The “Twin Sisters” and Dr. Henry North Graves

800px-Twin_Sisters,_San_Jacinto

“Twin Sister” replicas at San Jacinto Battleground (image in public domain)

The “Twin Sisters” refers to two field pieces (artillery pieces) donated by ladies of Cincinnati, Ohio to the cause of the Texas Revolution.  According to an article in the Austin American-Statesman from 1874, they were two identical six pound rifle cannon that were built by a Mr. Tatum at a foundry in Cincinnati and shipped by riverboat to Texas.  They were delivered in person by Mr. Tatum himself in time to be used by General Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto.  Following the Revolution they became prized relics and were known to have been fired at ceremonial occasions including the fifth anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto and the inauguration of Gen. Houston as President of the Republic of Texas.

Continue reading The “Twin Sisters” and Dr. Henry North Graves

Clinton McKamy Winkler

Clinton McKamy Winkler was a lawyer, judge and a member of the Texas Court of Appeals for many years.  He was born in North Carolina in 1821 to David Tate and Lavinia Cates Owen Winkler.  He moved with his family first to Indiana in 1835 for a few years before relocating to Texas in the early 1840s.  They settled in what is now Robertson County to be near other Winkler relatives.  The family was said to be descended from German immigrants, but his grandfather was born in North Carolina according to traditional genealogical sources.  McKamy was also an old family name and many of these McKamy relatives were also residents of North Carolina.

Continue reading Clinton McKamy Winkler

John R. Baylor

Various members of the Baylor family have figured into Texas history over the years.  John Robert Baylor was a nephew of Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, a judge and a preacher and also co-founder of Baylor University.  John Robert was born in 1822 in Paris, Kentucky to John Walker Bledsoe and Sophie Marie Wiedner Baylor.  John R. Baylor grew up in a military family, as his father was an Army doctor.  John Robert was the brother of George Wythe Baylor, a Texas Ranger and Henry Weidner Baylor, also a surgeon and a Texas Ranger.  Henry Weidner Baylor was the namesake of Baylor County in North Texas.

Continue reading John R. Baylor

Fort Davis

Fort Davis was one of the group of Texas frontier forts.  Also located on the short-lived Overland Trail, it provided protection for the travelers and settlers as well as the U. S. Mail in this contested area.  It was situated roughly equidistant between Fort Clark to the southeast and Fort Bliss to the northwest in what is now known as the Davis Mountains.  We would think of it today as being the northern point of a triangle with the points of the southern base being Marfa to the west and Alpine to the east.

Continue reading Fort Davis

Ben McCulloch

Benjamin McCulloch was one of twelve children.  He was born November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee to Alexander and Frances Fisher Lenoir McCulloch.  His father was a graduate of Yale College and served in the United States Army in Indian campaigns and also the War of 1812.  The family migrated west from the eastern coastal states.  Ben is thought to have first pursued some other businesses and moved around a lot until he came to Texas in 1835 with another brother and Davy Crockett, a neighbor, in Tennessee.  Ben planned to meet up with Crockett and then head from Nacogdoches to San Antonio but was held up as he recuperated from a case of the measles, not arriving in San Antonio until after the Battle of the Alamo.  He joined Sam Houston and the Texas Army in time for the Runaway Scrape, Houston’s retreat from Santa Anna.

Continue reading Ben McCulloch