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|Alfonso Steele: Last survivor of the Battle of San Jacinto|
(22nd in a Series)
There is no record as to whether Natchez attorney, politician and militia captain John Quitman ever met Alfonso Steele, a 19-year-old Kentucky native who was among the 23 wounded while fighting for Texas independence against Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto near Houston, Texas, on April 21, 1836.
Steele's death at age 94 in 1911, like the decisive Texas victory at San Jacinto, is historically significant. He was the last Texas survivor of the battle.
His portrait hangs in the Texas State Capitol. Some of his many descendants live in Concordia and Catahoula parishes today. One is John Rife, who is president of the Concordia Parish Farm Bureau.
According to "Our Island Heritage, Volume 2," a book about the town of Sicily Island, I.A. "Al" Steele, a grandson of Alponso Steele, settled in Sicily Island in the late 1800s after a two-week horse ride from Limestone County, Texas.
Decades earlier, in 1836, John Quitman arrived two days after the Battle of San Jacinto during which Mexican general and dictator Santa Anna was captured. There, Texas Gen. Sam Houston, following the advice of Quitman, spared Santa Anna's life in exchange for an agreement that the remainder of the Mexican army go home.
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