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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KRAATZ, LEWIS - Name not on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. He was a member of Captain Alfred H. Wyly's Company and on page 40 of the army rolls in the General Land Office the names of the men of his company are listed under the following statement signed by Adjutant General John A. Wharton, May 16, 1836;

"I do hereby certify that owing to an oversight of the proper officers, the within report was not handed to the Adjutant General in time to accompany the report to the Commander-in-chief, and further that Captain Wyly's Company should have been reported as having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto."

Mr. Kraatz was issued Donation Certificate No. 95 for 640 acres of land March 17, 1838 for having fought bravely at San Jacinto. On July 12, 1842 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 9949 for 1280 acres of land for having served in the army from February 3, 1836 to April 3, 1837.

The land acquired by Mr. Kraatz on his Donation Certificate was surveyed on Marcade Creek in Victoria County.

Indians appeared near Victoria August 6, 1840 and killed Colonel Pinckney Caldwell, Varlin Richeson, William McNuner, Dr. Gray, Mr. Daniel, A Mexican and four Negroes, names unknown, and badly wounded Mr. Kraatz.

Mr. Kraatz on June 12, 1842, was living in Travis County, as shown by the deed records of that county. On August 14, 1848, his home was in Washington County. This is shown in Book 3, page 754, Deed Records of Victoria County, Mr. Kraatz having sold his Victoria County Land. On January 9, 1858, an act of the Legislature was approved by Governor Hardin R. Runnels granting Mr. Kraatz a pension of $250.00 per year "during his natural life, who served in the Revolutionary war of Texas and was in that war disabled." He was wounded by Indians and not at San Jacinto.

Mr. Kraatz came to Texas sometime between May 2, 1835 and March 2, 1836. In the Headright certificate issued to him October 4, 1838 for a league and labor of land by the Matagorda County Board of Land Commissioners it is simply stated that he came to Texas prior to March 2, 1836. Had he arrived prior to May 2, 1835 this would have been stated in the certificate.

A letter was written to Mr. Oscar Seward at Independence, Washington County, for information concerning Mr. Kraatz. He replied that Mr. Kraatz and his wife were buried in Independence. "Their graves are, I think, unmarked but can be located by Mr. John Shannon, on whose premises just west of the Public Square they are located. Mr. Shannon is not in robust health and it is doubted if there are others who can identify the graves. I shall have them point them out to me." Mr. Seward suggested that Mr. Henry E. Smith, of Lyons, Texas, be addressed for further information. Mr. Henry Smith on December 11, 1933, wrote as follows:

"I do not know when Mr. Kratz came to Texas, but he was born in Germany. He died in Independence in about 1857 and was buried there. Captain Kratz was married twice and his first wife is buried there also. He had no children by his first wife. His second wife was born in Hanover, Germany, and came to Texas in 1848. There were two children by that marriage, a girl and a boy, Ella and Louis Kraatz. Ella married a Mr. Phillips and they had two children, J. D. Phillips and Emma Phillips, who married Mack C. Ottniger and is now living in Buda, Texas.

The State of Texas had a monument erected at Mr. Kraatz's grave in 1936.

"Capt. Kratz's second wife's maiden name was Luisa Horn and after Capt. Kratz died, she married my father and there were two children by that marriage, and a brother who is dead. My mother died in June, 1870. I have in my possession a tobacco pouch that was Capt. Kratz's and it must be about 95 or 100 years old. It was made by the Indians and made of beads; and has a picture of a dog on it, supposed to represent the dog that saved Capt. Kratz's life after he was left for dead by the Indians near Victoria, Texas. The dog attracted two men's attention as they were passing near by and led them to where he lay in the grass; and they brought him to Victoria."

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: Private
  • Company: Capt. Alfred Henderson Wyly

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Kratz, Louis
  • Date of Birth: 1772
  • Birthplace: Germany
  • Origin: Pennsylvania
  • Came to Texas: 1835?
  • Date of Death: 1858 Oct 15
  • Burial Place: Independence, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 9949
  • Donation Certificate: 95
  • Wife: 1. unknown; 2. Luisa Horn
  • Children: Ella Kraatz Phillips; Louis Kraatz