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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PETTUS, JOHN FREEMAN--Born in Virginia, October 4, 1808, a son of William and Elizabeth (Patrick) Pettus. In an unnumbered Headright Certificate issued to him March 20, 1838 for a league and labor of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Austin County, it is stated that he came to Texas in 1830. On May 11, 1831 he received title to a league of land in Austin's Second Colony situated in the present county of Austin. His parents came to Texas from Alabama in 1825.

Mr. Pettus was Second Lieutenant of Captain John York's Company at the "Storming and Capture of Bexar" December 5 to 10, 1835 for this he was on July 3, 1838 issued Donation Certificate No. 412 for 640 acres of land. He was Second Lieutenant of Captain Moseley Baker's San Felipe Company at San Jacinto. The following information concerning him is contained in Service Record No. 1565. He enrolled in Captain Baker's Company March 1, was promoted to Second Lieutenant March 25, and was discharged May 29, 1836 at San Jacinto. A pack horse valued at $50.00 belonging to him, was killed. He enrolled in Captain John York's Company of Rangers, July 1 and was discharged November 30, 1836. On July 3, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3988 for 60 acres for having served in the army from March 1 to November 13, 1836.

Mr. Pettus was a cousin of Edward C. Pettus, he was married in 1836 to Sarah York. Mr. Pettus died January 3, 1878 while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. His widow, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, January 26, 1819, died January 20, 1894. The two are buried in the cemetery in Charco, Goliad County. In the cemetery is buried the remains of the mother of Mr. Pettus. She was born Elizabeth Patrick in Virginia, February 13, 1790, and died January 22, 1873. She was married to William Pettus and after his death she married a Mr. Cartwright. Children of John F. and Sarah (York) Pettus were (1) John Milam, b. Nov. 8, 1849 m. Frances Foster, d. Dec. 19,1897, Mrs. Pettus died Mar. 29, 1887. ISSUE: Willie Frances, m. C.W. Calhoun, lived in Edna, TX; Lizzie Alison, m. E.C. Moore and lived in Uvalde; Ruth Pettus, m. Judge J.A. White and lived in Goliad, Tx. (2) Mattie, never married, d. 1890 in Goliad (3) William A. Pettus, m. Myra Lott, ISSUE: Ada, m. Al McFaddin, lived in Victoria, Tx; Willie Freeman, m. Nettie Taylor, lived in Goliad, TX; John, died single; Robert Lott m. Effie Neyland and lived in Goliad; Lillie, m. George Reed and lived in Goliad; Wheeler, m. Fay Getzwellen and lived in Goliad; James Milton, m. Sally Sellingston and lived in Goliad; and Virginia Pettus, m. John Dial and lived in Goliad. (4) Sibbie, m. John S. Hodges who died in Beeville in 1900, Sibbie died in 1927, ISSUE: Mattie, m. William Smith; Sally May, m. H.J. Bailey, lived in Rockport, Tx; Mamie, m. a Mitchell, lived in San Antonio; (5) Letha, m. James Lincoln who died in 1903, Letha died in 1929, only child was James Norman Lincoln who lived in Charco, TX (6) Jennie, m. B. Lott who died in 1890, Jennie died in 1908. ISSUE: Sallie, m. Levi Baker, lived in Goliad; Freeman, m. Charline Campbell and lived in Goliad; Ida, m. Maynard Fowler and lived in Goliad; James, m. Helen Collins and lived in Goliad; Myra, m. Gus Burke; Robert Lott, m. Sarah Eckhart and lived in Goliad. (7) Thomas York, m. Josephine Stephens, she died in 1897, and he lived in Charco; ISSUE: Sit, m. Will Neyland and lived in Corpus Christi; Susan, m. Bernard Hardeman and lived in Goliad; Ethel, m. Richard Shelton and lived in Goliad; Josephine, m. Ashley Rich and lived in Corpus Christi; Thomas, Jr., m. Bernice Lockhart and lived in Arizona. (8) James Edward Pettus, lived in Goliad, a daughter of his was married to W.H. Lott and lived in Goliad, another daughter married Jesse Nicholason and lived in Goliad and another daughter married Robert Eckhart and lived in Kingsville, TX.

After the death of his first wife, Thomas York Pettus, Sr. married Gussie Walker, daughter Ida Mae lived with her parents at Charco; and daughter Elizabeth married Q.O. Nelson and lived in Decatur, Tx.

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: Second Lieutenant
  • Company: Capt. Moseley Baker

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1808 Oct 4
  • Birthplace: Virginia, Mechlenburg
  • Came to Texas: 1830
  • Date of Death: 1878 Jan 31
  • Burial Place: Charco, Goliad County, Texas
  • Other Battles: Bexar
  • Bounty Certificate: 3988
  • Wife: Sarah York
  • Children: John Milam Pettus; Mattie [Martha] Pettus; William A. Pettus; Sibbie [Sarah] Pettus Hodges; Letha [Aletha] Pettus Lincoln; Jennie [Virginia] Pettus Lott; Thomas York Pettus; James Edward Pettus
  • Family at San Jacinto: Cousin Edward Cratic Pettus, future brother-in-law James Allison York at San Jacinto; father William Pettus at Harrisburg.