Monday, January 16, 2017


Following the defeat at Medina, the remaining filibusters fled across Texas, chased by the Spanish. Some, like Quirk, were captured and held in such deplorable conditions that over a dozen of them suffocated inside a house on the first night after the battle.[1] The family history of Henry Munson preserves a story that he survived only when his life was saved by a Spanish officer named Mordella, for whom Munson later named his son.[2] While General Arredondo killed hundreds of Mexican republicans, after the rebels were decisively defeated, the pursuit of the fleeing Americans was not prosecuted as vigorously. The filibusters straggled across the border in small groups. Some were wrecked by wounds or disease, including James Biddle Wilkinson, who died very soon after the expedition, and Samuel Kemper, who died some time in 1814 of measles. Many of the survivors, finding their country embroiled in a war of its own, dispersed to fight in it. Most, finding themselves in Louisiana, joined the army there and fought at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, including Samuel Barber, the enlisted man who had suffered so much in army life before the expedition, and Henry Perry, the expedition’s final American leader. Others who fought at New Orleans included John “Jack” W. Hall, Warren D.C. Hall, Joshua Childs, Anthony Dubois, Isaac Foster, Michael Prudhomme, Elisha Roberts, and possibly Peter Foster, William Walker, and a man identified only by the name Gormley. Aylett Buckner may have returned to Kentucky to join the militia there, James Gaines fought in Virginia and Walter Young fought in the war at an unknown location.[3] Samuel Noah, the West Pointer, attempted to regain his commission in the army he had abandoned three years before, but as a native of England in the midst of a war with that nation, he was refused. He made his way to New York, where the he joined up in a militia brigade stationed near the city under Col. Nathan Myers, who like Noah, was also Jewish.[4]

[1] Bradley, 89.
[2] Thurmond A. Munson, The Munsons of Texas – An American Saga (N.p., 1987), chapter 7. (accessed Sep. 29, 2016).
[3] U.S. National Parks Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Battle of New Orleans, War of 1812 American Muster and Troop Roster List, (Accessed September 22, 2016). All of the names appear in War of 1812 Muster rolls, but Foster and Walker have no other substantiating records. The Gormley in the expedition records is not identified with a first name, but there is a John Gormley who fought at New Orleans.
[4] Simon Wolf and Louis Edward Levy, The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen (Philadelphia: The Levytype Company, 1895), 36.

No comments:

Post a Comment