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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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UTLEY, THOMAS C. -- Name not shown on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 847 Captain William J. E. Heard, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Somervell and William S. Fisher, Secretary of War, certified that Mr. Utley served under Colonel Sidney Sherman in the skirmish on April 20th and was wounded in the engagement by grape shot from the enemies cannon.

On January 17, 1839 Mr. Utley received Donation Certificate No. 756 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto, and in the certificate it is stated that he was wounded in the engagement.

In Headright Certificate No. 317 issued to Mr. Utley February 17, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners of Matagorda County it is stated that he came to Texas in 1836. He came with Captain Albert C. Horton from Georgia.

The probate records of Matagorda County show that Mr. Utley died prior to November 27, 1843. He died in what is now Wharton County.

Additional information regarding Mr. Utley may be found in the Court of Claims file in the General Land Office. The following is from the deposition of Captain William J. E. Heard signed at his home, in Egypt, Texas December 8, 1858:

"Your letter of the 20th Nov. has been received and contents noted it always gives me pleasure to assist an old soldier in obtaining his rights and justice.

I hereby certify that Thomas Utly was a member of my company in the campaign of thirty six and was wounded on the 20th of April at Sanjacinto with a conister or grape shot from the mexican cannon and therefore was prevented from participating the Battle on the 21st he was wounded in the arm, I believe the left one between the wrist and elbow. He was discharged. He died at the home of Iram Philips then Matagorda County now Wharton. I never knew what disease he died with.

He was a good and faithful soldier doing his whole duty up to the time he was wounded he carried his arm in a sling the last time I saw him. I do not know his arm ever got well until he died."

Colonel A. C. Horton testified that Mr. Utley came to Texas with him. He stated that Mr. Utley complained of his wound to the day of his death.

Mr. Utley was born in North Carolina, a son of William and Fanny Willisma Utley who were the parents of the following children: Turner C., who married Emiline Spleights; Thomas C., who was never married; Temperance, who married Weston Utley; Nancy, who married James Berry Olive in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1833; Caroline who married E. J. Wood; Mary; Elizabeth, who married Jacchus Wilson; Sanders; Young; Martha, who married Young Booker and Dorothy Utley, who died young.

Nancy Utley, sister of Thomas C. Utley, was married to James Berry Olive, as has been stated. Mr. and Mrs. Olive moved to Bastrop County and settled on the land adjoining the Wilbarger plantation. A daughter of theirs, Dorothy, was married to James Harvey Wilbarger.

listed as
THOMAS UTLY - No. 847, 4th April 1837

Head Quarters at Victoria

I Certify that Thomas Utly enrolled himself in the Volunteer Army of Texas for three months on the twenty ninth day of February 1836 and has ever since performed the duties of a soldier with Credit to himself and benefit to his Country he was wounded on the 20th of April at Sanjacinto [sic] by a grape shot from the enemies Cannon and he is now at the exparation of his term of service honorably discharged.

Wm. J. E. Heard Capt.
May the 30th 1836

A. Somervill Lt. Col. Cong.
1st Regt. T. V

William J. Fisher
Secretary of War

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
  • Wounded in Battle: Wounded by grapeshot in the left arm on April 20th.
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. William J. E. Heard

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Utly
  • Birthplace: North Carolina
  • Came to Texas: 1836
  • Date of Death: 1843
  • Comments: Not actually in the battle on April 21, 1836.
  • Donation Certificate: 756
  • Wife: none