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Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Harrisburg

The Kemp Sketch

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ATKINSON, JOHN – Born in 1798. His name appears on page 41 of the army rolls in the General Land Office, Austin as a member of Company E, Captain Gibson Kuykendall, and having been detailed to guard the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836. He was listed by the Texas Veteran Association in 1874 as “age76; in battle of San Jacinto. Residence, Los Angeles, California. (page 586, Baker’s Scrap Book.)

The following appeared in the Telegraph (Houston) May 2, 1872 over the name of Mr. Atkinson :

“I Want Help – I was in the Texas Revolution. I joined a company in the town of Washington, Texas, and we elected James Cook, Captain. When Gen. Houston was retreating before Santa Anna, near San Felipe, we left Washington and joined Houston’s army near Bray’s Bayou, and were in that army when the battle of San Jacinto was fought. I am not over seventy-five years old, and blind and helpless, have no family and no money. I have appealed to the Comptroller’ of Texas for the pension which the Legislature of that State granted to me and others, and the Comptroller says that my idenity must be proven. My object in writing this is to find a witness. I was generally called by the soldiers “Old Wheat.” If any of Captain Cook’s Company are living they will remember me. I appeal to the editors of Texas to give this one insertion, and thereby befriend a helpless old man.

If it should meet the eye of nay who knew me in the army, or knew that I joined the army of Texas, they will please do me the favor to write to Rev. B. L. Peel of Los Angeles, California. “

(Note: Came to Texas before May 2, 1835. H. R. No. 52 for L. & L. Austin County Board in 1838)

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. Gibson Kuykendall

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1798
  • Came to Texas: Prior to May 2, 1835
  • Burial Place: California?
  • Comments: May have served in U.S.-Mexican War.