Julian Garza

Co M (Company M)

1st Texas Cav.


Photo Credit:  Rosa G. Gonzales

1.  News article, 1893

Edward Kilmer
Christian Heisselholdt
Julian Garza
Samuel McComb
James Downing
The Tombstones for the U. S. soldiers’ Graves Have Arrived


Through the instrumentality of Mr. E. J. Kilmer, member of the local G.A.R. Post, fourteen tombstones have arrived in Corpus Christi, to be placed at the head of the graves of the United States soldiers buried in the cemeteries of this city. These stones are each 3 feet high, 4 inches thick, and 10 inches wide.  Many of the soldiers whose graves they will mark were well-known citizens of Corpus Christi.


The following comprises the list of the honored dead over whose graves the tombstones will be placed next week, under the supervision of Mr. Kilmer: Patrick Farrell, First New Orleans Infantry, Company C, Died August 20, 1869;  Silvario Villegas, First Texas Cavalry, Company K, Died August 20, 1876;  Nicholas Gorgan, Seventh U. S. Infantry, Company I, Died January 7, 1856; Thomas H. Murray, First New Orleans Infantry, Company C, Died 1867;  Denis McCoy, Seventh U. S. Infantry, Company A, Died October 17, 1875; Wm. S. Shaw, Seventh U. S. Infantry, Company A, Died March 28, 1865; Patrick McCabe, Seventh U. S. Infantry Company I, Died May 4, 1875; Commissary Sergeant Samuel McComb, First New Orleans Volunteer Infantry, Company A, Died September 11, 1867; Andrew W. Hyndam _____ Infantry, Company B, Died September 4 186_; Christian F. Heisselholdt, Tenth U. S. Infantry, Company H, Died September 29, 1869; Lieut. James Downing, Thirty-sixth F. S. Colored Troop, Died April 28, 1891; Capt. Cesario Falcon, First Texas Cavalry Company K, Died June 18, 1888;  Julian Garza, First Texas Cavalry Company N, Died May 7, 1890; Narcisso Hernandez, First Texas Cavalry, Company I, Died July 1, 1891


Source: Corpus Christi Weekly Caller, May 19, 1893, p 6, col. 5

Research by:  Michael A. Howell

Transcription by:  Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission


2.  Biography

The military records of Julian Garza indicate that he was born in Mexico about 1843.  He enlisted in the Army of the United States in Brownsville on December 18, 1863 (under recruiting officer, Lt. Col. John L. Haynes) for Co. D of the 2nd regiment of the Texas Cavalry.  Julian signed to serve for 3 years.  At the time of his enlistment he is described as having black eyes, black hair, dark complexion, and a height of five feet, eight inches.  He listed himself as a “ranchero”.  For the next months of January through April of 1864 he was absent on detached service which began on January 16, 1864 from Major Holcomb’s company.  He subsequently lost one carbine sling and swivel for which he was charged $2 on June 30, 1864.  His military records indicate that he served in Co. D of the 2nd Texas and then in Co. M of the 1st Texas Volunteer Cavalry and that he mustered out at San Antonio in 1865.  The 2nd Texas Cavalry was formed in Brownsville after E. J. Davis and his 1st Texas Cavalry landed on the south Texas coast on November 2, 1863.  Edmund J. Davis was a pro-Unionist resident of Corpus Christi who was married to Lizzie, the daughter of Forbes Britton (builder of Centennial House in Corpus Christi).  Col. E. J. Davis had fled Texas to organize and lead Texas Unionist, and he would become the Reconstruction Governor of Texas after the conclusion of the Civil War.  Col. E. J. Davis and Lt. Col. John L. Haynes recruited Unionists, Mexicans, and Confederate deserters into the 1st and 2nd Texas Cavalry Regiments (see Stephen A. Townsend’s “The Yankee Invasion of Texas” p. 41).  Lt. Col. John L. Haynes, a Brownsville resident, was in charge of the 2nd Texas Cavalry when it was initially organized.  He had recruited most of the men from Mexico.  They were Mexican Texans who had fled across the river because of the Confederate occupation of Brownsville (Townsend’s p. 82).  The 2nd Texas left along with the 1st Texas in July 1864 for Louisiana.  On November 1, 1864 the 1st Texas and the 2nd Texas were merged into one regiment of 12 companies.  This regiment was named the First Texas Volunteer Cavalry. Ordered to Baton Rouge on November 19, 1864, the Volunteers engaged in patrol and reconnaissance duties until the end of the Civil War.  In May and June of 1865, the regiment was at Vidalia, Louisiana.  On June 29, 1865, the Volunteers were ordered to Texas and mustered out of service later that same year (cf. also Kilgore’s “Soldiers of the area in the Civil War” a manuscript in the Corpus Christi Central Library).  In his pension applications in 1888 Julian Garza appeared in Brownsville and reported that he was 44 years old, a resident of Brownsville, and was employed as a vaquero.  He described himself as five feet and six and three fourths inches tall, with black hair, dark complexion, and brown eyes.  He also reported a disability resulting from a wound he received while in service.  He alleged that he was wounded by a shot in the right arm near the elbow that interfered with is ability to perform manual labor.  Julian maintained he received the wound during a skirmish at San Patricio, Texas in May of 1864 and was treated by the Regimental Surgeon at the hospital in Brownsville.  Subsequently in June of 1865 he was discharged at San Antonio.  After his military service, Julian reports he worked as a cowboy for Mr. Eujenio Scott of the Mission Refugio County, Texas for two years and six months.  Then he worked for Mr. Manuel Ramirez at La Boveda in Nueces County for fifteen years and the balance of the time since the war and his final job with Mr. G. W. Moss of Refugio.  Dr. J. M. Main was the principal doctor treating him for some time gratis because of his Union service.  The doctor who examined him did acknowledge that Julian had been sick and had the bridge of his nose destroyed, but he did not find the elbow that incapacitated nor was it clear that the wound was caused by a gunshot.  When he renewed his application in 1889 he maintained that he had served in Company M of the 1st Texas Cavalry under G. H. Radetzki and was honorably discharged in San Antonio on October 31, 1865.  Witnesses testifying for him at that time were Alexander M. Rose and Martin Hinojosa.  As late as April of 1890 Julian was still seeking the disability pension and Dr. R. W. Jones of Corpus Christi attested that Julian had been shot in the arm such that the right arm was atrophied and disabled.  Dr. Alfred C. Heaney of Corpus Christi also testified that the right arm was atrophied and contracted because of a gunshot wound.  Two comrades, Cicilio Buntello (sic) and Pedro Rodrigues of Corpus Christi, also testified on behalf of Julian regarding his service.  They testified that between Los Olmos and Santa Gertrudes, Company M had been attacked by “Capt. Noland” (Matt Nolan) and that during this fighting Julian had been wounded both in the face and in the right arm where the ball lodged near the elbow.  At that time, Julian was unhorsed and had to travel on foot to Brownsville to get treatment which was so late that the arm was badly swollen.  Other comrades, Eugenio Guzman and Prajedes Gomez, testified that Julian was one of thirty men out under the command of Captain Cecilio Balero to procure horses to mount the regiment and was riding his own horse which he lost just as he was wounded.  As late as 1893 the government was requesting that Julian report to Ft. Brown for further physical exams to clarify the nature of his debility.  Their files also contained reports that he had at one time belong to Co. A of the 2nd Texas Cavalry.  These records showed that he had enrolled on December 10, 1863 at Brownsville and then deserted from a scouting expedition near Santa Rosa, Texas on February 10, 1864.  Later he returned as part of Co. M of the 1st Texas Cavalry to which he transferred for September and October of 1864, but the date of his return from desertion is not stated.  In this report he was present from March of 1865 to the end of June.  Then he was away on detached service from July to the end of August.  The Muster Out rolls of Co. M (dated Oct. 31, 1865) do not show him present for the mustering out at San Antonio.  They do not have records for the Brownsville Hospital nor do they find any evidence that his company was ever in action at San Patricio during the month of May 1864 where he alleged he was wounded.  At that time the company was stationed near Brownsville.  Consequently the government wanted more evidence.  As late as 1893 officials in Washington, D. C. requested that Julian report for a further medical exam at Ft. Brown.  His file shows that the final letters were returned unclaimed.  This is not surprising since records indicate that he died on May 7, 1890.  

Research and transcription: Michael A. Howell

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