Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Texas Tidbits : Remember Goliad!

When the subject of  Texas' war for independence from Mexico is brought up, people reflexively conjure up thoughts of the Alamo, myself included. This is as it should be, for one of the most famous battles in the history of warfare. When an event of the magnitude of the Battle of the Alamo happens, it becomes a hallmark of a larger series of events that define history, in this case the Texas Revolution. My question is : what major event preceded the Battle of the Alamo that made it of such import? Answer : The Goliad Massacre . The skinny : Colonel James Fannin and his force of 350 men had engaged the 900 man army of Mexican General Urrea near Goliad . Fannin lost about 20% of his men in the battle and concluded that surrender  - his men had no water or supplies - was his best option.  He signed a surrender deal with General Urrea and Fannin's men were marched back to Goliad and held captive, and under Urrea's orders were to be treated humanely. That was the case until Mexican General Santa Ana heard about it and overrode Urrea's order and declared that all prisoners would be executed immediately. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Fannin and his men were divided into groups and marched out of Goliad in different directions and brutally slaughtered.  As the news of this mass murder spread like a Texas wildfire, the citizenry of Texas were enraged that such a horrific thing could happen, especially after Fannin and his men were promised that they would be treated humanely upon surrender. Texians, as the people of Texas were called at the time, were both appalled and inspired at the same time by this turn of events. And the rest, as it said, is history. Santa Ana was victorious at the Alamo, then promptly got his bloodthirsty ass handed to him at San Jacinto.  While Goliad will always take a back seat to the Alamo in terms of history, come next March 27, hold a moment of remembrance for 350 Texians, our forbears, who, like the brave men at the Alamo, gave their lives so that today, Texans can live in free of tyranny. We owe them that much. Remember the Alamo! But also, Remember Goliad!

Photo from scrapperguide.com

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