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First Name: Silas

Last Name: Parker

Birthplace: Bedford County, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Mercer

Date of Birth: 05 May 1804

Date of Death: 19 May 1836

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Silas Mercer Parker


Silas Mercer Parker
Sergeant, U.S. Army

Silas Mercer Parker was born on 5 May 1804 in Bedford County, TN.

Parker served as a Sergeant during the Black Hawk War, under the command of Captain Thomas B. Ross. After his release from the Army, he moved his family to Texas where they lived in several colonies before finally settling on a league of land that was granted to him in April 1835. This land was situated about 3 miles north of the site where the present town of Groesbeck is located, in Limestone County.

During the spring of 1835, Silas and his brother, James, built a fort on this land, which later became known as Fort Parker. On 1 January 1836, a daughter was born to Silas and Lucinda, who they named Orlena, and she was born at the Fort.

In early May 1836, General Sam Houston ordered the evacuation of Fort Parker, but Silas, believing the fort to be safe, refused to leave. About the 17th of May, scouts learned from friendly Indians that an attack on the Fort was scheduled for dawn on 19 May. This information was passed on to the settlers at the Fort, but Silas stood firm. His family was not going to run. There were bitter arguments that threatened to erupt into violence and most of the settlers decided to leave. They left, but Parker and his kinsmen remained.

Early on the morning of 19 May 1836, the Fort was indeed attacked and Silas was killed. His wife and two youngest children, Silas, Jr. and Orlena were saved, but the two oldest children, Cynthia Ann, age 9, and John Richard, were taken captive by the Indians. The attack came to be known as the Fort Parker Massacre.

After her capture, Cynthia Ann Parker spent most of the rest of her life with the Comanche, marrying a Chief, Peta Nocona, and giving birth to a son, Quanah Parker, who would become the last Chief of the Comanche. Her brother, John Richard Parker, was ransomed back after six years, but unable to adapt to white society, he ran back to the Comanche.

Death and Burial

Silas Mercer Parker was killed on 19 May 1836 in Limestone County, TX. He is buried at Fort Parker Memorial Park in Groesbeck, TX.

Honoree ID: 2936   Created by: MHOH




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