Along with everything else, Hurricane Harvey took with it decades worth of files, maps, notes, coordinates, names and research I had on my external hard drive; so for the time being, this site will be on hiatus until I finish republishing. I will upload as I go, so each post will reappear on its original date and can be found in the Archive section in the right sidebar. If you need to contact me for any reason in the duration, my contact info is found in my profile. Wish me luck, guys. - JES
Madison G. Whitaker, veteran of the battle of San Jacinto and state senator, was born on April 4, 1811, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, the son of John and Nancy (Guest or Guess) Whitaker. He grew up in Lincoln County. In 1835 he arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, where his half-brother, William Whitaker, had recently moved. A man named Whitaker, probably Madison, was chosen along with Solomon R. Peck to hold an election on October 1, 1835, to select delegates to the Consultation at San Felipe de Austin. Madison probably enlisted as a sergeant in the Nacogdoches company commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Rusk in October 1835 and marched with it to San Antonio de Bexar. The General Council of the provisional government elected him second lieutenant of the revolutionary army on November 28, 1835, but he declined the commission. Instead, he enlisted about March 6, 1836, as a private in the Nacogdoches Volunteer Company, first commanded by Capt. Leander Smith and then by Capt. Hayden S. Arnold, this being the first company of volunteers in the second regiment under Col. Sidney Sherman. Whitaker fought at the battle of San Jacinto and was discharged on June 6, 1836. He appears as number thirty-three in the painting The Surrender of Santa Anna by William H. Huddle, which hangs in the Capitol in Austin. Whitaker was then briefly a captain in the Texas Rangers. Some sources say that he served under Gen. Kelsey H. Douglass in the Cherokee War of 1839. Whitaker was elected senator to the Fifth and Sixth Texas legislatures, 1853-56, representing District Thirteen, Nacogdoches and Angelina counties. He was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Nacogdoches University, serving as treasurer, vice president, and president. He helped to found the rural Liberty School, north of Nacogdoches, in 1836. Whitaker became a Mason about 1839 and a member of Milam Lodge No. 2 of Nacogdoches. He was also a longtime member of the Texas Veterans Association, serving as both first and second vice president and as supervisor of the Nacogdoches district. He was a Baptist. He married Henrietta M. Fitts on August 25, 1841, in Nacogdoches County, and they became the parents of eight children. He died on January 23, 1893, in Nacogdoches County and was buried in Old North Church Cemetery north of Nacogdoches. Source
John J. Given, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1840. As a corporal in Company K, Sixth United States Cavalry, he was cited for "bravery in action" at the battle of the Little Wichita River, July 12, 1870. On duty with Company L and under the command of Capt. Curwen Boyd McLellan, fifty men were engaged in a battle with 200 Indians. During the battle the horse of 2d Lt. H. P. Perrine, commander of the rear guard, was shot from under him. Given, seeing Perrine's plight, turned his horse around and drove off attacking Kiowas. Private Blum, a close friend of Given, was shot in the head. Given requested and received permission to go to his aid; he gave his picture and those of his sisters and sweetheart to guide James Dosher to hold until he got back. As Given reached the side of his friend, Kicking Bird, the Kiowa chief, rode out of an arroyo and drove his war lance into Givens's back, killing him instantly. For this and other actions Given and twelve others were cited for bravery in action and awarded the Medal of Honor. Givens's body was never recovered from the battlefield. A headstone "In Memoriam" stands at the San Antonio National Cemetery. Source
Citation: Bravery in action.
29° 25.277, -098° 28.022
San Antonio National Cemetery