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MORRIS, ROBERT C.

MORRIS, ROBERT C. (?–1836). Robert C. Morris, officer in the revolutionary army of Texas, was a resident of New Orleans in 1835, when he enlisted as a private in Capt. Samuel O. Pettus's company of New Orleans Greys. He was elected captain before the company arrived in Texas. His men arrived at the mouth of the Brazos River aboard the Columbus, transferred to the Laura for the trip up the river, and landed at Brazoria late in October. In a letter of introduction to Stephen F. Austin dated October 20, 1835, J. W. Collins stated that Morris had been "a fellow soldier with me in the Louisiana Guards for 5 or 6 years" and recommended him as "a Soldier & Tactician." On the day following, William H. Christy of New Orleans addressed a similar letter of endorsement to Sam Houston, and on October 29 Archibald Hotchkiss described his friend Morris to Houston as "a young man of firmness and a man who will not disgrace the grays." After marching his troops to San Antonio, Morris was promoted to major in the Volunteer Army of Texas by the provisional government, and his company came under the command of Capt. William Gordon Cooke. He was present for the siege of Bexar and served as second in command to Col. Benjamin R. Milam's division when the city was stormed. When Milam died, however, Col. Francis W. Johnson succeeded to command of his division and Morris remained deputy commander. On December 11, 1835, Morris was one of the Texas officers who signed the articles of capitulation offered by Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. On December 21 Houston wrote to Morris, apparently to offer him a command in the regular army of Texas, but Morris declined, planning instead to lead the remainder of his former company against Matamoros. "I have the highest confidence in the success of the expedition," he wrote to Houston, and was confident that at least 5,000 United States volunteers would join them on the road to Mexico. On December 31, 1835, Morris left San Antonio for Matamoros with Johnson and with James Grant as third in command (see MATAMOROS EXPEDITION OF 1835–36). After a horse-capturing raid to the Rio Grande, Morris and Grant, with twenty-seven men, were returning to the main force at San Patricio when they encamped on Agua Dulce Creek on the night of March 1, 1836. There, on March 2, they were surprised and overwhelmed by a force of Mexican general José de Urrea's cavalry. Morris, with Grant and twelve other Texas volunteers, was killed in the fighting (see AGUA DULCE, BATTLE OF).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas W. Cutrer, "MORRIS, ROBERT C.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmo63), accessed November 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.