A Guide to the R. A. Gillespie Letter, 1845
Robert Addison Gillespie (1815-1846) moved to Texas with his brothers, James and Matthew, in 1937. They formed the mercantile and land company Gillespie and Brothers in 1838 at Matagorda, Texas. In 1839, they moved their business to La Grange. A soldier as well as a merchant, Gillespie participated in several engagements and expeditions in the early 1840s, including John Henry Moore’s upper Colorado River expedition in 1840, the battle of Salado in 1842, and the Somervell expedition also in 1842. In 1843, he enlisted with John C. Hays’ Ranger Company, fighting with them until 1845. Upon General Zachary Taylor’s arrival in Texas in 1845, Gillespie helped retake Mexican occupied Laredo and then joined Hays’ First Regiment of Texas Mounted Riflemen as a company commander. Gillespie was wounded during the battle of Monterrey and died from his injuries the following day, September 23, 1846.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “Gillespie, Robert Addison,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgi23.html (accessed August 13, 2010).
The R. A. Gillespie Letter, 1845, consists of one letter written by Gillespie in San Antonio to his sister Elizabeth. In the letter, Gillespie talks about his military prospects in John C. Hays’ Ranger Company and his potential promotion to Captain. He mentions his hopes for a war between the United States and Mexico and discusses General Zachary Taylor’s likely military maneuvers in the case of war. Additionally, he evinces the opinion that if war begins then the chances of any engagements between U.S. and Mexican troops are slight.
The collection is open for research use.
R. A. Gillespie Letter, 1845, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers