Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar and Benjamin Rush Milam

Portrait of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
Mirabeau Lamar—wife dead, dreams shattered—came to Texas to begin life anew. But he had to fight for that fresh start. On April 20th, 1836, Private Lamar distinguished himself in the skirmish preceding the battle of San Jacinto. Fighting on horseback, the Georgia cavalier rescued comrades that enemy lancers had surrounded. One was Walter P. Lane, a future Confederate general; the other was Secretary of War and future senator, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Mexican cavalrymen, admirers of audacious horsemanship, applauded as Lamar rode away. He reined in, spun his charger, and acknowledged their tribute with a gracious bow. General Sam Houston promoted Lamar to colonel on the spot and the next day he led Texian horsemen to glory. His valor at San Jacinto secured his future in Texas politics.

Portrait of Benjamin Rush Milam

Benjamin Rush Milam
On December 4, 1835, Colonel Ben Milam discovered the Texian army abandoning the Siege of Béxar. Milam charged into General Edward Burleson’s tent demanding explanation. Burleson had been forced to yield to the demands of the war council. But he agreed to let Milam beat for volunteers. He stormed through camp bellowing, “Who will go with Old Ben Milam into San Antonio?” Three hundred volunteers responded. The next day a five-day assault ensued. On December 7, an enemy sniper shot Milam through the head, killing him instantly. Vowing to avenge their fallen leader, Texian soldiers forced a Mexican surrender on December 10. Texians won a decisive victory. Milam, who had fought with Mexico for independence from Spain, rallied the way for Texas independence.