George Lord was a man who was directly connected to Seguin but very few know of him. Like so many people, he played an important part, then faded into history. George Lord was a soldier, Texas Ranger and rancher. He joined the Texas Rangers from Seguin, Gonzales and Austin to stop General Vicente Cordova’s invasion just five miles east of Seguin in the Prairie Ground Battle in 1839. The battle site is located two miles east of the Randolph AFB auxiliary field at the corner of Pankau and Highway 90A and is marked with a large granite marker.
George Lord was born in Saffron Walden, Essex County, England, on April 21, 1816. In 1836 he moved to New Orleans and joined the New Orleans Volunteers and landed in Galveston in February 1837, too late to join the Texas revolution. He joined the Texas Army under Colonel Burleson and left when the army was furloughed.
In September 1839 he joined the Federalist forces under General Canales, along with Juan Seguin in their fight against the Centralist army under Santa Anna in Mexico. The revolt failed and Canales later joined forces with Santa Anna. Juan Seguin had backed Canales financially and the failed revolution left him bankrupt. Juan became active in a smuggling operation shipping guns and ammunition, but when that failed he was not compensated for his losses. This left him even further in debt. Seguin then became active in real estate, and mortgaged more of his land and ventured into risky land speculation, but that also failed, again leaving him even deeper in debt. Because of political intrigue and accusations of treason during the failed Santa Fe Expedition, as reported by General Vasquez when he invaded San Antonio in 1842, Juan Seguin moved to Mexico where he would serve Santa Anna for six years as his cavalry commander.
During that time, in September 1842, General Woll, under Santa Anna’s orders, invaded San Antonio and captured members of the court that was in session at the time. Juan Seguin, acting as General Woll’s cavalry commander of the “Defendoers de Texas” guided the Mexican invasion forces and was responsible for capturing the center of town. During this invasion and the Battle of Salado Creek, Juan Seguin was observed to be striking the Mexican soldiers with the flat of his sword, driving them to attack the Texans. This action sealed the name of traitor on Juan at the time. This was reported in Henderson Yoakum’s History of Texas, published in 1856. The Seguin Mercury newspaper on April 7, 1858, quoted Senator Henry McCulloch, former Texas Ranger, in a speech on the Texas Senate floor, “that in my presence, Sir, I shall never forget my feelings upon that occasion. In the fall of 1842, General Woll, a Mexican General under Santa Anna, at the head of a Mexican army of some 1200 strong and led, in part, by heartless traitors—when I say that I mean what I say, and will name Colonel Juan Seguin as a heartless traitor, and Captain Antonio Perez, who is now dead, as the leaders of these traitors.” Juan Seguin and the other officers were awarded a special medal for their involvement in the invasion of San Antonio. Juan would act as Santa Anna’s cavalry commander in the Mexican-American War in 1846-48 and was recognized and praised for his actions in the battle of Padierna. (Feb. 23, 1847.)
After the Mexican-American War Juan moved back to Floresville, Texas, and ranched next to his father’s, (Erasmo) ranch. He served as Floresville Justice of the Peace for a few months then moved back to Mexico where his son, Santiago, was mayor of Nuevo Laredo. In Mexico Juan accepted a position as colonel in the Army of Benito Juarez where he served until 1871.
There has been attempts to show that Juan had been a Texas Ranger. However, Ms. Lohr, employee of Byron Johnson, director of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, could find no records of Juan ever serving as a ranger. Christina Stopka, researcher for the Waco Texas Ranger Museum, after extensive research, also found no record of Juan Seguin ever serving as a ranger. Her research shows 207 Hispanics served as Texas Rangers in the Republic before statehood in 1845.
(Additionally, Wikipedia and Google state Juan Seguin signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Out of 60 men, only three Hispanics signed the declaration: Jose Antonio Navarro of Seguin, Jose R. Ruiz and Vice President Lorenzo de Zavala. Our town’s name was changed from Walnut Springs to Seguin in February 1839, prior to Juan Seguin’s political problems. Some historians think the name of Seguin was in honor of Erasmo Seguin, Juan’s father, who was a hero to all Texans. Two pages containing minutes regarding the decision were torn from the records at a later date.)
Juan Seguin’s political problems should in no way distract from the heroic actions of his father or all the other Hispanics who fought for Texas Independence.
George Lord was in the Texas Rangers from Seguin in the Battle of Salado Creek near San Antonio against Colonel Juan Seguin and helped drive the Mexican invaders from the city. After the Mexican army withdrew, a punitive force was organized under General Somervell with the plan to pursue the withdrawing invaders. George Lord joined the expedition as a member of Captain Cameron’s company. When the expedition reached the Rio Grande General Somervell ordered the end of the expedition and directed everyone return home. Six companies of men refused to disband and formed what became known as the Mier Expedition. Texas Rangers Ezekiel Smith, Big Foot Wallace and other Rangers from Seguin were beside him in Captain Cameron’s company in the Battle of Mier when they were captured and taken to Perot Prison near Santa Cruz.
A group of the Texans escaped from the prison, among them was Lord, but they were recaptured after suffering greatly from thirst and starvation. Santa Anna ordered that they were all to be executed. However, through the efforts of American and European diplomats, the order was changed to only execute every 10th man. The men were forced to take part in what would be called the Black Bean Episode where 17 black beans were mixed with white beans and each man would draw a bean. Those drawing a black bean were immediately executed. Lord survived the drawing and was placed back in prison with the other Texans.
On Sept. 14, 1844, George was released from the Perote prison with the other prisoners and returned to Gonzales. Two years later, in 1846, George fought in the Mexican-American War with Jack Coffee Hay’s Rangers. After the war he left for California and the gold rush at the same time Ranger Jack Hays departed. He was successful in his quest for gold and returned to Texas with more than $7,000 (now worth $220,000.)
George Lord received 1280 acres from the state of Texas, went into the cattle business and established a ranch 20 miles south of Gonzales. During the Civil War George served two years in the home guard and later moved to DeWitt County. In 1894, he moved to Cuero where he died the following year. He was buried in Cheapside, Texas, twenty miles south of Gonzales.
Cheapside, once a community of more than 500 people is now a ghost town where only the remains of a small church exist. A newspaper in Gonzales wrote in 2012 that in Cheapside there are “a few buildings teetering on collapse that become less and less visible through the trees and weeds, which have started to reclaim the abandoned town.”
In 1937, a manuscript was discovered which had supposedly been written in 1881 by Lord, describing his account of his Mier experiences. It was published in 1938. This manuscript had actually been published in 1883 by Lord’s neighbor in another publication. Lord’s signature had been forged on the manuscript.