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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LONIS, GEORGE WASHIGTON -- Shown on the muster rolls as printed in 1836 and in the "Heroes of San Jacinto" as "GEORGE W. LEWIS".

Mr. Lonis was a son of Sarah Lonis, who received Headright Certificate for a league and labor of land from the Brazoria County Board January 25, 1838. In the Headright Certificate issued to Mr. Lonis by the Brazoria County Board January 2, 1838 for one-third of a league of land, it is stated that he came to Texas prior to May 2, 1835.

Mr. Lonis (Misspelled Lewis) was issued Bounty Certificate No. 243 for 320 acres of land March 27, 1847 for having served in the army from March 13 to May 6, 1838 "when discharged for inability." He was a member of Captain William H. Patton's Company and was badly wounded in the Battle of San Jacinto, being shot in the breast. This is stated on page 147 of the muster rolls in the General Land Office. On October 26, 1848, he received Donation Certificate No. 130 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. His name was again misspelled on the certificate. He was living in Guadalupe County March 30, 1839 when he sold the certificate to D. McCarthy.

Mr. Lonis was married to Margaret Cowan, daughter of John B. Cowan. The Deed Records of Guadalupe County show them living in Guadalupe County August 11, 1852, when they sold a tract of land to Arthur Swift. The following heirs of Mrs. Lonis were living in Brazoria County October 24, 1876: James, John, William, Joseph, Franklin, Henry, and Fannie Lonis

Matilda Lonis, sister of George W. Lonis, was married to William J. Cannan, a San Jacinto Veteran.

The following is quoted from "Scotch-Irish in Ireland and in America", published by Judge Andrew Phelps McCormick in 1897 for private distribution.

"In 1837, there was living in our immediate neighborhood a family by the name of Lonis. The oldest son in this family was named George Washington Lonis. He was always called by his middle name. In March 1836 he volunteered at the same time that my father enlisted, and they both joined Captain William H. Patton's Company. In the Battle of San Jacinto, Washington was shot down. My father saw him fall. George Wright, Claiborn Rector and James Hays, members of the same company, were near him at the time, and these four picking up a blanket from the abandoned baggage of the routed foe, went to get Washington and carry him to the rear. He had fallen and was lying on his face, and had not recovered consciousness. They spread the blanket by him and turned him over towards it. As they did this, he came to himself and recognized them; his first words were: "Boys, I fired my gun thirteen times, and I saw twelve of the yellow bellies fall." He was shot through the right lung straight through, from front to back- and at every respiration of the bloody breath escaped from the wound. For many years after this I know him well and have heard my father relate, as I have here written, the fact and circumstances of Washington Lonis being shot through and through on the field of San Jacinto. In the list of the wounded in that battle, now on file in the office of the Commissioner of Statistics and History at the State Capitol, the name of Washington LEWIS appears. In the list of the privates in Captain Patton's Company, the name of G.W. LEWIS appears. Following the foregoing record, JOHN Henry Brown in his History of Texas names Washington Lewis in the list of severely wounded and G.W. LEWIS as a private in Captain Patton's Company. The name Washington LONIS or G.W. LONIS, nowhere appears in either record. It is a clear mistake not unnatural, but none the less cruel. Mr. Lonis married Margaret Cowan, moved to Western Texas, and reared a family of children. I have never met any of then, and do not know that any of them are now living. His brother, James Lonis, also married and has descendants, and his sister, Matilda, a very handsome, interesting young woman, married William J. Cannan, with whom she lived in Brazoria County many years till her death, an active useful life, enjoying the respect and esteem of all Good men who know him. The record at the Capitol should be corrected."

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
  • Wounded in Battle: Shot through right lung
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. David Murphree

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Lewis
  • Bounty Certificate: 243
  • Donation Certificate: 130
  • Wife: Margaret Cowan
  • Children: yes