Edward T. Manton, soldier and writer of an eyewitness account of the Dawson massacre, was born at Johnston, Rhode Island, on September 16, 1820. In 1833 he came to Texas with his brother Henry and settled in central Fayette County. In March 1842, when Mexican general Rafael Vásquez attacked San Antonio, Manton joined Rabb's company of Fayette County volunteers and, with them, pursued the retreating Mexican army toward the border. For this service he received a 640-acre bounty grant of land. In September of the same year, Gen. Adrián Woll again led a Mexican army against San Antonio, and Manton joined Capt. Nicholas Dawson's Fayette County volunteers to help repel the invasion. When Dawson's command was massacred at Salado Creek on September 18, Manton was one of the fifteen prisoners taken to Perote Prison in Mexico. At the intercession of Gen. Waddy Thompson, he was released on March 23, 1844, and returned to his plantation near La Grange, where he wrote an eye-witness account of the Dawson massacre. In Fayette County he expanded his holdings by acquiring the John Castleman home at Castleman Springs. He renamed the spring Manton Spring and resided near that location until his death on August 20, 1893. His correspondence, legal documents, and reminiscences are in the Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.