At far left is one of Juan Seguin’s Tejano volunteers, from San Antonio de Bexar, Nacogdoches, and other Texas communities where Mexicans who opposed Santa Anna lived. During the battle, according to accounts, some of the Tejanos wielded Bowie knives as well as longarms.
The Texian officer, in black top hat, carries a straight-bladed officer’s sword based on the actual relic of a Tennessee staff officer’s sword during the Texas revolution.
The soldier in grey fatigue uniform and blue cap is one of the U.S. Army deserters who joined the Texians in their revolution. He carries a circa 1816 flintlock musket, sometimes called a Harpers Ferry.
The Flag Bearer
The flag bearer was James Austin Sylvester, age 28, who was a member of Captain Sidney Sherman’s Kentucky volunteer company raised in December 1835. Sylvester is shown carrying a double-barreled shotgun on his back, and a leather belt and pouch with twin flasks for loading buckshot into the gun.
Sherman’s company had been uniformed, but no description exists of that uniform. At the battle, however, Sherman was said to have worn a blue roundabout jacket. Blue may have been the company’s uniform color, too.
At far right is a true “buckskin” of the frontier. His cap is made from the skin of a wildcat, his hunting shirt and leggings of deerskin. Over his shoulder is a Cherokee hunting pouch and a powder horn. His tomahawk is similar in style to one owned by Stephen Austin. His main weapon is a short flintlock rifle, which was preferred for horseback riding.
The San Jacinto battle flag was given to the company by the ladies of Newport, Kentucky. Tradition has it that one of the ladies at the reception gave either Sylvester or Captain Sherman her long ballroom glove to bear on the point of the flagpole in battle. It was described as either a white glove or a red one, and was lost during the Battle of San Jacinto.
The flag now hangs in the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives.