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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MILES, EDWARD -- Born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1816, was a son of Edward Miles. Mr. Miles first came to Texas in 1829 with his father who settled on a farm on Old River at the head of Galveston Bay. There his father dies in 1833 and shortly after his death Edward returned to Natchez where he engaged in clerical work. In Jan. 1836, he joined a volunteer company organized at Natchez by Captain C.W. Vickery to help Texans in their fight for independence. Captain Vickery landed at Matagorda Bay Jan. 10, 1836, and remained in Texas until March 2, when he and most of his men returned to Mississippi. A few of the men of his company remained in Texas and at least 2 of them Mr. Miles and Simon P. Ford joined Captain Sidney Sherman's Company of KENTUCKY VOLUNTEERS March, 10th. William Wood was made Captain of the company at the promotion of Captain Sherman. Mr. Miles was issued Bounty Certificate No. 10073 for 960 acres of land for serving in the Army of Texas February 22 to November 22, 1836. His San Jacinto Donation Certificate No. 568 was issued Jan. 26, 1841.

On October 31, 1840, Mr. Miles married Mary Ann Sawyer at San Antonio in the home of the former Empressario John McMullin, which stood where the Carnegie Library now stands.

In 1846 he enlisted in the U.S. Army in the war against Mexico, was in charge of the ammunition at Palo Alto and served throughout the war. He was in the Confederate Army from the beginning to the end of the War Between the States. For over forty years he held numerous official positions in San Antonio and Bexar County. He died in San Antonio in 1884, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association.

He had only one child, Mary Esther, who became Mrs. Mary Esther Crawford. She died in San Antonio in Nov. 1933, leaving a number of children.

In a lengthy sketch of the life of Mr. Miles that appeared in the San Antonio Express on April 16, 1933, it is stated the Mr. Miles was one of the captors of Santa Anna. His version of the capture of the Mexican Dictator as related to his child was, according to the writer of the sketch, so similar to Mr. James A. Sylvester's account in a letter the famous artist McArdle, December 7, 1872, that Sylvester's letter was printed. In it Mr. Sylvester stated that one of his companions when Santa Anna was captured was named "Miles". A letter written Sylvester in August, 1836, gives the name as "Miles of Virginia". See Sylvester's letter in this volume. It has been proved conclusively that Alfred H. Miles was one of the captors of Santa Anna.

SEE also sketch of Mr. Miles in this volume.

Mr. Edward Miles as late as July 18, 1879, made no claim to being one of the captors of Santa Anna as evidenced by his letter of that date written to Colonel Francis W. Johnson, Brenham, Texas, President of the Texas Veterans Association. The letter is among the Sylvester Papers in the Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas. It follows: "Dear Sir, Your favor of the 11th inst. received. You asked me as to my recollections in the matter of the capture of General Santa Anna on the 22nd day of April 1836. Sergeant James A. Sylvester Company A, Captain William Wood, was a member of the same company with myself at that time and when the president of the Republic of Mexico and the Commander in Chief of the invading army into Texas, was brought into the camp of Gen. Sam Houston as a prisoner of war, I was on camp guard duty on the bayou side of our lines.

Our whole camp, prisoners and all was by such an event thrown into a great fever of commotion and excitement; and I, as soon as possible, hurried to our Commander-in-chief's headquarters and there saw this distinguished prisoner of war.

To put this matter more fully at rest, and in order that all honor be paid to whom honor is due, I exhibited your letter to H.P. Brewster, Esq., who says in substance as follows: "I was the private secretary at the time of Gen. Sam Houston, and was present when he, pointing at the time to Sylvester, recognized him as having been the captor of his person." This he says was done in the presence of Col. Almonte, Cos and many others. He further says he never knew until lately that anyone else ever claimed the credit of the capture of Santa Anna.

I am, very truly yours, Edward Miles District Commander, T.V.A."

NOTE: Miles, Edward Headright Act of Legislature Approved Feb. 9, 1850 1/3 league of land ALL BOUNTIES

J.P. Logan, Pt. A. Oct. 20, 1938

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. William Wood

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1816
  • Birthplace: Mississippi, Natchez
  • Came to Texas: 1829/1836
  • Date of Death: 1884
  • Comments: U.S.-Mexican War; Civil War, Confederate Army
  • Bounty Certificate: 10073
  • Donation Certificate: 568
  • Wife: Mary Ann Sawyer (Soye)
  • Children: Mary Esther Miles Crawford