Mr. Speaker, today I honor another Poe from Texas and an unsung patriot during our Revolution, George Washington Poe. The Legacy of Texas States: ‘‘Born in Ohio, he and his wife, Frances, traveled to Texas as quickly as they could. It was in Texas that he found success in the military, building up the young Army’s artillery and seeing to the needs of the men fighting for the Revolution’s cause.
We all know the legendary story of Sam Houston and his role in our state’s history. It was on this day in 1836 that Houston referred to Poe as a major, no doubt a reference to his volunteer rank since he was officially a third lieutenant in the fledgling regular army. Records show that while the political leaders of Texas wrestled with who should lead the Army in early 1836, Poe remained fiercely loyal to Houston. In a letter to Houston, Poe declared that he and his company ‘‘do not nor will not know any other General than Sam Houston."
Poe’s strong sense of loyalty proved to be fruitful for his military career. He soon was appointed assistant Inspector General of the Army, and was in charge of a 120-man garrison at Velasco. When the General Council assembled and established an official army for the Republic of Texas in March of 1836, Poe was appointed captain of the artillery.
That appointment seemed like a demotion to Poe. In a letter to Thomas J. Rusk, he protested saying he deserved to be a major. In mid-March, Poe and his artillery unit departed Velasco to join Sam Houston again, where it is documented that he later participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, Poe experienced two significant ceremonial milestones in his career that speak to the high regard in which he was held. Poe commanded the artillery piece that fired a salute over the remains of Fannin’s men near the mission of La Bahia and later served as marshal of the funeral procession for Stephen F. Austin.
After leaving the military, Poe settled in Houston where he worked in land speculation. Houston remained loyal to his faithful supporter, and nominated Poe to be stock commissioner of the new Republic. Poe died on Texas soil, and although his name has failed to become as legendary as Houston, Bowie, or Travis; his contributions to our history and the success of Texas are worthy of remembrance.’’
It is always interesting to hear the history of bygone days of the Texas Revolution, especially about another Poe from Texas.
And that’s just the way it is.