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Joe Darrell Wilson

PILANT, GEORGE B. (ca. 1812–1887). George B. Pilant, a soldier in the Texas Revolution and the Mier expedition, was born in Alabama around 1812. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Pilant. George and possibly his parents came to Texas in 1836 and settled in Fort Bend County.

Shortly after his arrival in Texas, George Pilant enlisted in the Army of the Republic of Texas. He served as a private in Capt. John McClure's Company F of the First Regiment of Infantry from June 6, 1836, to December 14, 1837, when he was honorably discharged. He received a public debt claim certificate in the amount of $146.11 for his service of eighteen months and eight days. In December 1837 Pilant received a bounty warrant for 1,280 acres of land from Secretary of War Barnard E. Bee, Sr., for his service in the Army of the Republic of Texas. The 1,280-acre tract in Grayson County, Texas, was patented to him on January 23, 1849. He also received a special right grant for those who volunteered for military service in Texas before August 1, 1836. This Class 2M grant was for a one-third league of land in Brazoria County, Texas. Headrights were granted under the laws of the Republic of Texas to new residents. George Pilant received a Bexar District first-class headright grant for a league and labor totaling 4,605.50 acres. He patented 2,302.75 acres in LaSalle County and 2,302.50 in Frio County. He was also entitled to a second-class grant given to those who came to Texas after March 2, 1836, but prior to October 1, 1837. His grant, patented August 17, 1846, was for 1,476 acres (one-third league) in Collin County, Texas. Gifford White’s 1840 Citizens of Texas listed G. B. Pilant on the tax rolls in Fort Bend County prior to June 1, 1840.

On September 26, 1842, George Pilant enlisted in Capt, William Ryon's Company for the Mier expedition. He served as a mounted ranger and furnished his own horse, arms, and equipment. On December 25, 1842, in the battle at Mier, Mexico, Pilant was seriously wounded by a gunshot through the breast and shoulder. The wound resulted in a permanent disability. On December 26 the Texans surrendered to the Mexican Army. The Texans who were able were marched to Matamoros and on to Mexico City. Those that were too seriously wounded, including Pilant, were left in the hospital at Mier. After twenty days as a prisoner of war, he and seven others escaped from the hospital and made their way back to Texas. After a long and arduous journey he arrived back home in March 1843. For services and losses sustained on the Mier expedition, he received a public debt claim certificate, dated June 17, 1850, from the state of Texas in the amount of $650.

After his military adventures, George Pilant became a farmer in Fort Bend County and by 1850 owned real estate valued at $4,000. In 1860, at George’s residence, his father William died of bronchitis. The census taken on June 11, 1860, listed George’s mother, Elizabeth, in the household. At that time he owned real estate valued at $10,000 and personal property of $500. About 1866 George and his mother moved to Harris County and there he entered the dairy business.

In 1870 Pilant made an application for a pension from the state of Texas for his service in the Army of the Republic of Texas and his participation in the Mier expedition. Capt. William Ryon, Elizabeth Pilant, and others signed affidavits supporting the application. The pension application was approved on October 28, 1870. George B. Pilant died in Houston, Texas, in 1887.


John C. Barron, Republic of Texas Pension Application Abstracts (Austin: Austin Genealogical Society, 1987).Thomas Lloyd Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). George B. Pilant, Pension Application File, Texas State Library and Archives, Austin. George B. Pilant, Public Debt Claim File, Texas State Library and Archives, Austin. Benjamin F. Purl, comp., Republic of Texas Second Class Headrights March 2, 1836–October 1, 1837, transcr. Alma Nettie Wilson Barnes (Houston, 1974). Gifford White, 1840 Citizens of Texas (2 vols., Austin, 1983–84). Gifford White, 1840 Citizens of Texas, Volume 3 Land Grants (Austin: Ingmire Publications, 1988).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Joe Darrell Wilson, "PILANT, GEORGE B.," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpi56.

Uploaded on April 1, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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