This Day In Texas History - September 18

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This Day In Texas History - September 18

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Post by joe817 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 pm

1680 - The known facts of Antonio de Otermín's life are centered around the Pueblo Indian Revolt, which occurred in New Mexico in 1680. On August 10 of that year Indian discontent with Spanish rule erupted in the revolt, described by Hubert H. Bancroft as "the greatest disaster that ever befell Spain on the northern frontier, if not indeed in any part of America." From Taos to Santa Fe and from Isleta to Zuñi occurred murder, pillage, devastation, and desecration.

For a short time Santa Fe under the leadership of Governor Antonio de Otermín held out, as did Isleta under Capt. Alonso García. But when communication between these two groups became impossible, the two commanders decided independently to flee southward to the comparative safety of the Pass of the North, the future site of El Paso, Texas.

The two groups of refugees met at Fray Cristóbal, New Mexico, on September 13, some five weeks after the initial outbreak. Here they rested for a few days before continuing their retreat. On September 18 they reached La Salineta, about four leagues (roughly ten miles) north of the mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, founded in 1659 in the El Paso area to convert the Mansos.

Their spirits were greatly bolstered with the arrival of a large supply expedition of some twenty-four wagons of provisions led by Fray Francisco de Ayeta coming from the south. Here at La Salineta the refugees remained through the first week of October. Otermínwas no conquistador like Cortes, no explorer like Coronado, and no colonizer like Oñate, but he had laid the base for three centuries of El Paso history.
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fot01 ]

1731 - Juan Antonio Pérez de Almazán was captain of San Antonio de Béxar Presidio in 1730, when he led an expedition of presidial soldiers against an attacking force of 500 Apache Indians. In March 1731 he received the Canary Islanders, made provision for the new settlers, laid out a place for their homes, and established a municipal government.

On August 1, when the new city council met to elect alcaldes, he presided at what was probably the first election held in Texas. On September 18 he led another attack on the Apaches in a battle that was almost disastrous for the mission and the young settlement. Pérez de Almazán asked for an expedition against the Indians, which was granted and carried out under Governor Juan Antonio Bustillo y Ceballos in 1732.

1842 - (Note: This is a very long article. However, it struck me as so exemplary of Texans, their Independence, and their willing to fight what they believe in, that I think posting the entire article is justified.)

DAWSON MASSACRE. After the capture of San Antonio on September 11, 1842, by Brig. Gen. Adrián Woll in the second of the Mexican invasions of 1842, Texan forces gathered on Salado Creek under Col. Mathew Caldwell to repel the raiders. While Texas arms were succeeding at the battle of Salado Creek on September 18, 1842, a calamity was occurring only a mile and a half away.

In response to Caldwell's call for volunteers, Capt. Nicholas M. Dawson had raised a fifty-three-man company, mostly from Fayette County, and marched down from La Grange. Believing Caldwell's forces to be in grave danger, Dawson's men chose not to wait for Capt. Jesse Billingsley's company, which was following them, but to disregard the threat posed by numerous heavy Mexican cavalry patrols and to fight their way to the Salado. Near Caldwell's embattled line, between 3 and 4 P.M. on the eighteenth, the company was intercepted by a column of 500 irregular Mexican cavalry commanded by colonels Cayetano Montero, José María Carrasco, and Pedro Rangel and supported by a battery of two field pieces.

According to the accounts of several survivors, the Mexican column was commanded by Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, but they were no doubt in error. Dawson dismounted his men in a mesquite thicket where Fort Sam Houston now stands and threatened to "shoot the first man who runs." The Texans were quickly surrounded but repulsed a spirited cavalry charge and inflicted a number of casualties on the enemy.

The Mexicans then fell back out of rifle range and opened fire on the Texans with their artillery. Billingsley's company, which arrived while the fight was in progress, was too weak to go to Dawson's aid, and Caldwell's men on Salado Creek were heavily engaged throughout the afternoon. Montero once more ordered his cavalry, then dismounted, to charge. After a vigorous but futile resistance, the severely wounded Dawson sought to surrender.

The Mexicans continued to fire, however, striking Dawson several more times. Seeing surrender to be impossible, he gasped out his dying words, "Let victory be purchased with blood." Alsey S. Miller took up the white mackinaw that Dawson had waved in token of surrender and rode with it toward the Mexican lines, only to be fired upon in his turn. Miller then galloped through the enemy toward the town of Seguin.

Henry Gonzalvo Woods, after witnessing the death of his father and the mortal wounding of his brother Norman, also escaped. Some of the Texans continued to resist while others laid down their arms. Heroic in the fight was Griffin, a slave of Samuel A. Maverick, who, his rifle shattered, fought on with the limb of a mesquite tree until he was killed.

By 5 P.M. the fight was over. Thirty-six Texans died on the field, fifteen were taken prisoner, and two escaped. The prisoners were marched away to Perote Prison in Mexico. Of these men, only nine survived to return to Texas. Thirty Mexicans were estimated to have been killed and between sixty and seventy wounded. Two days later the Mexican army retreated toward the Rio Grande, and the Dawson men were buried in shallow graves in the mesquite thicket where they fell. :txflag:

1879 - James Otto Richardson, commander of the United States naval fleet on the eve of World War II, was born in Paris, Texas, on September 18, 1879. After attending public schools in Paris, he entered the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1898. He graduated fifth in a class of eighty-five in 1902 and served in the Asiatic Station, where he took part in the Philippine campaign.

He returned to the Naval Academy in 1909 and during the next two years attended a postgraduate course in mechanical engineering. During World War I he was assigned to the U.S.S. Nevada in the Atlantic fleet. In 1940 he was made commander in chief of the United States fleet and was charged with overseeing the transfer of the Pacific fleet from the mainland to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He opposed the move, contending that Japanese expansion in the Pacific was of little concern to the United States and that the fleet could be kept in a better state of readiness in mainland ports.

He also believed that the fleet should not be kept in Hawaii because it was not ready for war with Japan. He pushed construction of facilities in Pearl Harbor but returned to Washington twice to urge President Roosevelt and the Navy Department to return the fleet. Though Richardson had urged that Pearl Harbor defenses be bolstered and strongly believed in air patrols, he had not pursued the idea of protective torpedo netting at Pearl.

After the war he stated that he had not thought that the fleet would be attacked by a carrier raid. Roosevelt, annoyed by Richardson's persistent requests, relieved him of command on January 5, 1941, and offered the position to Chester W. Nimitz, who declined. Richardson reverted to his permanent rank of rear admiral and served as a member of the General Board, Navy Department, and in the office of the secretary of the navy prior to his retirement on October 1, 1942.

1924 - J. D. Tippit, police officer, was born in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas, on September 18, 1924, to Edgar Lee and Lizzie Mae (Rush) Tippit. He attended public schools through the tenth grade and during World War II served as a volunteer in the Seventeenth Airborne Division of the United States Army from July 21, 1944, to June 30, 1946.

After working for a while as a carpenter's helper and doing odd jobs for a steel company, Tippit joined the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman on July 28, 1952. His usual assignment was day patrol in Oak Cliff, and he did some off-duty work to supplement his income. In 1956 he was cited for bravery for his role in disarming a fugitive from justice.

Tippit was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, after stopping Oswald for questioning on an Oak Cliff street. In January 1964 he was awarded posthumously the Medal of Valor from the National Police Hall of Fame and in June of that year was given the Police Medal of Honor, the Police Cross, and the Citizens Traffic Commission Award of Heroism. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fti04 ]

1936 - On October 17, 1935, black police officers in South Texas organized the Texas Negro Peace Officers Association, the first black police organization in the United States. In March 1934 black police officers in Houston laid the groundwork for the organization by hosting a ball to raise money for a burial fund. Black police from Galveston, San Antonio, and Beaumont attended the ball and with the black officers of Houston decided to make it an annual affair.

On September 18, 1936, the officers adopted a constitution and a month later met in Dallas to form a statewide organization. At the Dallas meeting the members marched in uniform. They were the highlight of the "Negro Day" parade held at the Centennial Exposition of the state of Texas on October 19, 1936.

In their 1949 charter the members stated that the organization was formed "to encourage and promote improvements in the qualifications and the efficiency of Negro peace officers of Texas and to encourage more qualified and capable Negro men to become peace officers and to promote their employment in all capacities and grades by all towns, cities and counties in the state of Texas."
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jht01 ]

1942 - Fort Hood is located in southwestern Bell and southeastern Coryell counties in Central Texas. Most of the 218,000 acres owned by the United States Army is located in Coryell County. On January 14, 1942, at the beginning of United States involvement in World War II, it was announced that a tank destroyer tactical and firing center would be established near Killeen, Texas.

Gen. Andrew D. Bruce was selected as the first commander. The first major unit, the 893d Tank Destroyer Battalion, arrived from Fort Meade, Maryland, on April 2, 1942. As other troops began arriving, some 300 farming and ranching families were required, on very short notice, to give up their land. Camp Hood was officially opened on September 18, 1942, and has been continuously used for armored training ever since.

The installation was named in honor of Gen. John Bell Hood. The mission at Camp Hood was almost immediately expanded to include a replacement and basic training center at North Fort Hood. At times as many as 100,000 soldiers were being trained for the war effort. During the later part of the war some 4,000 German prisoners of war were interned at Camp Hood.

1943 - Fred Livingood Walker, commander of the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division during the Italian campaigns of World War II, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio. During his college days (1907–11) at Ohio State University, he was a member of the Ohio Cavalry and graduated as an engineer in 1911. He entered the army that year, following a competitive examination, and as a second lieutenant he was stationed in San Antonio.

From 1914 to 1916 he was stationed in Eagle Pass, TX and served under Gen. John J. Pershing during the punitive expedition into Mexico. From September 1941 to July 1944 Walker commanded the Thirty-sixth Texas Infantry Division. In World War II after a brief period in North Africa the Thirty-sixth Division made a successful landing on September 18, 1943, at Salerno, in southern Italy, the first American troops to invade the continent of Europe. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwa17 ]

1964 - J. Frank Dobie, folklorist, was born on a ranch in Live Oak County, Texas, on September 26, 1888. His Vaquero of the Brush Country, published in 1929, established him as a spokesman of Texas and southwestern culture. It was based on John Young the Vaquero's autobiographical notes and articulated the struggle of the individual against social forces, in this case the battle of the open-range vaquero against barbed wire.

Two years later Dobie published Coronado's Children (1931), the tales of those free spirits who abandoned society in the search for gold, lost mines, and various other grails. It won the Literary Guild Award for 1931 and, combined with his continuing success as a popular writer in Country Gentleman, made Dobie a nationally known literary figure.

Dobie died on September 18, 1964. He had been feted by the Southwestern Writers and the Texas Folklore Society. Special editions of the Texas Observer and the Austin American-Statesman had been devoted to his praise by his many admirers, and President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded him the nation's highest civil award, the Medal of Freedom, on September 14, 1964. His funeral was held in Hogg Auditorium on the UT campus, and he was buried in the State Cemetery. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fdo02 ]
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