The Kemp Sketch
SHERMAN, SIDNEY -- Born July 23, 1805 in what was then Marlboro, Massachusetts, a son of Micha and Susanna Dennison Frost Sherman. His parents having died, he at the age of sixteen, moved to Boston where for a brief period he worked in a mercantile establishment, going from there to New York. In 1831 he moved in Newport, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati where he engaged in the manufacture of cotton bagging.
The Cincinnati Evening Post of November 17, 1835 published an account of a mass meeting held in Cincinnati in behalf of Texas. Nicholas Clopper presided and at the suggestion of Robert F. Lytle it was decided to raise money with which to purchase arms and ammunition for the colonist in Texas in their impeding struggle for freedom from Mexico. Among other things furnished as a result of this meeting were the famous "Twin Sister" cannon used so effectively by the Texans at San Jacinto. Nicholas Clopper, who presided at the meeting had cast his lot with Texas and was visiting his former home in Cincinnati. His son, Andrew M. Clopper, later participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He was evidently a friend of Captain Sidney Sherman for in 1837 when Captain Sherman moved with his wife to Texas he settled near the Clopper home on San Jacinto Bay, near the present town of Morgans Point, Harris County.
The mass meeting probably inspired Captain Sherman to volunteer his services to Texas and to assist financially and otherwise in raising a volunteer company for the army of Texas. Mr. Lytle, and it is assumed others who had attended the meeting, helped to raise funds with which to finance the organization and equipment of the company. This is indicated in the following notice that appeared in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Wednesday morning, January 6, 1836:
"A Card. The Texian Volunteers, before leaving Cincinnati, feel impelled by a sense of true gratitude to return their sincere thanks to the many kind friends who attended their benefit at the Third Street Theatre, on Monday evening (Jan. 4), as also to Mr. Chapman and his generous family, for their invaluable professional services on the occasion. They beg leave to present their warmest thanks to Messrs. R. F. Lytle, and James Allen, and other gentlemen, whose indefatigable exertions in their aid they never can forget. By order of the Company.
S. Sherman Lieut. Wood Lieut. Stouffer"
Due to the fact that the company was raised just across the river from the City of Cincinnati, where its organization was largely financed it is reasonable to believe that the majority of the men in it lived in Ohio, but since the company was drilled by Captain Sherman in Newport, Kentucky, it is usually considered as its home. The company was the only uniformed company at San Jacinto. Since its men were equipped with rifles, it became known as the Kentucky Rifles.
Shortly before embarking on a steamer of Natchitoches, Louisiana the volunteers were presented with a flag made by ladies of Newport, and this was the only flag carried by the Texas army at San Jacinto. James A. Sylvester of the Kentucky Company was the standard bearer. The banner is now the property of the State of Texas and framed, hangs back of the speaker's chair in the House of Representatives in the State Capitol.
Following are extracts from Cincinnati papers regarding the departure of the Kentucky Rifles from Newport, Kentucky:
CINCINNATI DAILY WHIG, December 29, 1835
"We understand that fifty-two Volunteers from this city, Newport, and Covington, will depart from the Steam-Boat landing at 10 o'clock this morning, under the command of Captain Sidney Sherman, for the Texian Army. Only thirty of these noble fellows are provided with uniforms, but we understand that uniforms for the remainder of them, can be made on their passage down the river, provided the liberality of our citizens furnishes them with the materials. We hope therefore that those who feel disposed to make donations, will do so, before the boat (the Augusta) pushes off.
Mr. Chapman liberally gave them a benefit last night at the Theatre. This will enable them to purchase many necessary equipments. Success to their chivalrous enterprize."
DAILY EVENING POST, Dec. 31, 1835
"The Newport, Kentucky Volunteers, under the command of Captain Sherman, left the landing yesterday in the Augusta for Natches, and thence for the seat of the war. They numbered about 50 in uniform, and each man supplied with a good rifle. We understand that from 10 to 20 more were to join them at Louisville. As this boat went up opposite Newport to turn, they were saluted by the citizens of the place with a Gun, and with another on their way down, and on passing our wharf they were cheered by the crowd assembled to witness their departure. They presented a handsome appearance, stretching in line, afore and aft on the hurricane deck, with their beautiful banner waving over them, having on it the motto, "Liberty or Death."
Captain Sherman left Natchitoches January 28th at ten o'clock in the morning. He had been ill for two weeks and his company had proceeded him. He reached the Sabine at night and crossed at Gaines' ferry. He spent the night of the 30th at the home of Thomas S. McFarland, six miles from San Augustine. On the following day he was overtaken by Captain Henry Teal and his company and they reached Nacogdoches during the day, where Captain Sherman rejoined his company. The volunteers departed February 3rd under Lieutenant Stouffer, arriving at Washington-on-the-Brazos on the 13th. They joined the main army at Gonzales. On March 12th the army was organized into one regiment of which Edward Burleson was elected Colonel and Sherman Lieutenant Colonel, and William Wood was elected captain of the Kentucky Rifles. On April 8th the army was reorganized and the Second Regiment formed, of which Sherman was elected Colonel, his old company remaining in the First Regiment.
The men of Colonel Sherman's regiment were the first to give the battle cry. Most Texas historians say it was: "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" Some of General Sherman's descendants, however, say it was: "Remember the Alamo! Goliad and the Alamo!"
In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 6651 it is certified that Colonel Sherman served as Captain of Infantry from December 18, 1835 to March 10, 1836; Lieutenant Colonel from March 10 to April 18, 1836; Colonel of Infantry from April 8 to August 5, 1836; and Colonel of Cavalry from August 5, 1836 to December 16, 1837. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1858 for 1280 acres of land for his services in the army and on May 14, 1838 he received Donation Certificate No. 8 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. On February 3, 1838 he was issued a Headright Certificate for a league and a labor of land by the Harrisburg County Board of Land Commissioners.
Colonel Sherman in August, 1836 returned to Kentucky with authority from the Texas government to enlist men for the army. He returned in December of that year with his wife and his wife's brother, Christopher C. Cox, a boy of eleven. He selected a site for his home, a place he called Mt. Vernon, situated on San Jacinto Bay near New Washington. There he built his home consisting of a one-room log cabin and a brush covered kitchen. Early in 1837 Colonel Sherman's aunt, his niece and nephew arrived and later in the year Dana Sherman and wife arrived. In 1838 Dana and his wife both died of yellow fever. In 1839 Colonel Sherman moved to a place two miles above New Washington, which he called Crescent Place.
Colonel Sherman was a member of the House of Representatives, from Harris County, of the Seventh Congress, November 4, 1842 to January 17, 1843. He introduced a bill providing for the election of a Major General of Militia for the protection of the frontier, which was passed. President Houston vetoed it but it was again passed by both houses of Congress. Thomas J. Rusk was the first to serve in that capacity and did not seek re-election. Colonel Sherman was elected September 4, 1843 and continued in office until Texas entered the union.
In 1846 General Sherman purchased 4000 acres of land in which was embraced one-half of the townsite of Harrisburg, burned ten years before by General Santa Anna, and during that year he began the successful promotion of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railroad, now a part of the great Southern Pacific system. Actual construction of the road began at Harrisburg in 1852. Stafford's Point was reached in 1853 and Walker's in 1854. At Richmond in 1855 the line crossed the Brazos on a water level bridge. Alleyton on the Colorado was reached in 1859. It was the first railroad built west of the Sabine and second west of the Mississippi, one having been built in St. Louis a few months prior. The first locomotive built for the road was named the General Sherman.
General Sherman moved to Harrisburg in 1847 and there built a palatial residence and a saw mill. The saw mill was destroyed by fire in 1853 and later his home was burned. Having lost most of the modest fortune he had accumulated, he, in 1855, moved to Galveston where he owned and operated the Island City Hotel.
In 1861 General Sherman was requested by the local Committee of Safety of the Confederacy to take full charge of affairs at Galveston, with full authority to put the island in a state of defense. In 1862 he moved with his family to his old home on the San Jacinto Bay and with them went former President David G. Burnet. Early in 1863 the Shermans moved to Richmond, Fort Bend County where they remained until the close of the War.
General Sherman was elected First Vice President of the Texas Historical Society at its organization at Houston, May 23, 1870.
On April 27, 1835 General Sherman was married to Catharine Isabel Cox of Frankford, Kentucky. Mrs. Sherman was born April 27, 1815. She died in Houston, January 20, 1865 while visiting at the home of her sister, Mrs. Kos Morgan, and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery Galveston beside her son, Sidney Sherman, Jr. General Sherman died in Galveston August 1, 1873 at the home of his daughter Mrs. J. M. D. Menard, and was buried near his wife and son. In 1894 his remains and those of former President David G. Burnet were removed to Lake View Cemetery, Galveston. A joint monument at their new graves erected by the Sidney Sherman Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, was unveiled March 2, 1894. The remains of Mrs. Sherman were removed to the Old Catholic Cemetery 40th St. and Ave. U in the Sherman-Menard plot and in 1936 the State of Texas had a monument erected at her grave.
Children of General and Mrs. Sherman were (1) Sidney A., (2) Caroline M., (3) Matilda Isabel (4) Susan Florence, (5) Cornelius Fenwick, (6) Sallie Lennie, (7) Lucy Kate and (8) David Burnet Sherman.
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.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Colonel
- Company: Second Regiment Texas Volunteers
- Battle Account: Defence of Gen. Sydney Sherman, Against the Charges Made by Gen. Sam Houston in his Speech Delivered in the United States Senate, February 28th, 1859. Galveston: Printed at the News Book and Job Office, 1859. F390.S54 D44 1859
- Date of Birth: 1805 Jul 23
- Birthplace: Massachusetts, Marlboro
- Origin: Kentucky
- Came to Texas: 1836
- Date of Death: 1873 Aug 1
- Burial Place: Lake View Cemetery, galveston, Texas
- Comments: Member of Kentucky Rifles, only uniformed group at SJ with the only flag
- Bounty Certificate: 1848
- Donation Certificate: 8
- Profession: Entrepreneur, hotel keeper
- Wife: Catherine Isabel Cox
- Children: Sidney A. Sherman; Caroline M. Sherman Williams Menard; Matilda Isabel Sherman Kendall; Susan Florence Sherman Cherry MacMurphy; Cornelius Fenwick Sherman; Sallie Lennie Sherman Brady; Lucy Kate Sherman Craig; David Burnet Sherman