Robert W. Cunningham, Alamo defender, the oldest of seven children of David and Anna (Jennison) Cunningham, was born in Ontario County, New York, on October 18, 1804 or 1806. He lived with his family in Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas before he came to Texas. In 1832 he worked as a cargo flatboatman on the Mississippi River to New Orleans. From New Orleans he wrote to his family informing them that he would be staying there. By March 4, 1833, however, he had moved to Texas, where he received title to a league of land on Skull Creek in Austin's colony. In 1836 Cunningham wrote to his family to inform them that he had joined the Texas army. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a sergeant and second gunner in Capt. T. L. F. Parrott's artillery company. He remained in Bexar after the battle as a private in Capt. W. R. Carey's artillery company. Cunningham was a single man. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
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Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990). Phil Rosenthal and Bill Groneman, Roll Call at the Alamo (Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army, 1985).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Cunningham, Robert W.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 11, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 3, 2019