Kerr and Merlin Genealogy Pages

a family history

Asa Hill, Patriot

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The family was busy improving their land and building a home when news came that Santa Anna had invaded Texas and the Alamo had fallen. Asa and his son, James Monroe Hill, set out to join the Texas Army and found them near Columbus. General Sam Houston sent Asa back home to warn all the families in the colony to flee their homes in advance of the Mexican army. The Hill family joined the "Runaway Scrape" and headed east crossing flooded creeks and rivers as they struggled along. James joined the army and at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, Private James Monroe Hill of Company "H", served under the command of Colonel Edward Burleson in the First Regiment, Texas Volunteers. The Hill family moved to Rutersville (near Fayetteville & La Grange, TX) in 1839. Rutersville College was chartered in February 1840 and eight of the Hill children were enrolled in the first class of the school. Despite the decisive victory at San Jacinto, Texas continued to be harassed by Mexico. On September 11, 1842, General Adrian Woll invaded Texas, attacking and capturing San Antonio. Couriers were sent out from Seguin asking for volunteers to join the Texas army. Asa and two of his sons, Jeffrey Barksdale Hill and thirteen year old John Christopher Columbus Hill answered the call. They arrived too late to take part in the battle of Salado Creek where Captain Nicholas Dawson and his company were massacred but they participated in the pursuit of the retreating Mexican army. The Texas Army reached the Rio Grande River without engaging the Mexican forces and they were ordered to disband and return home. Many of the Texans disagreed and about three hundred men, including the Hill's, disobeyed and continued their march into Mexico in what is known as the Mier Expedition. Asa, Jeffrey and John were assigned to the company of Captain William Mosby Eastland. A fierce battle was fought at Mier, Mexico on Christmas night, 1842, in which the Texans, though greatly outnumbered, were victorious. The Mexicans were reinforced on the following day and the Texans had no choice except to surrender. Jeffrey had been wounded but Asa and John were unhurt. Asa and Jeffrey Hill and the other captives were started on a forced march to prison deep in Mexico. John Christopher Columbus Hill displayed such bravery and audacity during the battle at Mier that Mexican General Pedro Ampudia befriended him and sent him to President Antonio López de Santa Anna in Mexico City. Characterized as "a very shrewd and handsome boy" he was shown great favor by the president who eventually adopted him in exchange for the early release of his elderly father and wounded brother who were still prisoners of war. Asa & Jeffrey Hill were back at home in Rutersville by the fall of 1843, more than a year ahead of the rest of the Mier captives who were not released until September 1844. Asa Hill died on July 15, 1844 and was buried near his home. In 1975 his remains were moved to the Old La Grange City before his home site and original burial site were flooded by the Fayette Power Plant cooling pond. Elizabeth re-married in 1850 and died in Gonzales County in 1883.

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