Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Youngest Alamo Defender

William Philip King –
Oct. 8, 1820 – March 6, 1836

On February 27, 1836, fourteen men, known as the Gonzales Mounted Rangers, under the command of Lieutenant George C. Kimble rode for San Antonio with a relief force of eleven other Gonzales men under the command of Captain Albert Martin. Included in the mounted ranger corps were a trio of youthful defenders, Privates, John Gaston, 17, Galba Fugua, 16, and William Philip King, 15. King is regarded by most historians as the youngest of the Alamo defenders. William had pleaded with his father, John Gladden King, the original Kimble enlistee, to allow him to take his place in the relief column. John King reluctantly agreed, as illness required he remain in Gonzales with his family. (Alamo Battle Painting - Texas State Library & Archives.)

Between Gonzales and San Antonio, the Gonzales relief force added seven more volunteers to their ranks, and on the morning of March 1, 1836 at 3:00 a.m., the group worked their way past Santa Anna's troops and entered the Alamo. The thirty-two men of the Gonzales relief force are thought to have been the last full company to reinforce Lieutenant Colonel William Barrett Travis. All thirty-two men perished with the other Alamo defenders.

Susanna Dickinson recalled that one of the last defenders in the chapel was a man called "Wolff." Mrs. Dickinson recalled "Wolff" asking the Mexicans for clemency, but being killed along with his two sons.

There was an Alamo defender by the name of Anthony Wolf . Wolf was attached to William R. Carey's artillery company. Wolf's sons were listed as being, 11 and 12, which would make them the youngest members of the Alamo garrison to die that day . . . but that . . . well that's a whole 'nuther story . . . .

Read more about William Philip King at the Handbook of Texas Online

Read more about Anthony Wolf at the Handbook of Texas Online

Read more about the Gonzales Mounted Rangers at Texas Ranger Dispatch Magazine

Copyright 2008 Mike Kearby