Hunter, William Lockhart (1809–1886)

By: Craig H. Roell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 8, 2019

William Lockhart Hunter, soldier and politician, was born on December 12, 1809, in Tinkling Springs, Virginia, and traveled to Texas in October 1835 to fight in the Texas Revolution as a member of Robert C. Morris's New Orleans Greys. He reached Texas with his unit in time to participate in the siege of Bexar. When the battalion was transformed into the San Antonio Greys, commanded by Samuel Overton Pettus, Hunter was second sergeant. Under Col. James W. Fannin, Jr., at Goliad in early 1836, his duties entailed the supply of commissaries at Fort Defiance. After the battle of Coleto Hunter was imprisoned at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio at Goliad with the rest of Fannin's command until March 27, 1836, when the men were taken out and shot in the Goliad Massacre. Hunter, by one account, was not killed by the Mexican volleys, so he feigned death, only to be bayoneted in the shoulder and "haggled at his throat with a dull knife," clubbed about the head with the breech of a musket, then stripped of his clothing. Later he revived and crept to a nearby ranch, where he was nursed to health. Another version has Nicholas Fagan, Fannin's blacksmith, spared by the Mexicans at Goliad, escaping, finding Hunter badly wounded, and carrying him to a nearby Mexican family on Manahuilla Creek. They hid and nursed him until he could proceed to Mrs. Margaret Wright's nearby ranchhouse on the Guadalupe River above Victoria, where he recovered from his wounds.

In 1838 Hunter was elected chief justice of Refugio County, and in 1839 he was elected Goliad representative in the Republic of Texas House, a position he retained in the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh congresses. In the Eighth Congress he served as senator from the Goliad, San Patricio, and Refugio district, and though he took time to participate in the 1842 expedition against Rafael Vásquez, he represented Goliad at the annexation convention (see CONVENTION OF 1845). There is no record of further political activity; Hunter may have been chief justice of Goliad County at the time of his death.

In 1850 he married Eunice Fedelia Cook. He remained a resident of Goliad for most of his life, though he summered at Elgin, Illinois, hometown of his wife. On San Jacinto Day in 1886 he attended the thirteenth meeting of the Texas Veterans of 1836 in Dallas. He died on October 25, 1886, and was buried in Austin with military honors. He was a Mason.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Craig H. Roell, “Hunter, William Lockhart,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 8, 2019