Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The First Shot of the Texas Revolution

I mentioned a few days ago, in this article, what a powerful stretch of Texas History we are getting into leading up to the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas' independence from Mexico. Today's post will deal with a stand taken by the citizens of Gonzales against General Santa Ana's Army regarding a cannon in their (Gonzales citizens) possesion. With the challenge of "Come and take it", this would be the first battle in Texas Revolution.

This post will differ from many others due to the fact that we'll get a first hand account of the situation as written in a letter by a man named E. Bailey. Reprinted in its entirety from archives at Texas A&M, here is that letter:

I am requested to give some information reletive to the situation and feelings of the people at Gonzalez and that vicinity {I returned} I left Gonzalez on Wednesday last and the people of that place were then assembled to decide upon what answer to give to a file of mexican soldiers who they expected in one or two days to demand a brass cannon which was in thier possession,When I left there were but three names in favour of giving up the cannon, so that the retaiking of it seemed to be almost {a} unanimous with the people, several individuals there named that they wanted assentance from this colony as they expected in refusing the cannon that mexican troops would be sent immediatey upon them to enforce the order and perhaps commit depredations upon thir property. and if so nothing could save thier {effe}provisions & Stock but assistance from this colony. the Alcalde said to me that he had in possession about $1000. Dolls, and was fearful that the military would also demand that. Several families were talking of moveing and some have actually prepared thier waggons to do so. they wish to move thier familes this side of the Colarado and to return themselves to the defence of this frontier. when I left a number more said they should move thier families as they expected {that the refusing the can} thier refusing to give up the cannon would bring foraging parties of soldiers upon them as they (the military at Bexar were short of provisions.

E. Bailey
Sept 26" 1835

What an insight into the hearts and minds of the people of Gonzales in the face of one of the most powerful armies in the world. They would fight for their freedom even at the cost of death. Back in late Augusta, 2010 when I posted an outstanding column from former NFL Coach Bum Phillips, the courage of the people of Gonzales was what the Coach was talking about when he said Texans were forged of a hotter fire.

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