Born January 22, 1815, in Washington County, Alabama, Matthew arrived in Texas December 22, 1832 after his father Peter bought some property there. He took part in some early engagements of the Texas revolution, notably at the Storming and Capture of Bexar, (December 5 - 10, 1835) as a member of Joseph L. Bennett's Company. He left the service on December 24 and returned to his father's farm in what is now Montgomery County. he and his brother William enlisted in the Texas army on April 12, 1836. Nine days later, as a member of William Ware's Company, both William and Matthew fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. The two left the army on the same day, June 13, 1836. Cartwright died December 4, 1884 and buried in the Cartwright family cemetery. The State of Texas erected a monument at his grave in 1936.