The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 574
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
story of John Walker Baylor, probably the only man to serve in every ma-
jor battle of the Texas Revolution.
The son of an army doctor who was a friend of Sam Houston and An-
drew Jackson, Baylor was admitted to West Point in 1832, when he was
seventeen. He got into all kinds of trouble at the academy and eventually
was dismissed for academic deficiency. He then took medical training
from his father. After his father died, he came to Texas in the fall of 1835.
He took part in the initial capture of Goliad, the battle of Concepci6n,
and the siege and storming of Bexar. He went to the Alamo with either
James Bowie or Philip Dimmit and left as a courier to Fannin. He escaped
death at Goliad as a member of Col. A. C. Horton's cavalry, which was cut
off from the main army. He then joined Houston's army and drilled the
reluctant militia. He was slightly wounded at San Jacinto. The wound be-
came infected, and he died shortly after returning to an uncle's home in
Alabama, an unreported casualty of the battle.2
While researching his story, we checked U.S. and Texas rosters and no-
ticed some remarkable similarities in names. We bought microfilms of the
U.S. Third and Sixth Infantry rosters and returns from the National
Archives, typed names into a database, and checked the information
against Texas rosters and Thomas Lloyd Miller's Bounty and Donation Land
Grants of Texas.
Rosters and returns showing the monthly operational changes-re-
cruits, sick reports, discharges, and desertions-indicate that at least
ninety-seven men from the United States Army were under arms in Texas
on or before April 21, 1836. Possibly four of them died at Goliad and
three at the Alamo. And a check of rosters and returns from other U.S.
frontier units might show similar results.
We found names similar or identical to those of some fifty "deserters"
and thirty-two men who had been honorably discharged, some of them
two or three years previously, on the Texian rosters before April 21. Fif-
teen names appear on both U.S. and Texian rosters at the same time as
the battle of San Jacinto, indicating that soldiers could have remained on
their U.S. company rolls while they were actually in Texas fighting a war.
An additional fifty-six U.S. names appear on Texan rolls shortly after the
battle, indicating that at least 150 U.S. soldiers served in Texas during the
period of the Revolution.s
2 Order #18, Feb. 1, 1833, Post Orders Book No. 6, 2832-z837, United States Mihtary Academy (West
Point, NewYork); Pat Ireland Nixon, M D, The Medical Story of Early Texas (Lancaster, Penn.: Mollie Ben-
nett Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946), 207-208, R. E. B. Baylor, Affidavit of Jan 2, 1840, Louis W. Kemp Pa-
pers (Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin); Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The He-
roes of San Jacmto (Houston- Anson Jones Press, 1932), 378; Ron Tyler, et al. (eds.), The New Handbook of
Texas (6 vols , Austin Texas State Histoncal Association, 1996)
s U.S. Army Rosters and Returns, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Infantry Regiments, 1830-1837
(National Archives, Washington, D C.; cited hereafter as Rosters and Returns).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/652/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.