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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WELLS, LYSANDER -- Born in Middleton, Connecticut, the son of Lysander and Clarissa Wells. In one of the files in the General Land Office, Austin, in which records pertaining to the land of Colonel Wells are kept there is a letter dated September 9, 1853 from "Clarissa Wells, late of Middleton, Conn. but now of Glastenbury, Hartford County, widow of Lysander Wells, Sr. and mother of Lysander Wells." Her daughters were Adelia A. Miller, widow of Edwin Miller and Adaline Louise Franklin, wife of Henry Franklin of Columbia, Tollan County, Connecticut. They named J. W. Lawrence of Austin as their attorney to secure for them any land due Lysander Wells from the State of Texas.

In a letter written December 22, 1933 by the postmaster of Glastenbury, Connecticut to the compiler he stated that Mrs. Clarissa Wells was born in Middleton, Connecticut in 1793 and died at Glastenbury, April 15, 1866 of Heart disease.

Mr. Wells enlisted in Captain Sidney Sherman's Company in Kentucky, December 18, 1835. Some original personal letters written to Mr. Wells are to be found in the Houston Public Library. One of these, dated February 29, 1836 at Nacogdoches, Texas, from Captain Sherman to "Ensign" Wells at Natchitoches, Louisiana, who had remained behind for some reason, informed him that Sherman's men had on the day previous taken up the line of march and Sherman was to follow them March 1st. "Colonel Rusk", Captain Sherman "has written to Capt. Neill to make arrangements to send you on, and arriving here report to Colonel Rusk, and he will make every arrangement to forward you on. I hope you will join me soon."

In Service Record No. 7497 it is certified that Mr. Wells served as Second Lieutenant in the Texas Army from December 18, 1835 to January 25, 1836. At the reorganization of the army, he was elected Major of the Second Regiment, the rank he held at San Jacinto. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 7095 for 1280 acres of land January 30, 1839. This he sold to Samuel A. Maverick at San Antonio. On June 7, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 308 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto.

On May 10, 1837, President Houston nominated Major Wells to the Senate as Lieutenant Colonel of a regiment of cavalry of which Henry W. Karnes was Colonel and the Senate confirmed the appointment May 22nd. On November 13, 1838 he was appointed Colonel by President Houston.

Colonel Wells participated in the "Council House Fight" in San Antonio, March 19, 1840. The Indians not killed in the engagement were pursued by the Texans and all were either captured or killed. Mrs. Mary A. Maverick, in her published memories, page 33, wrote of a daring act of Colonel Wells.

"Captain Lysander Wells, about this time, passed by riding north on Soledad Street. He was elegantly dressed and mounted on a gaily caparisoned Mexican horse with silver mounted saddle and bridle - which outfit he had secured to take back to his native state, on a visit to his mother. As he reached the Veremindi House, an Indian had escaped detection, spring up behind him, clasped Well's arm in his and tried to catch hold of the bridle reins. Wells was fearless and active. They struggled for some time, bent back and forward, swayed from side to side, till at last Wells held the Indian's wrists with his left hand, drew his pistol from the holster, partly turned, and fired into the Indian's body - a moment more and the Indian rolled off and dropped dead to the ground." Mrs. Maverick was a witness to the encounter.

Colonel Wells and Captain William D. Redd, fought a duel at San Antonio, May 9, 1840. Captain Redd was killed instantly and Colonel Wells died twenty days later from the wound he had received. For a detailed account of the duel read the sketch of Captain Redd in this volume. These two San Jacinto Veterans sleep in unknown graves near Milam Square in San Antonio, where there was once a cemetery.

Note: Colonel Wells was issued Headright Certificate No. 41 for one-third of a league of land by the Bexar County Board of Land Commissioners in 1838. In the certificate it is merely stated that he arrived in Texas before March 2, 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: Major
  • Company: Second Regiment Texas Volunteers

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Lysender
  • Date of Birth: 1812?
  • Birthplace: Connecticut, Middleton
  • Origin: Kentucky
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1840 May 29
  • Burial Place: San Antonio, Texas
  • Comments: Killed in a duel with William D. Redd
  • Bounty Certificate: 7095
  • Donation Certificate: 308