Hanna, Andrew Barry (1813–1855)

By: Forest Hanna

Type: Biography

Published: February 25, 2013

Andrew Barry (A. B.) Hanna, officer on the Somervell expedition and survivor of the Mier expedition, son of James Coulter Hanna and Violet (Barry) Hanna, was born in York County, South Carolina, on November 13, 1813. He came from a family with a military background. His grandfathers, Col. William Hanna and Lt. Andrew Barry, served in the Revolutionary War and participated in battles in South Carolina. His great uncle, Robert Hanna, was captured by the Tories and was held in a prison in Camden, South Carolina, until his father, Capt. James Hanna, could secure his release. A. B.’s grandmother, Margaret Catherine (Kate) Barry, was known as the “Heroine of the Battle of Cowpens” for her role as a spy in alerting the Patriot forces of British troop movements. Andrew Barry Hanna left his home in South Carolina in 1835 to reside in Benton County, Alabama.

After arriving in Texas in the fall of 1839, A. B. Hanna became involved in the Republic of Texas’s efforts to thwart invasions by the Mexican army, including separate occupations of San Antonio by Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Woll, during 1842 (see MEXICAN INVASIONS OF 1842). The military rolls of the Republic of Texas show him to have been a first lieutenant on the Somervell expedition. He participated in the subsequent ill-fated Mier expedition into Mexico, was captured, and held prisoner for twenty-two months; he spent the last year of captivity in Perote Prison.

Hanna spent most of the time in prison shackled to Richard Brown. Upon their release on September 16, 1844, the two men returned to Texas from Veracruz via schooner to New Orleans and settled for a time on the Reasonover Plantation in Rusk County, Texas.

Hanna married Elizabeth Hitson on October 26, 1848. The Rusk County 1850 census lists A. B. Hanna as a farmer having a one-year-old son, William Jefferson “Jeff” Hanna. Eventually, the Hannas had three sons. While still residing in Rusk County, A. B. received $605 for his service, with Richard Brown as his witness to his participation. He also was granted 320 acres in Collin County as part of the Texas land grant system. Apparently, he sold this land and sometime after 1850 moved to Freestone County, where his mother, brother, sister, and her family had relocated from South Carolina in 1849. Hanna died in Freestone County on October 22, 1855, and was possibly buried in Hammet Cemetery in Freestone County. His name, along with those of all the members of the Mier expedition, is inscribed on the monument at Monument Hill State Historic Site in La Grange, Texas.

“Genealogy of Charles Moore Sr. and Mary Barry Moore,” Walnut Grove Plantation, Roebuck, South Carolina. H. Davie Maxey, comp., Index to Military Rolls of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1845 (http://www.tshaonline.org/supsites/military/rep_cont.htm), accessed February 6, 2013. Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Incorporated, 1983). Max Perry, comp., “Descendants of John Workman, Capt. James Hanna and Capt John E. McConnell of York County, South Carolina,” manuscript, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Time Periods:

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

Forest Hanna, “Hanna, Andrew Barry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hanna-andrew-barry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 25, 2013