Milam Guards

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: May 24, 2017

The Milam Guards, a company of light riflemen in Houston, was organized by Joseph Daniels as captain, under a commission of President Sam Houston dated March 9, 1838. It was the first recorded militia unit to form after Texas became independent from Mexico, and in February 1840 the Fourth Texas Congress granted it a charter of incorporation for a ten-year term. The government limited the unit to seventy-five men, who were required to provide their own tents, wagons, and camp equipment during active duty. The guards functioned as an escort unit, as a police force, and as frontier guards for the Republic of Texas during 1838 and 1839, after Indian raids near what is now Marlin. In 1842 the unit volunteered in the effort to repel the Mexican invasion, but had only reached Columbus when Gen. Adrián Woll's retreat toward the Rio Grande prompted the government to order it to turn back. In addition to Daniels, James Reily and Peter W. Gray served as officers in the guards.

Margaret Dorothea Bright, Social Development of Houston, Texas, 1836–1860 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Houston Post, December 31, 1932. Adele B. Looscan, "Capt. Joseph Daniels," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (July 1901). Telegraph and Texas Register, March 20, 1842, April 19, 1843, November 25, 1845.

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Anonymous, “Milam Guards,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 12, 2022,

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May 24, 2017

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