New Orleans Greys

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New Orleans Greys
Flag of the New Orleans Grays.svg
CountryFlag of the United States (1822-1836).svg, Flag of the United States (1836-1837).svg
AllegianceRepublic of Texas, Flag of the United States (1822-1836).svg, Flag of the United States (1836-1837).svg
Typevolunteers (militia)
RoleGround-based military warfare
Size2 companies (122 men)
Part ofTexian Army
EngagementsTexas Revolution
Stephen F. Austin
Thomas H. Breece
Robert C. Morris
Sam Houston
James Fannin 
William Travis 
James Bowie 
Davy Crockett 

The New Orleans Greys were a Military volunteer unit of two militia companies that totaled about 120 men that had formed in the city of that name for service in the Texas War of Independence. Their name came from the grey military fatigues they wore.

Companies formed[edit]

The New Orleans Greys were organized in New Orleans on October 13, 1835, at the Coffee house and Arcade of Thomas Banks. Adolphus Sterne, a Nacogdoches businessman, favored the Texas Revolution and with approval from the Consultation, the Texas provisional government, financed the operation.

The New Orleans Greys were composed of two companies. One company of 54 men served under Captain Thomas H. Breece[1] and the other company of 68 men under Captain Robert C. Morris,[2] as well as several companies of Texians who had arrived recently, were eager to face the Mexican Army directly.[3]:38

Texas War of Independence[edit]

Twenty-three Greys fought and died at the Battle of the Alamo,[2] one died at the Siege of Béxar,[2] twenty-one were lost in the Goliad Campaign,[2] and seven Greys served at the Battle of San Jacinto.[2]

According to Thomas Ricks Lindley's research, up to 50 of Fannin's men, most of whom primarily had been in Thomas H. Breece's company of New Orleans Greys, left Fannin's command in Goliad to go to the rescue of their former associates at the Alamo.[4]:137 Lindley believes that on March 3 these men must have joined with the Alamo advance relief company under John Chenoweth and Francis L. DeSauque, as well as with Juan Seguin and his Tejano company. That afternoon, the entire group joined with the Gonzales relief unit waiting at the Cibolo Creek, 35 miles (56 km) from the Alamo.[4]:138

Uniforms and weapons[edit]

Unlike the majority of the Texian Army volunteers, the New Orleans Greys looked like soldiers, with some uniforms, well-maintained rifles, US-pattern muskets, adequate ammunition, and some semblance of discipline. The Greys had brought an extra special piece of equipment along with them; a 18-pounder cannon. The 18-pounder had arrived at Velasco with the New Orleans Greys aboard the schooner Columbus. It had been left behind when the Greys realized that they had forgotten to bring any cannonballs for their oversized artillery. A special convoy was sent by Philip Dimmitt, commander of Fort LaBahia to retrieve the cannon. A party of 20 men were tasked with the mission to haul the 18-pounder cannon from Dimmitt's Landing to San Antonio, to use during the siege of Bexar. They were soon joined by others, including twenty members of the Greys, until the group totaled 75 men. They struggled with the giant cannon for about 200 miles, pushing and pulling, until they finally rolled in to San Antonio. They arrived two days after the battle, when General Cos had already surrendered. But all their work was not in vain; the cannon would earn a special place in the Alamo compound when it was used in the Battle of the Alamo[5]

Unit disbanded[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cutrer, Thomas W. BREECE, THOMAS H. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. ISBN 0-87611-151-7. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Young, Kevin R. (June 15, 2010). NEW ORLEANS GREYS. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. ISBN 0-87611-151-7. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Barr, Alwyn (1990), Texans in Revolt: The Battle for San Antonio, 1835, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, ISBN 978-0-292-77042-3
  4. ^ a b Lindley, Thomas Ricks (2003), Alamo Traces: New Evidence and New Conclusions, Lanham, MD: Republic of Texas Press, ISBN 1-55622-983-6
  5. ^ Young, Barbara L. CAYCE, HENRY PETTY. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. ISBN 0-87611-151-7. Retrieved January 9, 2015.

Miller, Edward, New Orleans and the Texas Revolution. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-58544-358-1

External links[edit]

Edward L. Miller, New Orleans and the Texas Revolution (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004)