Heroes and Patriots

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) – Distinguished general and 12th President of the United States, Taylor served in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, where he earned the nickname of “Old Rough and Ready.” He was elected President in 1848, the first to never have held any previous elected office. He was also the last President to hold slaves while in office. Just two years into his presidency he died.

William B. Travis (1809-1836) – A lawyer who settled in Texas from Alabama, Travis strongly disliked Mexican rule and fought in the Texas Revolution. Fighting along with James Bowie and Davy Crockett, he was killed at the Battle of the Alamo.

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) – Artillery officer in World War I, Senator, Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and 33rd President of the United States. Most American historians consider Truman one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Harriet Tubman

 (1815-1913) ­ As a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, this fugitive slave helped thousands of blacks escape north prior to the Civil War, during which, she served as a Union nurse and military spy.

Mark Twain – See Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman; aka: Private Lyons Wakeman (1843-1864) – Disguising herself as a man, Wakeman fought in the Civil War for the Union.

Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) – Feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon in the Civil War, Mary is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor.

William Alexander Anderson “Bigfoot” Wallace (1817-1899) – Served as a Texas lawman for several years before joining the Texas Rangers and soon made captain. He died on January 7, 1899.

Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856-1915) – Political leader, educator, orator and author, he was the dominant figure in the African American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915.

George Washington (1732-1799) – First President of the United States and Commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolution.

Coloring History by Legends of America

Coloring History by Legends of America

Cathay Williams (1842-??) – When Congress passed an act authorizing the establishment of the first all Black units of the military, later to become known as “Buffalo Soldiers,” Cathay Williams, became the first and only female Buffalo Soldier.

Samuel Wilson (The Origin of Uncle Sam) (17??-1854) – In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.”

Eli Whitney (1765-1825) – Inventor who invented the cotton gin, he helped shape the Industrial Revolution and the economy of the antebellum South.

Woman As a Pioneer – Every battle has its unnamed heroes. There are other battles and armies besides those where thousands of disciplined men move over the ground to the sounds of the drum and fife. Life itself is a battle, and no grander army has ever been set in motion since the world began than that which for more than two centuries and a half has been moving across our continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fighting its way through countless hardships and dangers, bearing the banner of civilization, and building a new republic in the wilderness.

Women in the Army – In the great wars of American history, there are, in immediate connection with the army, two situations in which woman more prominently appears: the former is where, in her proper person, she accompanies the army as a “vivandiere,” or as the daughter of the regiment, or as the comrade and help-mate of her husband; the latter, and less frequent capacity, is that of a soldier, matching in the ranks and facing the foe in the hour of danger.

Wright Brothers – The Wright brothers, Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) were are generally credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.


In memory of our fallen heroes, 1884

In memory of our fallen heroes, 1884

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated November 2018.


Nothing is given to man on earth – struggle is  built into the nature of life,
and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him
 from  pursuing the values he has chosen.

— Andrew Bernstein


Also See:

Historic People Photo Galleries

Soldiers & Officers of America

War and Military

Who’s Who in American History