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The Battle of Velasco

Some historians view the Battle of Velasco as the “Lexington and Concord” of the Texas Revolution because it was the first occasion of bloodshed in the deteriorating relationship between Texas and Mexico. In 1832, Velasco was a small garrison of the Mexican army situated on the eastern bank of the Brazos River where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, now known as Surfside Beach. The Mexican army had built an armed stockade there to stop all river traffic until each boat had paid a high tax to pass. This money-grab had become unacceptable to the Texans, and a battle was imminent.

One of the young Texan soldiers in the Battle of Velasco was John Hodge. John was born into a strong Christian family with deep Texas roots. His grandfather Alexander had fought for the freedom of the United States, having served with the "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion and his brigade during the American Revolution. After the war of 1776, Alexander joined forces with Stephen F. Austin and moved to Texas. Alexander Hodge cared so much for the future of Texas that he even mortgaged his property to help fund the fledgling Texan army.

His grandson John, grew up hearing Grandpa Alexanders’ war stories, and understood that freedom was worth fighting for. The elder Hodge family had a busy homestead with frequent overnight guests like William B. Travis, James B. Bonham, and Erastus (Deaf) Smith. These Texan warriors and many more, helped John to catch the vision of a free Republic, and encouraged him to commit to military service.

So, on June 26, 1832, John Hodge was numbered among the Texas heroes fighting in the Battle of Velasco. The blood of champions flowed through his veins. But even more, John had an inner strength that came from knowing the teachings of Christ. His Grandfather Alexander not only told stories of war and valor, he also told his family eternal stories of Faith from the Word of God. The seeds Grandpa planted in his children and grandchildren, became trees of faith and nobility.

Clarinda Pevehouse Kagen was a granddaughter of Alexander Hodge. She wrote many memoirs about her family, and especially her grandfather Alexander. In one memoir Clarinda wrote, “Grandpa was a religious man and every day he read us a chapter from his Bible and said a prayer for our men.” What a tremendous legacy of Faith to leave your family!

Consider the words of Deuteronomy 6:6-8 NIV, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” The elder is responsible to faithfully pass the Words of the Lord on to the next generation. This loving action not only keeps the Word alive, but it says that the aged sanction the Scripture and deems it worthy to be followed by the younger.

Asaph wrote in Psalm 78:4, “I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” It is the Biblical pattern to pass along the Good News of God. To do less is a violation of the trust God has given to each of us.

The Battle of Velasco had at least one soldier who had been trained in both physical and spiritual warfare. May each of us prepare our children and grandchildren for whatever comes their way. It is our righteous privilege and sacred duty.

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