Gerard Brandon Munson

b. 20 September 1829, d. 22 March 1864
Gerard Brandon Munson|b. 20 Sep 1829\nd. 22 Mar 1864|p2548.htm|Henry William Munson|b. 15 Jan 1793\nd. 6 Oct 1833|p2528.htm|Ann Binum Pearce|b. 17 Apr 1800\nd. 6 Sep 1865|p2532.htm|Jesse Munson||p2533.htm||||William Pearce|b. c 1754\nd. 6 Nov 1813|p2668.htm|Sarah Bray|d. 6 Jun 1801|p2669.htm|

Uncle of George Poindexter Munson Sr.
Great-granduncle of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Munson and Allied Families
     Gerard Brandon Munson was born on 20 September 1829 at Oakland Plantation, Gulf Prairie, Austin's Colony, Coahuila and Texas, Republic of Mexico.1 He was the son of Henry William Munson and Ann Binum Pearce. He married Ann Elizabeth Westall on 16 October 1856 in Brazoria County, Texas.2 He died on 22 March 1864 at Oakland Plantation, Gulf Prairie, Brazoria County, Texas, at age 34.3
     Gerard was the first Munson son born at Oakland. He was just four years old when his father died and he was raised at Oakland by his mother and step-father, Ann and James P. Caldwell. The three oldest Munson boys appear to have attended their first ten years of school together, and their educational expenses are listed in the final settlement of their father's estate in 1848. In 1833-34, they attended the Thomas I. Pilgrim school that Henry William and James F. Perry had arranged for before Henry's death in 1833. The school probably closed by 1835 when Pilgrim began teaching at Bell's Landing. In 1836-37, they attended school in Liverpool with Fayette Copeland. Mr. Copeland died in 1837, and they attended school with M. Newell in Velasco for part of the year. They were then sent away to school for three years, attending the school of Mr. and Mrs. James D. Rumsey in Hopkinsville, Kentucky between 1838 and 1841. They were then sent away to school for three years, attending the school of Mr. and Mrs. James D. Rumsey in Hopkinsville, Kentucky between 1838 and 1841. In 1842 they attended Rutersville College, seven miles northeast of La Grange, in Fayette County, and their names appear on the roll. Rutersville College was the first chartered Protestant college in Texas. The institution, which flourished between 1840 and 1856, was the dream of Martin Ruter, a Methodist missionary from Tennessee and superintendent of the Methodist mission in Texas in the early days of the Republic. The three brothers left there in 1843 and thereafter attended different Methodist sponsored colleges east of the Mississippi River. Gerard attended Emory University at Oxford, Georgia, and in 1849 returned to Texas to help his stepfather manage Oakland. He assumed management of the plantation when his 'parents' moved to San Marcos, Texas, for their health in 1852.

     Mordello S. Munson petitioned the Probate Court of Brazoria County, Texas, on 27 March 1848 to have the estates of Henry W. Munson and William B. Munson partitioned. Henry William died intestate in 1833, "possessed of considerable property and leaving a widow, Ann B., who has since intermarried with James P. Caldwell, and four children, viz. William B., George and Gerrard and your petitioner." Henry William's estate had never been divided. This action was probably prompted by the untimely death of William Benjamin only nine days earlier, who died "intestate and without issue, possessed of some property, real and personal..." The petition also asks to have guardians appointed to "defend the interests of said minors in this suit..." This included the two children of James and Ann B. Caldwell Henry B. Andrews was appointed guardian "as litera." He and Ann B. and James P. Caldwell replied to the petition, all joining "in the prayer for the partition of said estate," Ann stating that she was entitled to half of the community property. Slaves belonging to the estate were not partitioned off until about 1850. Gerard's part in the division was four Negroes, Jerry, Manual, Charlott, each valued at $1,000, and Adeline valued at $600, for a total value of $3,600. The partition order further provided that at the death of his mother Ann B. Caldwell, he would receive "Boys Deck & Albert," and at the death of his stepfather James P. Caldwell, he would receive "negro woman Martha."4

     Gerad B. Munson appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of his mother Ann B. Cauldwell, and stepfather James P. Caldwell.5 Click to view image

     Gerard married Annie Westall from the neighboring plantation. Her father, Thomas, was a casualty of the 1833 cholera epidemic that had also claimed the life of Gerard's father. In his manuscript, Thurmond Williamson wrote that Annie's mother was the daughter of Confederate Colonel J. Bates. However, Colonel Joseph Bates did not arrive in Texas until 1845, and Brazoria County until 1854. Furthermore, he was born in 1805, making him much too young to have been Annie's grandfather.

     Girard B. and Anne E. Munson appeared on the 1 June 1860 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 12 June 1860. Their daughter Lizzie was listed as living with them, as was Gerard's brother G.P., and their father's half-brother Jesse Munson.6 Click to view image

     Gerard B. Munson made a will on 2 August 1861 in Brazoria County, Texas. Mentioned were Ann Elizabeth Munson, William Pearce Munson, Mordello S. Munson, George P. Munson and Ann E. Munson. He bequeathed to his two children, and any future children, each a young Negro. He bequeathed to brothers Mordello and George the remainder of his estate to be held in trust for his children, the income from which they were to use to support and educate his children, and provide a good support for his widow so long as she remained unmarried. Furthermore, he bequeathed his entire estate to Mordello and George in the event none of his children became of age or married. Mordello and George were named as executors of the will and guardians of the minor children.7

     Gerard was in Captain Strobel's Company B, Richardson's Regiment, 3rd Cavalry Texas State Troops, that was organized in 1863. The only papers in his Confederate file relate to a written request by William H. Russell on 6 January 1864 that Gerard be detailed to run his (Gerard's) sawmill, as it was a "good saw mill, convenient to the river," thus important to the Confederate cause. The detail was granted, unfortunately as it turned out.8

     Gerard was riding his horse in the woodland pasture of Oakland late in the evening of 22 March 1864, when he was shot in the head and killed by Confederate soldiers who were stealing hogs. His carefully arranged body was found the next morning, and his horse was found tied up about one-half mile away. The soldiers were from Camp Wharton, a Confederate camp located about four miles from Oakland. The soldiers regularly shot and stole hogs from the plantation. On the 11th of April following Gerard's death, "Mrs. A.E. Munson" swore in an affidavit that the number of hogs that had been killed and consumed by the troops was 90, amounting to 12,600 pounds, and that no pay had ever been received. Her answer was that compensation was only allowed by an act of Congress.

     One of those involved, a soldier named Pankey, escaped from Camp Wharton. The others who were involved were turned over to civilian authorities, and they named Pankey as the shooter. George was home on leave when Gerard was killed, and he and some others went to San Antonio to alert some regiments to be on the lookout for Pankey.

     Mordello was in Louisiana with the Confederate Army when he got word of Gerard's death. In a letter to Sarah, he wrote, "My Brother's murder shall be avenged if I live..." and " is my duty and should be my privilege to kill him." In the same letter he wrote, "...Gerard's children whilst I live shall be to me as my own."

     The exact circumstances of how Pankey was killed are not known, but an entry in Sarah Munson's diary on 18 October 1864, relates that George had arrived the day before "with those men who killed Pankey." Some believe that George took part in avenging his brother's death, but Mordello could not as he was still in Louisiana with the army. He would fulfill his promise concerning Gerard's children, however. When Annie died three years later in September 1867, Mordello and Sarah took the children in and raised them as their own.

     An inventory of Gerard's estate was returned on 26 November 1864 by the executors, M.S. and Geo. P. Munson.9 Click to view image

Children of Gerard Brandon Munson and Ann Elizabeth Westall


  1. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, The Munsons of Texas, an American Saga, First Edition manuscript (Dallas:, 1987), 110, 143.
  2. [S2] Brazoria County Marriage Book 1: 50, no. 276, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  3. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 146.
  4. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 306.
  5. [S55] James P. Cauldwell household, 1850 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, page 399-400, dwelling 255, family 255; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 908.
  6. [S54] Girard B. Munson household, 1860 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Columbia, page 2, dwelling 11, family 11; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 1289.
  7. [S426] Gerrard B. Munson will (1861), Brazoria County Will Book D: 227-229, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  8. [S1258] Gerrard Munson, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Texas, micropublication M323 (Washington: National Archives).
  9. [S939] Gerard B. Munson, Probate Book D: 305-307, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  10. [S1214] Mrs. G.T. Brown, death certificate 75786 (23 Feb 1918), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
  11. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 149.
  12. [S20] Thurmond A. Williamson, Munsons of Texas, 148.