7tera William f*akilfs Worth
EDWARD S. WALLACE
N July, 1845, President James Polk ordered Brevet Brigadier
General Zachary Taylor, in command of the Southwest De-
partment at Fort Jesup, Louisiana, to take a position, with
the forces assigned to him, which would be "best adapted to
repel invasion" in case the Mexicans made good their threats to
consider the annexation of Texas as tantamount to a declaration
of war. Taylor at once embarked at New Orleans and established
a camp at Corpus Christi, also known then as Kinney's Ranch,
on the south bank of the Nueces River.
Here in October he was re-enforced by the arrival of Brevet
Brigadier General William Jenkins Worth, in command of the
Eighth Infantry, who had been campaigning since 1840 against
the Seminole Indians in Florida. Worth was considered by many
to be the most brilliant officer in the army. In appearance he
was the veritable Beau Sabreur. A little above medium height,
he was an erect, well-built man, with dark hair and very dark
eyes, and with an engaging and decisive manner marked by
quickness of apprehension. He was called the handsomest man
in the army and was generally acknowledged as its finest horse-
man.2 His military record had been superb, and now, at the
height of his powers, the impending hostilities with Mexico
offered him full scope for his extraordinary abilities.
Worth had been born in Hudson, New York, in 1794, being
descended, on his father's side, from old New England stock of
the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. His mother
had been Abigail Jenkins of Albany.8 Enlisting as a private in
Justin H. Smith, The War With Mexico (New York, 1919), I, 141-143.
2Raphael Semmes, Service Afloat and Ashore During the, Mexican War (Cincin-
nati, 1851), 198-2o3; John H. B. Latrobe, Reminiscences of West Point (East
Saginaw, Mich., 1887), 14.
8Brigadier General Henry Wilson Hubbell, III (comp.), Genealogy of the Hub-
bell, Sprague, Worth, and Stafford Families, MS., in the possession of Miss Edith
Hubbell, Warrenton, Va.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed March 10, 2014.