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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YOUNG, WILLIAM FOSTER -- Born in Spartenburg, South Carolina, December 6, 1800, a son of James and Ann (Foster) Young. His father and his father's brother, William Young, served under General Francis Marion in the Revolutionary War.

Mr. Young was married to Hester Wingo and they settled in Carroll County, Mississippi, where Mrs. Young died in about 1829 survived by her husband and four children. Mr. Young moved to Georgia and placed his children in the home of a widow, who later was married to Mr. Young's brother, James.

In Headright Certificate No. 221 issued to Mr. Young by the Montgomery County Board of Land Commissioners February 20, 1838 for a labor of land it is stated that he came to Texas in February, 1836. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1179 for 320 acres of land December 20, 1837 for having served in the army from March 20 to May 3, 1836. He was a member of Captain William H. Smith's Company of Cavalry at San Jacinto and on May 18, 1838 was issued Donation Certificate No. 99 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. During the engagement he received a severe wound on one of his legs. He did not know he was shot until he began to feel faint and looking down saw blood running over the top of a boot. (Note: also H. R. No. 135 for 1 league probably for being wounded)

Mr. York died at Midway, Madison County, Texas, June 30, 1877, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. His grave is marked.

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Young were Mary, who married Alick Ray; Martha, who married Isom Harbuck; Jane, who married Thomas Nixon; and William C. Young, who married Mary Hayes.

"William Foster Young, son of James and Ann Foster Young was born in South Carolina December 6th, 1800. His father, James Young and elder brother Capt. Billy Young fought and engaged in many battles of the Revolutionary war under Gen. Francis Marion. William Foster Young married Hester Wingo and settled, I believe in Carroll Co. Miss. where his wife died, leaving him with four small children, one son William C. Young (--my father) and three daughters, Mary, Martha and Jane. He moved to Georgia to place the children with relatives, he coming to Texas, engaging in all pioneer activities against Mexicans and Indians of that troublous time.

In 1836 he joined the army against Mexican invasion, often scouting with Deaf Smith. In the battle of San Jacinto, he served with Lamar's Cavalry and was seriously wounded. He went after the battle to New Orleans to recuperate from his wounds, after which he engaged in the purchase of large bodies of land for wealthy parties, in Georgia, South Carolina and Miss. as Aliens were not permitted to take up Texas lands.

He again married, establishing a home, and having his children come to Texas - After maturity his son married Mary Hayes, daughter of Dr. P. H. Hayes, so he made his home at my father's, engaging in the mercantile business, in which is now the small town of Midway. My grandfather was remarkable for honesty, truth and benevolence, bearing the sobriquet of "Honest Billy Young."

His recitals of early days in Texas, with thrilling adventure, entranced his grandchildren much as would the reading of tales from fairy land - but never bringing into the lime light any personal achievement; he was known as a man of strength, energy and courage. In one early edition of Texas history, I remember reading he was credited as taking off his hat on the charge at San Jacinto waving it and crying "Remember The Alamo," when it flew like a watchword over the Army. "I do not know if it is now in print - wish I did, but he knew of the statement and verified it and his veracity no one ever discredited. He said he wore high leather army boots and his mount was a tremendous gray horse, he didn't know he was wounded till he had a feeling of faintness, and looking saw blood running out of the top of his boots, and the side of his horse stained with blood. He wheeled his horse riding rapidly to camp and came near tramping a wounded Mexican, being a powerfully strong men he took the Mexican into Camp and both their wounds were dressed after the best method then available. He witnessed the bringing of Santa Anna into Camp. In childish horror of killing, I asked, "You didn't kill anybody, did you Grandpa?" He said "we drove them into a marsh, I shot em till my ammunition gave out, then turned the butt end of my musket and knocked em in the head." I held him till then on a hero's pedestal, then my patriotism slumped to Zero. He lived with us until his death in 1876 - is buried in Cemetery here.

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: Yes - in the leg
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. William H. Smith

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1800 Dec 6
  • Birthplace: South Carolina, Spartanburg
  • Origin: Georgia
  • Came to Texas: 1836 Feb
  • Date of Death: 1877 Jun 30
  • Burial Place: Midway, Madison County, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 1179
  • Donation Certificate: 99
  • Wife: 1. Hester Wingo; 2. unknown
  • Children: Mary Young Ray; Martha Young Harbuck; Jane Young Nixon; William C. Young