Mexican army captures Texas Masonic soldier
On this day in 1836, Texas Revolutionary soldier Lewis T. Ayers was captured by the Mexican forces of Gen. José de Urrea. Ayers was involved in the series of skirmishes between March 12 and March 15 that came to be known as the battle of Refugio. He was serving with Captain Amon King in an action against the Mexican rear guard when he was captured. Ayers was one of thirty-three prisoners subsequently led out to be shot, but was saved by the intervention of one of Urrea's subordinates, Col. J. J. Holzinger, who halted the execution so that German prisoners might be reprieved. Though he was not a German, Ayers was spared, and afterward set free, reportedly because he gave a Masonic sign that was recognized by the Mexican general.