This Day In Texas History - September 14

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This Day In Texas History - September 14


Post by joe817 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:24 am

1836 - Henry Mason Morfit, United States emissary to Texas in 1836, was born between 1790 and 1800 in Norfolk, Virginia, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. For a while he lived in Missouri and later in Baltimore, Maryland. He married Catharine Campbell about 1816 in Washington, D.C. They had sixteen children.

During the summer of 1836 Morfit was sent by President Andrew Jackson to investigate the condition of the new Republic of Texas. His report, written in a series of ten letters from August 13 to September 14, 1836, and submitted by Jackson to Congress on December 21, 1836, was favorable to Texas but advised against immediate recognition of the republic, chiefly because of the threat of a new Mexican invasion.

1842 - Ewen Cameron, participant in the Mier expedition, was born in Scotland about 1811. He traveled to Texas during the Texas Revolution and served two terms in the Texas army, the first from April 29 through October 21, 1836. On October 20, 1836, he reenlisted as a private in Capt. Clark L. Owen's Company A of Joseph H. D. Rogers's First Regiment, Permanent Volunteers. He served until the company was mustered out on December 31, 1836.

For his service he received bounty warrants for a total of 1,920 acres, which his heirs later claimed in San Patricio County. In the period that followed the revolution he won renown as a leader of the "cowboys" prominent in frontier defense in South Texas. The Telegraph and Texas Register hailed him on September 14, 1842, as "a bold and chivalrous leader" who promised to become "the Bruce of the West."

On July 7, 1842, Cameron took part in the engagement at Lipantitlán against Gen. Antonio Canales. Samuel H. Walker attributed much of the credit for the successful defense of the position to Cameron. At the battle of Mier, "The fearless Cameron, whose company garrisoned the back yard of one of the houses, being charged by an imposing force of the enemy, after emptying his rifles into their lines, beat off the foe until he could reload, with the loose stones in the court."

At Pass Suarte, after Fisher and the staff officers had been separated from the command, the Mier prisoners unanimously chose Cameron as their commander. On Saturday, February 19, Cameron and about sixty men were recaptured by Mexicans and subjected with other groups to the Black Bean Episode. Cameron drew a white bean in the lottery, but was shot for a later attempt at escape. Cameron County is named in his honor.

1856 - William Kimbrough (Kimbro, Kimbo), soldier and law officer, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, and moved to Texas in 1831 with his wife, Sarah, and son. They settled in David G. Burnet's colony about five miles west of the site of present San Augustine. In September 1835, with the coming of the Texas Revolution, Kimbrough raised a company of volunteer infantry in the area and served as its captain in Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers.

After San Jacinto, Kimbrough was captain of the militia company of the Northwest Beat of San Augustine County. He served as sheriff of San Augustine County from 1836 through 1838, was elected sheriff on February 1, 1841, and held the office until 1843. He was reelected in 1847 but did not serve through his term.

In 1850 he was farming in San Augustine County and was elected justice of the peace of Beat Four. In 1853 he moved to Anderson County, where he lived until his death, on September 14, 1856. He was buried in Palestine, and in 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission marked his grave with a historical marker.

1861 - Edward Otho Cresap Ord, United States Army officer and designer of Fort Sam Houston, the third son of James and Rebecca Ruth (Cresap) Ord, was born in Cumberland, Maryland. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point in September 1835 at the age of sixteen. After graduating seventeenth in the class of 1839, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery Regiment and after field service against the Florida Seminoles was promoted to first lieutenant two years later.

He received a commission as brigadier general of volunteers on September 14, 1861, and during the first year of the Civil War commanded a brigade assigned to defend the capital. Ord participated in a skirmish with Jeb Stuart's cavalry at Dranesville, Virginia, on December 20, 1861, was promoted to major general of volunteers on May 2, 1862, and was transferred to the western theater of operations. Ord became a brigadier general in the regular United States Army on July 26, 1866.

After the surrender of the Confederate armies, he first commanded the Fourth Military District and then the military departments of California and the Platte before receiving assignment to command the Military Department of Texas on April 11, 1875. He supervised the construction of Fort Sam Houston. His command numbered from 3,000 to 3,900 troops, stationed at San Antonio and forts Brown, Concho, Clark, Davis, Duncan, McKavett, and Ringgold.

From his headquarters at San Antonio Ord oversaw the scouting, construction of telegraph lines, and post maintenance and repair, as well as suppression of cattle rustling and hostile Indians. Troops under Ord's command were responsible for the discovery of grazing land in the state's trans-Pecos region as well as deposits of silver, iron, lead, and copper. [ ]

1862 - The Aransas Pass is the navigable waterway between the barrier islands of San José and Mustang which lie on the Coastal Bend of Texas. After the start of the Civil War, this pass became a strategic place. Through it sailed vessels carrying Southern cotton to be exchanged for military supplies from European sources. For this reason the Federals clamped a blockade on the Aransas Pass in early February 1862.

At that time the Confederates had poorly defended this waterway against such action, and, under the command of naval Lt. John W. Kittredge, the Federals freely interdicted Southern shipping and degraded livestock resources on Mustang and San José islands. Lieutenant Kittredge was an effective commander; his operations on the islands and inland waters hampered the war effort in South Texas. The "Kittredge era" abruptly ended on September 14, 1862, when this officer and a land party of his sailors were surprised and captured by Confederate cavalry near Corpus Christi.

Subsequent Federal activity at and around the Aransas Pass was commanded by Lt. Frederic Hill, who proved far less skillful than Kittredge. (Indeed, Confederate actions caused Hill's battered naval command to be withdrawn altogether from its operational area in May 1863.) This weaker Federal presence gave the Confederates the opportunity to fortify the Aransas Pass.

By April 1863 an artillery emplacement had been established on north Mustang Island contiguous to the Aransas Pass. This site was named Fort (aka Camp) Semmes, after Raphael Semmes, a notable Confederate Navy captain. Fort Semmes was manned by personnel of the Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment in a unit known as Neal's Battery under the command of Capt. Benjamin F. Neal. Fort Semmes became a Federal objective in fall 1863 when Brig. Gen. Thomas E. G. Ransom was ordered to neutralize it as part of a Coastal Bend offensive launched by Gen. Nathaniel Banks.
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1874 - The five-day siege of Capt. Wyllys Lyman's wagontrain, sometimes known as the battle of the Upper Washita, was the longest and one of the most publicized engagements of the Red River War. During Col. Nelson A. Miles's first thrust against recalcitrant Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa bands in late August 1874, Miles overstretched his supply lines despite warnings from the department headquarters, and provisions began to run dangerously low. He sent a military escort under Lyman back with thirty-six empty supply wagons.

Lyman met the train from Camp Supply at Commission Creek, in what is now Ellis County, Oklahoma, and, after transferring the supplies to his own wagons, started back with 104 men to rejoin Miles. On the way the train encountered Lt. Frank D. Baldwin and three scouts carrying dispatches to Camp Supply. The troops and a drenching rainstorm cleared the thinning ranks of warriors away from the waterhole. Nevertheless, Lyman's men remained within the protection of the wagons until the arrival of the long-awaited reinforcements from Camp Supply in the early-morning hours of September 14.

The four men had with them a white Kiowa captive named Tehan, whom they had taken prisoner while skirting Lone Wolf's camp. Thinking that Miles would be interested in questioning Tehan, Baldwin left him with Lyman's wagons before continuing. (There's much more to this fascinating story):
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1897 - The Texas Military Institute, Llano, opened for classes on September 14, 1897. It was a successor to the Texas Military Institute, Austin, which had closed in 1879. There were seven instructors at the school. The course of study lasted for four years. The school was housed in a three-story brick and red granite structure formerly known as the Algona Hotel until the building was damaged by a tornado in 1900.

The school also had a gymnasium and an armory. These buildings were located on an eighteen-acre campus. Tuition and fees totaled $250 for thirty-six weeks of instruction. Chapel attendance was required of all cadets. The preparatory school provided instruction in military and academic subjects. The school closed sometime during the first half of the twentieth century.
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