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    [Siege of Bexar]. Edward Burleson Document Signed. One page, 7.25" x 2.5". "Head Quarters above Bexar"; December 4, 1835. The document, signed by Burleson, as commander in chief of the Texas volunteer army, honorably discharges John Foster: "John Foster, who joined the Army on the 8th of October at Gonzales, is hereby honorable discharged, having well performed the duty of a Soldier." Burleson signs in full adding his rank as "Commander in Chief of the Volunteer Army."

    The document is attached to a second sheet of similarly sized paper with a wax seal that reads: "I transfer the within to F. T. Wells. Brazorio. Febry. 19th. 1836. John Foster." Foster is possibly transferring a bounty and is including the discharge as proof of rights to said bounty.

    John R. Foster was the son of John Foster (?-1837), one of the original "Old Three Hundred" settlers in Texas.

    Burleson signed this document two days before his army attacked Bexar. He had originally planned to move his troops back to Goliad due to limited supplies and the approach of winter. The Siege of Bexar (San Antonio), the first major campaign of the Texas Revolution, began in October 1835 and culminated in the surrender of Mexican forces to Burleson on December 9. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.

    Condition: Both sheets have horizontal and vertical folds, with moderate wear and foxing. A previous collector's note on the document reads: "Siege of Bexar next day - on 3rd EB ordered troops to move back to goliad but on 4th Ben Milam returned and asked for volunteers to attack San Antonio held by Cos. This discharge shows some evidence that Burleson was not expecting a fight." Lot includes a modern re-print of a photograph of Burleson.

    More Information:

    Burleson moved to Texas in 1830, and applied for land in March 1831; title was issued on April 4, 1831. By 1832, he was a serving on the town council at San Felipe de Austin. In December 1832 Burleson was elected lieutenant colonel of the militia of Austin Municipality. In November 1835, he replaced Stephen F. Austin as general of the volunteer army. That same month Burleson participated in the siege of Bexar. On December 1, 1835, he was commissioned commander in chief of the volunteer army by the provisional government of Texas. On December 6, two days after discharging John Foster, Burleson's troops entered Bexar. 


    The volunteer army disbanded later that month and Burleson subsequently raised a company and rode to Gonzales in February 1836, where he was elected colonel of the infantry, First Regiment, in March 1836.  On April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto, he commanded the First Regiment, which was placed opposite Mexican breastworks and was the first to charge them. Burleson accepted the sword and surrender of the Mexican army. Burleson later served the Republic of Texas as a soldier and as a politician, serving as vice president of the Republic and in the Republic's First Legislature. 

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
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