, hardships 
and terrors incident to Texas' early days bravely and without 
complaint. She was a personal friend of the principal heroes 
of Texas history. She took prominent part in famous "Flow- 


er Battle" fete at San Antonio, an annual commemoration of 
the battle of San Jacinto and was one of its principal founders. 
She served as president of the organization, having charge of 
conducting this chivalric function described at length else- 
where in this book. She went "home" in 1903, at the age of 
78 years. Surviving Captain Duncan Campbell Ogden and Mrs. 
Elizabeth Cox Ogden, are a son and daughter, the former be- 

Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 255 

ing D. C. Ogden, his father's namesake, residing at Ft. Mc- 
Kavett. Their daughter is Mrs. Cora Ogden Wilson, widow of 
the Hon. N. T. Wilson, former alderman at large of San Antonio 
and a wealthy stockman. 

Captain Edward Dosch, known as "the great hunter," 
was a pioneer who first lived at New Braunfels. He was also 
an Indian fighter and ranger. He moved to San Antonio in the 
'50 's. He had a collection of antlers of over a thousand horned 
animals he had slain with his rifle. 

Edward and Ullrich Rische were two German pioneers of 
early days. Edward was for some time city tax collector. 
He is survived by his sons, Ernest, Edward and Ullrich and 
daiighter Mrs. Sam Betters. Ullrich Rische, Sr., was a part- 
ner of the late Captain Edward Dosch. 

General Lorenzo De Zavala and his wife Emily were both 
patriots and participants in prominent historic events. He was the 
first signer of the declaration of Texas independence document 
and the first vice-president of the Texas Republic. It was he 
who designated the date for holding the "Consultation" conven- 
tion and was the author of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 
for which those fighting against Santa Anna, the dictator, at 
first contended and until they concluded to have a constitution 
of their own. He was president of the convention that deter- 
mined upon the independence of Texas from Mexico and de- 
signed the flag of that republic which was adopted in March, 
1836. He was an author, statesman, philantrophist and soldier 
as well as a patriot, scholar and gentleman. He and his wife 
gave their home for use as a hospital to those wounded at 
San Jacinto; their granddaughter, Miss Adina Zavalla, has done 
much for saving and preserving the old missions mentioned, 
striving hardest for the Alamo. 

One of Texas' immortal heroes was Garesche Ord, who 
likewise was a martyr. He died on the field of battle from 
the thrust into his heart of a dagger by a wounded Spanish 
officer while giving his assassin a drink of water from his can- 
teen, for which the Spaniard had asked. 

Major Pierce M. B. Travis, a nephew of Colonel William 
Barrett Travis, commandant of the defenders of the Alamo, 
is a retired United States army officer, residing in San Antonio 
with his son-in-law's family at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. Like 
his distinguished hero kinsman. Major Travis has been in many 
battles, having been a soldier and an officer of the United 
States army for many years up to his retirement. 

256 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

Doctor Ferdinand von HeriT is the Nestor of the Medical 
profession in Texas and probably in the South if not in the 
Union. He is over 90 years old and has been practicing medi- 
cine and actively engaged in surgery for over 70 years. He was 
born in November, 1820, in Hessian Darmstadt. He is a scion 
of a noble and distinguished family. His father was the judge 
of the supreme court of that principality. His mother was the 
Baroness Elizabeth von Meusebach. He was educated at 
the medical universities of Bonn and Berlin as w^ell as Giessen. 
After graduating with honors he went back to his home at Darm- 
stadt where he was appointed assistant surgeon in the Prussian 

Some years later, and in 1847, the German Immigration 
Company, which was headed by Prince Solms von Braunfels 
and soon after under Baron von Meusebach, sought to establish 
colonies in Texas. Prince Solms established a colony at New 
Braunfels, Baron von Meusebach one at Fredericksburg and 
Dr. Herff, the third at the Llano River, he and about forty 
other highly educated and prominent young men leaving Ger- 
many with him and joining him in this enterprise. All of these 
colonies endured great hardships and privations, but Dr. Herff 's 
suffered most, being the most distant from other human habita- 
tions and traffic. Indians infested the locality and were quite 
hostile towards most of its members except the doctor himself. 
He treated the Indians when they were wounded or ill and they 
did not harm him nor make any attempt to do so when they 
became acquainted with him. \A hen he first went out with 
his colony he used to take his turn at standing guard, which 
was required of all the male colonists. Ihe principal weapon 
was a long, sharp pointed lance, such as the Prussian soldiers 
were accustomed to use. It was of not the slightest service 
against attacks from Indians who used their bows and arrows 
with deadly effect against the colonists from behind the rocks. 
One of the Indian chiefs, when he met the Doctor while on 
guard, told him as long as he carried the lance and did not use 
a gun or a pistol he would be entirely safe from attack by any 
of the Indians. 

This chief told Dr. Herff' that the Indians greatly enjoyed 
the sight of his riding around his herd of stock with his lance 
poised or at rest. The Indians in many ways sought to attest 
their gratitude to him for his services. On one occasion an 
aged and blind chief was brought to him. By a surgical oper- 
ation the Doctor removed the cataracts from the Indian's eyes 

Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 257 

and restored their sight. The Indian left after he had been 
cured completely, having remained during treatment about the 
quarters of the colonists. The Doctor did not see anything 
miore of him for over a year when one day the old chief rode up 
bringing with him a young Indian girl which he presented to 
the Doctor as a rew^ard for the great services Dr. Herfif had 
performed for him. Doubtless this child had been stolen 
from some other tribe with which the old chief's tribe was at 
Vv'ar and her parents slain, so there was no alternative but to 
keep her in the colony. She was taken charge of by the ladies, 
one of them, the wife of Dr. Lindheimer, a botanist, began her 
education. They called her Lena, and that was the only name 
the Indian girl had. Later she was taken to New Braunfels 
where her education w^as completed and she married Her- 
man Spies, one of the directors of the colony. They had 
several sons who were educated at the German-English school 
in San Antonio with Dr. Kerff's sons. The Spies family moved 
to Missouri and subsequently to New York, where Spies died 
of a brain complication. His widow and sons are living yet in 
New York. 

After the colony had been in existence for some time 
several young ladies who were betrothed to some of its mem- 
bers, came out to join and w^ed their afhanced, but they 
created great consternation in the camp of the colonists by 
demanding that clean tc^^els be supplied each of them thrice 
daily. Matrimony seems however, to have settled such diffi- 
culties and to have enabled the young brides to supply them- 
selves with w^hatever the colony afforded in the w^ay of linen. 

Before leaving Hesse Doctor Herff had met a most charm- 
ing and accomplished young lady, a musician and painter, in 
the person of Miss Mathilde Klingelhoffer, the daughter of Wil- 
helm Klingelhoffer, another of the judges of the supreme court 
and associate justice of the same tribunal with Doctor Herff's 
father. While riding around the vicinity of the colony Dr. 
Herff frequently thought of the Judge's daughter away in 
far-off Hesse, so in 1849 he went back there. On May 1 of 
that year they were married and remained in Germany for 
six months. Upon their arrival in Texas Doctor Herff, for a 
short time, located at New Braunfels, but in .1851 moved to 
San Antonio where he and his family have lived ever since ex- 
cept during a visit by the Doctor to Germany in 186G, with wife 
and six sons. Doctor and Mrs. Herff were inseperable com- 
panions from the date of their marriage to the day of her death 

258 Combats And Coxouests Of Lmmortal Heroes 

which took place July 9, 191U. Their living children are all 
males. The eldest, Ferdinand, is cashier of the San Antonio Na- 
tional Bank, Charles is a ranchman and farmer at Boerne. Dr. 
Adolph Herff is a prominent surgeon and physician. William 
Herff is Secretary-Treasurer of the San Antonio Loan & Trust 


Company and August P. Herff is a talented young architect. 
Their deceased son, Dr. John Herff, was a skillful surgeon and 
physician of prominence. He married a daughter, Ida, of the 
late Major James H. Kampmann. Ferdinand Herff married 
a daughter of J. B. LaCoste, deceased, Adolph a daughter of 

Combats And Conquests Of Lmaiortal Heroes 259 

George H. Kalteyer, deceased. August married a daughter of 
G. A. Duerler, the wife of Charles was Miss Elizabeth Durkee, 
and the wife of William was Miss Lula Addison of 
Washington, D. C. Doctor Herff, with his son August P. Herff, 
lives in the old Herif home on Houston Street, near Navarro, 
the only dwelling on Houston Street from Flores to Nacog- 
doches, a distance of over half a mile. 

Adjoining Dr. Herif 's home in early days the Vance 
brothers owned a large stockade that extended to Losoyo 
street. They rented it to the United States government. 
It was for many years used for the quartermaster's coral. 
Where the Maverick hotel on its site was first built it was 
used as the headquarters of this military department. It was 
so used until the present quartermaster's quadrangle on gov- 
ernment hill was built . The government had another stockade 
on the North side ; Houston extending from Avenue B to Na- 
varro ; where Confederate prisoners were kept . 

One of particular prominence among pioneers of Texas is 
the Dittmar family whose head was Carl Dittmar, a promi- 
nent scholar and jurist who came from Darmstadt. He dif- 
fered greatly with the royal regime under which he lived there. 
He preferred life under the flag of a free republic to the res- 
trictions of personal rights incident to a rigid monarchy. This 
induced him to leave his old German home and come to the 
Lone Star State, which he did in 1859, settling not very far 
from Seguin. This was in the year 1849. The following 
year his wife and sons, Albert and Emil, and daughters Laura, 
Anna and Agnes, joined him in the same locality. 

Albert Dittmar, his eldest son, was born in Hessian, Darm- 
stadt, on November 21, 1833. He soon tired of life on his 
father's ranch and went to New Braunfels and Seguin, where 
he studied law under judges Sherwood and Thornton, res- 
pectively, at these places. In 1856 he was admitted to the 
Texas bar, after having undergone a most creditable exami- 
nation which presaged his future eminence in the legal pro- 
fession. One of the examiners on that occasion was the Hon. 
Alexander Watkins Terrell, later U. S. Minister to Turkey, 
who remarked that Mr. Dittmar had undergone the best ex- 
amination and acquitted himself more creditably than anyone 
Mr. Terrell had ever before known. He then went to New 
Braunfels and there remained, continuing his studies and 
engaging in the practice of law until 1859, when he moved to 
wSan Antonio. 

260 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

There he soon afterward entered the office of and formed 
a partnership with Hon. Thomas A. Stribbhng, which was 
concluded by the- latter becoming district judge. He next 
formed a partnership with Judge William E. Jones which 
endured until the death of his then partner. About this time 
the civil war arose and Mr. Dittmar joined Colonel Duff's 
regiment of Sibley's Brigade and was given a second lieutenant's 
commission. After having been in the service for a short 
while he was prom^oted to the first lieutenancy and at the 
end of the war he was his company's captain. 

On his return from the field of Mars he re-entered the 
legal profession and formicd a partnership with the late Hon. 
William B. Leigh, which endured until the latter 's death. 
Xext he served a single term as district attorney during the 
time when the district comprised the counties of Eexar and 
Comal. In discharging the duties of this cffice he proved a 
most successful prosecutor. Preferring the private practice 
at the end of his term he declined to accept the office again 
and formed a partnership with Colonel John R. Shook, now 
next to the oldest member of the San Antonio bar. This firm 
later, by the accession of Thomas T. Vander Hoven, became 
that of Shook, Dittmar and Vander Hoven. Mr. Dittmar 
remained with it until the day of his death which was on Jime 
21, 1877. 

In 1867 he went back to Germany to wed Miss Em^my 
Rehfues, the charming granddaughter of Baron Philip Joseph 
Von Rehfues, the latter having been founder and first curator 
of the famous educational institution, the University of Bonn 
and a noted author of various scientific and historic works 
published in his time in the French, German and Spanish 
languages, with all of which he was fluently intimate. 

Upon returning to San Antonio, Albert Dittmar resumed 
and remained engrossed with his legal profession. Surviving 
him besides his widow are his sons, Charles, Guido and John 
and his daughter Mattie. Mrs. Albert Dittmar's mother 
was a sister of the late Mathilde KlingelhoefTer Von Herff, 
the recently deceased wife of Ferdinand Von Herff. A daugh- 
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dittmar, Lillie, deceased, was the 
wife of Dr. R. A. Goeth. 

Emil Dittmar, brother of Albert Dittmar and son of Carl 
Dittmar, who died several years ago, was for many years the 
treasurer af the W^ater Works Company, his surviving sons 
and daughters are Albert, Bruno E., and Emil D. Dittmar, 

Co.MBATS And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 261 

and Pauline, the wife of E. M. Rice, and Ella, now Mrs. Ewald 

Laura, the eldest daughter of the late- Carl Dittmar was 
the widow of the late John F. Torrey, the latter having died 
some years ago and she very recently. For many years they 
lived in New Braunfels where they owned a mammoth cot- 
ton mill which was twice destroyed by fire and finally soon af- 
ter being rebuilt was utterly demolished by a tornado. Sur- 
viving them are three sons, Edward, Henry C. A., and John 
Torrey, and their daughters Emmy, Adele, Mrs. Rose Harn 
and Nellie, the wife of George C. Vaughn. 

Anna, second daughter of Carl Dittmar, became the wife 
of Gustav Conrads, who prior to his advent to the United 
States was a lieutenant in the Prussian army; they are sur- 
vived by two sons, Julius and Otto, one of their sons, Alfred, 
having died some time ago. A daughter is Mrs. Mathilde 
Luckenbach. She is residing near Fredericksburg, and also sur- 
vives them. 

The youngest of Carl Dittmar's children is Mrs. Agnes 
Jean, sole survivor of the original family to come to Texas. 
She is the widow of the late Eugene Pasqualle Jean, who was 
himself the last scion of a famous family of France and whose 
home was New Orleans. His widow resides in San Antonio. 

One of the oldest printers in San Antonio actively engaged 
in that pursuit is Theodore Kunzmann. 

Another, and one who is also a poet who writes very good 
verse in the Spanish language is Francisco Yturbide, who is 
related to the famous Yturbide patriot of Mexico. 

Another of the pioneers of San Antonio was the late Mil- 
ford Norton who came to Texas in 1838 from Virginia. His 
sons were Edward R. Norton, H. D. Norton, Russell C. Norton 
and C. D. Norton, the latter being the eldest. All of his sons 
as well as himself are dead except Russell C. Norton. The 
firm of H. D. Norton & Brothers, who dealt extensively in 
hardware, consisted of H. D., C. D. and E. R. Norton. It 
was established in 1857 and continued to the outbreak of the 
Civil War. It was in 1869 succeeded by the firm of Norton 
& Deutz, composed of Edward R. Norton, Russell C. Norton 
H. D. Norton and Joseph Deutz. It continued successfully 
in business up to 1879 when it dissolved, meanwhile H. D. 
Norton having died. Joseph Deutz left San Antonio and 
went to Laredo where he became a merchant and later a banker. 
Edward Norton became secretary of the street railway com- 

262 Combats and Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

pany and was city clerk up to a short time before his death. 
The surviving member of the Norton family in San Antonio 
is Russell C. Norton, a well-known business man. 

David and Michael Russi, two brothers, both of whom 
were building contractors and stone masons, were among the 
old time citizens of San Antonio. David Russi who came 
to Texas in 1847 was the first contractor to erect structures 
that were then modern. It was he who built the French 
building at the southeast corner of Main Plaza. Together with 


John Fries he built the First Presbyterian Church at the north- 
east corner of Flores and Houston streets, recently remodeled 
and converted to commercial purposes. He was 1st lieuten- 
ant of S. G. Newton's company of Pyrons' Confederate cavalry 
regiment and on Newton's promotion to major became its 
captain. C. F. (Fritz) Russi, street commissioner of San 
Antonio, is a son of David Russi. The latter for over 20 years 
was an alderman and was the first chief of the old volunteer 
fire department. Mrs. Louisa Friedrich Mrs. Clara 
Feise, and Mrs. Anna Ward are his surviving daughters. Mi- 
chael Russi, his brother, came to Texas in 1851. He is survived 

CoAiBATS And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 263 

by his son and namesake Michael, and his daughter Dora, 
the wife of George Stumberg. 

Captain Henry Karber is a German pioneer who has been 
in Texas for half a century. He was for some time assistant 
city marshal and is now in charge of the beautiful demense 
comprising Brackenridge Park. 

Captain Louis Goodrich, in charge of the merchant police 
force at San Antonio, is an old trapper and hunter as well as 
a very interesting writer of hunting stories. 

J. N. Gallagher, formerly an alderman at San Antonio, 
and for many years division road master of the Aransas Pass 
Railway, is a genial and witty Milesian and an excellent story 
writer. He is the author of a book entitled Timothy Wine- 
bruiser that was a very entertaining one which was read by a 
great many persons when it was issued from the press. 

Marc M. Luter was a soldier of France. He was a hero of 
many battles. Likewise he was a pioneer of Texas. He 
fought under the tii-color standard of the Emperor Napoleon 
at the fall of Sebastapol, at Marengo, Magenta and Solfer- 
ino, and was with him in many other engagements of the Cri- 
mean campaign, as well as during the Franco-Prussian War. 
It was in the latter that wound up in disaster the regime of 
the last m^onarch of France. Luter was a grenadier, who, 
from the hands of the emperor, in person, received the medals 
of honor he wore on his breast at dress parade. He should 
have been accorded the cross of the Legion of Honor. 
One act alone of Luter 's entitled him to it. In the face of 
the fiercest fire he went on the field and rescued a comrade 
seriously wounded carrying him from it on his own shoul- 
ders while both his comrades and his foemen cheered. 

From the hands of the Empress Eugenie, herself, he, at a 
levee, received a golden coin attesting her appreciation of his 
valor. Marc M. Luter was born at Felleringen, in the "Blue 
Alsacian Mountains" in 1830. Martial strains were the first 
music he heard. In early youth he learned skillfully to use 
the bayonet and sabre. As soon as he was permitted he en- 
listed. He became a soldier from choice. He preferred the 
battle field to any other environment. Beyond all price he 
esteemed his arms and his trophies of strife. To his son, T. 
Alvan Luter, these were his best heritage. After leaving 
sunny France, Marc M. Luter, in sorrow after seeing the stan- 
dard of the Germans float over the Louvre at Paris, came to 
Victoria, in the Lone Star State, and rested on his laurels, ex- 

264 Combats And Conquests Of Immortal Heroes 

cept when taking active part in the affairs of his new found 
home. There he died in 1908, leaving many to mourn him 
besides his kinsmen. Of the latter two sons, T. Alvan and 
O. O. Luter of San Antonio, and a daughter, Mrs. J. L. Lin- 
cecum, the latter of Victoria, survive him. 



In a fire that destroyed the home of his son, T. Alvan 
Luter, the epaulets, bayonet, uniforms and parchment docu- 
ments attesting the services of Marc M. Luter as a soldier 
were destroyed. Although badly distorted by the heat and 

Combats And Conquests Of Lmmortal Heroes 265 

flames, his medals were saved from the ruins by that son. 
These bear different designs and inscriptions. On one is 
inscribed "Crimea," the inscription being above a figure repre- 
senting Victory bearing a sword and shield and being crowned 
with a laurel wreath by a winged female figure hovering above. 
On its reverse is a figure of that queen of England and the in- 
scription "Victoria, Regina, 1854." The other medal has on 
its obverse the portrait of Napoleon, with the inscrip- 
tion "Napoleon III, Empereur," while on its reverse is inscribed 
"Campaign DTtalie, Montebello, Palestro, Turbigo, Magenta, 
Marignen, Solferino, 1859." 


Mrs. Bessie Bell Andrews is one of San Antonio's sweet 

A. Staacke, who recently died in San vVntonio, was a 
German pioneer who was a resident for over 50 years. 

Another artist, who spent some time in San Antonio was 
A. Arper, the impressionist, whose creations excited a great deal 
of admiration. 

Charles Steubcnrauch, who was born at Bingcn on the 
Rhine, was an artist of great merit, his specialty being medallions 
and bronzes. Under Gregory XVI he executed a number of 

266 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

fine specimens, after which he became the partner of a very 
prominent London engraver. Later, after spending some time 
in New York, he went to Springfield, IlHnois, where he formed a 
firm friendship for Abraham Lincohi. After going to St. Louis 
from there and living for some time, and enjoying himself as 
only an artist of high attainments can, he came to San Antonio 
where he executed splendid bronze busts, inedallions and other 
art treasures. Lhifortunately he died in 1900 but left behind 
him his talented pupil, Charles Simmang, to continue his success- 
ful work. 

John Withers was a prominent San Antonian. He was a 
graduate of West Point military academy, graduating with 
the class of 1849, the place of his birth having been San Jacinto, 
Tennessee. In the '50's' of the last century he reached the rank 
of captain and was stationed in San Antonio in the U. S. Ad- 
jutant General's department under General Twigges. He served 
under General Robert E. Lee both in the U. S. and the Con- 
federate army, being in very close touch with the latter in 
Virginia. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and sev- 
ved as Adjutant General under General Cooper. In 1859 he 
married Miss Anita Dwyer, a native of San Antonio. After 
the Civil War, Colonel Withers and his wife from Washington, 
D. C, returned to San Antonio, and he engaged in the banking 
business, being associated with George W. Brackenridge and 
others in the San Antonio National Bank. He had four sons, 
John, William Robert Lee and Clement and two daughters, 
Josephine and Anita. One son, Robert Lee Withers and both 
daughters, Josephine, who is the wife of Brigadier General John 
L. Bullis, U. S. A. Retired, and Anita, wife of Robert Reed Rus- 
sel, survive him. 

A Texas patriot of heroic ancestry was James Eugene 
Gildea, whose father, James Gildea Sr., was an Irish gentleman 
and an early settler in Pennsylvania. James Eugene Gildea's 
wife was the daughter of Edward Louis Lorraine. The latter 
was one of the heroes of France and a member of the famous 
force of the great French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, 
that force having been known as the "Old Guard," which 
was decimated at Waterloo, where Lorraine fought in its last 
battle. Soon afterward he came to America and was in Phila- 
delphia and a member of the reception committee that enter- 
tained De La Fayette on the occasion of the second visit 
of that distinguished soldier and friend of this Union. Ed- 
ward Lorraine's daughter Adaline, first married a gentleman 

Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 267 

named Thursby Cashell and was a widow when she married 
James Eugene Gildea. The latter was in New Orleans at the 
outbreak of the Mexican War and there joined General Scott's 
American army and went to Mexico and into that campaign 
with it. He was at the battles of Vera Cruz, Chapultapec, and 
took part in the capitulation of Mexico City. After the ser- 
vice performed for his country in that war, James E. Gildea 
returned to New Orleans where he married Mrs. Adaline 
Cashell and soon afterward came to Texas. In 1848 they set- 
tled in Indianola, but later moved to Live Oak county, of 
which county he was one of the organizers. In 1854 the family 
was living in De Witt county on the Guadalupe River when his 
son Augustine Montague Gildea was born while James E. Gil- 
dea was some miles distant chasing Indians. The family mov- 
ed to San Antonio in 1858, that city having been their home 
up to the time of the death of James E. Gildea which took place 
in 1880 and his wife died in 1909. James E. Gildea was a con- 
federate soldier and a lieutenant in Colonel "Rip" Ford's cav- 
alry regiment. He took part in the last battle of the Civil W^ar 
which occurred near Brownsville, and whose particulars have 
previously been narrated. He was also one of Maximillian's 
soldiers and in General Mejia's division in Mexico when that 
ill fated empire fell to be succeeded by a republic. 

Their son, Augustine Montague Gildea, inherited the 
heroism and patriotism of his progenitors. When but ten years 
old he ran away from home to join the Confederate army and 
be with his father and step brother, but was sent home to 
his mother on account of his extreme youth. In 1873 he figured 
on the frontier in forays against Indians and border bandits, 
serving as a Ranger in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He 
was likewise a typical Texas cowboy, following cattle both on 
the range and trail in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexi- 
co and Texas. His Ranger service was principally as a member 
of Companies D. and F, of the Frontier Battalion of Texas 
Rangers, the respective companies having been commanded 
by Captains F. B. Jones, who was killed while on duty in New 
Mexico, and Captain Rogers who was badly wounded several 
times. Augustine M. Gildea served gallantly also as a deputy 
U. S. Masrhal and Deputy Sheriff in various portions of south 
and west Texas. He was seriously wounded no less than four 
times in engagements against Indians and desperadoes. To 
his credit it can truthfully be said, that, while he has arrested 
some of the most desperate criminals, he never had to kill a 

268 Combats and Conquests of Immortal Heroes 

prisoner, the only ones he ever shot or hit having been in combats 
with forces of Indians and outlaws in gangs which fought when 
encountered. The portrait of him in this book shows him as 
a member of Selman's scouts in New Mexico at the age of 
twenty-four years. 

All of the prominent people who have dwelt or sojourned 
in San Antonio or Texas are not mentioned in this volume. 
It would have been impossible to have named them herein. 
Neither are all of the names nor all of the noble deeds of the 
heroes and heroines who achieved or deserved immor- 
tality chronicled on its pages. Many had homes and spheres 
that were so humible and lowly that their names have been 
lost in oblivion and their deeds forgotten. But, nevertheless, 
thev battled with weapons nobler than sword, spear or gun 
and knife. They fought oppression and strove against the 
perils of pestilence. They went down in want. They suc- 
cumbed to sorrow, unselfish and uncomplaining. They de- 
serve each a monument. May this book be such for them. 
In it I have sung some of the songs and told some of the 
tales of my city, my State and my people. May this tome per- 
petuate them and me. 




Los Angeles 
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NOV 2 3 1987 

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