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. [14] 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. The Goliad Massacre, the tragic termination of the Goliad Campaign of 1836, is of all the episodes of the Texas Revolution the most infamous. At a prearranged moment, or upon a given signal, the guards fired upon the prisoners at a range too close to miss. Two hours later Portilla received another order, this one from Urrea, "to treat the prisoners with consideration, and especially their leader, Fannin," and to employ them in rebuilding the town. John Shackelford 's Red Rovers and Ira J. Westover's regulars were marched southwestwardly along the San Patricio road. His personal possessions were taken by Mexican soldiers, he was shot in the face, and Fannin's body was burned along with the many other Texians who died that day.[19]. Surrender of the Force at Goliad under the Command of James W. Fannin. In 1852, for his service and having escaped the Massacre of Fannin, he received a Bounty Warrant #1073 for 320 acres of land in Goliad County near Media Creek. Urrea, in compliance with his promise, wrote to Santa Anna from Guadalupe Victoria, informing him that Fannin and his men were prisoners of war "at the disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government" and recommending clemency; but he reported nothing in his letter of the terms that Fannin and his men had drafted for their surrender. 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. [18] Three known survivors escaped to Houston's army and participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texians were then fired on at point-blank range only a few hundred yards from the fort. The battle at Goliad was terrible. Capt. The Napoleon of the West was no longer seen as a brilliant military strategist but a cruel despot. The Texians were marched back to Goliad and held as prisoners at Fort Defiance,[17] each believing that they were going to be set free in a matter of weeks. / The Texans thought they would likely be set free in a few weeks. 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. This order was received on March 26 by Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla, whom Urrea had left at Goliad. Twenty-eight of them were tried as pirates, convicted, and, on December 14, 1835, shot (see TAMPICO EXPEDITION). Jakie L. Pruett and Everett B. Cole, Goliad Massacre: A Tragedy of the Texas Revolution (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985). He linked up with several more units of Mexican infantry, bringing the total number of Mexican troops in the area to 1,500. General Urrea negotiated surrender "at the disposal of the Supreme Mexican Government", falsely stating that no prisoner taken on those terms had lost his life. The next morning, seeing Urrea receive one hundred more men and three more artillery pieces, Fannin agreed to surrender. James Fannin commanded troops stationed at Fort Defiance in Goliad. The Texans thought they would likely be set free in a few weeks. 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. Fannin's men possessed, besides their rifles, 500 spare muskets and nine brass cannons and, if told that it would mean death to surrender, could sell their lives at fearful cost and might cut their way through Urrea's lines. Urrea … Move your phone or drag your mouse to see every detail, including new information and video footage of artifacts, the role of Col. James W. Fannin, and the Battle of Coleto Creek. 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. On this day in 1836, which happened to be Palm Sunday, at least 342 Texians were executed by firing squad at Goliad (More Texians were killed at Goliad than the Alamo). Hobart Huson, Colonel Fannin's Execution of General Houston's Orders to Evacuate Goliad (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). The Goliad Massacre: On March 27, 1836, over three hundred rebellious Texan prisoners, most of them captured a few days before while battling the Mexican army, were executed by Mexican forces. But Portilla's volleys at Goliad, together with the fall of the Alamo, branded both Santa Anna and the Mexican people with a reputation for cruelty and aroused the fury of the people of Texas, the United States, and even Great Britain and France, thus considerably promoting the success of the Texas Revolution. And without a moment's hesitation, I plunged into the water. Balderas, Capt. TXST 2370 / HIST 3310: Survey of Texas History Matamoros, Alamo, Goliad L25 The Goliad Massacre. Previous Topic. In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, money was appropriated to build a massive pink granite monument, dedicated on June 4, 1938. Short on munitions and supplies, with no hope of rescue, the majority of Ward's men voted to surrender under good terms. 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. It is part of the Victoria, Texas, Metropolitan Statistical Area. [11] The wounded and dying were then clubbed and stabbed. Clarence R. Wharton, Remember Goliad (Houston: McCurdy-Young, 1931). I saw nothing more. Carlos E. Castañeda (Dallas: Turner, 1928; 2d ed., Austin: Graphic Ideas, 1970). Under President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government began to shift away from a federalist model to a more centralized government. The San Antonio Grays, Mobile Grays,and others were marched along the Victoria road in the direction of the lower ford. Another written account can be found in Early Times in Texas (serial form, 1868–71; book, 1892) by John Crittenden Duval. Amon B. Urrea wrote to Santa Anna to ask for clemency for the Texians. The blood of my lieutenant was on my clothes, and around me lay my friends convulsed in their last agony. Fannin's men delivered up their arms, and some 230 or 240 uninjured or slightly wounded men were marched back to Goliad and imprisoned in the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio at La Bahía, the fort they had previously occupied (see FORT DEFIANCE). Main article: Goliad massacre The Mexicans took the Texans back to Goliad, where they were held as prisoners at Fort Defiance. Fannin could have probably cut his way to safety, but he refused to abandon the wounded. On this day in 1836, the Goliad Massacre takes place. Support the Handbook today. Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits. José Enrique de la Peña, With Santa Anna in Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1975). Urrea, according to his contemporary Reuben M. Potter, "was not blood thirsty and when not overruled by orders of a superior, or stirred by irritation, was disposed to treat prisoners with lenity." The Goliad Campaign was the 1836 Mexican offensive to retake the Texas Gulf Coast during the Texas Revolution. The Goliad Massacre. Many of those who eventually escaped were first recaptured and later managed a second escape. Not until the morning of March 19 did Fannin finally begin his retreat from Goliad. For Biographies, Search Handbook of … On March 22 William Ward, who with Amon B. [13] That night, King led his men in an independent escape attempt. 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. On March 12, they encountered a group of Texian soldiers, under the command of William Ward at Refugio. Twenty-eight Texians managed to escape by feigning death and other means. Only the day before, Fannin himself, with his adjutant general, Joseph M. Chadwick, had returned from Copano, where, accompanied by Holsinger and other Mexican officers, they had tried to charter the vessel on which William P. Miller's Nashville Battalion had arrived earlier (these men had been captured and imprisoned at Goliad, also). 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. Ward and the Georgia Battalion attempted to escape to Victoria, where they expected to link up with the balance of Fannin's command. On the other hand, Maj. Juan José Holsinger, one of the Mexican commissioners, lulled their suspicions by entering the Texan lines with the greeting, "Well, gentlemen! The men were marched instead to Matamoros after the battle of San Jacinto. SURVEY . 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 first of these groups numbered about 30 men under Aaron King, followed by a larger group of some 150 men under William Ward. This may have been correct. The Battle of Coleto ended with a Texian surrender on March 20. [1][2] Unrest continued in the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. Urrea detained about twenty of Ward's men to build boats at Guadalupe Victoria, and Señora Alavez intervened with her husband, Col. Telesforo Alavez, whom Urrea left in charge of this village, to spare their lives as well; they afterward escaped. Santa Anna replied to Urrea's clemency letter on March 23 by ordering immediate execution of these "perfidious foreigners" and repeated the order in a letter the next day. He sent couriers to Ward, but most of them were intercepted by Urrea's cavalry. 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? Font size: [8] Fannin had chosen to keep his troops at Goliad mainly because it had a fort, from which he believed it would be easier to fight than out in the open. Urrea marched the Texians back to Fort Defiance, where they were held under guard. The Goliad Mission. [7] 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. Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986). In October, the Texians took up arms in what became known as the Texas Revolution. That afternoon, Urrea's cavalry encircled the Texians. In September, Texians began … Those not killed were pursued and slaughtered by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. 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. At Refugio on March 15, 1836, Urrea was again confronted with the duty of complying with the fatal decree of December 30. The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry. [15] After several hours of fighting, the Mexicans had suffered an estimated 200 casualties and the Texians nine killed and about sixty wounded. 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. Harbert Davenport and Craig H. Roell, In some accounts of the Goliad Massacre, a Mexican woman, Francisca (Francita, Panchita or Pancheta) Alavez, sometimes referred to by other names (Alvarez or Alavesco), rescued about 20 Texian soldiers and became known as "The Angel of Goliad. Font size: [22], Fannin's retreat and the Battle of Coleto, Harbert Davenport and Craig H. Roell, "GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1836," Handbook of Texas Online, Craig H. Roell, "REFUGIO, BATTLE OF," Handbook of Texas Online, Francisca (Francita, Panchita or Pancheta) Alavez, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Goliad_Campaign&oldid=993300926, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 22:21. Fannin hoped to retreat to Victoria, but he hesitated for several days. The Mexicans took the Texians back to Goliad, where they were held as prisoners at Fort Defiance (Presidio La Bahia). King's men and at Victoria he saved twenty-six of Lt. Col. William Ward's troops by claiming to need them to transport cannons across the San Antonio River[21]), Colonel Garay, Father Maloney (also referred as Molloy), Urrea's wife and an unnamed girl. Although not as famous as the Battle of the Alamo, the execution of Fannin’s troops at Goliad crystallized public opinion in the United States and contributed to a war frenzy against Mexico. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law. Captain King and all but one man were executed in short order. King on a mission to Refugio on March 11, to remove several noncombatant families out of the path of Urrea's army. King had been defeated in the battle of Refugio, surrendered near Dimitt's Landing on the terms accorded Fannin, and he and about eighty of his men of the Georgia Battalion were added to the Goliad prisoners on March 25. Until this episode Santa Anna's reputation had been that of a cunning and crafty man, rather than a cruel one. at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto. The authenticity of the gravesite was further verified by historians Clarence R. Wharton and Harbert Davenport. 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. In Progress. The wounded Texans, about fifty (some estimates are much higher) including doctors and orderlies, Colonel Fannin among them, were returned to Goliad over the next two days. Had Fannin's and Miller's men been dumped on the wharves at New Orleans penniless, homesick, humiliated, and distressed, and each with his separate tale of Texas mismanagement and incompetence, Texas prestige in the United States would most likely have fallen, along with sources of help. The massacre at Goliad branded Santa Anna as an inhuman despot and the Mexican people, whether deserved or not, with a reputation for cruelty. [11] The Texians were less than one mile (1.6 km) from the safety of the tree line of Coleto Creek. Victoria Advocate, January 3, 1932, 88th Anniversary Number, September 28, 1934. Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, The Presidio La Bahía del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, 1721 to 1846 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1966). Portilla suffered an unquiet night weighing these conflicting orders, but he concluded that he was bound to obey Santa Anna's order and directed that the prisoners be shot at dawn. In the early-morning hours of October 9, 1835, Texas settlers attacked the Mexican Army soldiers garrisoned at Presidio La Bahía, a fort near the Mexican Texas settlement of Goliad. Fighting was halted that day at dark. Under a decree passed by the Mexican Congress on December 30 of the previous year, armed foreigners taken in combat were to be treated as pirates and executed. In 1853, he received 320 acres in Bee County, adjacent to Goliad County. San Antonio de Bexar. Though some managed to escape en route, most remained there until the Mexican government later released them. The Massacre. Henry Stuart Foote, Texas and the Texans (2 vols., Philadelphia: Cowperthwait, 1841; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Goliad Massacre Victims Buried in Mass Grave on June 3, 1836 After the executions the bodies were burned, the remains left exposed to weather, vultures, and coyotes, until June 3, … The guard, which was to serve also as a firing squad, included the battalions of Tres Villas and Yucatán, dismounted cavalry, and pickets from the Cuautla, Tampico, and Durango regiments. Hobart Huson (Refugio?, Texas, 1949). When the Mexican general reported to Santa Anna that he was holding the San Patricio prisoners, Santa Anna ordered Urrea to comply with the decree of December 30. On I went, the river rolled at my feet, the shouting and yelling behind. Urrea complied to the extent of issuing an order to shoot his prisoners, along with those captured in the battle of Agua Dulce Creek, but he had no stomach for such cold-blooded killing; and when Father Thomas J. Malloy, priest of the Irish colonists, protested the execution, Urrea remitted the prisoners to Matamoros, asking Santa Anna's pardon for having done so and washing his hands of their fate. A man-by-man study of Fannin's command indicates that 342 were executed at Goliad on March 27. The Battle of Goliad was the second skirmish of the Texas Revolution. Victor Marion Rose, History of Victoria (Laredo, 1883; rpt., Victoria, Texas: Book Mart, 1961). Many were killed or captured. Most of you have heard “Remember the Alamo!” Did you know that “Remember Goliad!” was another battle cry used by Texans? The Goliad Massacre took place on March 27, 1836, during the Texas Revolution. The Mexican army then turned northward, headed towards Goliad. When Mexico transitioned to a centralized government in 1835, supporters of federalism took up arms. It was, on the whole, that in shooting these prisoners, Mexico was acting within its rights. At sunrise on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, the unwounded Texans were formed into three groups under heavy guard commanded by Capt. 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. [4] By the end of the year, all Mexican troops had been expelled from Texas.[5]. Copies of the surrender document in English as described by Colonel Holzinger and other eyewitnesses, have never been recovered. Several days later, informants revealed Grant's location, and on the morning of March 2, 150 Mexican troops ambushed Grant's men at the Battle of Agua Dulce. Abel Morgan, An Account of the Battle of Goliad and Fanning's Massacre (Paducah, Kentucky?, 1847?). 0% Complete. A monument marks the burial site outside… Whilst these horrible scenes were occurring on the prairies, Col. Fannin and his wounded companions were shot and bayoneted at Goliad, only Dr. Shackleford and a few hospital aids having their lives spared, in order that they might attend the wounded Mexicans. Santa Anna,( a General that was working with the Mexicans was the one who ordered the execution of the prisoners. Yes, I would like to begin receiving history-rich content, news, and updates from TSHA. 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. 30 seconds . Fannin ordered the bulk of his army to retreat from Goliad on March 19, in the hopes of joining the forces of General Sam Houston. 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. In eight days, home and liberty!". [18] 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. However, he had sent most of his carts and horses with Ward to Refugio and had no cavalry. 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. No thank you, I am not interested in joining. Executions of prisoners occurred after the Mexican president took the Alamo, but the executions at Goliad far outnumbered those at the Alamo as most of the defenders died in battle. A Lesson Progress. As incredible as it may sound, MASSACRE - The Goliad Witnesses is the first book to contain all of the Goliad survivor accounts. His solution was tested after November 15, 1835, when Gen. José Antonio Mexía attacked Tampico with three companies enlisted at New Orleans. To provide assistance, James W. Fannin, commander of forces at Goliad, sent two relief forces. Antonio López de Santa Anna et al., The Mexican Side of the Texan Revolution, trans. The bullets whistled round me as I swam slowly and wearily to the other side, but none wounded me. Before his execution he made three requests. Only then were they made aware that Colonel Fannin and his men had already surrendered following the Battle of Coleto. Meantime, on March 23, evidently doubting Urrea's willingness to serve as executioner, Santa Anna sent a direct order to the "Officer Commanding the Post of Goliad" to execute the prisoners in his hands. Handbook of Texas Online, This is arguably the saddest thing that happened in the Texas Revolution, along with the Alamo. From Goliad `` Kneel down! led his men had already departed around lay. 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