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Wells, Lysander (1812–1840)

William E. Bard Biography Entry

Lysander Wells, army officer, son of Lysander and Clarissa Wells, was born in 1812 in Middletown, Connecticut. On his father's death, he went West in an effort to recoup the family fortunes. He was in Kentucky in December 1835, when he was enrolled in Sidney Sherman's company of volunteers for the Texas Revolution. He advanced from second lieutenant to major at the reorganization of the Texas army on January 25, 1836. Placed in charge of a detail of cavalry at San Jacinto, he distinguished himself in action on April 20. Sam Houston's patronage secured his appointment as lieutenant colonel on May 10, 1837, and colonel on November 13, 1838. Wells was in command of the First Texas Cavalry at the Council House Fight. Shortly afterward, his reprimand of William D. Redd for refusing to give battle to a Comanche chieftain at San Antonio precipitated a quarrel that resulted in a duel between the two on May 9, 1840. Redd was killed instantly and Wells, seriously wounded, died twenty days later. He was buried at the Campos Santos Cemetery in San Antonio, which has since been abandoned.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). John J. Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas (New York: Sadlier, 1883; 2d ed., Austin: Steck, 1935; rpt., Austin: State House, 1986). Newbern Spectator (New Bern, North Carolina), June 20, 1840. 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). E. W. Winkler, ed., Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas

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

William E. Bard, “Wells, Lysander,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 10, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wells-lysander.

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1952
September 21, 2019

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