Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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FISHER, WILLIAM S. -- Born in Virginia. He came into Texas in 1834, as is shown in the Headright Certificate issued to him for one-third of a league of land by the Harrisburg County Board, February 5, 1838. He was elected from the Municipality of Gonzales as a delegate to the Consultation held at San Felipe-de-Austin in 1835. On November 15, 1835 he was selected by the General Council of the Provisional Government to prepare the proceedings of the General Council for publication. On December 10, 1835 he was elected by the General Council as Collector of Customs for the Port of Brazos and was stationed at Velasco. There on March 8, 1836 he was elected Captain of a company in the Army of Texas. In Service Record 1196 it is stated that Captain Daniel Perry's Company was combined later with his.

Under escort of Major John Forbes, the companies of Captains Fisher, Richard Roman and Amasa Turner were conducted to the main army, joining it March 26th at the beginning of its retreat from the Colorado.

At the re-organization of the army Captain Fisher's Company became Company 1 of the First Regiment of Volunteers. Captain Fisher received Bounty Certificate No. 2295 for 640 acres of land for serving in the army from March 8 to September 13, 1836. On July 5, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 422 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto.

President Houston during a recess of Congress, between December 21, 1836 and May 1, 1837 appointed Captain Fisher, Secretary of War and he immediately entered upon the duties of that office, succeeding Thomas J. Rusk who had resigned. The senate on May 24, 1837 voted to postpone action on confirming his nomination until November 13th of that year, at which time a new President of the Republic would be in office. President Lamar on November 10, 1837 nominated Barnard E. Bee for that office. Captain Fisher was on January 23, 1839 nominated by President Lamar for Lieutenant-Colonel of a Frontier Regiment, the senate promptly confirming him. In March 1840 he was in command of the Texas forces at San Antonio when a number of Indian chiefs were killed in the "Council House Fight."

Later in the year 1839-1840 Colonel Fisher joined the army of the "Republic of the Rio Grande" at San Patricio, at the head of two hundred men. At the termination of that unsuccessful campaign he returned to Texas.

In 1842 Colonel Fisher was Captain of a company from Fort Bend County in the volunteer army under Colonel Alexander Somervill in the proposed expedition into Mexico. When Colonel Somervill ordered the men to return to Gonzales and be mustered out of service Fisher and about two hundred others refused to obey the command. An army was organized of which Fisher was elected commander. The ill fated Mier Expedition followed. Colonel Fisher was badly wounded at Mier, Mexico Christmas night, 1842 and was carried with the others to a prison in Mexico from which he was released in 1843. In Baker's Scrap Book it is stated that he died in 1845, but his place of residence at the time of his death is not given.

all bounties

FISHER, WM. S. -- A charter member of the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge of Texas, organized at Houston, July 25, 1838.

The following letter was written by Mr. Fisher and appeared in the Southern Gazette, Clinton, Mississippi, October 31, 1835;



"Gonzales Oct. 23, 1835

Your letter of Sept 27th has been received, and we are rejoiced to hear that Volunteers are on their march to our assistance, the Rebicon is crossed and it is now of vital importance to Texas, that we should be immediately reinforced.

About 12 o'clock on the 20th the Military about 200 in number, arrived on the western Bank of the Guadaloupe, and attempted the passage of the River, but were repulsed by eighteen men (the whole force then in this place); they then encamped on the mound at DeWitt's. On the 1st of October about 12, o'clock they took up their march and encamped about seven miles above this place in a very strong position, suspecting their object in this movement was either to wait for a reinforcement, from San Antonio, or to cross at the upper crossing, about 15 miles above, it was determined to attack them, before their plan could be carried into execution -- Accordingly on the same night, the whole force on foot, (amounting to about 160 men) from the Guadalupe, Colorado, and Labaca, commanded by Col. J. H. Moore, crossed the River attacked the enemy about day Break and put them to flight without the loss of a single man -- and in as much as we expect a formidable attack from Ugartachie, should the forces long remain idle, the determination is to attack San Antonio, as soon as we can receive reinforcements, to prevent this country as far as possible from becoming the Battle ground, this Committee therefore earnestly desire, that you would use your influence, to send to this place as soon as possible, as many volunteers as possible.

Respectfully, yours,
WM. S. FISHER Chairman of Com

To Col. S. F. Austin Chairman of committee of Austin."
(The Austin Papers, Barker, III, 146-147)

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.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Captain
  • Company: First Regiment Texas Volunteers

Personal Statistics

  • Birthplace: Virginia
  • Origin: Virginia
  • Came to Texas: 1834
  • Date of Death: 1845
  • Burial Place: Galveston, Texas
  • Comments: Somervell Expedition; Mier Expedition
  • Bounty Certificate: 2295
  • Donation Certificate: 422