Caldwell, Pinckney Coatsworth (1795–1840)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: September 30, 2020

Pinckney Caldwell, soldier of the Republic of Texas, was born in Kentucky in 1795 and came to Texas in December 1830. He was one of the defenders of the famous Gonzales "Come and Take It" cannon. According to Launcelot Smither Caldwell sent a communication to Capt. Francisco de Castañeda on October 1, declaring a truce with the Mexican lancers, but nevertheless the insurrectionists attacked the Mexican camp the following morning. Caldwell was a member of the council of war called by Gen. Stephen F. Austin on November 2, 1835, which determined that Bexar should be taken by siege rather than storm. Caldwell voted with the majority.

On November 24, 1835, Edward Burleson appointed William A. Pettus quartermaster and Caldwell his assistant. Caldwell, with the rank of captain, forwarded supplies from Gonzales to the Texas army besieging Bexar until he was wounded, sometime before December 23, 1835. At the battle of San Jacinto he served as quartermaster on the staff of Lt. Col. Henry W. Millard, commander of the Regular Infantry. On August 17, 1836, quartermaster general Almanzon Huston reprimanded Caldwell and reported him to their superiors for failure to comply with orders to post quarterly returns on government property in his charge. Caldwell was discharged on November 20, 1836, but reentered service as a quartermaster of the Army of the Republic of Texas. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on May 22 and again on January 11, 1837. For his service in the Texas Revolution Caldwell was given a bounty warrant for 960 acres on October 18, 1837. His heirs surveyed and claimed the land in Tarrant County. By May 3, 1839, Caldwell was serving as quartermaster in Houston with the rank of major. William Gordon Cooke was then quartermaster general. Caldwell, whom pioneer Texas historian John Henry Brown called "a soldier of repute . . . and a man of talent," was killed in an Indian raid at Victoria on August 6 or 7, 1840 (see LINNVILLE RAID OF 1840).

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Caldwell, Pinckney Coatsworth,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 08, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 30, 2020