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Kratz, Lewis (1772–1858)

Elizabeth Lehmann Biography

Lewis Kratz (Louis Kraatz or Kraats), early Texas pioneer and participant in the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Germany in 1772. He served in Napoleon's army and immigrated to Pennsylvania sometime after the end of the Napoleonic wars. He came to Texas in 1835 with a small band of German volunteers and served as a private in the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers at San Jacinto. After his discharge from the army in April 1837 Kratz lived briefly in Matagorda County before settling in Victoria. In May 1838, in recognition for his war service, the Republic of Texas granted him parcels of land in Kinney and Victoria counties. In August 1840, while traveling alone on the prairie, he nearly lost his life when he was attacked by a band of Comanches returning from the Linnville Raid of 1840. He was left to die with twenty-seven arrow wounds, was discovered thirty-six hours later, and eventually recovered. In January 1858 the Texas legislature granted Kratz a pension of $250 a year for life. He died in Independence, Washington County, on October 15, 1858.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). William von Rosenberg, "Kritik: A History of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants to Texas," trans. Louis E. Brister, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 85 (October 1981, January, April 1982). San Augustine Eastern Texian, November 6, 1858. Gracey Booker Toland, Austin Knew His Athens (San Antonio: Naylor, 1958).


  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
  • Military
  • Soldiers

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Elizabeth Lehmann, “Kratz, Lewis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 30, 2020,

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