Birth: Apr. 9, 1817
Death: Jul. 8, 1911
Alfonso [Parcutt(1)] Steele was born on April 9, 1817, in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was the son of Stephen and Susan McCarthy Steele. They were a pioneering family and like most, life was not easy, and Alfonso left home at the young age of seventeen. In 1834, he traveled down the Mississippi by boat to lake Providence Louisiana. This is where he eventually joined Captain Daggett’s volunteer company being organized to help secure independence in Texas. They were a little premature however, because when they arrived at Washington on the Brazos, (January, 1836) Texas had not yet declared its independence.
The young Steele was not one to sit idle, and procured a job at a local gristmill, where he helped make the bread that fed the men who eventually signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Alfonso like many others in Texas at the time could not be satisfied with a regular run of the mill job, and as soon as he heard of a group of volunteers being organized by a Captain Joseph H. Bennett to aid the men in San Antonio, he signed on to fight.
The men were soon saddened however, because at the Colorado River word reached them about the fall of the Alamo. From there, the company headed to Beason’s Crossing where they were absorbed into the main army of Texas.
On April 8, 1836, Alfonso ended up in the company of Captain James Gillaspie. They became the 6th Company, Texas Volunteers, 2nd Regiment, under the command of Major Sidney Sherman, and were in the thick of it on April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Private Steele was wounded almost immediately, in one of the first volleys of the battle, and his horse was reportedly one of three that General Houston
rode during the action, and eventually being shot out from under the famous Commander. Alfonso may have been on foot but it did not stop him, as he continued to fight until the Texans won the day.
Vice President of the Republic of Texas, Lorenzo De Zavala’s home was across Buffalo Bayou from the battleground, and it was converted into a field hospital. Many of the wounded, including Alfonso Steele were transported there for medical care. Later he was moved with others to a small hospital on Perkin’s Island and eventually he ended up in Montgomery County. He raised cattle and did a little farming while he regained his strength.
Miss. Mary Ann Powell, daughter of Archibald Powell was born in Tennessee on January 2, 1823, and moved to Texas in 1833. Mary Ann and Alfonso Steele became man and wife in Montgomery County on September 28, 1838. The Steele’s moved to Robertson County and had several children. This part of Robertson County was later taken in by the organization of Limestone County, and the family resided there until 1903, when Mrs. Steele past away. Alfonso died near the small town of Kosse, Texas, on July 8, 1911, at the home of a grandson. He was buried in the Mexia City Cemetery, in Limestone, Texas.
Alfonso Steels’ portrait hangs today at the state capital in Austin, Texas in honor of the last soldier to die, that fought in The Battle of San Jacinto.
The Last Hero
by Jake H. Harrison
All alone, we see him standing,
Like a sentry on the wall,
Knowing well that soon upon him
Hands of Death must surely fall;
Last of all the valiant heroes
Who at San Jacinto stood,
Like a grove of giant poplars
In some dark enchanted wood.
Stood for freedom, God and country,
Stood for liberty and right,
Fought with startling odds against the
Facing prospects black as night!
Prison, torture, death, awaited,
If their slender arms should fail,
Yet no hand was seen to tremble,
And no face was seen to pale!
Bravely went they to their duty,
Doing each a hero’s part,
Bearing each a freeman’s burden
With a brave unshrinking heart;
Till the battle shock was over,
And the foe was forc’d to yield,
Leaving God, and right, the victors,
On proud San Jacinto’s field.
Broken was the dread invader
On the wheel of honest might,
Tyrant, insolent dictator,
Conquer’d, captur’d, in the fight!
Glory shone, like stars in heaven,
Liberty was seen to smile.
And the angels guarding Freedom
Chanted praises loud the while!
Then a Nation, proudly stepping
To the front, her flag unfurl’d,
Taking rank in hero annals
With the proudest of the world!
Gone are all those valiant heroes,
Held in such supreme regard;
Gone to him, who in his wisdom
Will their services reward;
Save the one lone figure standing,
Daring still the hand of Fate,
Solitary in his glory
One without a peer or mate!
Bare the head to him, ye freemen,
Worship is not fulsome praise!
Let us make a bed of roses
Out of his remaining days.
[Photo of old Texian veterans that was taken by Houston photographer, Samuel Anderson. Veterans were escorted on a tour of the San Jacinto battleground by members of San Jacinto Chapter/ Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1894 for the purpose of describing in detail what took place during the battle. According to Nancy Burch, current 2004 member San Jacinto Chapter Daughters of the Republic of Texas whose great grandmother, Maggie Houston Williams, was on the tour, veterans L.C. Cunningham (1810-1896), J.R. Fenn (1824-1904), James M. Harbour, James M. Hill (1818-1905), F.R. Lubbock (1815-1905), John W. McHorse (1819-1897), Henry McCulloch (1816-1895), S.F. Sparks (1819-1908) and J.W. Winters (1819-1903) attended. Sion Bostick is sitting left, James Washington Winters Jr. is at front row center, on his left is James Monroe Hill. John McHorse is standing third from left and on his left is Texas governor Francis R. Lubbock. http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/sanjvets.htm]
Robert Scott Patrick
San Jacinto Descendants
Spouse: Mary Ann Powell Steele
(1823 – 1903)
Hampton Steele (1840 – 1928)*
Alonzo L. Steele (1841 – 1936)*
Rado Steele (1843 – 1934)*
Francis M Steele (1847 – 1883)*
Mary Ann Steele Bennett (1854 – 1940)*
Burial: Mexia City Cemetery, Mexia,
Limestone County, Texas, USA
Created by: Robert “Scott” Patrick
Record added: Nov 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31239983
Alfonso Steele’s father (Stephen Parcutt Steele 1776-1853, born in New Jersey, died in Limestone, Texas, USA.) was in the War of 1812.
Alfonso Parcutt Steele’s grandfather was Thomas Parcutt Steele, whose (DAR Record is probably:
Steele, Thomas Ancestor #: A108295
Notice: Data In The Correction File (Why?)
Service: New York Rank: Seaman
Birth: (Circa) 1733 Dublin Co Dublin Ireland
Death: 10-27-1809 Jessamine Co Kentucky
Service Source: Morgan, Naval Docs Of The Am Rev, Vol 5 P 32; Vol 6, Pp 1413-1414
Service Description: 1) Capt Thomas Creiger, On Board The Schooner ‘General Putnam’ 1776
- The Handbook of Texas Online– Alfonso Steele
- Who Is Log– Alfonso Steele
- Biography of Private Alfonso Steele (1906)
- Find-a-grave– Alfonso Steele
- Alfonso Steele and the Battle of San Jacinto
- Limestone County Alfonso Steele Roadside Park
- Find-a-grave– Mary Ann Powell Steele
- The Battle of San Jacinto
- Veteran Biographies– Alfonso Steele
- Morgan, Naval Documents of the American Revolution, Volume 5, p.32.
- Morgan, Naval Documents of the American Revolution, Volume 6, p.1413-1414.