Samuel Hamilton Walker to Mrs. Ann M. Walker, May 6, 1843
Samuel Hamilton Walker was born in Maryland in 1817. He fought in the Florida and Seminole Wars as a volunteer before coming to Texas in 1842, where he immediately volunteered to fight against the Mexican invasion.
Hamilton wrote often to Ann Walker, his sister-in-law and widow of his brother Nathan. In an earlier letter, he wrote to her that he was excited about the idea of winning glory against the Mexicans and that he went to Texas seeking "that unextinguishable love of chivalric immortal fame." Walker was among those captured at Mier and in May 1843, managed to mail this account of the ordeal to Ann, probably during an escape from prison.
Walker escaped from prison for good in July 1843 and made his way back to Texas. Walker joined the Texas Rangers, where he fought in numerous engagements against the Comanches. He fought in the Mexican War and was commissioned captain of a rifle company in the United States Army. Walker's exploits were so daring that he became well known as a hero throughout America. Those who knew Walker said that his youthful dreams of glory had been joined by a thirst for vengeance for what had happened to his fellow soldiers in the Black Bean incident.
During the war, Walker traveled east and worked with Samuel Colt, the famous gunsmith, in designing a six-shooter that would become known as the Walker-Colt revolver. This legendary weapon would remain the most powerful handgun in the world until the invention of the 44-Magnum. Walker returned to Mexico in 1847, where he was killed in action at the Battle of Huamantla.
In Prison Santiago City of Mexico May 6th 1843
To Mrs Ann M Walker
Dear Sister I write to inform you I am
in good health, hoping this may find you the same[.] [W]hen I shall
return I don’t know as my experience thus far has only increased
my anxiety & ambition to fight the mexicans [sic][.] I have witnessed the
murder of 18 of my comrades in cold blood and I am determined
to revenge their death if I have an opportunity[.] [I]n Decr [December]
last I crossed the Riogrande [sic] under Gen Somerville with
600 men[.] Gen Somerville thought proper to return after taking
two small Towns and accordingly done so without getting a
fight a large number of the men not being in a situation to
return[,] being without horses or provision and not wishing
to return without a fight[.] 300 in number proceeded down
the river to Mier crossed and took possession of the Town
on the 23rd Decr but disdaining to take what we were
were given there without fighting for it we retired without
molesting any thing to our camp taking the Alcalde as
security for the fulfilment [sic] of the requisition we had
made on the 25th[.] [W]e learned that a Mexican force was
in the vicinity[.] [W]e crossed to give them battle
with 257 [sic; it was 261] men[,] leaving the balance on the east Bank of the
river to guard the Horses[.] [T]he force of the enemy was about
three thousand with two pieces of Artilery [sic] having taken
possession of the strongly built Town of Mier[.] [N]ot with-
standing this great advantage in numbers & position
the Texians gallantly entered the town under a heavy
fire about 7 o clock and after maintaining the conflict for
about 18 hours killing & wounding about three times their
number surrendered only through their own bad manage-
ment or rather for the want of a more determined resolute
Samuel Hamilton Walker to Mrs. Ann M. Walker, May 6, 1843. Samuel Hamilton Walker Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.