1836 - Henry Mason Morfit wrote the first of a series of ten letters about Texas to President Andrew Jackson. Morfit, a State Department employee, had been sent to Texas to report on the strengths and weaknesses of the new republic. Texas officials knew that U.S. recognition of Texas independence was vital to the republic's survival. That recognition hinged, however, upon the new country's ability to stave off possible Mexican efforts at reconquest. Morfit was doubtful that Texas would be able to do this, and he reported to Jackson accordingly.
He stated that the Texas population was small, that the new republic was in serious debt, that there was a vast area of disputed jurisdiction, and that independence was far from secure. In December, Jackson referred to Morfit's pessimistic report as he handed the decision over to the U.S. Congress. The following spring, however, Powhatan Ellis, U.S. minister to Mexico, reported to the U.S. Congress that Mexico was suffering from anarchy, revolution, and bankruptcy, and that the Mexicans could not possibly invade Texas.
Whereupon, on March 1, 1837, the United States sent a "diplomatic agent," Alcée Louis La Branche, as chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas. This diplomatic recognition was but one step leading eventually to annexation. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmo46 ]
1836 - D. J. Woodlief, settler and soldier, was born near Petersburg, Virginia. Woodlief moved to Washington County, Texas, in 1828 and settled in Lorenzo de Zavala's grant, receiving a half league of land. He also acquired property on Hidalgo Bluff, near the Falls of the Brazos, between Independence and Washington-on-the-Brazos, and with his brother Thomas C. was locally involved in real estate. Woodlief's log house has been restored and bears a historical marker.
Woodlief fought at the battle of San Jacinto as a member of Henry W. Karnes's cavalry company, under the command of Mirabeau B. Lamar, and also was one of the Second Regiment Texas Volunteers Cavalry Company, better known as Sherman's raiders. Woodlief commanded the Texian forces at Velasco after San Jacinto and on June 13, 1836, ordered Capt. William H. Patton to remove Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna from Velasco to Columbia (West Columbia) and thence to Washington, D.C.
On August 13, 1836, Woodlief was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Texan army. In 1838 President Lamar mentioned his name (together with Col. Edwin Morehouse) as a possible leader of a regiment of 500 volunteers to join Gen. José Antonio Mexia, a Federalist, who was planning an expedition against Mexican Centralist forces at Tampico. In 1839 Woodlief, as second in command of Karnes's cavalry regiment, participated in the Cherokee War in East Texas in which Chief Bowl was killed; Camp Woodlief was named in his honor. Woodlief served as a Texas Ranger and was a volunteer during the Mexican War. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwoly ]
1862 - The battle of Corpus Christi occurred during the summer of 1862, while the coast of Texas from Cavallo Pass to Corpus Christi was under blockade by the USS Arthur. The Arthur's commander, acting lieutenant John W. Kittredge, was bold and aggressive, and his activities over a period of seven months caused grave concern to Texas military officials and near panic among coastal residents. On August 13 Kittredge, under a flag of truce, landed at Corpus Christi and insisted on his right to inspect all United States government buildings there, but was rebuffed by Confederate major Alfred M. Hobby and threatened to take the city by force.
Kittredge agreed to a forty-eight-hour truce to allow civilians to evacuate but forbade military preparations during that time. Although he had no more than 100 men aboard his five vessels, Kittredge-with one Parrott gun, eight thirty-two-pounders, and a twelve-pound howitzer-was better armed than the Texans ashore. Although the battle of Corpus Christi was acclaimed throughout the state as the "Vicksburg of Texas," the victory brought no permanent security to the city's citizens. The defending soldiers were soon withdrawn, leaving the city vulnerable to forays by a United States military force that occupied nearby Mustang Island during 1863–64. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qec03 ]
1870 - Limestone and San Jacinto counties are chartered by the State legislature.
1906 - The Brownsville Raid of August 13–14, 1906, an alleged attack by soldiers from companies B, C, and D of the black Twenty-fifth United States Infantry stationed at Fort Brown, resulted in the largest summary dismissals in the annals of the United States Army. The First Battalion, minus Headquarters and Company A, arrived at Brownsville, a community of 6,000, from recent duty in the Philippines and Fort Niobrara, Nebraska, on July 28. The soldiers immediately confronted racial discrimination from some businesses and suffered several instances of physical abuse from federal customs collectors. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/pkb06 ]
1912 - Future golf legend, Ben Hogan was born in Stephenville, Texas.
1927 - The Gulf and West Texas Railway Company was chartered on August 13, 1927, to connect San Angelo and San Antonio, 250 miles apart. It was to use the Kerrville branch of the Southern Pacific to reach Kerrville and the Fredericksburg and Northern to reach Fredericksburg. Thereafter it was to build its own track to San Angelo. It also planned to lease a branch from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. The initial capital was $300,000.
The principal place of business was San Antonio. Members of the first board of directors were R. W. Morrison, J. M. Bennett, and Albert Steves, Sr., of San Antonio; Robert Driscoll, Richard M. Kleberg, and W. W. Jones, of Corpus Christi; and W. C. Blanks, R. A. Hall, and John Y. Rust, of San Angelo. The company was sold to the Southern Pacific in 1930, but the project was abandoned due to the Great Depression.
1952 - John E. Kilmer, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Highland Park, Illinois, and entered military service in Texas. Hospitalman John E. Kilmer, United States Navy, was attached to a rifle company of the First Marine Division, in action against enemy forces in Korea on August 13, 1952. His company was engaged in defending a vitally important hill position well forward of the main line of resistance.
Kilmer repeatedly braved intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire as he moved from position to position, administering aid to the wounded, and assisting in their evacuation. Even after he was wounded by mortar fragments, he inched his way through a hail of enemy fire to the side of a stricken marine. While he was tending to the wounds of his comrade, the enemy launched another barrage into the immediate area.
Kilmer covered the wounded Marine with his own body and was himself mortally wounded by the mortar fire. By his gallant self-sacrifice, he saved the life of a comrade. The San Antonio Express-News of May 21, 1989, reported that Kilmer was the only San Antonian to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Korea. He is buried in San José Burial Park, San Antonio.
1995 - Baseball legend, Mickey Mantle dies of cancer at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Following his retirement, Mantle eventually settled in Dallas, where the Mickey Mantle foundation is currently located.
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