Italian hero of San Jacinto arrives in Texas
On this day in 1836, Prospero Bernardi arrived in Texas aboard the schooner Pennsylvania as a member of Capt. Amasa Turner's volunteer company, raised in New Orleans. Bernardi was born in Italy in 1794 and was a notary by trade. He enlisted in the Texas army on February 13, 1836, and distinguished himself in the battle of San Jacinto. He remained in the army until January or February 1837, when he was medically discharged from John Smith's company at Galveston because of a spinal injury sustained during combat. Bernardi received a bounty grant and a first-class headright grant for his military service, but both were assigned to other parties. Bernardi's whereabouts by 1838 were unclear. In February of that year two former fellow soldiers testified that they understood he was deceased. A bust of the Italian soldier stands in front of the Hall of State, Fair Park, Dallas, to commemorate his participation in the battle of San Jacinto.