The Kemp Sketch
CORRY, THOMAS F. -- Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1816 and arrived in Texas in December, 1835. Something of the life of Mr. Corry is told in his deposition made December 12, 1859 at Cincinnati, Ohio in the suit of John Forbes vs Nicholas D. Labadie in the District Court of Nacogdoches County, November, 1866. The testimony was mimeographed and bound in two volumes and from it the following was copied. Mr. Corry was asked when he first met John Forbes. His reply was: "My acquaintance began with the plaintiff in the city of Cincinnati. While a boy I knew the plaintiff, who was a keeper of a grocery store in this city, and I think was married here, and I believe an Englishmen. When nineteen years old, in the month of November, 1835, I left this city alone, to aid Texas in her struggle for Independence, went up Red River to Natchitoches, and thence by the 'old San Antonio trail,' to the town of San Antonio where I arrived before Christmas day, and but a few days after its surrender to the Texians.
"I was one of the party who started with Col. Grant, to capture Matamoras. With this parted I continued until it reached Goliad, where Captain Philip Dimmit, who was in command of the fort, denounced Grant as a bad man, and told us that he was carrying us upon a horse-stealing expedition, and would take us to ruin and death. These statements of Dimmit's broke up Grant's command, all the men leaving him except some fifty or sixty. I with some five or six others, went down the country to Matagorda. I remained in Matagorda until March, when the news was brought there of the fall of the Alamo and the defeat of Col. Fannin. Many of the citizens of this city were with Fannin; a portion of them who were of the advance guard got away, but those that returned to Matagorda passed right through to the shipping, and went off to New Orleans.
"James Harris and I, after we had assisted the terrified women and children on board the shipping, set out to find Houston and assist him in the fight we expected soon to come off. And upon the result of which we thought the fate of the country depended. At Harrisburgh I saw President Burnet, who was a friend of my father's. He insisted upon my going to Galveston with Col. Potter to assist in fortifying that place, but for the reasons above, I went to Houston. We joined him on the east side of the Brazos River, where I again met Col. Forbes, and was by him introduced to Genl. Houston." (Vol. 2, pps. 12, 13.)
"I was a private soldier in the Battle of San Jacinto, in Capt. Patton's Company, from Columbia, Texas, which I joined as soon as I arrived in camp. James Harris and I met in the town of Harrisburgh an express rider, Wm. Sweeney, who belonged to that company. We went up to the army with him, and joined his company, which was commanded in the battle by Lieut. David Murphey; Patton being one of Houston's aides." (Vol. 2, p. 14)
"About the 1st of April, 1836, I joined the Texan Army under Genl. Houston. They had just crossed the Brazos River from the west side (at Grosses, I think). (Vol. 2, page 3)
"I was with the Texan army some days after the battle of San Jacinto, and moved with it, up Buffalo Bayou, about four miles to the new camp, where we went to get away from the stench of the battle ground. There I was discharged on the 7th day of May, by Brig. Genl. Thos. J. Rusk."----"after I was discharged, 7th May 1836, I took passage on the steam boat, for Galveston Island, that being the most convenient route for me to reach Matagorda, as I had lost my horse, and was afoot. Genl. Santa Anna was also a passenger upon this boat. Six weeks elapsed before I reached my destination, the point whence I set out with Mr. Harris to join the army, Matagorda. In a few weeks there was an alarm there, from the rumor that an immense force of Mexicans were crossing the frontier, and the men all turned out. The Matagorda Company was large--sixty or seventy men,--of which Thomas Stewart was elected Captain, and myself 1st Lieutenant; Wilkerson 2nd Lieutenant. We were mounted infantry, each man having his own horse, and armed with rifles, pistols and knives; and we marched West to Victoria, where we found the army under General Rusk. We served out our three months term of Service under him, and I think Genl. (Albert Sidney Johnston) Johnson towards the last; and we were discharged in September at 'Camp Johnson' -- near Lavaca."--"I omitted to state that Capt. Stewart did not go to the field with the Matagorda Company, but they were under my command." (Vol. 2, pp. 8,9,10).
Mr. Corry was perhaps related to William M. Corry of Cincinnati, who with William Tatam, Pulaski Smith, David Bolles and other citizens of Cincinnati, presented the Twin Sisters cannon to the Texas army in 1836.
In the Headright Certificate issued to Mr. Corry for one-third of a league of land issued April 30, 1838 by the Matagorda County Board of Land Commissioners it is simply stated that he came to Texas prior to March 2, 1836. On March 29, 1836 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 841 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 1063 it is certified that Mr. Corry served in Captain William H. Patton's Company from April 2 to May 5, 1836 and was First Lieutenant of Captain Thomas Stewart's Company of Matagorda Volunteers from June 30 to September 30, 1836. On March 29, 1839 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 9019 for 320 acres of land for his services from June 30 to September 30, 1836.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Private
- Company: Capt. David Murphree
- Battle Account: On the campaign, in testimony 12 Dec. 1859, in the case John Forbes vs. Nicholas D. Labadie, partially quoted in Kemp
- Alternate Names: Coney
- Date of Birth: 1816
- Birthplace: Ohio, Cincinnati
- Came to Texas: 1835 Dec
- Donation Certificate: 841