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This is an account by Samuel T. Brown, my great great grandfather Thomas Lemuel Brown?s brother, 
of  his experiences in the Texas revolution.  It is in the form of a letter to the 
brother of the Col. Ward mentioned here, and first appeared in the Voice of Sumpter 
(Sumter, Alabama) on November 28, 1839.  Samuel may have died before it appeared.  
Betty Miller, who owns part of the land Samuel received for his service to Texas, 
found this reprinted in an old book, A Texas Scrap-book.  She found a shorter account by 
Samuel in the Texas State Library?s collection of The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar.

LIVINGSTON, ALABAMA, November 1, 1837.

    DEAR SIR: Having been among the first who volunteered from Georgia in the service of 
Texas, under the command of your brother, the late Colonel William Ward, whose name is 
destined to occupy a place in history, I have thought that a communication of my 
adventures in a form you might preserve, would not be unacceptable or improper. All 
I have in view is to give the facts which came within my own observation and knowledge 
and if they can be deemed of interest as occurring to one of my years (twenty at the 
present time), I shall feel perfectly satisfied in having related them.
    About the 20th November, 1835, I left Macon in the stage for Columbus, where I joined
 Captain Ward's [Ward was his uncle but I don't know how they were related] company, which
 had rendezvoused at that place, from whence we marched to Montgomery, Alabama, and took 
passage for Mobile on the steamer Franklin. Remaining in Mobile five or six days, near 
which a public dinner was given us, we embarked on the steamer Convey for New Orleans, 
where we halted about a week, and received some addition to our number, making the company
 about a hundred and fifty strong. Here Captain Ward laid in supplies for his men, and 
chartered the schooner Pennsylvania to take them to Velasco, where we arrived on the 20th 
of December, 1835, and found Captain Wadsworth's company fifty strong; and the two 
companies were organised into a battalion, of which Captain Ward was elected major, called
 the Georgia Battalion. Captain Ward's original company was divided into two equal parts, 
as near  as practakable til command of one of which was given to Captain Uriah J.Bullock,
of  Macon, and that of the other to Captain James C. Wynne, of Gwinette county. Major Ward
 lost no time in reporting in person his battalion to Governor Smith at San Felipe de 
Austin. Our troops encamped about two miles from Velasco, on the Brazos River, where they 
subsisted on the two months'provision laid in at New Orleans. After a week's absence to 
the seat of government, Major Ward returned with commissions for the several officers. We
remained in the camp near Velasco, until 1st February, 1836, when the battalion was 
ordered by the then acting Governor Robinson, to repair to Goliad on the San Antonio 
River, and it was forthwith transported by the schooner Columbus, United States vessel, 
to Copano, on Aransas Bay, after five days' passage. There we were furnished with 
supplies by the government and four pieces of artillery, two six and two four-pounders. 
From Copano to Goliad the distance is forty-five miles, and about half-way the battalion 
halted at the Mission, where we were joined by Captain Ticknor's company of Montgomery 
Alabama, making our ranks about two hundred and fifty strong. From them we marched to 
Goliad, took possession, and repaired the fort, and were joined by the Lafayette 
Battalion, made up from North Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Previous to this, the 
lamented Colonel Fannin had not taken any part in service, but was actively engaged in 
collecting and diffusing information highly useful to the cause of Texas. At Goliad the 
two battalions were formed into a regiment, between five and six hundred strong, of which
Fannin was elected colonel and Ward lieutenant-colonel. Dr. Mitchell, of Columbus, 
commanded the battalion in the place of Major Ward, promoted.
    For some purpose Captain King, of the Lafayette Battalion, had been dispatched by 
Colonel Fannin to occupy the Mission, about twenty-two miles off, who found himself 
annoyed in his new position by a party of Mexican cavalry and sent an express to Goliad 
for a re-enforcement. Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, with one hundred and twenty men, of which 
I was one of the number, was directed by Colonel Fannin to support Captain King at the 
Mission. This was on the 12th March, and the next day Lieutenant-Colonel Ward's command 
reached the Mission, at which a large Catholic church built of stone, made a very good 
fort, in which we took protection. The Mexican cavalry that reconnoitred the Mission and 
tried to attack it was estimated at two hundred, and on the night of the 19th, a party of
 fourteen men under Captain Ticknor, surprised their camp, a mile from the Mission, 
killing eight of them and putting the rest to flight. Among the slain was recognized 
a Mexican lieutenant who had been with Colonel Fannin at Goliad, pretending to have 
joined the Texans with eighteen men. On the morning of the 16th, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ward and Captain King differed as to who should command at the Mission, the latter 
claiming it by being there first. A large majority of the troops declared they would 
serve under Lieutenant-Colonel Ward only, which induced Captain King, with his original 
company of twenty-eight men, to withdraw, and he was followed by eighteen of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ward's command, who had been detailed from Captain Bradford's company 
at Goliad, leaving Colonel Ward one hundred and seven men. About ten o'clock in the 
morning, a party of fifteen, with myself, was sent to a river about two hundred yards off,
 with oxen and cart, to bring two barrels of water into the fort. We had just filled the 
vessels and were leaving the river when we were fired upon from an open prairie on the 
other side by General Urrea's army of eleven hundred men, about half a mile distant. We 
made all possible speed for the fort, holding on to the water, except about half a barrel,
which was let out by one of the bullets piercing the head. The enemy kept firing as they
crossed the river, and marched within fifty paces of the church, when Colonel Ward 
ordered his men to fire, which drove the Mexicans back and left the ground pretty well 
spotted with their dead and wounded. They made four regular charges both cavalry and 
infantry, about half of each, and were as often repulsed with great slaughter.
    At four o'clock in the afternoon they retreated, leaving between four and five 
hundred of  their dead upon the field. Colonel Ward had only three of his men wounded, 
one of them an Irishman who resided at the Mission. When the attack was made it the 
morning, Colonel Ward sent an express {James Humphrey, of Columbus, Georgia) to Colonel 
Fannin at Goliad; and orders wore received at ten o'clock at night, to abandon the church,
 take a northeast course for Victoria, on the Guadaloupe, twenty-five miles beyond Goliad,
 where Colonel Fannin would join him. About twelve o'clock at night we left the fort 
silently, five deep, marched without a guide in the open prairie, and were only eight 
miles from the Mission at day-light. For two days we had nothing to eat, and on the third
 we killed some cattle near the San Antonio, which revived us a good deal. On the 21st of
 March we reached Victoria, and had advanced within one hundred yards of the town, 
expecting to find Colonel Fannin and his men there, when to our utter dismay it was in 
possession of the enemy, who fired upon and caused us to retreat to the swamp. Fannin had
 set out to meet us in due time but his whole command was taken prisoners by a large 
force within six miles of Goliad, and carried back to the fort. We had expended all our 
ammunition  at the battle of the Mission, and very few of our men had a single cartridge.
  In this dilemma we marched a night for Dimmit's Point on the La Bacca River, near 
Matagorda Bay, where supplies were landed for the Texan troops.  
     Next day, 22d March, we halted to rest and conceal ourselves within two miles of our
 destination, sent two men to the Point to see who was in possession and await their 
return. The remnant of the Mexican army that attacked the Mission, which was hovering 
over this quarter under General Urrea, took the two men prisoners and surrounded us. The 
two men came within speaking distance of us, stated our situation and the power of the 
enemy, and desired Colonel Ward to see General Urrea upon the terms of  surrender, upon 
which Colonel Ward, Major Mitchell, and Captain Ticknor, had an interview with General 
Urrea and returned, making known to us the offer of the enemy, if we surrendered 
prisoners of war, that we should be marched to Coparia without delay, and from thence to 
New Orleans, or detained as prisoners of war and be exchanged. Colonel Ward addressed his
men and said he was opposed to surrendering; that it was the same. enemy we had beaten at 
the Mission, only much reduced in numbers, and that he thought our chance of escape 
equally practicable as it was then. He proposed that the attack on us might be evaded 
until night, when he might possibly pass the enemy's lines and get out of danger. At all 
events, he thought it best to resist every inch, as many of us as could save ourselves, 
and if we surrendered, he had doubts of the faith and humanity of the Mexicans; that he 
feared we should all be butchered. The vote of the company was taken, and a large 
majority were in favor of surrendering upon the terms proposed; Colonel Ward informed 
them that their wishes should govern, but if they were destroyed, no blame could rest on 
    The same officers as before, to wit: Colonel Ward, Major Mitchell, and Captain 
Ticknor, again saw General Urrea, and I understood a paper was signed by the Mexican 
general, to dispose of us as above stated, on condition that we should never serve Texas 
any more; one copy in Spanish, and another in English. Then came the hour for us to see 
all our hopes entirely blasted. We marched out in order and grounded arms, cartouch-boxes,
and weapons of every kind: Our guns were fired off, the flints taken out, and returned to 
us to carry. When we left the Mission, on the night of the 24th of March, we had about a 
hundred men; at the time of the surrender we had only eighty-five, the others having left
 us on the route from the Mission to Victoria--a most fortunate thing for them. We were 
put under a strong guard, and the next morning, d March, proceeded to Victoria, where we 
were engaged the next day in bringing the baggage of the Mexican army across the 
Guadaloupe, about four hundred yards from the town, and hauling it up.
   On the morning of the 22nd, we were marched toward Goliad, where we  arrived next day 
late in the evening. There we found Colonel Fannin and his regiment prisoners in the fort.
 All the Texan troops then in the fort as prisoners, belonging to Fannin's command, after
 we were brought in, amounted to four hundred and eighty men. Early on the morning of the
 27th, we were all marched into line and counted, and divided into four equal parts of one
 hundred and twenty each. The nearest to the door of the fort marched out first, and were
 received by a strong guard and placed in double file, going we knew not whither 'nor for
 what purpose. I was in this division, in the right-hand file, and about half a mile from
 the fort we were ordered to halt; the guard on the right then passed to the left, and 
instantly fired upon the prisoners, nearly all of whom fell, and the few survivors tried 
to escape by flight in the prairie and concealing in the weeds. The firing continued, and 
about the same time I heard other firing toward the fort and the cries of distress.  
        At the time our division of prisoners was shot, Drury H. Minor, of Houston County,
 Georgia, immediately on my left, was killed; and just before  me, next in file, Thomas S.
 Freeman, of Macon, was killed. As I ran off, several poor fellows, who had been wounded, 
tried to hide in the clump of weeds and grass, but were pursued, and I presume killed. 
Soon after I made my escape, I was joined by John Duval and Holliday, of the Kentucky 
volunteers, both of whom were with me at the massacre, but not until I had swum across 
the San Antonio, about half a mile from the butchery.
      For five days we had nothing to eat except wild onions, which abound in the country
 I when reaching the Guadaloupe found a nest of young pigs, and these lasted us several 
days. In the course of a few days, wandering at random in the open country, often wide of 
our supposed direction, we saw fresh signs of cavalry, and withdrew to the swamp, but had 
been perceived going there, and were taken by two Mexicans armed with guns and swords; 
that is, Duval and myself were captured; Holliday lay close and was not discovered. One 
of the men seized me and held on; Duval was placed between them, to follow on. He sprang 
off and one man threw down his gun and ran after him in vain. Duval made his escape, and 
I have not seen him since. I was taken to their camp close by, when they saddled their 
horses in a hurry and rode off  without me,. From their actions I judged they were of 
opinion a party of Texans was near, and so made off. I then went to the swamp where I 
was taken, and found Holliday in his old position. 
	Next day we came to  deserted house on the La Bacon River, apparently that of an 
American settler, where we found plenty of provisions, such as meat, corn, bread, 
chickens, and eggs, upon which we feasted there two days, camping at night a little way 
off. Taking with us a good stock of provisions, we traveled quite refreshed and in four 
days reached the Colorado. From almost constant rain and exposure, I had lost the use of 
my right arm and shoulder, and could not swim the river. Holliday swam across with the 
provisions, and promised to return and help me; but he was so weak and exhausted from 
the cold and rapid current, that he was not able to do so. Thus we parted, and I never 
saw him afterward. 
	I went up the river, and next day found a canoe, in which I crossed, and then 
wandered till I got sight of the Brazos, on the 20th April, where I was taken by a party 
of twenty Mexican cavalry, who carried me to the main  army at Ford Bend, under General 
Sesma, and put me under guard with  other prisoners they had picked up. I recollect the 
names of but three of them, and they had resided several years in Texas. Johnson, from 
New York, Leach, an Englishman, and Samson. Fort Bend was about thirty miles from San 
Jacinto, where the battle was fought the next day, 21st April. The night after the battle
a Mexican officer, who escaped from San Jacinto, brought the news into camp, and the army 
instantly retreated. When I was brought to the camp, I pulled off my boots to dry, and 
relieve my swollen feet; my boots were stolen, and I had to march barefoot through the 
mud and water, nearly knee-deep all over the prairies, the rain falling in torrents 
pretty much all the time. The army returned to Victoria, where I saw four of the Macon 
company, who had been detained there after the surrender, on account of their being 
mechanics: William Wilkinson, John C. P.  Kinnymore, _______ Barnwell, and Callahan. 
	I was then taken to Goliad, where I remained five days, and saw the places where 
the four divisions of prisoners had been butchered; some of the carcasses remained, many 
burnt, and others mangled; all so disfigured that  I could recognize no particular person.
A company of eighty-two men, from  Tennessee, under Captain Miller of Texas, who had been 
taken prisoners the  moment they landed at Copano, and whom we left in the fort at Goliad 
at  the massacre, still remained there on my return.  One of its members,  Mr. Coy, told 
me the particulars of Ward and Fannin's death, as he said he was an eye-witness. After 
all the men had been shot, the time of the officers  came. Colonel Ward was ordered to 
kneel, which he refused to do; he was told, if he would kneel his life might be spared. 
He replied, they had killed his men in cold blood, and that he had no desire to live; 
death would be welcome. He was then shot dead. Colonel Fannin made an address to the 
Mexican officer in command, through an interpreter; handed him his gold watch to be sent 
to Colonel Fannin's wife, also a purse to the officer to have him decently buried. He sat
on a chair, tied a handkerchief over his eyes and requested that he might not be shot in 
the head, and that the marksmen should stand far enough off that the powder not to burn 
him.  He was shot in the head and expired. 
	Leaving Goliad in the month of May, with a dozen other Texan prisoners, under a 
guard of cavalry attached to the main army, then about a  thousand strong, we marched to 
San Patricio on the Nueces River, where Colonels Teale and Carnes, of the Texan service, 
came under a flag of truce, and obtained passports from General Felisola to go to 
Matamoras, where Colonel Teale informed me I should be discharged. I was kept with the 
main army, until General Felisola received orders from Mexico to hasten there. He took 
with him a body-guard through the Indian country, about fifty cavalry, who had charge of 
me ever since leaving Goliad, and they still held on to me. General Felisola left his 
guard at Saltillo, and took the stage to the City of Mexico, where the cavalry arrived 
with me, their only prisoner in August, 1836. I was then confined in the Quartede, or 
barracks, until the 1st of February, 1837, and about that time General Felisola expected 
to leave the city to take command of the army at Matamoras. His interpreter, an Italian 
named Quarri, often visited the barracks and treated me with great humanity. He said he 
would get my release, and took me to General Felisola's house to accompany him to 
	From some delay he did not start until the 28th of March, during which time I 
was a member of the family and treated with perfect kindness, under orders, however (for 
my own safety, it was said), not to leave the guard alone. I may be allowed to say a few 
 words about the City of Mexico and the manner of my detention. I was put in the barracks 
among a number of Mexican prisoners, who were confined for various offenses; and from the 
time I entered, in August 1836, until I went to General Felisola's house, in February, I 
had no other food than boiled beef. The water in the barracks was fresh and pure brought 
there by an aqueduct which supplies the whole city twelve miles from the mountains. The 
city itself is quite pleasant, clean, and the buildings durable if not elegant. What I 
viewed as a great blemish to the houses (which were nearly all of stone and rock), were 
the images of saints and idols carved in endless variety.
	On the 25th March last I left the City of Mexico in company with General F., his 
staff, and a small guard, and arrived at the 1st of June, a distance of nine hundred 
miles from one place to the other. General F., it was said, declined the invasion of 
Texas with his army, on hearing of the death of General Montezuma at San Luis, and sent 
a large portion of it to quell the insurgents. On the 17th June, General F. gave me a 
passport, and on the 1st of July I embarked for New Orleans on the schooner Comanche, 
Captain, where I arrived in due time.
	This unpretending narrative is at your service, and you have my permission to 
make what use of it you think proper.
	I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant

S. T. Brown  

Thomas Ward, Esq., Sumter Co., Ala.

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