Patton, William Hester (1808–1842)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 25, 2019

William Hester Patton, soldier, surveyor, and legislator, was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1808. He moved to Brazoria County, Texas, in March 1832. As an early advocate of Texas independence, he served as a sergeant in Capt. John Austin's company at the battle of Velasco in June 1832. He enlisted in the Texas army on September 28, 1835, at the beginning of the revolution; commanded a company at the siege of Bexar, December 5 through 10, 1835; and was appointed to receive the weapons surrendered by Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos's army. On December 21, 1835, Gen. Sam Houston appointed Patton acting assistant quartermaster with the rank of lieutenant and ordered him to Velasco to supply arriving volunteers and forward them to Houston's army. Patton was still at San Antonio on February 5, however, when he and the other officers of the Alamo garrison signed a memorial requesting that the soldiers under their command be represented at Washington-on-the-Brazos by Samuel A. Maverick and Jesse B. Badgett. On March 13, 1836, Patton was elected captain of the Fourth Company of Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers, also known as the Columbia Company. Patton was attached to Houston's staff as an aide-de-camp with the rank of major, and his company was led at the battle of San Jacinto by Lt. David Murphree. After the battle Patton was given custody of Antonio López de Santa Anna and was one of the commissioners selected to escort him to Washington, D.C. On July 14, 1836, Patton was one of eighteen officers who testified against President David G. Burnet on charges of usurpation and treason. In 1837 Houston appointed him quartermaster general of the Army of the Republic of Texas, and his nomination was confirmed on May 22. On August 26, 1837, Patton resigned from the army and settled in Bexar County, where he worked as a surveyor and served as justice of the peace. On September 25, 1837, he was elected to represent Bexar County in the House of Representatives of the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas; he served until May 25, 1838. An energetic and aggressive Indian fighter, Patton was severely wounded in an Indian fight on Leon Creek near San Antonio on October 28, 1838. He was murdered at his home on the San Antonio River, some thirty miles below the city of San Antonio, by Mexican bandits on June 12, 1842.

A second William Patton, a nephew of David Crockett, accompanied his uncle to Texas in 1835 and enlisted in the Texas army with Crockett at Nacogdoches on January 14, 1836. He enlisted in Capt. Henry Teal's company on March 17, 1836, for the duration of the war.

Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Telegraph and Texas Register, July 6, 1842. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970). Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855).


  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Military
  • Soldiers

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Patton, William Hester,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 25, 2019