Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


KRATZ, LEWIS (1772–1858). Lewis Kratz (Louis Kraatz or Kraats), early Texas pioneer and participant in the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Germany in 1772. He served in Napoleon's army and immigrated to Pennsylvania sometime after the end of the Napoleonic wars. He came to Texas in 1835 with a small band of German volunteers and served as a private in the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers at San Jacinto. After his discharge from the army in April 1837 Kratz lived briefly in Matagorda County before settling in Victoria. In May 1838, in recognition for his war service, the Republic of Texas granted him parcels of land in Kinney and Victoria counties. In August 1840, while traveling alone on the prairie, he nearly lost his life when he was attacked by a band of Comanches returning from the Linnville Raid of 1840. He was left to die with twenty-seven arrow wounds, was discovered thirty-six hours later, and eventually recovered. In January 1858 the Texas legislature granted Kratz a pension of $250 a year for life. He died in Independence, Washington County, on October 15, 1858.


Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). William von Rosenberg, "Kritik: A History of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants to Texas," trans. Louis E. Brister, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 85 (October 1981, January, April 1982). San Augustine Eastern Texian, November 6, 1858. Gracey Booker Toland, Austin Knew His Athens (San Antonio: Naylor, 1958).

Elizabeth Lehmann

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Elizabeth Lehmann, "KRATZ, LEWIS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.