Are you up for a little history today? We haven’t had any in while. I found this article about Samuel Walker that interested me.
Walker arrived in Texas six years following the War for Independence. He would only live five more years but in that time, he left an indelible mark. Such as defend San Antonio from Mexican forces, invade Mexico four times, escape from a Mexican prison, and help design one of the most famous guns in Texas.
In 1843, he was captured and put in a Mexican prison. Instead of killing all 176 Texas militiamen, they made them draw beans from a pot. Whoever drew a black bean would die and the ones with the white beans would live. Walker drew a white bean and was marched 800 miles across Mexico’s most brutal deserts.
He eventually escaped and made it back to Texas where he joined the Texas Rangers in 1844.
This photo taken by Mathew Benjamin Brady is in the Library of Congress under Public Domain.
When General Zachary Taylor (who later became president of the U.S.) asked for volunteers for a dangerous mission, Walker raised his hand. It seems danger was something he thrived on. He led the battle for Monterrey and hoisted the American flag.
Have you ever heard of the Walker Colt revolver? In 1846, Samuel Walker met up with Samuel Colt and together they designed the heaviest military sidearm ever issued. It remained the heaviest for 88 years. It had a nine-inch barrel and a .44 caliber round and an effective range of 100 yards. That’s the length of a football field. Impressive.
By Samuel Colt – This file was donated to Wikimedia Commons as part of a project by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See the Image and Data Resources Open Access Policy, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58745572
The only drawback was that it weighed 4 ½ pounds, far too heavy for most men to hold with one hand. A lot of users made a scabbard and kept it on their horse, only using it when the need arose.
It was an awesome weapon. Several years ago I had the opportunity to hold one and I had to use both hands to pick it up and even then I could barely raise it to aim.
I’m not a gun advocate but I do admire the workmanship of this. I also admire Samuel Walker and the large life he lived, the mark he left on history, in just 5 years. A Texas Ranger Captain and officer of the republic, he died in 1847 in battle. A fitting end to a legend.
I’ve put the Texas Rangers into some of my stories but never as the main character. I may have to remedy that.
Do you ever find that a piece of history just leaps out at you? That happens to me all the time and I go chasing a rabbit down a hole. I’ll have a new book out in March called Winning Maura’s Heart. CLICK HERE to preorder. Who is the mysterious man known only as Calhoun?