He was residing in Fayette County when Adrián Woll invaded Texas in the fall of 1842. Dawson organized a small company of some fifteen men and left La Grange on September 16, 1842. Soon his company numbered fifty-three men, recruited from settlements in Fayette, Gonzales, and DeWitt counties. While attempting to join Texas forces under Mathew Caldwell on Salado Creek near San Antonio, Dawson and his men were surrounded by a large number of Mexican cavalry on September 18. The following battle, known as the Dawson Massacre, resulted in the death or capture of nearly all the Texans. Dawson was among the casualties. On September 18, 1848, his remains and those of thirty-five other victims of the battle were buried along with casualties from the Mier expedition in a vault on Monument Hill near La Grange. Dawson County is named for Nicholas Dawson.
29° 53.339, -096° 52.618
Monument Hill State Historic Site