That afternoon, Urrea's troops surrounded the Texians on an open prairie. Few of us understood the order, and those who did would not obey. Once the columns reached their selected location, the Mexican soldados formed into two ranks on one side of the captives. The Texians were marched back to Goliad and held as prisoners at Fort Defiance, each believing that they were going to be set free in a matter of weeks. and "Remember Goliad!" Urrea marched the Texians back to Fort Defiance, where they were held under guard. And without a moment's hesitation, I plunged into the water. Harbert Davenport and Craig H. Roell, Lesson Progress. Only twenty-eight escaped the firing squads, and twenty more were spared as physicians, orderlies, interpreters, or mechanics largely because of the entreaties of a "high bred beauty" whom the Texans called the "Angel of Goliad" (see ALAVEZ, FRANCITA), and the brave and kindly intervention of Col. Francisco Garay.  In late December, at his behest, the Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops "will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag". Nearly all were killed at the first fire. The Mexican soldiers who stood at about three paces from us, leveled their muskets at our breasts. At a prearranged moment, or upon a given signal, the guards fired upon the prisoners at a range too close to miss. Even then we could hardly believe that they meant to shoot us, for if we had we should assuredly have rushed forward in our desperation, and weaponless though we were, some of our murderers would have met their death at our hands. Two physicians, Joseph H. Barnard and John Shackelford, were taken to San Antonio to treat Mexican wounded from the battle of the Alamo; they later escaped. One company, badly led, broke ranks at the beginning of Mexía's action, and half its number, together with wounded men from other companies, were captured by Santa Anna's forces the next day.  Weighted down with cannon and 500 extra guns, Fannin burned his extra supplies in an attempt to lighten the load. The events at Goliad occurred at roughly the same time as the Battle of the Alamo.  On February 26, 1836, he attempted to march to San Antonio but turned back at the San Antonio River because of the inability to travel with the artillery and arms. After wandering on the coastal prairie for several days, the Georgia Battalion reached Victoria, only to find it in the possession of the Mexican army. The Goliad Campaign was the 1836 Mexican offensive to retake the Texas Gulf Coast during the Texas Revolution. Joseph E. Field, Three Years in Texas (Greenfield and Boston, Massachusetts, 1836; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Mexican troops under the command of General José de Urrea defeated rebellious immigrants to the Mexican province of Texas, known as Texians, in a series of clashes in February and March. William Kennedy, Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas (London: Hastings, 1841; rpt., Fort Worth: Molyneaux Craftsmen, 1925). Fannin's Command at Goliad From Presidio La Bahia by Kathryn Stoner O'Connor. Balderas, Capt.  The Texians had traveled only six miles (10 km) from their fort when, on March 19, the Mexican army engaged the Texians on an open prairie.  On March 13, King was surrounded by elements of the Mexican army and sent out a plea for help to Fannin, who sent Lieutenant-Colonel William Ward and the Georgia Battalion to reinforce him. Fannin sent Captain Amon B. The Battle of Goliad was the second skirmish of the Texas Revolution. Urrea, meanwhile, sent cavalry to surround and isolate Goliad. There's some spooky history here in Texas. King on a mission to Refugio on March 11, to remove several noncombatant families out of the path of Urrea's army. Colonel James Walker Fannin and 341 men under his command had surrendered to General José de Urrea of the Mexican army on March 20 at the Battle of Coleto Creek. Santa Anna's main army took no prisoners; execution of the murderous decree of December 30, 1835, fell to Gen. José de Urrea, commander of Santa Anna's right wing. He asked for his personal possessions to be sent to his family, to be shot in his heart and not his face, and that he be given a Christian burial. The Texas cause was dependent on the material aid and sympathy of the United States. On March 15, as their ammunition ran short, Texians retreated from Refugio. In April 1885 a memorial was finally erected, in the city of Goliad rather than on the site, by the Fannin Monument Association, formed by William L. Hunter, a massacre survivor. Fannin also believed that by occupying Goliad, he could prevent Mexican commander Antonio López de Santa Anna from drawing supplies from the Gulf of Mexico, but Fannin was called to assist Colonel William Travis at the Alamo. Jakie L. Pruett and Everett B. Cole, Goliad Massacre: A Tragedy of the Texas Revolution (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985). Fannin and some forty (Peña estimated eighty or ninety) wounded Texans unable to march were put to death within the presidio under the direction of Capt. John Crittenden Duval, Early Times in Texas, or the Adventures of Jack Dobell (Austin: Gammel, 1892; new ed., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986). On March 26, 1836, 19:00, Portilla received orders from Santa Anna in triplicate to execute the prisoners. His increasingly dictatorial policies, including the revocation of the Constitution of 1824 in early 1835, incited federalists throughout the nation to revolt. San Antonio de Bexar. Harbert Davenport, James W. Fannin's Part in the Texas Revolution (MS, Harbert Davenport Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). The common grave remained unmarked until about 1858, when a Goliad merchant, George von Dohlen, placed a pile of rocks on what was believed to be the site. Q. Which military leader was so indecisive about whether or not he should go to help defend the Alamo that he and his men ended up getting caught by the Mexican army and had to surrender at Coleto Creek? The massacre at Goliad branded Santa Anna as an inhuman despot and the Mexican people, whether deserved or not, with a reputation for cruelty. As incredible as it may sound, MASSACRE - The Goliad Witnesses is the first book to contain all of the Goliad survivor accounts. Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). The Mexican army then turned northward, headed towards Goliad. accessed January 20, 2021, He said the Texan prisoners and American volunteers numbered about 400, while the Mexican captors totaled 700, in addition to cavalry and smaller groups of Mexican soldiers he saw gathered on the prairie. Font size: Twenty-eight Texians managed to escape by feigning death and other means. Abel Morgan, An Account of the Battle of Goliad and Fanning's Massacre (Paducah, Kentucky?, 1847?). In 1930 some Goliad Boy Scouts found charred bone fragments that had been unearthed over the years by animals, and an excursion to the site by Goliad residents on New Year's Day, 1932, succeeded in attracting an investigation of the site by University of Texas anthropologist J. E. Pearce. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Therefore, the massacre cannot be considered isolated from the events and legislation preceding it. On March 18, Urrea's advance scouts were viewing Goliad. by Charlotte Churchill, With Milam and Fannin, Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Like Johnson’s force, both of these groups were eventually killed or captured by the Mexicans. Many of those who eventually escaped were first recaptured and later managed a second escape. Amon B. His troops easily defeated Johnson's small force at the Battle of San Patricio on February 26. A man-by-man study of Fannin's command indicates that 342 were executed at Goliad on March 27. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. reset. A thick cloud of smoke was wreathing toward the San Antonio River. Captain King and all but one man were executed in short order. The Goliad Massacre, the tragic termination of the Goliad Campaign of 1836, is of all the episodes of the Texas Revolution the most infamous. The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry. Believing that he had found an effective deterrent to expected American help for Texas, Santa Anna sought and obtained from the Mexican Congress the decree of December 30, 1835, which directed that all foreigners taken in arms against the government should be treated as pirates and shot. On March 12, they encountered a group of Texian soldiers, under the command of William Ward at Refugio. Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855). Unbeknownst to the Texians, on February 18 Urrea led a large contingent of troops from Matamoros into Texas to neutralize the rebels gathered along the coast. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. The first of these groups numbered about 30 men under Aaron King, followed by a larger group of some 150 men under William Ward. The sound of a second volley, from a different direction than the first just then reached our ears, and was followed by a confused cry, as if those at whom it had been aimed, had not all immediately been killed. The Goliad Massacre hardened attitudes toward Santa Anna throughout the United States and inflamed and unified the Texas resistance. The Mexicans took the Texians back to Goliad, where they were held as prisoners at Fort Defiance (Presidio La Bahia). Four weeks elapsed between their capture and their execution, enabling Santa Anna to gauge in advance the reaction of New Orleans to their fate. They were overtaken shortly and surrendered for lack of munitions.  In the early nineteenth century, captured pirates were executed immediately.  He was taken by Mexican soldiers to the courtyard located in front of the chapel along the north wall, blindfolded, and seated in a chair due to his leg wound received in battle. Knowing the prisoners' probable fate, General Urrea departed Goliad, leaving command to Colonel Jose Nicolas de la Portilla, and later writing to Santa Anna to ask for clemency for the Texians. The Texans thought they would likely be set free in a few weeks. News of the Goliad Massacre spread outrage, resentment, and fear among the population of the fledgling Republic of Texas and abroad. They may have been added to the prisoners at Goliad and killed with Fannin on March 27. The authenticity of the gravesite was further verified by historians Clarence R. Wharton and Harbert Davenport.  By the end of the year, all Mexican troops had been expelled from Texas..  Santa Anna personally led the bulk of his troops inland to San Antonio de Béxar and ordered General José de Urrea to lead 550 troops along the Atascocita Road toward Goliad. The gist of these was that Fannin and his men, including his officers and the wounded, should be treated as prisoners of war according to the usages of civilized nations and, as soon as possible, paroled and returned to the United States. In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, money was appropriated to build a massive pink granite monument, dedicated on June 4, 1938. The next morning, seeing Urrea receive one hundred more men and three more artillery pieces, Fannin agreed to surrender. The Goliad Campaign was the 1836 Mexican offensive to retake the Texas Gulf Coast during the Texas Revolution. They then headed for Lavaca Bay, where they would end up surrounded. / Antonio Ramírez, and first adjutant Agustín Alcérrica (a colonel in the Tres Villas Battalion in April 1836). We created this eBook for you, and it was made possible through the contributions of our members and supporters. Although this was really an attempt by Urrea to commandeer the ship, the vessel had already departed. Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.  Fannin was unaware General Santa Anna had decreed execution for all rebels. The Texians repulsed Mexican attacks for several days. Hobart Huson (Refugio?, Texas, 1949). Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. At around 8 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Colonel Portilla had the able bodied of 342 Texians marched out of Fort Defiance into three columns on the Bexar Road, San Patricio Road, and the Victoria Road. This order was received on March 26 by Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla, whom Urrea had left at Goliad. TXST 2370 / HIST 3310: Survey of Texas History Matamoros, Alamo, Goliad L25 The Goliad Massacre. To provide assistance, James W. Fannin, commander of forces at Goliad, sent two relief forces. From two groups shot on the river roads, those not instantly killed fled to the woods along the stream, and twenty-four managed to escape.  The wounded and dying were then clubbed and stabbed. The Battle of Coleto ended with a Texian surrender on March 20. Goliad Massacre By Henry Le The massacre had a campaign called the Goliad Campaign of 1836.It was an effort for the Texans to survive an attack from the Mexicans. The first paragraph states "The massacre was reluctantly carried out by General Jose de Urrea". Colonists in Texas, primarily immigrants from the United States, revolted in October 1835 and by the end of the year had expelled all Mexican troops from their province. The prisoners held little suspicion of their fate, for they had been told a variety of stories-they were to gather wood, drive cattle, be marched to Matamoros, or proceed to the port of Copano for passage to New Orleans. Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, The Presidio La Bahía del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, 1721 to 1846 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1966). A  The Texians were less than one mile (1.6 km) from the safety of the tree line of Coleto Creek. When the Mexican and Texan commissioners seeking surrender terms failed to agree, Urrea shortened the conference by dealing directly with Fannin and proposing written terms, under which the Texans should give up their arms and become prisoners of war "at the disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government." Pedro (Luis?) In view of Santa Anna's positive orders, Urrea could not, of course, accede to these terms, but refusing them would mean another bloody battle. Though not as salient as the battle of the Alamo, the massacre immeasurably garnered support for the cause against Mexico both within Texas and in the United States, thus contributing greatly to the Texan victory at the battle of San Jacinto and sustaining the independence of the Republic of Texas. The largest group, including what remained of Ward's Georgia Battalion and Capt. Goliad Massacre Video Details 360-degree video filmed within and around the Presidio La Bahía and Fannin Battleground State Historic Site is intended to help viewers gain a deeper understanding of the tragic story that played an important role in the 1836 march toward Texas independence. On this day in 1836, the Goliad Massacre takes place. Antonio López de Santa Anna et al., The Mexican Side of the Texan Revolution, trans. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/goliad-massacre. In 1853, he received 320 acres in Bee County, adjacent to Goliad County. Colonel James Fannin's command was massacred by Mexican forces. 0% Complete. Fannin was ordered by General Sam Houston on March 11, 1836, to abandon Goliad and retreat to the Guadalupe River near Victoria. The execution of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s command in the Goliad Massacre was not without precedent, however, and Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna, who ultimately ordered the exterminations, was operating within Mexican law. Some of the survivors attended the ceremony. After the executions the bodies were burned, the remains left exposed to weather, vultures, and coyotes, until June 3, 1836, when Gen. Thomas J. Rusk, who had established his headquarters at Victoria after San Jacinto and was passing through Goliad in pursuit of Gen. Vicente Filisola's retreating army, gathered the remains and buried them with military honors. When Mexico transitioned to a centralized government in 1835, supporters of federalism took up arms. Ruby C. Smith, "James W. Fannin, Jr., in the Texas Revolution," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 23 (October 1919, January, April 1920). San Jacinto. Urrea wrote to Santa Anna to ask for clemency for the Texians. 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