Thinking about Texas Independence made me wonder how many American Revolution veterans made it to East Texas. Between the American Revolution in 1776 and the Texas Republic in 1836 there’s only 60 years. Its possible a child during the American Revolution could migrate to Texas by the time Texas declared independence from Mexico. Of course, factoring in the longevity in 1836 was only 37 years, according to http://www.legacy.com, it would take a miracle.
I found at least two. First, James Wilson Henderson, according to http://www.txssar.org/buried.htm died around 1856 and was buried in Cherokee County in the Shilo Cemetery. Nothing was recorded about his Revolutionary War service, except he is listed as a veteran. Since there’s no record of his birth that I could find, I feel free to imagine this daring East Texas pioneer as a drummer boy or stable hand during the American revolution, watching the grit and gore of war first hand. But who knows?
The other listing I found was for Alexander Hodge who was called the Hero of Two Republics. This info on the Texas Society of the American Revolution comes from a book by Clovis H. Brakebill, called American Revolutionary War Patriots Buried In Texas, txssar.org. Hodge was born in 1760 in Pennsylvania, but the family moved to Edgefield, South Carolina.
Enlisting at age 18, Hodge served under the Swamp Fox, General Francis Marion, in the American Revolution. After the Revolution he moved to Arkansas where he met Stephen F. Austin. That’s where the story gets personal for us Texans. His contact with Austin inspired Hodge to go to Texas to obtain land.
In 1825 he moved his family to Texas settling in what is now Fort Bend County, just west of present day Houston. Fort bend’s county seat, Richmond is only about 40 miles from San Jacinto to the east.
In1836 after the fall of the Alamo, Hodge, at 76 years of age, led and assisted the women and children in the Run-away Scrape. The Runaway Scrape describes the mass exodus and terror that filled the population, particularly after Santa Anna’s massacre at Goliad. General Houston ordered all inhabitants to retreat with him up the Colorado River in order to buy time to create an army. Initially, Houston’s decision was viewed as cowardess, but I guess Houston proved his mettle. Most affected were the areas in the south like San Patricia, Refugio, and San Antonio. According to several accounts, many Texians burned their homes, rather than let the Mexican army benefit form their settlements.
Hodge died August 17, 1836 and was buried in the family plantation cemetery called Hodge's Bend Cemetery located northwest of Sugarland, Texas in Fort Bend County. I hope, dear readers, you are as inspired as I am by these amazing Texans.
Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.