While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

VERNON, JOHN ALEXANDER

James A. Hathcock and Bruce Allardice

VERNON, JOHN ALEXANDER (1831–1891). John Alexander Vernon, county sheriff and Confederate army officer, was born in South Carolina in 1831. In 1850 and 1860 John was a farmer in Webb and Karnes County, respectively, living with the family of Edward and Ann H. Winfield. The presumption is that Ann was either his mother or aunt. In the mid-1850s he served as sheriff of Nueces County. 

With the outbreak of Civil War, John A. Vernon volunteered for service in the Confederate Army and received a commission as captain, Company A, Fourth Texas Artillery Battalion on December 10, 1861. The regiment was commanded by Capt. Daniel D. Shea. The Texas Fourth Artillery Battalion under Shea was consolidated with the Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment in February 1863 and placed under the command of Col. Alfred M. Hobby. John A. Vernon and the men of the regiment served along the Texas Gulf Coast during the war and took part in the battles of Corpus Christi on August 16–18, 1862, Lavaca from October 31 to November 1, 1862, and Saint Joseph's Island on May 3, 1863. On May 14, 1864, Vernon received a promotion to major and served at that rank until the end of the war. Vernon and the men of the Eighth Regiment officially surrendered on May 26, 1865, along with the rest of the Trans-Mississippi Department.

After the war he married Mrs. Celestia Shannon of Washington County, Texas, on May 4, 1865 and settled down to run her farm properties. Celestia's daughter by her first marriage, Huldah, lived with them. Active in local government, he served as justice of the peace, and made a run for county sheriff. In 1887 he was called before the United States Congress to testify about election-related murders in Washington County. Major Vernon died on January 1, 1891.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Madison County Historical Commission, A History of Madison County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, James A. Hathcock and Bruce Allardice, "VERNON, JOHN ALEXANDER," accessed July 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fve23.

Uploaded on April 11, 2011. Modified on August 4, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...