Thursday, February 17, 2011

Texas Tidbits : Brother vs Brother in the Texas Revolution

One of the things about the Texas Revolution that I hadn't considered was the possibility that brothers could face brother in combat. In other words, Brother A would be on the Texas side of the conflict and his own flesh and blood, Brother B, could be on the Mexican side of the war, much like the Civil War. Such a scenario played out in the Texas Revolution between Franciso Esparza in the Mexican Army and his brother, Gregorio, was a defender of the Alamo. Talk about your basic dilemma. Fortunately, francisco was not involved in the Mexican assault on the Alamo, yet his brother Gregorio was killed in the battle. Francisco obtained permission from his commander, General Cos (of whom will hear more later) , to retrieve the body of his dead brorther and give it a proper burial.

The document chronicles this event:

THE STATE OF TEXAS. ∫  Before me Saml. S. Smith, Clerk of the County
∫  Court of Bexar County personally appeared Fran-
COUNTY OF BEXAR ∫  cisco Esparza a Citizen of Bexar County to me
personally known, who being by me first duly sworn upon his oath saith that the late
Gregorio Esparza was his Brother; that said Gregorio Esparza about the middle of
October 1835.  entered the Texas service as a volunteer, and as such volunteer Soldier
he entered Bexar between the mornings of the 5th
 and 10th
 of December 1835.  with the
American forces; he remained in Bexar until the approach of Genl. Santa Anna when
he entered the Alamo, when he was killed with Cols. Travis, Crockett, Bowie and
the other Americans.  After the fall of the Alamo I applied and obtained permission
from Genl. Cos to take the body of my Brother (Gregorio Esparza) and bury it.  I
proceeded to the Alamo and found the dead body of my Brother in one of the Rooms
of the Alamo, he had received a ball in his breast, and a stab from a sword in his
side, I took his body in company with two of my brothers, took his body, and we
proceeded and interred it the burrying ground (Campo Santo) on the West side of the
San Pedro Creek, where it still lies.  My Brother at the takin of Bexar was under
the command of Col. Juan N. Seguin and Capt. Don Manuel Flores and a member of
their company.  I was not in service at the time of the Storming of Bexar, the company
to which I belonged the Local Presidial Company of Bexar, and the soldiers of the
company of the Alamo were under the Capitulation of Genl. Cos, allowed to remain
in Bexar with their families, I remained with my family, as I was born here, and
had always lived here;  When Santa Anna arrived here in Feb. 1836.  He gave orders
that all those who were the local Soldiers at the Capitulation of Genl. Cos, should
hold ourselves themselves in readiness to join the Army for active service, but he
never called us away from our homes.  I remained here, when Santa Anna’s Army
went into the interior of Texas, and I am now fifty-four years of age and have always
lived here ever since, and done and performed all the duties of a good Citizen, as
all my neighbors can testify.  I mention these facts to show the reason why permis-
sion was given me to bury the body of my Brother.  The legal heirs of my said De-
ceased Brother, Gregorio Esparza, are as follows “To Wit:”  Enriquez Esparza;
Manuel Esparza; and Francisco Esparza his sons, who are living now in AttascosoCounty together at their Ranche.
Sworn to and ∫ his
subscribed, (he ∫ Francisco         X        Esparza
making his mark for ∫           mark
signature declaring his ∫
inability to write) this ∫
 day of August 1859.  And I do hereby certify that the said Francisco Esparza is
personally known to me to be the identical person he represents himself to be, and
that he is a man of credibility, and a Citizen of Texas, and a resident of Bexar County.
And that after having read over the above depositions to the said deponent and no one
being present but him and myself and he being again duly sworn by me, he upon his
oath said that his depositions, as written out above, are true and correct, and he
signed the same in my presence, making his mark, declaring his inability to write.
In testimony where of I have hereunto signed
My name and affixed the seal of the County
Court of said county, at Office, in San Antonio
S E A L this 26th
 day of August 1859.
/s/ Sam S. Smith
Clk CCB Co

It's hard for me to imagine taking up arms against my younger brother, and be faced with the possibilty of having to kill him or be killed by him. (BTW, I do have a younger brother who just turned 21 in December)
Such a decision would only take a milli-second to make, but the lifetime of the horror of making such a decision would haunt me forever. Thank God, I'll never have tro make that choice, but my hesrt goes to those in the Texas Revolution who had no choice. It was war and war is hell. God rest the souls who were confronted with such a dilemma. God bless Texas!

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