Private John Wilson

Private John Wilson

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Friday, October 12, 1838

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John Wilson

In the summer of 1838, the new Republic of Texas was tested by rebel forces from Northern Mexico who were stirring up the Indian tribes to continue the war against the white settlers. This was called the "Cordova Rebellion."

Texas Ranger companies were organized to fight the depredations by Indian and Mexican rebels. On October 12, 1838, Major Leonard Mabbitt left Fort Houston with a force of volunteer rangers to attack a band of Indians and Mexicans led by two lieutenants of Cordova. About six miles from the fort the rangers were attacked. Private John W. Carpenter, a San Jacinto veteran who had joined only a week earlier, pursued a Caddo chief into the woods. The ranger private and the chief shot it out about a mile from the scene and killed each other. Privates Julius Bullock, Thomas M. Scott and John Wilson were also killed. Two other rangers, First Corporal David F. Webb and Private Lacey McKenzie, were wounded. The dead rangers were transported back to Fort Houston. They were buried in an unmarked grave in the Fort Houston cemetery.

On the morning of October 16, 1838, Major General Rusk and Major Babbitt had a combined force of about 260 rangers who were attacked by an estimated 150 to 600 rebels. No rangers were killed outright, but 13 were wounded. Private James Hall was badly wounded, but the doctor felt he would pull through. The wounded men were transported back to Fort Houston. Private Hall died from his wounds on December 17, 1838, and he was buried in an unmarked grave in the fort’s cemetery.

No personal information is known at this time about the men. The Texas Historical Commission erected a marker recognizing the “Kickapoo War.” The marker is located on Highway 19 south of the town of Frankston in northeastern Anderson County.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 2 weeks
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Pvt. Wilson,
On today, the 180th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your fellow Texas Rangers for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas.


United States Border Patrol

October 12, 2018

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