Hello, Atascosa County! I hope this article finds everyone well, safe and healthy. This past week has been full of research and very interesting discoveries.
I call this the coincidence of history. Reason being is the way this plays out in the vicinity sense and the “what a small world” concept.
I began by starting the historic designation process of the Brown Cemetery, northwest of Poteet near Brown and Olivares Road. This is considered a rural cemetery. The historic designation requires lots of document research and physical, field research. The exact measurements, native and cultural plant observation and grave conditions are also required for historic designation. During my research, I discovered that the original landowner, Edward Brown (1808- 1886) once served in the Mexican War under Bell’s Mounted Cavalry in 1846 out of Castroville. He also was a prisoner of the Mier Expedition, imprisoned in Mexico’s Perote Castle. His release was negotiated diplomatically along with 31 other fellow soldiers. Brown and his family were settlers in Atascosa County before the county was established in 1856.
About two days later, I received a request from a person asking about a Lytle citizen by the name of Elisha Andrew Briggs that lived from 1819-1905. The children of Elisha Briggs were of immediate interest to the requestor. So, I started my research. Just minutes into it, I found a document of Elisha Briggs, a service certificate for his service to Bell’s Mounted Cavalry in 1846 out of Castroville. For he and Edward Brown to serve together under the same regiment is not uncommon, just humorous that I would discover this just days apart. Another bit of information about Briggs, his descendants have qualified for membership into the Mayflower Society. This leads me to believe that Elisha Briggs was a Mayflower, Pilgrim Descendant.
Additionally, I have begun to deeply research the Mexican War about two weeks ago. For those of you who know me, know that when I dive into research, I go in and I don’t come back until I’m satisfied. So, this also ties into the “what a small world” when this information about Elisha Briggs and Edward Brown surfaced in my research. Most folks don’t real- ize that after the Texas Revolution, Mexico did not recognize Texas as a Republic and continued hostilities after Texas’ annexation to the United States. The border dispute was also at hand, whereas Mexico claimed the Texas southern border was the Nueces River. The Mexican War ended in 1848 and gave the United States western expanse.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s column and my view of history. Thank you for reading, until next time.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Commission Chairman. If you have history of Atascosa County you’d like to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.