Vanderburgh County, Indiana, in the Mexican War, pg 4

(continued from Vanderburgh County, Indiana, in the Mexican War, page 3)

 

camp, it was discovered that one of the volunteers was a female. Her history was not known until after the discovery, when she stated that she was poor and friendless, and with tears in her eyes and deepest and apparently most sincere manner, that her father was a soldier in General Taylor’s army on the Rio Grande and that she knew of no other way of getting to where he was stationed. Her heroism was rewarded by a generous contribution from the company. She says her home is in Tennessee and gave the name of her parents and their neighbors. She left on a steamer boun[d] downward.

It is not known where, when, or under what name this woman enlisted in Captain Walker’s company.

President Polk appointed Colonel Lane brigadier-general in command of the Indiana brigade, July 1, 1846, and soon thereafter the brigade in detachments began to leave New Albany on steamers bound for New Orleans where tents were pitched, adding transports to cross the Gulf of Mexico to the scenes of battle, arriving at Brazos Santiago, Texas, toward the middle of August. It was at Brazos Santiago that on the 18th of August the Second Indiana elected William A. Bowles its colonel, succeeding Colonel Lane, elevated to a brigadier-generalship.

August the 19th Captain Kinder wrote a letter to the Indiana Sentinel, saying, “We were no sooner in camp and finally settled than I was served with a notice that I was appointed regimental judge-advocate for the Second regiment. Today the brigade’s court-martial was organized and I am a member. We are now trying five persons of Company K, Captain Walker’s, on a charge of attempting to effect a mutiny in camp. Their cases are not yet determined and may not be for some days.”

The record shows that Harrison Cox of this company was discharged by court-martial seven days after Captain Kinder wrote his letter, and that on the same day John Bowerman, also of the company, deserted. James S. Chambers deserted October the 30th. The further record of the company is that Jacob Taylor died August the 8th, and William Harris October the 10th, while Joseph Bilderback, George W. Bee, James Fisher, Elias Holler, Dewitton Price, and Christian Russler were discharged on surgeon’s certificate September the 8th, Richard Smith September the 11th, Andrew J. Rose, April 10, 1847. Martin L. Stinson, first lieutenant, resigned October 10, 1846.

With scarcely more than sixty men Captain Walker went onto the battle field at Buena Vista, where in a fearful, bloody, breathless struggle each man’s hard task was to beat back five foes or die himself. General Taylor with but 4,500 men was attacked by Santa Anna with 21,000 well trained soldiers, and after a fierce contest lasting for two days and the greater part of one night Santa Anna sounded retreat and hurried away in his military chariot, leaving 4,000 of his soldiers unburied on the battle field and 1,600 more to fall into the hands of the victor as prisoners of war. Great and signal was the victory, but purchased at heavy loss. Among the Americans slain in this terrific fight was the brace [sic] and gallant Captain Walker and seven of his Vanderburgh county men fell around him. His body was brought back to Evansville and buried in Oak Hill cemetery. Upon his monument are inscribed the names of the seven who fell with him at Buena Vista, February 23, 1847. The names are Giles Chapman, Joseph C. Higgenbotham, Obadiah Sansberry, Thomas (continued next page)

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