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On March 6, 1836, about 187 men (or more, according to some researchers) perished inside the adobe walls of a crumbling mission-turned-fort known as the Alamo at what is today San Antonio, Texas.

Under siege for 13 days, the defenders – who were Anglo settlers, fellow American allies, and ethnic Mexican natives in revolt against the central Mexican government - were finally overwhelmed by a superior Mexican army force and killed to the last man in the early morning hours of March 6. Their bodies were then burned.

Among those who died that day were six native Missourians: William Charles M. Baker, George D. Butler, Charles Henry Clark, George Washington Cottle, Jerry C. Day, and George W. Tumlinson. It is those men in particular that we talk about today.  When we say they were Missourians we mean they were born in the territory that would become the State of Missouri, since we didn't get statehood until 1821. Now that that is clarified, from this point on we will simply say Missouri instead of Missouri Territory. Like many of the Alamo defenders, not a whole lot is really known about most of the Missourians' backgrounds.

William Charles M. Baker was born in Missouri, though we don't know his age, and he later moved to Mississippi. After the Texas Revolution erupted in October 1835, Baker came to Texas as a volunteer to help in the revolt. He made his way to what was then San Antonio de Bexar and joined a rebel artillery battery that was involved in besieging the town, which at the time was held by national Mexican troops. After the Mexican force eventually surrendered, Baker became part of what I would characterize as a mounted infantry company that was sent elsewhere.

However, he returned to San Antonio on January 19, 1836 as captain of a detachment of 30 men led by the famous adventurer Jim Bowie. Baker entered the Alamo fort and never left it again.  George D. Butler was born in Missouri in 1813, making him 23 years old when he died on that chilly March 6th morning. He was probably a member of the New Orleans Greys ("grey" spelled the English way), two companies of volunteers that were raised and equipped in New Orleans for the cause of Texas independence. If so, he would have been uniformed in a grey jacket and pants with a round forage cap and armed with either a military rifle or musket. Unlike most of the Alamo defenders, the New Orleans Greys looked like soldiers. Most of them arrived in time to take an active part in the siege of Bexar, mentioned above. The Greys were reorganized after the siege and most went on to serve the cause elsewhere, but 23 men stayed to help with the garrison's defense. All 23 perished at the Alamo on March 6.

Charles Henry Clark, age unknown, was born in Missouri and was a member of the New Orleans Greys, one of the 23 men of his unit who remained behind at the Alamo. Like many men, he may have been on his way to Texas, by way of New Orleans, anyhow to apply for a land grant from Mexico when he enlisted in the Greys to take part in the uprising that would become a fight for Texas independence. Along the march to San Antonio de Bexar, Clark's company was treated to special dinners held in their honor, including one of roasted bear and champagne.

Unfortunately for Clark, he would lose his life at the end of the road. George Washington Cottle was born in 1811 in Missouri, though there is a question if he was actually born in Tennessee and came to Missouri as a child. At any rate, since he is listed as a Missourian in some places, we have included him here. His family located to a colony near Gonzales Texas in 1829. When the war broke out, he fought in the Battle of Gonzales early on. He was later one of the ill-fated 32 Gonzales men who rode to the aid of the Alamo defenders just five days before the slaughter on March 6. His wife gave birth to twin boys after his death.


Jerry C. Day was 18 years old when he died at the Alamo. He was born in Missouri and came to Texas with his family. They settled at Gonzales. When the revolution started, the Days got involved, with Jerry's father, Jeremiah Day, becoming a wagoner for the Texan army and also a signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence, a precursor to the official Texas Declaration by 73 days. Young Day fought in the siege of Bexar, was discharged from service, and then rejoined and became a member of the garrison at the Alamo where he died with the rest of his comrades.


George W. Tumlinson was born in Missouri in 1814. By the time of the Texas Revolution he was living in Gonzales. He enlisted in the revolutionary forces as an artilleryman and served in the siege of Bexar and then as part of the initial Alamo garrison. He was back in Gonzales, however, when the Alamo was surrounded. He probably felt a personal duty to help his comrades at his former post, and was part of the "Immortal 32" men of Gonzales who rode to the relief of the Alamo defenders, only to join them in their doom.

So here's to our six fellow Missourians who died in the cause of Texas independence at a now famous place called the Alamo. Hats off, boys!  Although we do not know if any of these men were from Cooper County, They deserve great credit for their bravery.

Source: Texas State Historical Association

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