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Celebrating San Jacinto Day when San Jacinto Veterans Were Still Alive  

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tracesoftexas
(@tracesoftexas)
Honorable Member Admin

Dr. S.O. Young wrote:

 

"In early days there were a great many survivors of San Jacinto living in or near Houston and San Jacinto Day, April 21, was always celebrated in great style. The "Twin Sisters" were taken down to the corner of Commerce Street and a salute was fired, after which the town was literally turned over to the heroes of San Jacinto. I remember well one of the most conspicuous of them. He was Tierwester, an old Frenchman. At the battle of San Jacinto he had a powder horn slung to his neck. This powder horn was a cow's horn scraped very thin and had a wooden plug at the large end and a small plug at the little end of the horn. During the battle a Mexican bullet struck this horn and entered through one side, but did not have enough force to go out the other. Tierwester never removed the ball, but on San Jacinto Day he came to the reunion wearing his horn round his neck and the drunker he got the louder he told the story and rattled the bullet. He was a great character and lived and died in what was then known as Frosttown, not far from the Hutchins residence, now the center of Houston almost.

But these San Jacinto celebrations were not always fun alone. Tragedy cropped up occasionally. I remember one which occurred when I was a little boy. The "Twin Sisters" had been taken out, as usual, for the salute. A man named Tom Ewing took charge of the big end of the gun and volunteered to hold his thumb on the vent hole, a necessary precaution to keep the gun from exploding after it became heated. Mr. Warren Stansbury performed the duty of loading the piece. The salute was about half over and Stansbury was ramming home a charge when the gun became so hot that Ewing, thoughtlessly, took his thumb from the vent. Instantly the piece discharged and Stansbury's arm was so badly mutilated by the rammer that amputation was necessary. He recovered and lived several years afterward."

 

----- Dr. S. O. Young in his book "True Stories of Old Houston and Houstonians," 1913.

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

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Posted : 30th January 2020 8:20 pm