Redd, William Davis (ca. 1810–1840)

By: William E. Bard

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

William Davis Redd, son of Charles Anderson Redd, was born in Georgia about 1810. The family removed to Columbus, Georgia, where Redd met Mirabeau B. Lamar, whom he accompanied to Texas as an agent for a company eager to invest in Mexican lands. He arrived in Texas in the spring of 1836 in time to participate in the battle of San Jacinto as a member of William H. Smith's company in the cavalry corps commanded by Lamar. Redd again served in the Army of the Republic of Texas from later that same year until late 1837, when he resigned his commission as colonel and returned to Georgia, where he read law and was admitted to the bar. In January 1839 he was back in Texas and was given a captaincy of the Frontier Regiment in Galveston. He returned to Georgia later that year and eventually went on recruiting duty for the Texas army in New Orleans. In February 1840 he was appointed captain in command of Company A, First Regiment, stationed at San Antonio. He participated in the Council House Fight on March 19, 1840. Bad feeling between him and Lysander Wells flared into open hostility when Wells accused him of cowardice for his failure to resist an Indian demonstration because of the alleged restraint of a "petticoat government," referring to his relationship with a young woman from Georgia who was sharing his quarters. Redd challenged Wells to combat. When they met on the morning of May 7, 1840, Redd was instantly killed and Wells was mortally wounded. In the pocket of Redd's jacket was found a marriage license, duly recorded.

Rena Maverick Green, ed., Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick (San Antonio: Alamo Printing, 1921; rpt., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Gerald S. Pierce, "A Minor Tragedy in the Texas Army: Lysander Wells and William D. Redd," Texas Military History 5 (Fall 1965). Texas Sentinel, May 16, 1840.
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

William E. Bard, “Redd, William Davis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995