Cottle, George Washington (1811–1836)

By: Paul N. Spellman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 19, 2019

George Washington Cottle, early Texas colonist and Alamo defender, son of Jonathan and Margaret Cottle, may have been born in Tennessee or in Hurricane Township, Missouri, in 1811. His parents came to Texas on July 6, 1829, to settle in Green DeWitt's colony on the Lavaca River. He married his first cousin, Eliza Cottle, on November 7, 1830, but the marriage was annulled on October 7, 1831. They had one daughter. Cottle received a league of land at the headwaters of the Lavaca River near Gonzales on September 12, 1832. Records indicate that on January 4, 1835, he married Nancy Curtis Oliver. They had twin sons, born after Cottle's death. When Mexican troops arrived south of Gonzales in September 1835, Cottle was one of the messengers sent to gather reinforcements. He returned to fight in the battle of Gonzales on October 2. In February 1836 he lent a yoke of oxen to Capt. Mathew Caldwell's company. He enlisted in the Gonzales Company under Lt. George C. Kimbell on February 24 and rode with thirty-two others to the Alamo on March 1. Cottle was killed on March 6, 1836, at the battle of the Alamo, alongside his brother-in-law, Thomas Jackson. Cottle County was named for him.

Carmen Taylor Bennett, Cottle County, My Dear: Where the `Pan' Joins the `Handle' (Floydada, Texas: Blanco Offset Printing, 1979). Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Gonzales County Historical Commission, History of Gonzales County (Dallas: Curtis, 1986). Mildred Watkins Mears, Cottle County Scrapbook (Waco: Texian Press, 1963). Ethel Zivley Rather, "DeWitt's Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 8 (October 1904). 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). Amelia W. Williams, A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1931; rpt., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36–37 [April 1933-April 1934]).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Paul N. Spellman, “Cottle, George Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 19, 2019