John Roques

John Roques (March 2, 1783 – December 31, 1857) was an early citizen of St. Louis, Missouri. He served in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican–American War, and led the first band in St. Louis.


Early lifeEdit

John Roques was born March 2, 1786 in Ohio, to Jacques Emanuel De Roques (1742–1808) and Julia Braun.


Roques enlisted in the Army in 1798 at the age of 12 along with his father as a drummer boy. In June 1803, he was attached to General James Wilkinson's military band. He participated military actions in New Orleans, St. Louis, and Mobile. During the Battle of New Orleans, Roques was wounded in the left leg while assisting a wounded lieutenant. General Andrew Jackson witnessed Roques emptying the blood that had filled his shoe and remarked to the doctor that he should examine Roques' wound. He was discharged from the Army in December 1827.

Roques then lived in Jefferson County, Missouri and St. Louis for several years, where he was known as the leader of the best band of drum musicians in the streets of the city and was leader of his famous drum corps. When the Mexican–American War broke out in 1846, Roques volunteered once again for the Army and was appointed drum major of his regiment.

Marriage and childrenEdit

John Roques and Margaretta Bedwell in 1824 and had eight children: Jean Tolbert Chambers, Marie Louise, James Knox, Priscilla, Lucinda, Mahala, Henry, and Joseph.

Death and afterwardEdit

Roques died at the home of his eldest son in Jefferson County, Missouri on December 31, 1857. He was buried in the Kidd Cemetery on Patty Lane cemetery of House Springs, Missouri.[1]


  1. ^ Missouri Historical Society