Posseman Henry Gonzalvo Woods

Posseman Henry Gonzalvo Woods

Dewitt County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Monday, October 18, 1869

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Henry Gonzalvo Woods

Deputy Sheriff Edward Faust, with a posse that included Henry Gonzalvo Woods, and others, went to the homestead of John Kerlick in DeWitt County, near Yorktown. The posse was sent there to arrest Christopher Kerlick for the stabbing death of Thomas Lockhart in Harris County, which had occurred on September 24, 1869.

When the posse reached the homestead, they were told the wanted person was not there. There are several different accounts as to what started the shooting, but the newspaper accounts stated the posse searched the house and as they were leaving, they were fired upon. The shooting left Deputy Sheriff Edward Faust and Posseman Henry Woods dead and at least one other person wounded.

The next day the Sheriff, with a posse, went back to the Kerlick house and arrested Christopher and William F. Kerlick, and started back to Clinton under guard. The two young men allegedly attempted to escape, and were shot by the guard and both killed. The ironic twist is that Christopher Kerlick was no-billed by the Harris County Grand Jury two days before shooting, but this information was unknown to the lawmen. This communication failure cost the lives of 4 men.

Edward Faust was reported to have been 30 years old and a native of Germany. His place of burial has not been located. It is unknown if he had any surviving family members.

Henry Woods was 53 years of age and a former Captain in the Confederate Army. He was survived by his wife. He was buried in the Woods Cemetery in Yorktown, Dewitt County.


  • Age 53
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender killed during an escape

Most Recent Reflection

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Mr. Woods,
On today, the 150th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of DeWitt County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 18, 2019

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