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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PATTON, WILLIAM HESTER--Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1808, a son of John G. and Margaretta Hester Patton, whose children in order of birth were Columbus R., Mathew Tyler, William H., Charles Fox, St. Clair, America, who married William Aldridge, and Margaretta Patton who married Captain David Murphree. They came to Texas with their children and settled in what is now Brazoria County. None of the boys were married except Mathew Tyler Patton, who had a son Fox and a daughter Bettie. Fox was never married. Bettie married Reese P. Sweeny of Angleton.

Major Patton emigrated to Texas in March 1832, as is stated in the headright certificate issued to him February 1, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners of Bexar County. He settled first in what is now Brazoria County. He was a sergeant in Captain John Austin's Company in the Battle of Velasco, June 26, 1832. He participated in the storming and capture of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1835, and for this service on May 14, 1848 was issued Donation Certificate No. 9 for 640 acres of land.

On January 14, 1836, Major Patton enlisted in the Texas Army and on March 13th was elected Captain of the "Columbia Company", which became officially the Fourth Company of the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers. Due to the fact that he was an aide-de-camp to General Houston, with the rank of Captain, his company was commanded at San Jacinto by First Lieutenant David Murphree. In Comptroller's Military Service record No. 7527 it is certified that Major Patton served in the army of Texas as aide-de-camp and Captain from March 13, 1836 to March 18, 1837 at $40.00 per month. He was later promoted to the rank of Major. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1197 for 640 acres of land December 20, 1837 for having served in the army from September 28, 1835 to March 13, 1836. On May 23, 1838 he received Bounty Certificate No. 3520 for 1280 acres of land for having served from March 13, 1836 to August 26, 1837.

Colonel Jesse Benton from his home in San Augustine, September 10, 1856 sent to the Adjutant General a list of all men who had served in Captain Patton's Company from the time it was organized until it was discharged. A copy of this roll is among the many army muster rolls at the General Land Office, Austin, Page 232. He stated that most of the men who had enlisted early were discharged about June 15, 1836. On about August 5, 1836, he said, Captain Patton was ordered by General Houston to take ten men of his company to Columbia to guard General Santa Anna.

Colonel Benton became first lieutenant of the company July 20, 1836 at the resignation of Lieutenant Murphree.

Major Patton was one of the officers selected by President Sam Houston to conduct General Santa Anna to Washington to consult with President Andrew Jackson. In 1837 he was appointed Quarter-Master General of the army by President Houston, the Senate confirming his nomination May 22nd of that year. Following his retirement from the army he settled in Bexar County where he followed his profession as surveyor.

Major Patton was elected from Bexar County as a member of the House of Representatives to the Second Congress of the Republic September 25, 1837 to May 25, 1838. On October 28, 1838, while serving against Indians on Leon Creek, four miles from San Antonio, he was wounded.

Major Patton was murdered at his home June 12, 1842. The account of his death as published in the Telegraph and Texas Register of July 6, 1842 follows:

DEATH OF COL. PATTON--We have been furnished by a citizen of Bexar, with the following particulars of the murder of this officer. The party of Mexicans who committed this outrage, are supposed to belong to the band of Agaton, who is again on the Nueces:

"Col. W.H. Patton was killed on the 12th inst., at his residence upon the San Antonio River, about 35 miles below the city of San Antonio. On the morning of his death, about sunrise, he went to the river as he was accustomed to do, to wash, when he was fired upon by a party of Mexicans, and instantly killed. A man by the name of Eaton, who had gone to Col. Patton's the day previous on some business for Mr. H. Arnold, went with Col. Patton to the river and was killed at the same time. The Mexicans, ten in number, then proceeded to Col. Patton's house, and rifled it of everything. A woman at the house recognized three of the robbers, namely; Guadalupe Vidurri, by whom the party appeared to be headed; Ronaldo Martinez, who had been a servant of Col. Patton, and left his employ last spring, and Leonicio Castillo. The party were painted as Indians. A german carpenter named A. Quino, who resided at Col. Patton's was taken at the house and it was proposed to kill him also, but all the robbers not agreeing to it, they desisted; they however, took off his arms and his tools.

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: Major
  • Company: Aide-de-camp, Commander-in-Chief's staff

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1808
  • Birthplace: Kentucky, Hopkinsville
  • Came to Texas: 1832 Mar
  • Date of Death: 1842 Jun 12
  • Other Battles: Velasco, Bexar
  • Comments: Given custody of Santa Anna on trip to Washington D.C.; Murdered
  • Bounty Certificate: 3520
  • Profession: Surveyor
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother St. Clair Patton and future brother-in-law David Murphree at San Jacinto