The Alamo wasn’t the only massacre during the Texas Revolution.
|Presidio la Bahía today.
the Texians who died there called it Fort Defiance.
Led to believe they were prisoners of war and would be allowed to return to their homes within a couple of weeks, the Texians were marched to Goliad, where they were imprisoned in their former fortress, Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, which they had christened Fort Defiance. Unbeknownst to the Texians, on December 30 of the previous year the Mexican congress had decreed all armed insurgents were to be executed as pirates.
Inside the fort, thirty-eight who were wounded too badly to march, were executed by firing squad.
Fannin, 32, was the last to die, after watching the executions of the men who served under him. As the commandant of the garrison, he was allowed a last request. He asked three things: that his possessions be given to his family; that he be shot in the heart, not the head; and that he be given a Christian burial.
The soldiers took his possessions, shot him in the face, and burned his body along with the bodies of the other 341 executed prisoners.
The Goliad massacre galvanized the Texians. Three weeks later, on April 21 — shouting the battle cry “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” — the ragtag Texian army, under the command of Gen. Sam Houston, captured Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Disorganized, demoralized, and leaderless, the Mexican army retreated.
Urged to execute Santa Anna as revenge for the depredations at the Alamo and Goliad, Houston decided to let el presidente live. On May 14, Santa Anna ceded Texas to the Texians in the Treaties of Velasco.
Though Goliad was one of the seminal events of the Texas Revolution, more than 100 years would pass before the State of Texas erected a monument to the men who died. In 1936, as part of the Texas Centennial celebration, the state earmarked funds for a memorial. The monument was built over the mass grave of Fannin and his men, and dedicated in 1938. The pink granite marker, bearing the sculpted image of the Goddess of Liberty lifting a fallen soldier in chains, bears the names of the executed Texians and their comrades who died at the Battle of Coleto.
|This Monument marks the common grave where the charred remains|
of the 342 Texians massacred at Goliad are buried.
Her short story “The Second-Best Ranger in Texas” won the Peacemaker Award for Best Western Short Fiction. Her novel Prodigal Gun won the EPIC Award for Historical Romance and is the only western historical romance ever to final for a Peacemaker in a book-length category.
Visit her hideout on the web at KathleenRiceAdams.com.