San Jancinto Museum of History

” I have preferred wounding the enemy, badly if possible, but wounding in preference to Killing at once, for no matter how great a vagabond the victim may be to his mess, his comrades will convey him to the rear, and You have then three of the enemy disposed of, for the time, at least…  ”

 —  Letter to A. S. Johnston
March 28, 1839 
concerning Colt weapons

George Washington Hockley (1803? – 1851)

Commander, Texian artillery

Hockley was born in Philadelphia, the namesake of the United States’ first president. A young boy during the War of 1812, he became enthralled by military affairs and around 1823 moved to Washington D.C. to work as a clerk at the War Department.

While in Washington he befriended Sam Houston — at the time a Tennessee Congressman. Hockley moved to Tennessee soon after, eventually following Houston all the way to Texas. He joined the Texas army in December of 1835.

Hockley, a notoriously thorough man, was made Inspector General of the Army. During the Runaway Scrape, Hockley was in charge of managing artillery, supplies and recruiting efforts.

Houston’s series of retreats across the region caused much grumbling among the Texian fighters whose homes and families had been displaced by the invading army. But Hockley's devotion to his leader — and long-time friend — never wavered.

The day before the Battle of San Jacinto, during a brief skirmish, Colonel James C. Neill was injured by Mexican gunfire. Hockley would take Neill's place commanding the Texian artillery.

He did an admirable job managing the only Texian artillery on the field, the famed “Twin Sisters” — two cannons donated by the citizens of Cincinnatti, Ohio, for use in the revolution. Hockley ripped enemy lines with cannon fire, and aided General Houston when he was shot in the ankle.

Hockley diffused hotter heads that suggested a less-than-honorable fate for General Santa Anna within five minutes of his arrival in the Texian camp. Hockley accompanied Santa Anna and Juan Almonte to their meeting with Andrew Jackson at the U.S. Capitol.

After San Jacinto, Hockley served Texas in a number of roles including Secretary of War. Granted almost 2,000 acres of land for his service to his country, he spent his latter years as a farmer, jockey and land speculator. He died in 1854 while visiting a friend in Corpus Christi.

To learn more about Hockley, look him up in our Veteran Biographies section. To learn more about the key events of the Texas War of Independence, check out our interactive timeline.