Thurmond, Alfred Sturgis (1816–ca. 1873)

By: Hobart Huson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 16, 2019

Alfred Sturgis Thurmond, soldier, lawman, and legislator, son of John G. and Ann Louisa (Sturgis) Thurmond, was born in Tennessee in 1816. He moved to Texas in 1836 to join the army but arrived after the Texas Revolution was over. From September 11 to December 11 he served as private in a ranger company raised by Michael Costley and made his home in Aransas City. After serving in two campaigns under Ewen Cameron in the Mexican Federalist army, he returned to Refugio County and joined Cameron's ranger company. He was town marshal at Victoria at the time of the Rafael Vásquez raid and joined a group to go to the aid of San Antonio. After Adrián Woll's invasion in September 1842 Thurmond again joined Cameron to return to San Antonio. He participated in the battle of Salado Creek and accompanied Alexander Somervell to the Rio Grande, where he continued on the Mier expedition and was captured and held at Perote Prison. Because of his knowledge of Spanish he was regularly used as interpreter. Thurmond was released from prison on September 16, 1844, and returned to Victoria, where he married Julia McGrew. Having been reelected town marshal while still at Perote, he served in 1847–48; he was also sheriff of Victoria County from 1847 to 1852. Sometime after his return from Mexico, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He spoke on October 10, 1853, at a mass meeting of Refugio and San Patricio County landowners to protest legislation affecting titles to colonial land grants and afterward presented their memorial to the legislature. He appears to have lived at Indianola and Saluria for a while but by the Civil War had moved back to Refugio County and established a ranch at Mesquite Landing. During the Civil War Thurmond was a captain in Thomas Green's brigade. He took the oath of amnesty on July 29, 1865, and retired to his ranch. He was a member of the House of Representatives in the Eleventh and Thirteenth legislatures, 1866 and 1873. After he failed to win reelection he decided to settle in Mexico. The sailing boat on which he was a passenger bound for Tuxpan was lost at sea, probably late in 1873.

John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (New York: Harper, 1845; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Hobart Huson, District Judges of Refugio County (Refugio, Texas: Refugio Timely Remarks, 1941). William P. Stapp, The Prisoners of Perote: A Journal (Philadelphia: Zieber, 1845).

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

Hobart Huson, “Thurmond, Alfred Sturgis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 16, 2019