In my attempt to piece together the life of William Hesskew I have began to explore the lives of men he is known to have had relationships with. The following is a study of the of the life of Steven Jett, a presumed companion of Wm. Hesskew.
The Battle of Salado -The Walls Campaign - 1842
We know that according to the narrative by James Nichols that subsequent to Steven Jett's death at the battle of Salado, Wm.Hesskew had retrieved the body of his friend Steve Jett for burial. Steven was killed at the battle of Salado in 1842. Nichols suggested that Jett and Wm. worked on a ranch together and that Wm. would take his body back for burial.
The following account by Miles S. Bennet, says that Jett's brother Matt was in attendance at the battle and says Steve Jett was buried at the Salado? Why the discrepancies, I do not know. Anyway, what is clear from the out take of Miles S. Bennet's version of the battle below) is that Steve Jouett, was a San Jacinto solder, a noted settler from the "old stone ranch" near the Medina Was Wm. working on the "Old Stone Ranch" in the fall of 1842 near Medina?
Below are out takes from the references to Steven Jett made by
Miles Bennet. It will be interesting to attempt to
establish Wm.'s connection to The Ranch and or Medina in 1842.
The full story of the Salado by Miles Bennet is available
at the Son
of Dewitt web site.
Events Leading to and the Battle of Salado by Miles S. Bennet (From a series of articles in the Cuero Star and Houston Post in 1898 constructed from the diary and notes of Miles Squier Bennet, a participant and son of Texian Quartermaster General and DeWitt Colonist, Major Valentine Bennet. Bennet also obviously used material from a description by close comrade James Ramsay in 1882 and probably from other eyewitness reports of his acquaintances. Headings are added by the current author and compiler)
Steve Jouett, A San Jacinto solder, now a noted
settler from the "old stone ranch" near the Medina While there and before the
battle became very hot, two of our men, Steve Jouett, A
San Jacinto solder, now a noted settler from the "old stone
ranch" near the Medina, and Simon Kockerell of Gonzales,
passed the guard going down the creek. I was personally
acquainted with them, and upon challenging them they said they
were "going to shoot some of them Indian on their own
account" Nothing more was thought of it at the time, as we
all soon had our attention fully occupied all along the front,
the dusk of the evening Kockerell came in all wet and muddy with
his arm broken. He stated that they found plenty of Indians in
the brush below, some of whom chased Jouett in a westerly
direction, while he himself, after receiving wounds, crawled into
the creek under a leaning tree and narrowly escaped capture. In front the enemys
cannot were all masked by their infantry and cavalry, and opened
fire at point blank range, which was followed by charges at first
upon our center and left wing, while on our right the enemy
poured down the hollow and tried to drive us from our guard fire.
Among the Gonzales boys on guard here were Barney and Wilson
Randall, William Lockhart and John V. Law, a rollicking
Englishman; the efficient support afforded by Camerons
company here secured successful resistance against the renegade
Cordova, who, with many of his adherents, were slain on this part
of the field. During the discharge of the artillery, Captain
Birds order was "Lie low, boys, and be ready for the
charge." The Mexican buglers well up in front sounded their
clarines. Upon their approach Bird sprang up, shouting,
"Now, boys, let them have it," and the firing became
general, compelling the foe to fall back to their cannon, leaving
the ground strewn with their dead and wounded, their bugles and
even their muster rolls falling into our hands. These charges
were repeated, and the fighting on our right was severe, the
enemy there being strengthened by a body of Carrizo Indians. A
portion of them, however, were drawn off in the pursuit of Jouett
and Kockerel. The Mexicans would not remain close to us,
but finding they could not drive us by their sudden charges,
would rapidly fall back to their artillery, which would be
repeated. Some of our men were soon wounded, Scotch Callahan
severely; Ben Powers, R. Clark and Jesse Zumwalt, each in an arm.
Among others, Sol Simmons, who in company with his friend, Nathan
Burkitt [Burket], had joined us at Seguin, and, as they rode into
camp, were noticeable for their homely, rawhide character of
their equipment, showing their ability to do good service and
sustain themselves on a
long campaign, where every man had to rely upon himself without
any hope of commissary supplies or government rations. As the
beef came in late on the morning of the day of battle, our
Simmons, a large, muscular man, having nothing else to breakfast
upon consumed a large share of it, and now receiving in his
abdomen a ball from a Mexican escopeta, became very sick and was
quite despondent in view of his death, but the quiet manner of
our good Dr. Brown as he in the evening carefully examine the
wound, was worthy of praise, and his cheerful assurance that
Simmons was out of danger, for the over gorge of beef would certainly have
killed him unless he had received as an antidote an ounce of
copper, which, it is true, would have dispatched him had he not
been so fortified with beef. This remark called forth
considerable mirth from the attendants and relieved our wounded
friend also. Among others on our left center was our Methodist
friend, Daniel Carl, who had been in the habit of carrying his
musket on a part of his preaching circuit on account of Indians,
and now having extra good use for it, he stood squarely up in the
line, demurely ejaculating, as was said by his comrades,
"The Lord have mercy on their souls," as he repeatedly
discharged his musket into the charging columns of the enemy.
Being almost certain of the death by Indians of Steve Jouett, his brother, Matt, and friends instituted a search for him, and finding his poor mangled body stripped and scalped, brought it in, and taking garments for his grave clothes from the dead chieftain, Cordova, buried it on the bank of the Salado. These Jouett boys had been soldiers in the army of San Jacinto, and receiving land certificates for military service had located and established themselves near the Medina river, at that time unoccupied by white men. They were in constant danger from robber Mexicans and hostile Indians, and as early as 1838 they, with Arch Jones and William K. Hargis of Gonzales, withstood a memorable attack of the Comanches, who harassed them for several days, Matt Jouett, with old Captain Simeon Bateman of Gonzales, was murdered several years later while traveling near Virginia Point. Through John W. Smith, who at night visited his friends in San Antonio, we were soon apprised that the enemy in possession did not expect reinforcements and their actions indicated an immediate retreat
Other accounts of the Battle of Salado by Benjamin Highsmith identify Steven Jett as a ranger that rode with Hays to San Antonio to draw the Mexican army out to fight. ( see exert below ).
"Captain Hays was then sent with part of his rangers to draw the Mexicans out to Caldwell's position. They advanced to within half a mile of the Alamo, and cut up many antics on their horses in a bantering way to get the Mexican cavalry to pursue them. In this they succeeded, for soon 400 cavalry came out and charged them. A lively chase now commenced back to the position of Caldwell. Mr. Highsmith was not in this chase, but remembers the following names of those who were: H. E. McCulloch, Kit Ackland, Stuart Foley, Creed Taylor, Andrew Sowell, Big Foot Wallace, Ad Gillispie, Sam Waters, Sam Luckey, and a man named Jett who was killed in the battle which followed on the creek."
Other accounts tell of the fact that the men that rode into
town where out of necessity on the best horses the men had.
Many of the horses that the Texans had were not quality animals of the likes needed to out run the Mexican calvary. The daring ride into San Antonio to draw the Mexican Army out to their position on the Salado became quite a chase. The Salado was about 6-7 miles east of the Alamo. Hays had to hold the men back to avoid the Mexicans in overtaking 1 of his party because the horse was falling behind. The gap between the small group of Texans and the large Mexican Calvary had become quite precarious from the original 1/2 mile lead they enjoyed at the outset.
Evidence that a man's life was dependent on the speed and stamina of his horse is supported below.
"San Antonio depended on its "Minute Men" to chase the Comanches whose reprisals were many and constant for their losses in the Council House. The Minute Men had been organized in San Antonio by Jack Hays to combat the constant Comanche raids. Volunteers to pursue the Indians were notified by a flag that waved on the Plaza In front of the court house and by the ringing of the Cathedral bell.
They continued to hold their horses ready, just as they had done in 1838 and in 1839.
Mrs. Maverick described the Minute Men thus:
In the stable we built on our house lot, Mr. Maverick kept a fine-blooded horse, fastened by a heavy padlocked chain to a mesquite-picket. The door of the stable was securely locked also, for every precaution was necessary to prevent his being stolen. This was the "war horse." Mr. Maverick was a member of the Volunteer Company of "Minute Men" commanded by the celebrated Jack Hays ... Each volunteer kept a good horse, saddle, bridle and arms, and a supply of coffee, salt, sugar and other provisions ready at any time to start on fifteen minutes warning, in pursuit of marauding Indians. At a certain signal given by the Cathedral bell, the men were off, in buckskin clothes and blankets responding promptly to the call."
(Memoirs of Mary Maverick)
The facts are that Steven was probably a Texas Ranger having rode with Hays quite some time. It may be that he and his brother were surveyors as were many of the Rangers that rode with Hays. The Republic of Texas was not always able to keep the Rangers employed full time and frequently they had to support themselves through other means. Surveying the frontier of Texas west of San Antonio in hostile Comanche lands was dangerous work. The Rangers frequently provided that protection when asked and as enterprising young men intent on making their own fortune.
As I have studied for links of my ancestor, William Hesskew's association with the Rangers, I located the following Muster roll to support the facts that Steven and Matthew Jett were part of a Ranger Spy Company in 41, prior to the Salado.
An account of some of the Jett boys activities during this Muster Roll period are located here in Red, as described by the book, The Texas Rangers, by Walter P Webb.
Additional information on the Jett Family
Used with permission- excerpts from Pages 216-218
By the time of the Texas Revolution in which Texas won its independence from Mexico, there were several Jett brothers, sons of John Jett and Mary White of White County, TN in the State to acquire cheap land and make their fortune. These young men were James Madison Jett, b July 18, 1811. Came to Fayette County, TX around 1835, later settling on the Medina River in Bexar County, near San Antonio. James was not married, so he soon signed up as a soldier for the cause of Texas in the Battle for Independence. James was in the Battle of San Jacinto. His name is on the San Jacinto Monument. He later accompanied Deaf Smith on his expedition to Laredo in February 1837. His enlistment term expired Apr. 9, 1837, but he remained in service as a Texas Ranger off and on until his death in 1845. He was the victim of what became one of early Texas most famous murder cases. He, along with a friend, Simon Bateman, were on their way to Galveston to catch a paddle wheel steamboat for a voyage to New Orleans. While camped out enroute, both Jeff and Bateman were shot through the head and robbed by a traveling companion, a man named Schultz. Some nine years later, Schultz was captured, tried and convicted, and later executed on June 29, 1855.
2. STEPHEN JETT, b. Feb 11, 1813 also fought for Texas in the Battle of San Jacinto. His name is also on the Monument. He survived that battle but also was the victim of an untimely death He was killed at the Battle of Salado Creek near San Antonio on September 18, 1842 when the Mexican forces under General Woll overran San Antonio in an attempt to recapture Texas. He happened to be in San Antonio serving as a member of the Grand Jury. The Mexicans came suddenly into town, capturing the entire District Court. Stephen and other members of the Court were put in jail. The Texans mustered a small force and engaged the Mexicans in battle. In the confusion that ensued, Stephen and a companion managed to escape and make their way to join the Texas forces. Reaching the battlefield, they staked their horses and slipped over to the Texans side. After the fighting ceased, Stephen started back for his horse. Upon reaching his horse, he was confronted by a body of Mexicans. He drew his six-shooter and succeeded in killing six of them one for each load in his pistol. Stephen Jeff was the only Texan fatality reported in this baffle.
3.WILLIAM GLENN JETT, was a younger brother of James Madison and Stephen Jeff, who apparently came to Texas some time after his brothers. He was b. in White County, TN on Apr 5, 1821 and d. at San Antonio, TX on Dec 24, 1872. William Jeff m. Ruth Clarmnda Kuykendall, b. July 8, 1835 in Fayette Co. TX and d. June 1, 1926 in San Antonio. William Jeff served in the Texas Rangers at various times after the revolution. There is a rifle on display in the Long Barracks Museum just behind the Alamo. This rife was owned by William Jett in 1850.
Jett Trails West
The following excerpts from a letter written in Texas by James Madison (Matthew) Jett to his parents, John & Mary (Polly) Jett were taken from THE THACKER COLLECTION OF JETT LETTERS. See pages 56 and 106 for other letters from this collection.
Bexar County, San Antonio May 18, 1838
Dear Farther & Mother & Brothers & Sisters
Red your letter on the 15th of this month that was dated January 7th. It gives us great satisfaction you was all well and doing well but we was very much astonished to hear of Patsey's wedding. Tell Patsey and Mr. Jared that me and Stephen send them our verry best wishes and compliments to them and wish them much joy - - - I think it would be to their advantage to come to Texas. I think that if they would come they would be pleased with the country. I think they could do better here than they could do in Tennessee. This is new land and it is cheap - that all they would have to doo is raise a little corn for their bread and get them a small stock and they would grow rich from in crease of their stock.
---When we want to kill our stock, we don't have to put them up in a pen to fatten them. They are all year round as fat as they can walk --[he goes on to tell about life in Texas and particularly about bounty lands given for service in the Texas Revolution.] I am coming home to get married if I can find a girl. that suits. A young man gets paid for maring here- - -I would get 3130 more acres if ·I get married before the first of January next, which will be something worth marring. Tell John & William I want them to write to me and Stephen and to write to no hoo they go to see and hoo come to see. Give our love to all of the children --- Farther when you write again, I wish you would write how the horse looks & comes on & how the gray mare Timptation's colt looks --Tell Mother that I have sent her a lock of my hair - - and we will be home [faded] hope we will have the pleasure of taking you all by the hands and bidding you all howdy doo. Of if you all was in the grasp of my arms, I would grasp you now. I will remain your dutiful son until death.
Jas M Jett
SIX SONS OF JOHN JETT and Mary White migrated to Texas at or soon after the Texas Revolution. These included Stephen and James Madison (referred to in Texas histories as James Matthew) who came to Fayette County around 1835, later settling on the Medina River near San Antonio. Neither of these two young men were married, so they soon signed up as soldiers for the cause of Texas. Both of them were at the Battle of San Jacinto, where Texas won its independence from Mexico. Each was awarded one-third of a league of Land on the Medina River in Bexar County for his services. In L. W. Kemp's Heroes of San Jacinto it is recorded that they were born in White County TN. Through some error, their brother William G. Jett was shown as their father. James was described as 5 feet, 11 inches in height, of fair complexion with blue eyes and light hair. Stephen was shown as having been five feet, eight inches tall and also having fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair. Both later served as Texas Rangers whose principal function at that time was to keep down Indian attacks.
James Madison (Matthew) Jett accompanied Deaf Smith on his expedition to Laredo in February 1837. His enlistment term expired April 9, 1837, but he remained in the service, off and on until his death in 1845. The following is quoted from Indian Depredations in Texas. by J. W. Wilbarger who tells something about the caliber of these young men:
"One day in 1842, Matthew Jett, who lived on the Medina River, in Bexar County, and was one of the early pioneers of that section, discovered three Indians approaching his house. He left the house and walked hastily away. The Indians entered it and began to plunder it at their leisure, supposing that they had frightened Jett so badly that he would not venture to return--which proves conclusively that they were not well posted as to the character of that gentleman. Whilst they were busily occupied in plundering the house, Jett came back, stepped to the door and deliberately shot one of the Indians down. He then entered the house, knocked another over with the breech of his gun, and shot the third with a pistol as he endeavored to escape. In this way he succeeded in killing the whole party. No man
JETT TRAILS WEST
rendered more service to the country than did Mr. Jett while he lived."
There is a good deal of information available about his death, as he was one of the victims in what became one of early Texas most famous murder cases. As reported in the Texas Bar Journal of February 1965, in the small town of Gonzales, Simon Bateman, a fairly wealthy "planter," his hired hand John Shultz, and James Matthew Jett set out on muleback for Virginia Point near Galveston. James Jett and Bateman were planning to ride the ferry over to Galveston where they intended to board the paddlewheel steam boat NEW YORK for a voyage to New Orleans, and Shultz was to take the mules back to Gonzales. Arriving at Virginia Point, the three camped out for the night before separating for their various journeys.
That night Simon Bateman and James Matthew Jett were murdered as they slept on the prairie. Both men were shot through the head. Next morning Shultz caught the ferry and boarded the steamer. The bodies of Bateman and Jett were found shortly after Shultz sailed away from Virginia Point on the ferryboat.
Suspicion immediately pointed to Shultz. Officers were quickly dispatched in pursuit of the murderer, and they succeeded in tracking him as far as Mobile, but he managed to make his getaway. On May 1, 1845, a Galveston grand jury brought in two indictments against him, charging him with murder in each case. Some nine years later, Shultz was discovered living in South Carolina and was brought back to Galveston for tria1. The jury returned a verdict of murder in the first degree and assessed the death penalty.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas on the basis that the indictment was brought under the Republic of Texas and he was convicted by the State of Texas. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and Shultz was finally hanged on June 29, 1855, more than ten years after the crime.
The life of Stephen Jett was equally tumultuous. Although the occupation shown on his enlistment papers in the Texas Army showed "farmer", we have no indication that he ever served in that capacity. Following the end of his enlistment, he followed the example of his brother James Matthew, and enlisted in the Texas Rangers, serving under various captains in various parts of the state.
In Early History of Fayette County, by Leonie Rummel Weygand and Houston Wade, we learn that Stephen Jett was killed at the Battle of Salado Creek near San Antonio on September 18, 1842 when the Mexican forces under General Woll over ran San
JETT TRAILS WEST
Antonio in an attempt to recapture Texas. The story, as told by Mrs. William Jett, the wife of a brother of Stephen and James Madison, describes the event as follows:
"A brother of my husband, Stephen Jett, was killed at the close of the battle. At the time he was living on the Medina River in Bexar County, and had gone to San Antonio to attend District Court, having been summoned as a member of the Grand Jury. The Mexicans came suddenly into town, capturing the entire District Court. Stephen and most of the members of the court were put in jail. The Texians rapidly gathered near what is now Government Hill to attack the Mexicans, and soon a considerable force had collected. The Mexicans decided to start the attack themselves, before additional reinforcements could reach the Texians, and in the bustle and confusion and excitement incident in their going out to battle, Stephen and a companion succeeded in freeing themselves. They procured Mexican sombreros, and finding their horses, road out undetected with the Mexican troops. Reaching the battlefield, they staked their horses and slipped over to the Texians side. Both went through the battle without a scratch."
"After the fighting had ceased Stephen started back for his horse. His companion refused to go with him, and tried to dissuade him, saying the Mexicans had no doubt discovered their horses and would be waylaying the place for the riders. Stephen replied that his horse had taken him out of many bad places (as a Ranger) and that he was going to get him. On reaching his horse (which he would not abandon) he was confronted by a body of Mexicans. He drew his six-shooter and succeeded in killing six of them, two officers and four privates - one for each load in the pistol - before he was himself killed. When found, his body had been badly beaten with guns by the Mexicans. He was buried on the battlefield in a grave dug with bayonets. His horse was taken by the Mexicans, but got loose, and after several weeks, came back to the place on the Medina" (Stephen Jett apparently was the only fatality of this battle.)
William Glenn Jett was a younger brother of James Madison and Stephen Jett who apparently came to Texas some time after his brothers. He was born in White County, TN on 5 Apr 1821 and d. at San Antonio, TX on 24 Dec 1872. He was Administrator for the estate of James Madison and Stephen as reflected by the Probate Records of Bexar County, in Book AB, at page 74. William Jett m. Ruth Clarinda Kuykendall, b. 8 July, 1835 at Fayette Co TX and d. at San Antonio TX on 1 June 1926. She was the daughter of Absolom Kuykendall, b. 25 Aug. 1814 at Franklin Co., TN and Nancy Dean, b. 17 Dec. 1817. William Jett served in the Texas Rangers at various times after the Texas Revolution. There is reported to be a rifle on display
JETT TRAILS WEST
at the Alamo museum in San Antonio TX contributed by him or his family.
We have not done extensive research on the family of William Glenn Jett, but do have this record of one descendent. Mrs. Dorothy Alma Pegg Eckert, a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas based on her lineage from William Glenn Jett and Ruth Clarinda Kuykendall, corresponded with Lois Jett, also a member of the DRT. Dorothy is the daughter of Delbert Charles Pegg, b. 3 July 1899 at San Antonio, d. 23 Dec 1955, m. 3 May 1922 Alma Frees, b. 20 Oct 1899. Delbert Charles Pegg was the son of Walter M. Pegg, b. 20 May 1868 Clairmont Co OH, d. San Antonio 11 Aug 1926, m. June 3, 1890 to Ruth Jett, b. 28 Dec 1868. Ruth Jett was the daughter of William Glenn Jett and Ruth Clarinda Kuykendall. Ruth C. was the daughter of Absolom Kuykendall, b. 25 Aug 1814 at Franklin Co TN, d. San Antonio 1 Jan, 1900. Absolom m. 14 Sept 1834 to Nancy Dean, b. 17 Dec 1817 at Nashville, TN, and d. 2 May, 1853 at San Antonio.
As indicated earlier, many historians and researchers have been confused by the similarity of names. Certainly, it is unusual that there were at least eight Jett men in Texas before 1836 - our Stephen, and his three sons James, John and Absolom (to be discussed in more detail later) and four sons of John Jett of White County, TN - James Madison, Stephen, William and Ferdinand. All eight were active in either the Army or Rangers during this period and most of them filed for and received land grants from either the. Mexican government or the Republic of Texas. In addition, it is believed that two other sons of John Jett, Archibald and Woodson, were in Texas soon after this time. All of these Jett men were early Texas pioneers and certainly contributed to the defense and settling of our Lone Star State
Jett Trails West and Jett
Used with permission of Author
"Jett Trails West (now out of print) and Jett Trails Revisited (Copies still available at $45 each). " Contact Ernest Jett for details
THE ALAMO HEROES AND THEIR ANCESTORS
A Bicentennial Project in 1976 (by the Alamo DAR, 0' Shavano DAR, and San Antonio de Bexar DAR Chapters) lists William Well, Sr., a native of Hall Co GA, as one who gave his life at the Alamo. He was the son of Charles Wells and Sarah Lewis. Charles' father was Samuel Wells and Ann Farrow. Samuel was b. 1708 the son of Charles Wells and Mary Edwards of Prince William Co, VA. William Wells was a close friend of James Bowie. James was the son of Rezin Bowie and Elvie Jones who left Georgia, moved to Tennessee for six or seven years, then went into Missouri Province, KY, later settling on Bayou Boef, Rapides Par, LA about 1802. James was in the old Opelousas District, LA before coming to Texas. While we can't prove it, we believe William Wells is related to the Jett family of Virginia and Possibly the Wells of Tarkington.
San Jacinto Memorial Museum
San Jacinto Monument, Texas
JETT, JAMES MATTHEW -- Born in Tennessee in 1812. He came to Texas sometime between May 2, 1835 and March 2, 1836. In the head- right certificate issued to him February 1, 1838 for one-third of a league of land it is stated that he arrived prior to March 2, 1836 Had he arrived prior to May 2, 1835, it would have been so stated in the certificate.
At least four of the sons of William G. ( Wm. G is a brother not his father) Jett, James Matthew, Stephen, William, and Ferdinand, emigrated to Texas from Tennessee and two of them, James Matthew and Stephen, participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, The brothers, and presumably their father, first settled on the Brazos. William and his wife moved to what is now Fayette County and settled near the home of Abner Kuykendall. Mrs. Jett was a daughter of Absolom Kuykendall. Abner and Absolom Kuykendall were brothers. Ferdinand Jett likewise moved to Fayette County and died there of yellow fever during an epidemic. James Matthew and Stephen Jett, after the Battle of San Jacinto, moved to what is now Medina County, then a part of Bexar County.
James Matthew and Stephen Jett were members of Captain Richard Roman's company at San Jacinto. At the retirement of Captain Roman, his company was commanded by Captain Nicholas M. Dawson. from a muster roll of Captain Daweon' s Company found in the Archives of the State Library at Austin, the following information concerning the two brothers was obtained: Both were shown as having been born in White, Tennessee, James Matthew in 1812 and Stephen in 1814. They were living on the Brazos River when recruited by Captain Roman, April 9, 1836, for a period of one year.
James Matthew was described as being 5 feet 11 inches in height; of fair complexion with blue eyes and light hair. His occupation was shown as that of a blacksmith.
Stephen was shown as having been 5 feet 8 inches in height; of fair complexion with blue eyes and light hair.
James Matthew Jett accompanied Deaf Smith on his expedition to Laredo in February 1837. His term of enlistment expired April 9, 1837, but he remained in the service, off and on, as a ranger up to the time of his death in 1845. His San Jacinto donation certificate, No 978, was issued December 16, 1839.
Mrs. William Jett in her memoirs told of the tragic deaths of James Matthew and Stephen Jett. She insisted that one of the brothers was named James Madison instead of James Matthew. The probate records of Bexar County, Book AB, page 74, however, show that the father, William G. Jett, gave the name as "Matthew." Mrs. Jett first tells of the death of Stephen Jett while serving under Captain Matthew Caldwell at the battle fought on Salado Creek near San Antonio, 1842: "A number of men from LaGrange reached San Antonio in time to take part in the battle of Salado. Jerome Alexander, whom we knew, was killed in the battle. Also a brother of my husband, Stephen Jett, was killed at the close of the battle. He at that time was living on the Medina River in Bexar County and had gone to San Antonio to attend court, having been summoned as a member of the Grand Jury. The Mexicans captured most of the court and Stephen was put in jail. In the bustle and excitement attendant to the Mexicans going out to attack the Texans, Stephen and a companion succeeded in freeing themselves. They procured Mexican sombreros and finding their horses rode out undetected with the Mexican troops. Reaching the battle field they staked their horses and slipped over to the Texas side. Both went through the battle with-out a scratch. After the fighting had ceased Stephen started lack for his horse. His companion refused to go with him and tried to dissuade him, saying the Mexicans had no doubt discovered their horses and would be waylaying the place for the riders. Stephen replied that his horse had taken him out of many bad places and that he was going to him. On reaching the horse, he was confronted by a body of Mexicans,
He drew his six-shooter and succeeded in killing six of them, two officers and four privates, one for each load in his pistol, before he himself was killed. When found his body bad been badly beaten with guns by the Mexicans. He was buried on the battle field in a grave dug with bayonets. His horse had been taken by the Mexicans but got loose and after several weeks came back to his place on the Medina."
James Matthew Jett and Simeon Batemen were assassinated by John 0. Schultz, while asleep in their camp at Virginia Point, Galveston County, January 10, 1845. In January 1845 Mr. Jett left the ranger service with the intention of returning to Tennessee to visit his mother. In company with Mr. Bateman and Schultz, he left Gonzales for Galveston intending there to take a boat for New Orleans. He carried with him about $600.00. Mr. Bateman had a large sum of money with him intending to buy some negroes at New Orleans. Schultz, a German, accompanied them for the purpose of returning their horses to Gonzales. While Jett and Bateman were asleep at Virginia Point Schultz murdered and robbed them. Jett was shot in the head and instantly killed. Bateman was evidently left for dead by Schultz, but before dying he regained strength enough to write a note and give the name of his slayer. The two were found by Griff Jones, a brother of Enoch Jones. Schultz was not arrested for ten years. A young lady from from Gon-zales who had known Schultz was visiting in South Carolina and learned that he was there. She pointed him out to officers as the man who had murdered Jett and Batemen and he was arrested and returned to Galveston for trial. He was tried and given the death sentence. His cases was appealed to the Supreme Court and was reported in Supreme Court Reports of Texas, Vol. 12 or 13, page 401. He was denied a new trial and before being hung June 29, 1855, confessed that it was he who had assassinated Captain Henry Teal as he slept in his tent on a stormy night at Camp Bowie on the night of May 5, 1837.
JETT, STEPHEN -- Born in White, Tennessee in 1814. On page 8 of the list of applicants for land in Robertson's Colony In the Spanish Archives in the General Land Office It is Shown that when on January 11, 1836 Mr. Jett applied for land in Robertson's Colony he gave his age as 22. He did not secure the land and on February 1, 1838 he was granted a headright certificate for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners of Bexar County. In the certificate it is simply stated that he had arrived in Texas prior to March 2, 1836.
This means he arrived sometimes after May 2, 1835, for had he arrived prior to May 2, it would have been so stated in the certificate.
Mr. Jett was a member of Captain Richard Roman's Company at San Jacinto and on December 14. 1840 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 1100 for having participated in the battle. On May 12. 1838 he received Bounty Certificate No. 3334 for 1280 acres of land for his services in the army from April 9, 1836 to May 9, 1837.
Tuesday, May 30, 2000 1:52 PM
It is possible that both accounts could be accurate as it was quite common to bury a body on the battlefield and then after the hostilities or even some time later to exhume the body and bring it back to the hometown for reburial. This was common in the Civil War and in earlier conflicts as well.
Perhaps Juett's brother buried the body at Salado not knowing yet what the final outcome of the battle or campaign would be and had an understanding with Hesskew that one way or another, when time allowed, that the body would be brought back to the ranch. Or perhaps they had no such plan at the moment of the Salado burial but after some hours of sentimental ruminating decided it was "too lonely" there on the banks of the Salado.
I'm recalling the words from the Texas folk song "Bury me not on the lone' prairie".People were often sentimental about that thing. They may also have been afraid that the Indians might return, find and mutilate the body where it
was. Such things happened.
Hope all is well.
Map of the Battle of Salado | Battle of the Salado Creek 1842 | Handbook of Texas Online: Salado Creek, Battle | Battle of Salado According to James Nichols | Multiple accounts of the Battle of Salado | The Vasquez and Wall's campaigns in Texas 1842
Moses Heskew |William Alexander Hesskew
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