Mexican War Veterans
Generously submitted by Cannon Pritchard.

      The War with Mexico in 1846-48 was a direct result of the 1845 annexation of the
Republic of Texas by the United States.  It was not a war that involved only the State of
Texas. Men who participated came from all over the nation, eagerly enlisting in volunteer
regiments raised by nearly every state, as well as the regular U.S. Army.  In Texas it was
no different.  State Senator George T. Wood of  Polk County had been elected to the
Congress  of the Republic of Texas in 1841 and served in the annexation convention in
    When the war began in 1846 he resigned from the State Senate and returned home to
Polk County to raise a company of men called the 2nd Texas Mounted Volunteers. The
personnel he recruited were primarily in  Liberty, Polk, and San Jacinto counties.  His
company was called Co. B, 2nd  Texas Mounted Volunteers and consisted of  75 men
who  were mustered into service on June 22,1846.  The original officers were  George T.
Wood, Captain;  Thaxton L. Epperson,  First Lieutenant;  and A.S. McGee, Second
Lieutenant. However, on  July 4, 1846 General Zachary Taylor promoted George T.
Wood to a Colonel and made Commander of the entire Regiment  of  600 men. Captain
J.M.W. Hall replaced Captain Wood as commander of  Company B.  The Company
marched to Mexico where they were involved in several battles including the Battle of

    Following the defeat of the Mexican Army and the occupation of  Mexico City, the
war  came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of  Guadalupe Hidalgo in February,
1848. Returning home victorious, the veterans of the war were hailed as heroes but no
medal was ever issued by the federal government and no national monument was ever
erected. The remains of most of the nearly 13,000 men who died (including many from
Polk County) were left buried in Mexican soil, in graves that have since become
forgotten and neglected.
    There were at least  50 men who were residents of  Polk County  and  fought in the
Mexican War. Of  this group eight  were buried in the County and have grave markers
today. They are:
1. Henry W. Augustine, born 1806 S.C. died 1874  Rank/Unit:  Private, Co. B.
        Grey's Battalion, Ark. Volunteers  Buried: Magnolia Cemetery
2. George P. Bean, born Nov.19,1819 Tenn., died Mar.6,1883  Rank/Unit: Private/ Co. B,
        2nd Tx Mtd Vol.  Buried: Old City Cemetery
3. John Davis, born Dec.17,1828 Jasper Co. Miss., died Apr.14,1909 Rank/Unit:
        Private,  Co. B, 2nd Tx Mtd. Vol.  Buried: Center Grove Cemetery
4. Thaxton L. Epperson, born  Oct. 1816, Ky  died 1904  Rank/ Unit:  1st Lt.,  Co. B.
        2nd Tx Mtd. Vol. Buried: Old City Cemetery
5. Manton E. Marsh, born Apr.2,1825, La  died Apr.2,1903  Rank/ Unit: Private,
        Perkins Co., 14th Tx. Infantry  Buried: Bold Springs Cemetery
6. Jospeh A. Sidney (J.A.S.) Turner, born Dec.27,1808  Ga.  died Nov.26,1869
        Rank/Unit:  Capt.,  First Georgia Infantry Buried: Turner Cemetery
7. Brice M. Wheat,  born May 8, 1816 Ala.  died Oct 1, 1894  Rank/Unit: Private,
        Capt. Peter Hansborough Bell's Company, Tx Mounted Vounteers,
        Buried: Nowlin Cemetery
8. Demetrius Willis,  born  Jan.14,1825 Lauderdale Co. Ala.  died Aug.12,1872
        Rank/Unit:  Private,  Co. A, Capt. Otis M.  Wheeler's Company, 2nd Tx Mounted
        Volunteers, Buried: Old City Cemetery.
9. Elcanah Capps, born 1825 Miss. ;  died 1898
        Rank/Unit: Pvt. Capt. Thomas J. Smith's Company of  Navarro County, Tx.
         2nd  Texas Mounted Volunteers  Buried: Peebles Cemetery (Goodrich)

Note: Thaxton L. Epperson and Demetrius Willis were the only Mexican War soldiers to
also serve in the Confederate States Army in Co. E, 20th Texas Infantry from Polk County.
Elcanah  Capps also served in the Civil War  as a Private in Co. D. 1st Tx Infantry, C.S.A.
    In 1874, the National Association of  Veterans of  the Mexican War was founded in
Washington, D. C. The organization's primary goal was federal legislation granting an $8
per month pension to surviving Mexican War veterans or their widows. Thanks to their
efforts this aim was achieved. Polk County residents/veterans and widows who received
the pensions were:

1. Ellener Bean, widow of  George P. Bean  WC-4686, Approved-16 Mar 1887.
2. Thaxton L. Epperson,  SC-860, Approved-27 Feb 1887.
3. Manton E. Marsh,  SC-12411 Approved-26 Jun 1903
4. Cynthia Marsh, widow  of  Manton E. Marsh,  WC-13482, Approved-26 Jun 1903.
5. Anna B. Willis, widow of  Demetrius Willis,  WC-5081, Approved-17 Mar 1887
6. Brice M. Wheat,  SC-11686,  Approved-20 Sep 1887.

There were  Polk County soldiers from Co. B, 2nd Texas Mounted Volunteers who
returned home after the war  and settled in other counties.
Those soldiers with grave markers are:
San Jacinto County:
        Colonel George T. Wood
        Robert B. Love
        James Keys
        Robert S. Rankin
Tyler  County:
        Peter M. Cauble
        William B. Barclay
        James R. Ratcliff
        Joseph Tipton
        Thomas Criswell.
Trinity County:
        A.D. Lancaster
        John Stanley
        Obediah Green
Walker County:
        Andrew J. Thompson
        Wiley J. Peace
        J.M. Hibbits
        Robert Hibbits
        William Burt
Liberty County:
        Ben F. Ellis
        John Green
        Capt. Otis M. Wheeler
Travis County:
        Capt. J.M.W. Hall.
Anderson County:
        W.S.A. Kirksey
        William B. Young.
Eastland County:
        Silas C. Shirley,  ( farrier of the Regiment)

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