University of Texas Arlington

Battle of San Jacinto War Prisoner Records:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hardin, William, 1801-1839, addressee.
Title: Battle of San Jacinto War Prisoner Records
Dates: 1836-1837
Abstract: The battle of San Jacinto, fought April 21, 1836, was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution in which Texan volunteers led by General Sam Houston defeated Mexican forces led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Records relate to the parole, claims, incarceration, or transfer of Mexican soldiers taken prisoner at the Battle of San Jacinto and are comprised of letters, orders, petitions, affadavits, and reports. Included is a list of Mexican officers who died, compiled by General Martín Perfecto de Cos. Most of the documents are addressed to William Hardin at Liberty, Texas, where the Mexican officers were held at his plantation. Among the documents are letters from Sam Houston, J. Pinckney Henderson, Thomas J. Rusk, William S. Fisher, James Morgan, and William Kimbro.
Identification: GA37
Extent: 13 items in 3 folders
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Historical Note

The Battle of San Jacinto, fought April 21, 1836, was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution in which the Texan volunteers led by General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican forces led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Mexican officers who were taken prisoner at the battle were held at William Hardin's plantation at Liberty, Texas.


Scope and Contents

Records are comprised of letters, orders, petitions, affadavits, and reports. Items relate to the parole, claims, incarceration, or transfer of Mexican soldiers taken prisoner at the Battle of San Jacinto. Includes a list of Mexican officer prisoners who died which was compiled by General Martín Perfecto de Cos. Most of the documents are addressed to William Hardin at Liberty, Texas, where the Mexican officers were kept imprisoned on his plantation. Among the documents are letters from Sam Houston, J. Pinckney Henderson, Thomas J. Rusk, William S. Fisher, James Morgan, and William Kimbro.


Organization

Items are arranged in chronological order.

Restrictions

Access

Open for research.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons
Hardin, William, 1801-1839--Archives.
Organizations
Texas. War Department--Records and correspondence.
Subjects
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836--Sources.
Prisoners of war--Mexico--History--Sources.
Prisoners of war--Texas--History--Sources.
Places
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836--Prisoners and prisons--Sources.
Liberty (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Formats
Letters--Texas.
Autographs--Texas.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection

Administrative Information

Citation

Battle of San Jacinto War Prisoner Records, GA37, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Acquisition

Gift, 1974.


Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.


Container List

Box Folder
GA11 4 Item 1, Petition of Sundry Citizens. Nacogdoches 23d May, 1836.
Petition of seven Nacogdoches citizens requesting the alcalde to acertain on what authority Mr. "Blunt" has in his possession the prisioners taken from Santa Anna's Army. / S/---Jones, J(?) Whitcomb, ---Porter, Pet--Vitch, W. S. McDonald, C. Rollins, Abraham Gibson (?).
ADS, 32.4 × 20.1 cm., 3 horizontal folds, lower right corner torn, small hole in paper, stained and foxed. File note over.
4 Item 2, George Pollitt, alcalde pro tem. of Nacogdoches. Nacogdoches May 30, 1836.
A. Order returning custody of "four Mexican boys" to William S. Bloundy upon condition that he not remove them from the county, post bail for them" in case of a trial being necessary," and that he hold them subject to the authority of the commander-in-chief, "they being Prisoners of War." S/G. Pollitt, esq.
B. Subscription to the above, S/William S. Bloundy, principal, and (N?) S. McDonald, Security.
Over: C. NB "the words, and Negroes, is stricken out by order of the Alcalde, pro tem" S/Wm. B. Reid, Secty for the Ayuntamiento.
D. File note: "Petition respecting certain Mexicans"
ADS, 34.2 × 20.3 cm., all margins worn, left margin ragged.
4 Item 3, Col. James Morgan, Galveston [presumably to Wm. Hardin]. Galveston August 18th 1836.
Explaining that he has not transferred some 400 Mexican officer prisoners to Liberty because he has insufficient force to escort them without leaving the island undefended. Request [Hardin?] to send his own volunteer company to convey them to Liberty. Inquires about [Hardin's?] health. S/J. Morgan.
Over: Col. J. Morgan relative to the delivery of the Mexican officers (Prisoners)
ALS, 25.2 × 20.3 cm., many folds, remains of red seal over, torn at folds.
4 Item 4, Col. James Morgan to W. Hardin, Liberty. August 21st, 1836.
Request for Hardin to send a guard and wagons to remove 57 or 58 Mexican prisoners from Galveston to Liberty. Morgan is understaffed and cannot guard prisoners, pursue smugglers, and prepare to repel any invasion with his forces.
Over: "Exhibit B. Col. Morgan's letters comdt. of Port Galveston. "Col. Morgan relative to the delivery of the Mexican officers (Prisoners) at Liberty, Aug. 21st 1836.
ALS, 24.1 × 19.4 cm., remains of small red seal in upper left corner, 3 vertical, 2 horizontal folds.
4 Item 5, Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War, to Judge Hardin 8 Nov. 1836.
War Department.
Relays information about a rumored attempt to rescue the Mexican prisoners at Liberty and run off cattle. Capt. Daniel Perry is ordered to Liberty "to prevent the escape & also to prevent the driving of cattle East…" Asks Hardin's help. S/Thom. J. Rusk.
ALS, 25.3 × 20.3 cm., several folds, torn at creases. Four page sheet, text on p. 1, address on 4. Ink smears.
5 Item 1, To Kibbe (?) and Booth. [from] Wm. Hardin. 1 Dec 36
Certified account for three, four year old beeves furnished for volunteers "while passing to, and returning from, San Antonio" in 1835. $36.00. Certified by Wm. Hardin, Judge in Liberty county. S/Wm. Hardin.
Over: address
ANS, 17.4 × 19.9 cm. Raspberry pink paper, 2 horizontal folds.
5 Item 2, Relacion de los S. S. Jefes y Oficiales Mejicanos prisioneros esta Villa, que murieron entar fechar que se esp--- (Report of [field officers] and [company grade] Mexican officer prisoners in this town who died to date [with [?]]). (Liberty, Jan. 3, 1837). S/Martin Perfecto de Cos.
Four columns, corps, grade (?), rank, name, and date of death.
Over: "List of the officers who have died at Liberty."
ADS, 26.5 × 21.3 cm., 4 p., text on p. 1, file note on p. 4, remains of red seal upper left corner. Several horizontal folds, right margin crumpled.
5 Item 3, William S. Fisher to William Hardin Jan. 27, 1837
War Department, Columbia.
Order for the release of two Mexican Officers, Col. Jose Maria Romeo and Martin Esteredos (grade unknown), to furnish them passports and send them to Columbia, to report to the Secretary of State. S/William S. Fisher, Sec. of War.
Over: To Captain Hardin, Commanding Port of Liberty.
ALS, 25.3 × 19.9 cm., 4 p., text on p. 1, address on p. 4; 1/3 of p. 4 torn away.
5 Item 4, Wm. Kimble (?) San Augustine 8th Feb. 1837 (or 9).
Request, by hand of Col. Burnes, for assistance in getting his claims for keeping Mexican prisoners settled. "Was out of my power to get it to Houston myself and must therefore trouble my friends." S/Wm. Kimble (or - bel). Address unknown.
ALS, 20.2 × 25.2 cm., 2 horizontal folds, slightly yellowed.
5 Item 5, Sam Houston to William Hardin. Columbia in Texas 21 Feb. 1837.
Letter by hand of Mr. John Carlos who has money and clothing for Gen. Cos and other Mexican officers confined at Liberty. While he has "two or three thousand dollars in cash", Houston proposes that only $500.00 be turned over, the balance retaines, "subject to the order of Gen. Cos."
Relays report that Santa Anna has left Norfolk, Va. in "an armed vessel of the U. S." on 28 January, probable destination, Vera Cruz. Houston sends regards to Cos, and asks Hardin to convey his pleasure "which I feel at the relief which will reach them…"
ALS, 28.2 × 22.4 cm. 4 p., text on pp. 1 & 2, address on p. 4; right margin torn, parts of some words missing. Ink has penetrated badly.
6 Item 1, J. Pinckney Henderson, Secy. of State, to Wm. Hardin 6 April, 1837.
Order to release on parole three Mexican officers: Lt. Col. Bringas, Capt. Peraza, and Capt. Isadora Campos, and to give them passports to New Orleans. Dated and sealed from the Department of State.
Over: address and file note.
ADS, 25.2 × 19.9 cm., embossed seal of the Department of State, lower left corner. Two vertical folds, several creases.
6 Item 2, Parole of Honor of Mexican Officers. Liberty April 28th 1837.
Form statement of parole signed by thirty-one Mexican officers including General Cos. Certification signed by William Hardin as commander of the Port of Liberty.
Over: "Exhibit C, Parole of Mexican Officers, prisoners of War. [Below, in tabular form] Showing the viz prisoners, those who died 8 paroled 56 Released 8 Those escaped 2 [total] 76.
ADS, 32.6 × 19.7 cm. as folded, 4 p., text of parole and twenty-three signatures on two columns on p. 1, eight (including Cos) and certification on p. 2; file note and table, p. 4.
6 Item 3, Parole of Honor of Mexican Soldiers. Liberty May 1st 183[7].
Form statement of parole signed by twenty-one private soldiers (fifteen with "X" beside name) and a certification in Spanish signed Pedro Francisco Delgado. Certification in English signed by William Hardin as commander of the Port of Liberty.
ADS, 27.9 × 18.8 cm. as folded, 4 p., text of parole and fifteen names on p. 1, remainder of names, both certifications p. 2, file note, p. 3 remains of small red seal, upper right corner pp. 1 & 3. Faintly lined paper, foxed and stained.
6 Item 4, Statement of Provenance.
Undated note… "Mr. Struhall (or Struball) told me that the Mexican Prisoner file came from the Capt. Aldredge estate in Austin around 1921 or 1922. S/Thos. C. Baier (?)"
ANS, 23.2 × 19.9 cm. Appears to be a flyleaf torn from a book.