The Kemp Sketch
INGRAM, JOHN -- Born in Green County, Kentucky, March 10, 1808. On May 29, 1827 he received title to one-fourth of a league of land in Austin's Second Colony situated in the present county of Fayette. On February 1, 1838 he was issued a Headright Certificate for two-thirds of a league and one labor of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Fayette County and in the certificate it is stated that he arrived in Texas in December 1823. This was his second trip to Texas. Left an orphan, he had accompanied pioneers to what is now Fayette County in 1821; had gone back to Arkansas and in 1823 had again come to Texas, this time to stay.
Mr. Ingram was a member of Captain Michael R. Goheen's company in 1835 and was conspicuous for his bravery at the Storming and Capture of Bexar. On December 18, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1208 for 640 acres of land for having served in the army from November 16, 1835 to May 29, 1836. On March 20, 1836 on the Colorado he enrolled in the company of which Philip Coe was acting Captain, and on April 1st he joined Captain William W. Hill's Company in which he fought at San Jacinto. On May 7, 1841 he received Donation Certificate No. 1144 for 640 acres for having participated in the battle. In Service Record No. 7944 it is certified that he enlisted in Captain James R. Cook's company June 1 and served in it until June 21, 1836. He next enlisted as Third Sergeant in Captain Benjamin F. Reaville's company. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 9428 for 320 acres of land for his services from August 16 to November 16, 1836. On August 31, 1855 he received Bounty Certificate No. 2060 for 320 acres of land for having served from May 6 to August 20, 1836.
On a roll of Captain Hill's Company Mr. Ingram is described as being, five feet, eight inches in height; of fair complexion, with blue eyes and light hair.
Elijah Ingram, Mr. John Ingram's brother, was killed by Indians in what is now Navarro County in October, 1830 in the Surveyor's fight.
Mr. John Ingram lived for many years at Rutersville, Fayette County, and many of the early Methodist preachers held services in his home. Near him lived the Rabbs who had emigrated from Illinois. On January 7, 1838 he was married to Elizabeth Price who was born in South Carolina in 1818, a daughter of John Price. Mr. and Mrs. Ingram moved to Blanco County in 1869 and spent the remainder of their lives there. Mrs. Ingram was born March 10, 1813 and died September 22, 1888 and was buried in Walnut Cemetery near Round Mountain. Captain Ingram died in February, 1896, at San Angelo, while on a visit and was buried there.
Children of Mr. and Mrs. Ingram were Sarah, who married John Caddis; James, who died single; Jane, who died at the age of twelve; Susan, who married George W. Sharp; William E., who married Margurite Ferguson; Amanda, who married Richard Alexander Jenkins; and Katherine Louisa Ingram, who married Andrew George Peery.
The following account of Mr. John Ingram's bravery at the storming of Bexar December 5th to 10th, 1835, was written by J. H. Kuykendall in 1858 and was published in Vol. V1 of The Texas Quarterly:
"About the last of September, 1835, John Ingram joined the colonial forces at Gonzales and was in the skirmish with the Mexican troops near that place. He continued in the service until after the reduction of San Antonio, in which he fully participated. During the siege of this town he performed a feat of heroism which is worthy of record.
"After the investment of the place had continued some time, a twelve-pounder cannon was received by the Texians, by means of which it was hoped some impression could be made on the Mexicans stronghold-the Alamo.
"The Texians favored by a dark night, opened an entrenchment on the right side of the river, within four or five hundred yards of the Alamo, and at daylight the next morning the twelve-pounder, supported by Captain Goheen's company, to which Ingram belonged, began to thunder. The Mexicans were not slow to reply, but in a short time the fire on both sides slackened in consequence of a dense fog which completely concealed every object beyond the distance of a few yards.
"After the fog dissolved, the cannonade on both sides was renewed. At length the artillerymen of the twelve-pounder announced that their powder was exhausted. It was immediately asked, "who will go to camp for powder?" Without a moment's hesitation Ingram volunteered for the perilous service. The Texian camp was about half a mile from the battery. Ingram leaped out of the ditch and ran.
Five field pieces were bearing on him from the walls of the Alamo, and a thousand infantry were marshaled outside the walls within easy musket range of the intrepid messenger. His course for four hundred yards was over an open field before he could gain the cover of the mill race which led to the camp. Simultaneously the five cannon hurled to him their iron missiles. At the next instant a thousand muskets poured a leaden shower around him - still Ingram sped onward. Again and yet again, a thousand muskets roared in one platoon - but Ingram is still unscathed and safe within the mill race.
He paused not until he reached the quartermaster's tent, where, seizing a keg of powder and placing it on his shoulder, he left as he arrived - running. The same perils awaited him on his return. Three swarms of iron and leaden balls swept the plain around him, but he seemed to bear a charmed life, for he entered the entrenchment untouched amid the huzzahs and congratulations of his fellow soldiers."
The following letter, written by A. A. McBryde at Austin June 10, 1893, is among the Miscellaneous Papers, Archives, Texas State Library:
As a representative of the historical department I visited at his home in Houston June 4, 1893, John Iiams, an old settler now in his 86th year.
According to his own account he came to Texas, then a part of Mexico, in 1822 and landed at Lynchburg, below Houston (which was not then in existence) and thence went up Cedar Bayou where his father got possession of a league of land.
Knew the Coushattas. They were friendly Indians and dwelt on the Trinity; had a big village at what is now known as Swartout and three other villages that he knew of; "Big Mouth" was the chief of one of the tribes. -- One old Indian named Coledo who dwelt in the region where the town of Liberty now is was the king of all of them. "I ate with them many a time. They were sociable and sometimes came to Clear Creek, where once they had fight with the Caronkawas," said Mr. Iiams.
The Coushattas, he said, inhabited the country between the Neches and Trinity and Buffalo Bayou and Galveston bay. -- They bragged they had never drawn a white man's blood, and the same boast was made by King Coledo. "The Caronkawas were the first Indians we met on Galveston Island," said Mr. Iiams. They were in entire possession of the island. They were, according to Mr. Iiams, two tribes, the Caronkawas and the Tonkawas. Both tribes were nude; didn't (know) what clothing was; did not even wear the breech cloth; lived on fish and hunting game which they did with bows and arrows. They sometimes came up to Clear Creek and as far west and south as the Brazos. They were cannibals and ate their prisoners, cutting off the living meat from their bodies.
Mr. Iiams recollected one instance where they had tied an Indian to a tree preparatory to devouring him. By some means they had procured some whiskey, all got drunk and the prisoner managing to untie himself, escaped. He says he knew several instances where white men lost their lives and fell victims to the cannibalism of the Caronkawas and Tonkawas. Among them he could only remember the names of two men named West and Dowan, emigrants who came with him to Texas. They feasted on the bodies of these two men, of whose fate, said Mr. Iiams, we were informed by one of the friendly Coushattas.
Mr. Iiams saw Lafitte the pirate in Louisiana before he came to Texas, and once on Galveston Island. He was, he says, a tall, portly man of commanding presence; dark hair; blue eyes, and a large forehead. He saw Lafitte's vessels at Galveston Island. Lafitte made it a rendezvous to keep out of the way of U. S. vessels. He had a sort of fortified camp consisting of breast works thrown up on that part of the island now known as Saccarap in the eastern section of the city of Galveston. Lafitte, though a Frenchman, talked good English. At one time, says Mr. Iiams, I saw five of his pirate vessels loitering along the coast. On one occasion Lafitte chased and attempted to capture an American ship. He had a brig which drew sixteen feet of water. He had many friends, especially in New Orleans, and generally go his supplies from Bayou Lafourche. The pirates under him were from all nations, many Irish. They were a hard looking set and wore swords and cutlasses. They feared Lafitte who would, on the instant, cut down with his sword any man for disobedience.
His will was law. I heard Lafitte say he had privateer papers from some South American republic.
Was in the battle of San Jacinto in Capt. McIntyre's Company. Saw the "Twin Sisters" in the battle. They were of iron. His account of the battle agrees with that given in history.
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: Lieut. Robert Stevenson
- Alternate Names: Ingraham
- Date of Birth: 1808 Mar 10
- Birthplace: Kentucky, Green County
- Origin: Arkansas
- Came to Texas: 1823 Dec
- Date of Death: 1896 Feb? Mar?
- Burial Place: Fairmount Cemetery, San Angelo, Texas
- Other Battles: Gonzales, Bexar
- Bounty Certificate: 1208
- Donation Certificate: 1144
- Wife: Elizabeth Price
- Children: Sarah Ingram Caddis; James Ingram; Jane Ingram; Susan Ingram Sharp; William E. Ingram; Amanda Ingram Jenkins; Katherine Louisa Ingram Peery