Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 348 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Early in the present century during the politics
disturbances in Mexico which finally culminated i
the independence of that country, there came ove
from Spain with the historic Barados expeditiol
two surgeons, Juan Samaniego and Victor Gonzales
who, after the failure of the expedition, settled ii
that country. Both were natives of Valladolid, th<
capitol city of Castile, and were descended fron
old Castilian families. Juan Samaniego was Sur
geon-General of the Spanish army, a talented anc
capable man, as was also his junior associates whc
was himself a son of a celebrated military surgeon,
Don Antonio Gonzales.
Victor Gonzales married the widowed daughter
of Juan Samaniego, Senora Rita Samaniego de
Reyes, in the City of Mexico, about 1825. He was
stationed for a time at Tampico, Mexico, in the
performance of his official duties and there lived
until his untimely death by shipwreck of the
schooner " Felecia " while he was on his way across
the Gulf to Havana, his final destination being his
native place, Valladolid. The vessel on which he
sailed was never heard from after leaving port.
The issue of the marriage of Victor and Rita
Samaniego Gonzales was two sons, Francisco
Gonzales and Thomas Gonzales. The younger of
these, the subject of this biographical notice, was
born at Tampico, Mexico, November 10th, 1829.
His mother's death occurred in 1860 at Havana,
Cuba. Soon after the death of his father he was
taken into the family of his half-sister, Mrs. Elena
Blossman, then residing in New Orleans, by whom
he was reared and educated. His brother-in-law,
R. D. Blossman, who was a large cotton dealer in
New Orleans and had some interests also at Alton,
Ill., between which places he made his home.
In the schools of the latter place young Gonzales
received his early mental training, finishing with a
three years' course in the select school at Valladolid,
Spain, the old family seat. He took up the cotton
business at New Orleans about 1845 under his
brother-in-law in whose interest he came into Texas
in 1846; arriving in this State, he spent two years
at Lavaca, and then revisited New Orleans, where,
August 28th, 1850, he married Miss Edith Boyer,
who accompanied him back to Texas, their future
home. They located at Point Isabel, then the seat
of considerable commercial activity, being a United
States port of entry, where he went into the rel
ceiving and forwarding business, and was so
n engaged for two or three years. In 1853 he
r moved to Galveston, where he at once became
n connected with the cotton interest in the city, with
which he has had to do in some capacity for the
n past forty-odd years. He was vice-president of
e the Galveston Cotton Exchange for two terms, and
is the oldest cotton dealer in the city. Scarcely
a movement has been set on foot affecting the
great staple on which the commerce of this port so
much depends that his name has not been in some
way associated with it. He has also been an
active worker in a number of important private
enterprises of benefit to the city. He was one of
the organizers of the Taylor Compress Company of
Galveston, established in 1875, and has since its
organization been secretary and treasurer of the
During the late war Mr. Gonzales organized the
Gonzales Light Battery, composed of 150 men,
which was mustered into the Confederate army
and did good service both in the defense of
Galveston and in the support of Gen. Dick Taylor
in Western Louisiana. This battery, which was
made up of picked men and thoroughly equipped,
was the pride of Gen. Magruder, commander of
the department of Texas, and being stationed
alongc the water front was one of the chief sources
of his reliance in the great naval battle fought at
Galveston, January 1st, 1863.
The following is a copy of the official report
made by Capt. Gonzales of the part taken by his
battery in the engagement: GALVESTON,
January 6th, 1863.
COL. X. B. DEBRAY, Commanding.
I have the honor to report the part taken by my
battery of light artillery, in the engagement, on this
island, on the morning of the first inst. I received
orders to proceed with my battery and to establish
it in three sections on the strand, as follows:
One section, the left, at the foot of the brick
wharf near the Hendley building; the center section
at the foot of Kuhans wharf near Parry's
foundry; and the right at the foot of Hutcbing's
wharf near what is known as " The Iron Battery."
Maj. George R. Wilson commanded the left;
Lieut. R. J. Hughes was in command of the center
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/348/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .