Richard (Rick) Allen
In the late summer of 1835 a young man sat in the window of his dormitory room, watching his school mates at play. Regulations, at what one day would be called the University of South Carolina, were severe. Young scholars were to be at study, not engaging in frivolous pursuits. It’s not known if the young man was using the afternoon’s window light for study or simply day dreaming. What happened next would cause the young man to embark on a journey that would change his life and forever alter the course of history.
My name is Richard Allen. Born in Georgia, I developed my passion for history and my native state from my father. My maternal grandmother lived with us, and I spent hours listening to her recollections and stories about family. Although short on dates and details, her tales further fueled my interest in history and family. As my grandparents and later parents and their brothers and sisters passed away, I realized my family’s stories were being lost. An historian by training, I decided I would memorialize the exploits and traditions of my family. I thought the project would take six to twelve months to complete. That was thirty years ago and I am not finished yet!
A cousin by marriage, Dr. Homer Cooper, a professor at the University of Georgia and an amateur genealogist, studied my maternal grandfather’s lines, the Irvin and Milner families. His work, completed before the age of online genealogy, was conducted the old-fashioned way. In libraries and archives, historical societies and courthouses, Dr. Cooper labored many hours and even days working out names, dates and localities. His research was meticulous, his standards of accuracy of the highest order. To him I owe a great debt. I have always tried to live up to his standards. I have become aware that such a journey is never complete. There are always new sources to uncover, mistakes to correct, cousins and friends to meet.
I received a great unexpected reward from my own research: many new contacts and friendships. Many of these are distant cousins and I have learned much from them. Two in particular should be mentioned. Michael Trezevant of South Carolina was of great assistance, providing direction and sharing sources. It was from him that I learned about the memoirs of Charlotte Trezevant. The younger sister of that young man in the window, she tells the highly improbable tale about the 19-year-old’s trip to Texas, his fighting for its independence, and his eventual promotion to Major in the Republic’s armed forces. All in less than one year! I’ve lost contact with Michael. The last time I heard from him, his health was declining. I hope he is well and I wish him the best.
James Peter Trezevant, that young man in the window, is my third great uncle. His story became almost an obsession. Although he is recognized as a member (and one of the very few Goliad survivors) of the Georgia Battalion , a participant in the Battle of San Refugio, and a recipient of Texas land for his status as a veteran, he has not yet been recognized for his participation the climactic battle of San Jacinto and service during the unheralded interval between General Santa Anna’s surrender and the official cessation of hostilities some months later. I needed more information. I needed someone to assist in my cause, someone with family ties to James P. Trezevant. For fifteen years I searched his line looking for someone with an interest in James.
Luck finally smiled when I found distant cousin Robert Trezevant, originally from Texas and now living in Illinois. Bob, a retired teacher, had the time and the interest for the task at hand. Bob and I shared information and inspiration. It turns out Bob is a force of nature. His energy, passion and resources have been most welcome to me. Without him, this website would not be possible.
As Bob and I researched our mutual ancestor, the tragic story of the Georgia Battalion became evident. Largely forgotten in both Georgia and Texas, it is mentioned only as a footnote in the historical record. Little has been published about this organized group of Georgians who saw both injustice and opportunity in Texas. It is our goal to promote the memory of these sons of Georgia, who reside in the soil of a now-free Texas.
You see, that young man sitting in the window long ago has inspired at least two additional journeys. For fifteen years I have been studying and advocating for James P. Trezevant’s and the Georgia Battalion’s place in history. You are cordially invited to join our campaign.
R. J. A.
Robert (Bob) Trezevant
I am a great-great-grandson of James Peter Trezevant (1815-1860), who was a member of the Georgia Battalion, a survivor of the Goliad Massacre, and a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto. Born in 1941 in Tyler, Texas, I grew up knowing about the history of the Trezevant family in the United States because of a family genealogy book. Through my ancestors I could relive American history, from this French Huguenot family’s arrival in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1685, to their involvement in the events of their time–the American Revolution, the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, and on through the 20th century. Since my teen years I’ve been an avid reader of history and a devotee of my family’s genealogy. I grew up listening to Trezevant family stories and visiting family properties and tombstones in Franklin and Richland parishes in Louisiana. That young man in the window in South Carolina in 1835, James Peter Trezevant, had eventually settled in Louisiana, becoming the first of four generations of family members to live there. It was out of this context of family history that in April of 2010, on the 174th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, I discovered my personal connection to the Georgia Battalion and the Battle of San Jacinto, thanks to an Ancestry.com contact from a distant cousin and family historian, Rick Allen. Though we have never met in person, we have have been highly compatible in our historical work. I am hardly a “force of nature,” just obsessive in my devotion the recognition of family members where it is due. To Rick I am eternally grateful for the decades of research he has already done, for his rigorous pursuit of history, and for the inspiration he has given me to pursue our common goal of making complete the honors due the Georgia Battalion and all of its survivors. Rick and I have spent the past several years reviewing research, finding new sources, and planning this website. We look forward to the recognition of all those in the Georgia Battalion who fought and died for the cause of the independence of Texas.
R. W. T.