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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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SMITH, JAMES MONROE -- In Headright Certificate No. 1015 for one-third of a league of land issued to James M. Smith by the Board of Land Commissioners for Harrisburg County, August 4, 1838, it is stated that he came to Texas prior to March 2, 1836. Had he arrived prior to May 2, 1835 this would have been stated in the certificate. He sold the certificate August 6, 1838 and probably left Texas shortly afterward.

In the Age printed February 21, 1889 a man by the name of James M. Smith is listed as one of the men of Major William P. Miller's command who left New Orleans March 4, 1836 on board the schooner William and Francis and arrived at Copano on the lower coast of Texas on the 19th. All of Major Miller's command were captured and marched to La Bahia where Fannin and his men were in confinement. Fannin and most of his men were executed on March 27th but since Major Miller's men were unarmed when captured their lives were spared. Mr. Smith may have escaped and joined the main army.

The surname Smith, minus given name or initials, is listed on page 10 of the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836 as a member of Captain Henry Teal's Company. On August 3, 1838 Donation Certificate No. 492 for 640 acres of land was issued to James M. Smith for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. The records of the General Land Office do not show that he received the bounty land due him for his other services in the army.

On page 175 of the army rolls in the General Land Office James M. Smith is shown as a member of Lieutenant R. D. McCaskey's Company, First Regiment of Regular Infantry stationed at Camp Johnston, December 31, 1836. He is shown as having enlisted in the army February 1, 1836.

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. Amasa Turner

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1798
  • Birthplace: North Carolina
  • Origin: Alabama
  • Came to Texas: 1835, Dec 11
  • Date of Death: 1873
  • Comments: Per "Report on Potential Additional Participants", final Report, August 2011, James M. Smith is not the same person as James Monroe Smith, who was described in the Kemp biography.
  • Bounty Certificate: 1563
  • Donation Certificate: 492
  • Profession: Farmer, carpenter, blacksmith
  • Wife: 1. Sarah M.; 2. Lucinda Griswold
  • Children: Jesse Richard Smith; John Carroll Smith; Margaret Angeline Smith Day; Emily Ann Smith Whitley; William L. Smith; James M. Smith; Sarah Ann Smith Luckie; Mary L. Smith Whitley; Benjamin Franklin Smith; Charles W. Smith
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother William Berry Smith fought at San Jacinto