Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring, 1992 Page: 6
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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Located on Monterey's western edge, both Fort
Soldana and the "Black Fort" or "Bishop's Palace"
were atop hills overlooking the road to Saltillo.
During the battles, Alexander Cockrell carried dispatches,
among other duties. 1 After furious fighting
in the streets of Monterey itself, the Mexicans surrendered.
Shortly after this victory, the First Texas
Mounted Riflemen were disbanded. Cockrell returned
to Dallas, married Sarah Horton (daughter of
a Mountain Creek area family), and went on to
become Dallas's principal developer, buying out
John Neely Bryan's remaining interests in 1852.12
Besides Cockrell, there were a number of
other men who were, or would later become, Dallas
County residents who individually volunteered for
service in the Mexican War. One was Calaway H.
Patrick. Originally settling in Robertson (now Leon)
County in 1841, Patrick came to Dallas County in
November 1846 and settled five miles southeast of
Wilmer. During the war, he served in Captain Tom
Smith's Independent Company of Rangers. William
A. Dawdy, another southeast Dallas County
settler, was also a Mexican War volunteer. After the
war, Dawdy established a ferry service across the
Trinity River (usually misspelled as "Dowdy's
Ferry"). However, it was not until the late spring of
1847 that an entire company made up mostly of
Dallas County men was formed. The town of Dallas
was then nothing more than a small collection of log
cabins and dirt trails when ninety-five would-be
soldiers met there in the first half of June to enroll for
twelve months' service in a new regiment being
organized by the popular Colonel John Coffee "Jack"
Hays.13 Although actually the second regiment
organized by Hays, the first having been disbanded
in the fall of 1846, it bore the designation "First
Texas Mounted Volunteers."
The majority of the volunteers who made up
Company "K" were Dallas County men, but the
company's first captain, Stephen Kinsey, was a
resident of Fannin County, as were eight others in
the group. At least four more were residents of
nearby Collin County. In addition to Kinsey, the
company's officers were: Preston Witt, First Lieutenant;
Josiah Pancoast, Second Lieutenant; John L.
Terry of Collin County and Kinch Hensley of Fannin
County, Third Lieutenants; William E. (Bill) Crook,
Orderly Sergeant; and John H. Daniel, Commissary
Sergeant. Bill Crook later advanced to the rank of
Lieutenant, whereupon Shelton Robbins became
Orderly Sergeant. As was the custom of the time, all
the company's officers were elected by the men
whom they led.14
Among the officers of Company K, First
Lieutenant Preston Witt (who replaced Stephen
Kinsey as Captain in October 1847) and Second
Lieutenant Josiah Pancoast (who succeeded to First
Lieutenant upon Witt's advancement) were probably
the most experienced in the art of warfare. As
Dallas County "Minute-Men," a loosely organized
body of settlers who banded together in 1846 to
defend themselves against Indian attack, both men
had seen action, and Pancoast had held the rank of
Orderly Sergeant. In November 1846, while part of
a group of Minute-Men pursuing Indians who had
stolen horses from a farm, Preston Witt was shot
with a bow and arrow by an Indian he was chasing
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring, 1992, periodical, 1992; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35116/m1/8/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.