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BROOKS, JOHN SOWERS (1814–1836). John Sowers Brooks, soldier, son of Absalom H. Brooks, was born in Staunton, Virginia, on January 31, 1814. He worked in the office of the Staunton Spectator and served in the United States Marine Corps eleven months before leaving New York for Texas on November 5, 1835, to volunteer for the Texas army. After arriving at Velasco on December 20, 1835, he became adjutant of the Georgia Battalion and accompanied that group under command of James W. Fannin, Jr., to undertake the Matamoros expedition of 1835–36. In February 1836 Brooks resigned as adjutant and became aide to Fannin. He served as chief engineer and had charge of ammunition and artillery. His letters from Texas to his family in Virginia are valuable expressions of the sentiments of the volunteer soldiers and portray their activities and hardships. In those letters he gave Goliad the name "Fort Defiance." Brooks was wounded and captured at the battle of Coleto and died in the Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836.


John E. Roller, "Capt. John Sowers Brooks," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 9 (January 1906).


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

"BROOKS, JOHN SOWERS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 13, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.