QuoteReplyTopic: Texas and Mexico Posted: 29-Sep-2004 at 23:56
some days ago I posted this info at the SMQ.
I recently adquired some books about the Texicans, the Alamo, The Santa Army 1821-1848 and the Mexican American War. I would like to share it with you.
The texicans were american settlers in Tejas. The Tejanos were the descendent of Mexican or Spaniard ancestries.
The first rebellion ocurred little bit before Mexico started his Independence War. The US settlers tried to declare the Republic of the Green Flag and were defeted by the spaniard colonial forces. Curiously, a young officer of the Tiradores Fijo de Veracruz Corp, was part of the campaing and took part of the Battle of Medina. He reached the rank of liutenant. His name, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
Later on, in 1823 a group of american filibusters tried to create a new republic called Fredonai. They received the simpathy and funds from Pres. Monroe, but their objctives were clearly to create an independent republic from Mexico and the US. They were overwhelmed and executed by the mexican army. something that is not mentioned on many books is that the settler of Austin's Colony supported to the Mexican Army on this task.
Bowie, Travis and some other " texicans " were outlaws on their original towns. Travis left behind to his pregnant wife. Bowie was traffiking with fraudulent documents in Arkansas and Louisiana.
Travis supported Santa Anna , when Santa Anna supported the Constitution of 1824. Curiously, the Alamo defensers fought under Mexican Flag with the inscription 1824 ( for the mexican constitution of 1824 ).
Anastasio Bustamante did a coupe d'etat agaisnt Pres. Vicente Guerrero. He sent to Gen. Mier y Teran to gather information about the situation in Texas about the settlers. Bustamante, alarmed by the growing number of illegal alliens coming everyday from Louisiana, Arkansas and other points of the USA, declares the Law of April 1830, trying to reduce the inmigration of americans to Texas and encourage the mexican or european catholic inmigration to Texas. Also, banned the slavery practices of the US settlers, due the slavery was forbidden in Mexico since 1821. Austin and some other protested agaisnt this measurements. They were empresarios, individuals with a contract with the Mexican Goverment. The Empresario conected to people from the USA and offered them 3,954 Acres by 30 USD for each family ( Not payment in advance ) that same extension of land in the USA costed $ 5,000 USD. Mexico was a better land of opportunities than the " Land of Opportunities " itself. The settlers were requested to adopt the Catholic Religion, become Mexican citizens, swear loyalty to Mexico and pay taxes. Santa Anna took the leadership of the insurrection agaisnt Bustamante and declares a Federal Republic. ( Travis supported to Santa Anna at that time ).
Once Santa Anna reached the power he refused to recognize the 1824 Federal Constitution. That's when the problems started. Jalisco and Zacatecas declared officialy agaisnt the measurements taken by the Central Goverment.
Jalisco lost the territory of Nayarti and Zacatecas lost the rich agricultural valley of Aguascalientes, as a punishment impossed by Santa Anna after militar campaings.
Travis , as a lawyer in Anahuac, Tejas had problems with the Mexican authorities due the Laws of 1830 and the abolition of slavery. He organized a rebellion but didn't progressed that much. Many settlers were agaisnt the idea of having problems with Mexico.
The texican rebels defeated the mexican garrison at San Antonio de Bexar and took the Alamo, after 5 days of close rank combat. The mexican force is defeated and the texicans released them under the condition of not not taking the arms agaisnt Texas.
Santa Anna learned about the defeat of the territorial forces and organized an army and marched from Mexico City with very few economic resources.
The mexican troops after a 900 miles trip reached San Antonio de Bexar before than expected, after a rude winter march thru the mexican desert.
Santa Ana stationated 2,400 troops and the following days a force of 4,000 men is assembled. Santa Anna sieged the Alamo based on the napoleonic model.
During 13 days, the mexican army attacked the old spaniard mission with cannon fire. The route to Gonzalez was captured, cutting on that way the possible reinforcements or the scape of the men at the Alamo.
Seguin , a tejano among the mexicans in the Alamo, evades the mexican forces with a request for support for the texican goverment.
Santa anna ordered to display at the Cathedral of San Antonio the red flag to send the mesaage to the rebels leaded by Travis of No Mercy.
On earlier morning of March 06th, 1836 Santa Anna ordered to storm the Alamo with a force of 4,000 men. The 4 flanks of the Alamo were attacked. The large casualties faced by the mexicans were experienced on this stage of the battle. Once the mexican forces were near the walls, the rebel shooters has to expose themselves in order to fire to the mexican sappers, and were more easy target for the mexican infantrymen. Travis got killed on the first 15 minutes of battle with a shoot on the head.
When the mexican forces climbed the walls, the rebels tried to get cover at the Barracks, but they made the mistake of destroy their own artillery. Captain Morales and his men manned the cannons agaisnt the Alamo defenders.
While a portion of the defenders raised surrender flags, others kept shooting during the confusion, angering the mexican soldiers and it became in a slaughter.
Jim Bowie was sick and lying on his bed. Too sick to defend himself. The mexican soldiers thought he was trying to hide himself on the blankets and was executed on his own bed.
Very few Alamo defenders maned to escape and the very few how didn't weren't executed by the swords and bayonets.
Davy Crocket is belived to be killed in battle, but some statements of mexican officers points that he was merely executed after the battle.
Some other survivors were women and children that remained in the Alamo. Previous the battle, Santa Anna granted the secure pass to women and children inside the Alamo. Travis's slave , a negro named Joe survived as well.
The mexican casualties at Alamo has been always exagerated to give a dimension of a greek tragedy. When in fact, Travis and his men were let alone by the Texican goverment of Sam Houston. 13 days was time enough to bring reinforcements or at least create a diversion to force Santa Anna, either to lift the siege or move his troops in a pursue.
The mexican army probably faced between 250 to 500 casualties during the 13 days siege and the hour and half of the final assault. The texicans were all killed.
Their bodies were simply burned or dump to the San Antonio River.
Santa Anna made a great mistake at his policy. While he was expecting to make an example for the texicans, the slaughter at the Alamo gave to the texicans a feeling of union agaisnt the mexicans. Then the war, became from a rebellion supression to an ethnic war.
Many staff officers were agaisnt the order of not showing mercy, to the rebels. Many settlers that were against the idea o secced from Mexico, were now Houston's supporters.
Santa Anna could simple spare their lives as the texans did with the mexicans at the first battle of the Alamo.
GOLIAD MASSACRE. The Goliad Massacre, the tragic termination of the Goliad Campaign of 1836,qv is of all the episodes of the Texas Revolutionqv the most infamous. Though not as salient as the battle of the Alamo,qv 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 Jacintoqv and sustaining the independence of the Republic of Texas. The execution of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s,qv command in the Goliad Massacre was not without precedent, however, and Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna,qv who ultimately ordered the exterminations, was operating within Mexican law. Therefore, the massacre cannot be considered isolated from the events and legislation preceding it.
As he prepared to subdue the Texas colonists Santa Anna was chiefly concerned with the help they expected from the United States. His solution was tested after November 15, 1835, when Gen. José Antonio Mexíaqv attacked Tampico with three companies enlisted at New Orleans. 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. Twenty-eight of them were tried as pirates, convicted, and, on December 14, 1835, shot (see TAMPICO EXPEDITION). Four weeks elapsed between their capture and their execution, enabling Santa Anna to gauge in advance the reaction of New Orleans to their fate. It was, on the whole, that in shooting these prisoners, Mexico was acting within its rights. 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.
Santa Anna's main army took no prisoners; execution of the murderous decree of December 30, 1835, fell to Gen. José de Urrea,qv commander of Santa Anna's right wing. The first prisoners taken by Urrea were the survivors of Francis W. Johnson'sqv party, captured at and near San Patricio on February 27, 1836 (see SAN PATRICIO, BATTLE OF). Urrea, according to his contemporary Reuben M. Potter,qv "was not blood thirsty and when not overruled by orders of a superior, or stirred by irritation, was disposed to treat prisoners with lenity." 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. Urrea complied to the extent of issuing an order to shoot his prisoners, along with those captured in the battle of Agua Dulce Creek,qv 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.
At Refugio on March 15, 1836, Urrea was again confronted with the duty of complying with the fatal decree of December 30. Thirty-three Americans were captured in the course of the fighting at Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission, half of them with Capt. Amon B. King'sqv company, the others "one by one" (see REFUGIO, BATTLE OF). King and his men had infuriated their enemies by burning local ranchos and shooting eight Mexicans seated around a campfire, and these enemies were clamoring for vengeance. Urrea satisfied his conscience by shooting King and fourteen of his men, while "setting at liberty all who were colonists or Mexicans."
A more difficult situation confronted him on March 20 after James W. Fannin's surrender (see COLETO, BATTLE OF). Fannin's men had agreed upon and reduced to writing the terms upon which they proposed to capitulate. 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 view of Santa Anna's positive orders, Urrea could not, of course, accede to these terms, but refusing them would mean another bloody battle. 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. 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." He assured Fannin that there was no known instance where a prisoner of war who had trusted to the clemency of the Mexican government had lost his life, that he would recommend to General Santa Anna acceptance of the terms proposed by Fannin's men, and that he was confident of obtaining Santa Anna's approval within a period of eight days. Fannin, who could not have done much else-Urrea had received reinforcements and artillery that would have devastated the Texan position in an open prairie on ground lower than the Mexican lines-accepted Urrea's proposals but did not inform his men of the conditional nature of these terms. On the other hand, Maj. Juan José Holsinger,qv one of the Mexican commissioners, lulled their suspicions by entering the Texan lines with the greeting, "Well, gentlemen! In eight days, home and liberty!"
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,qv the fort they had previously occupied (see FORT DEFIANCE). 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. On March 22 William Ward,qv who with Amon B. King had been defeated in the battle of Refugio, surrendered near Dimitt's Landingqv on the terms accorded Fannin, and he and about eighty of his men of the Georgia Battalionqv were added to the Goliad prisoners on March 25. 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.
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. 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. This order was received on March 26 by Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla,qv whom Urrea had left at Goliad. 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. But when he wrote this seemingly humane order, Urrea well knew that Portilla would not be able to comply with it, for on March 25, after receiving Santa Anna's letter, Urrea had ordered reinforcements that would have resulted in too large a diminution of the garrison for the prisoners to be employed on public works.
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. At sunrise on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, the unwounded Texans were formed into three groups under heavy guard commanded by Capt. Pedro (Luis?) Balderas, Capt. Antonio Ramírez, and first adjutant Agustín Alcérrica (a colonel in the Tres Villas Battalion in April 1836). The largest group, including what remained of Ward's Georgia Battalion and Capt. Burr H. Duval'sqv company, was marched toward the upper ford of the San Antonio River on the Bexar road. The San Antonio Greys, Mobile Greys,qqv and others were marched along the Victoria road in the direction of the lower ford. Capt. John Shackelford'sqv Red Roversqv and Ira J. Westover'sqv regulars were marched southwestwardly along the San Patricio road. 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.
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. Only the day before, Fannin himself, with his adjutant general, Joseph M. Chadwick,qv had returned from Copano, where, accompanied by Holsinger and other Mexican officers, they had tried to charter the vessel on which William P. Miller'sqv Nashville Battalion had arrived earlier (these men had been captured and imprisoned at Goliad, also). Although this was really an attempt by Urrea to commandeer the ship, the vessel had already departed. Still, Fannin became cheerful and reported to his men that the Mexicans were making arrangements for their departure. The troops sang "Home Sweet Home" on the night of March 26.
At selected spots on each of the three roads, from half to three-fourths of a mile from the presidio, the three groups were halted. The guard on the right of the column of prisoners then countermarched and formed with the guard on the left. At a prearranged moment, or upon a given signal, the guards fired upon the prisoners at a range too close to miss. Nearly all were killed at the first fire. Those not killed were pursued and slaughtered by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. 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. Carolino Huerta of the Tres Villas battalion.
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 third group, on the San Patricio road, was farther from cover; only four men from it are known to have escaped. A man-by-man study of Fannin's command indicates that 342 were executed at Goliad on March 27. 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.qv Many of those who eventually escaped were first recaptured and later managed a second escape. Two physicians, Joseph H. Barnardqv and John Shackelford, were taken to San Antonio to treat Mexican wounded from the battle of the Alamo; they later escaped.
Portilla wrote that the total number of his prisoners was 445, exclusive of William P. Miller's eighty men, who had been captured without arms at Copano and were thus to be spared. Texan sources specify the number of prisoners as 407, exclusive of Miller's men. This may have been correct. Some of the prisoners taken at Refugio but not executed with King's men are known to have been at Goliad, where they were again spared because they were serving the Mexican army as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, or other artisans. The exact fate of others captured at Refugio is not known. They may have been added to the prisoners at Goliad and killed with Fannin on March 27. 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. About a week after the Goliad killings, Santa Anna ordered the execution of Miller and his men and the others who had been spared at Goliad, but he rescinded the order the next day. The men were marched instead to Matamoros after the battle of San Jacinto. Though some managed to escape en route, most remained there until the Mexican government later released them.
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,qv who had established his headquarters at Victoria after San Jacinto and was passing through Goliad in pursuit of Gen. Vicente Filisola'sqv retreating army, gathered the remains and buried them with military honors. Some of the survivors attended the ceremony.
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. 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,qv a massacre survivor. 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. The authenticity of the gravesite was further verified by historians Clarence R. Wharton and Harbert Davenport.qqv In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial,qv money was appropriated to build a massive pink granite monument, dedicated on June 4, 1938. Davenport presented the address, which was published as "The Men of Goliad" in the Southwestern Historical Quarterlyqv (1939).
The impact of the Goliad Massacre was crucial. Until this episode Santa Anna's reputation had been that of a cunning and crafty man, rather than a cruel one. When the Goliad prisoners were taken, Texas had no other army in the field (see REVOLUTIONARY ARMY), and the newly constituted ad interim governmentqv seemed incapable of forming one. The Texas cause was dependent on the material aid and sympathy of the United States. 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. 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.
TAMPICO EXPEDITION. After his election to the presidency of Mexico in 1833, Antonio López de Santa Annaqv left the inauguration of the new liberal policy to the vice president, Valentín Gómez Farías,qv went into political retirement for a few months, and emerged as leader of the reaction. He assumed dictatorial powers, dissolving state and national legislatures. Insurrections broke out at various points; Zacatecas, Coahuila, and Texas refused to accept centralism, holding to the Constitution of 1824.qv In New Orleans a movement, led by George Fisher and José Antonio Mexía,qv began at Bank's Arcade on October 13, 1835; the members of the movement raised men and money for an expedition to attack Tampico in an effort to stir up an insurrection in the eastern states of Mexico. Mexía, who was to lead the expedition, communicated the plan to the Texas leaders who approved it, although some, Stephen F. Austinqv among them, advocated an attack on Matamoros instead. Counting on the support of the liberals known to be among the members of the garrison at Tampico, Mexía and his 150 "efficient emigrants" left New Orleans on November 6, 1835, on the schooner Mary Jane. The schooner ran aground off the bar of Tampico on November 14. This disaster, together with a premature uprising of the garrison on November 13 and the arrival of fresh troops from Tuxpan, upset Mexía's plans; he attacked the city held by Gregorio Gómez on November 15, was defeated, withdrew on the American schooner Halcyon, and embarked for the mouth of the Brazos River, where he landed his troops on December 3. Thirty-one prisoners were left at Tampico; of these, three died of wounds; the others were tried by court martial and shot on December 14.
SAN PATRICIO, BATTLE OF. The battle of San Patricio was an outgrowth of the Matamoros expedition of 1835-36.qv Shortly after the defeat of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cosqv at the Alamo there was a clamor among newly arrived volunteers from the United States to mount a campaign to strike a crippling blow on the Mexican army in their homeland. This tied in with crosscurrents of a revolt against Antonio López de Santa Annaqv in Mexico. Liberal forces at the Consultation,qv who were aligned with Mexican liberals, somehow managed to send Stephen F. Austinqv to the United States as a commissioner and deprive Gen. Sam Houstonqv of power by appointing Col. James W. Fannin, Jr.,qv as the General Council'sqv agent, with similar powers given to Houston. Simplified, the problem facing the new Texas government was one of supply. Houston proposed to concentrate forces at port El Cópano in order to be able to control supplies to Texas and also to withhold them from any Mexican army. The picture was further clouded by Dr. James Grant and Col. Francis W. Johnson,qv who set up an independent Matamoros expedition under their private control, with the approval of the Council. After raiding supply warehouses in San Antonio, Grant moved to Goliad and took horses and other supplies from Philip Dimmitt'sqv command. Houston spoke to assembled troops in Refugio and convinced some of the men under Johnson and Grant that the Matamoros expedition was folly. Johnson and Grant took the remaining men, estimated at from sixty to 100 by historians, to San Patricio. Grant learned that Capt. Nicolás Rodríguez was in the area with a few men. He surprised them and took the prisoners and their horses to San Patricio, where in a few days the prisoners escaped. In order to get more horses the Texans went all the way to the Santa Rosa Ranch (near the site of present-day Raymondville). Johnson took the horses and returned to San Patricio while Grant sought additional horses. Upon his return Johnson sent horses to the ranch of Julián de la Garza about four miles south of San Patricio. The men divided up, with Captain Pearson and eight men camping on the public square and the rest in three different houses. Gen. José de Urrea,qv through a network of spies, had kept track of the Johnson-Grant forces and had left Matamoros with about 400 men. Upon learning that Johnson was camped at San Patricio, he put his men through a forced march during a bitterly cold, wet night and arrived at San Patricio at 3:00 A.M. on February 27. His first action was to send thirty men under Capt. Rafael Pretala to the ranch where the horses had been taken. In the attack four men were killed and eight taken prisoner. In San Patricio Urrea reported sixteen killed and twenty-four taken prisoner. Johnson and four men quartered with him managed to escape and made their way back to Goliad. Legend tells the story that Urrea sent word ahead to loyalists to leave a light burning in their homes and they would not be molested. It so happened that Johnson was working late-with a light. Of the thirty-four Texans at San Patricio eight were killed, thirteen taken prisoner, and six escaped. At least seven of them were Mexicans. Possibly two other Texans, whose names have not been uncovered, were also killed. Urrea reported that "the town and the rest of the inhabitants did not suffer the least damage." McGloin reported that those killed were "interred next day by the Rev. T. J. Malloy in the church yard of the same place." Legend also tells that the dead were buried in the Old Cemetery on the Hill. On March 2 Urrea's men ambushed Grant's men near a creek crossing at Agua Dulce; all except six were killed or captured. Grant was killed. Urrea remained camped somewhere in the vicinity of San Patricio until March 12, when he took some of the cattle, arms, and ammunition that Grant and Johnson had gathered.
REFUGIO, BATTLE OF. The series of fights that together make up the battle of Refugio occurred between March 12 and 15, 1836, during the Texas Revolution,qv at Nuestra Señora del Refugio Missionqv in Refugio County. In early March 1836 Carlos de la Garzaqv and about eighty rancheros, serving as scouts and advance cavalry for Mexican general José de Urrea'sqv invading army, raided the village of Refugio. On March 10, during the Goliad campaign of 1836,qv James W. Fannin, Jr., sent Amon B. Kingqv and twenty-eight men to Refugio to help the families besieged there escape to Goliad, knowing that their destination lay in the path by which the main Mexican force under Urrea was expected daily. On March 12, before leaving Refugio, King stubbornly sought to punish Garza and his rancheros. He underestimated Garza's strength and resolve, however, and was forced to retreat with the families back to the mission, where he took refuge and sent word to Fannin at Goliad for help. In what proved to be a disastrous move, Fannin dispatched Lt. Col. William Wardqv and the Georgia Battalion,qv together with some of Peyton S. Wyatt'sqv men, to relieve King's command. Ward and some 120 men successfully allayed the siege in the afternoon of March 13. Nevertheless, as John J. Linnqv wrote, "A difference of opinion arose between the two commanders in relation to the command, which seemed to be irreconcilable, as they could not be coerced into a concert of action, even by the perils that threatened them both so imminently."
With both commanders quarreling over rank yet anxious for a fight, the Texianqv force divided. Some of Ward's men went with King on a punitive mission against the rancheros, and while they were out Urrea and the main force of 1,500 men surrounded Ward's party at the mission. When King attempted to return to the mission, he came upon the rear of Urrea's army and was forced to make a stand in the timber on the Mission River within site of Ward's command. The troops held their ground valiantly from late morning to dark, March 14, while Ward withstood several vigorous assaults. Mexican losses were heavy; the Texans suffered few casualties but were short of food, water, and ammunition. Ward sent James Humphries to Goliad to advise Fannin, who finally got word to Ward through Edward Perry to retreat to Victoria, where they were to rendezvous. Volunteers were left with the wounded and families, and Ward apparently left the mission with the remainder of his battalion on the night of March 14 and traveled in the direction of Copano through woods and swamps to avoid the Mexican cavalry. King's company also tried to escape during the night but was overtaken on March 15 and marched back as prisoners to the mission, now occupied by Urrea's forces. The next day those remaining from Ward's battalion, together with King and all of his company, were executed, except for two Germans and Lewis T. Ayers,qv who were spared with the local families by the German-born Lt. Col. Juan José Holzinger.qv Ward's men managed to reach Victoria, but finding the village occupied by Urrea's troops, continued their retreat to Dimitt's Landing, where they surrendered to Urrea. Except for those detailed as laborers to build boats at Victoria, they were marched back to La Bahía,qv where they were executed in the Goliad Massacreqv with Fannin's men on March 27, 1836. Though the battle of Refugio is one of the less-known engagements of the Texas Revolution, its consequences are significant. Fannin disastrously split his forces by ordering King and Ward into the path of Urrea's army, a move that reduced by about 150 the number of men he was able to bring to bear against the Mexicans at the battle of Coleto.qv King and Ward, whose quarrel over rank divided their own small force, refused to return to Goliad before engaging Mexican troops. This prevented their rejoining Fannin, thereby delaying Fannin's retreat to Victoria-a delay that contributed to his defeat at the Coleto and resulted as well in the Texas misfortune in the battle of Refugio and the execution of King's men. Most historians have judged the entire episode as folly. The clash of stubborn personalities, together with their contempt for the prowess of the Mexican army, reduced Fannin's, Ward's, and King's effectiveness, contributing to their defeat and to the calamity of the Goliad Massacre.
COLETO, BATTLE OF. The battle of Coleto, the culmination of the Goliad Campaign of 1836,qv occurred near Coleto Creek in Goliad County on March 19 and 20, 1836. Originally called "the battle of the prairie" and "la batalla del encinal [oak grove] del Perdido [Creek]," it was one of the most significant engagements of the Texas Revolution.qv The battle, however, cannot properly be considered as isolated from the series of errors and misfortunes that preceded it, errors for which the Texas commander, James W. Fannin, Jr.,qv was ultimately responsible. The most exasperating decision confronting Fannin was whether to abandon Goliad after having fortified it, and if so, when. He had already been informed of Gen. José de Urrea'sqv advancing Mexican army by Plácido Benavides,qv after the defeat of Texas forces under Francis W. Johnson and James Grantqqv at the battles of San Patricio and Agua Dulce Creek.qqv The Mexican advance caused the Texans to abandon the port of Copano, thus making Goliad considerably less important strategically, as Fannin knew. He had received word that the Alamo had fallen as well. Still, he continued to fortify Fort Defiance, as he christened the La Bahíaqv presidio, and awaited orders from superiors to abandon the site, knowing also that a retreat would not be well received among his men, who were eager to confront the Mexicans.
More immediately consequential to the battle of Coleto was Fannin's dispatching Amon B. King'sqv men and then William Ward and the Georgia Battalionqqv to Refugio, a move primarily induced by the activities of Carlos de la Garzaqv and his rancheros, who were operating as advance cavalry for General Urrea. Not only did the decision to send Ward and King into Urrea's known path dangerously divide the Goliad garrison, thus reducing by about 150 the men Fannin would be able to bring against Urrea at Coleto Creek, but the move became the main reason Fannin waited so long to abandon Goliad. He refused to do so until he learned of King and Ward's fate, even after he received Sam Houston'sqv order to fall back to Victoria. Since King had taken the Goliad garrison's wagons and teams with him to Refugio, however, Fannin delayed his retreat further, awaiting the arrival of Albert C. Horton'sqv men from Guadalupe Victoria, who were bringing needed carts and twenty yokes of oxen garnered by army quartermaster John J. Linn.qv Accounts are not in agreement, but Horton apparently arrived by March 16. In addition, by capturing virtually all of Fannin's couriers sent to find King and Ward, Urrea learned the details of the Goliad commander's plans and schemed accordingly. Fannin, however, was unable to find out his opponent's true strength or position, though on March 17 Horton's cavalry did discover Col. Juan Moralesqv approaching with the Jiménez and San Luis battalions, 500 veterans of the battle of the Alamoqv whom Antonio López de Santa Annaqv had sent from Bexar to reinforce Urrea.
Fannin finally learned of King and Ward's defeat in the battle of Refugioqv from Hugh McDonald Frazerqv on March 17, but he still did not order the retreat to Victoria until the next day. March 18 was spent instead in a series of skirmishes between Horton's cavalry and Urrea's advance forces, which by then had reached Goliad. Fannin, thinking the fort was about to be besieged, kept the garrison on alert and attempted no retreat even that night, the result of a council decision based on Horton's observations. During this delay the oxen, which were to be hitched to the carts made ready for the removal to Victoria, were left unfed.
At last the Texans began their retreat, by 9:00 A.M. on March 19 under a heavy fog. Fannin insisted on taking nine cumbersome artillery pieces of various calibers and about 1,000 muskets, though he neglected to take enough water and food for more than a few meals. The carts were heavily loaded, the hungry oxen were tired and unruly, and progress was slow. Urrea, expecting to lay siege to the fort, was unaware of Fannin's departure until 11:00 A.M. But the Texans forfeited about an hour of their lead while crossing the San Antonio River; a cart broke down, and the largest cannon fell into the river and had to be fished out. Another valuable hour was lost when Fannin ordered the oxen detached for grazing after the column had proceeded about a mile past Manahuilla Creek. John Shackelford, Burr H. Duval, and Ira Westoverqqv protested this stop, arguing that the column should not rest until reaching the protection of the Coleto Creek timber. Shackelford particularly noted his commander's contempt for the Mexican army's prowess and his disbelief that Urrea would dare follow them-an assumption apparently common among Fannin's men.
Urrea had quickly left Goliad without his artillery and the full complement of his force in order to narrow Fannin's two-hour lead. Mexican sources indicate that he set out with eighty cavalrymen and 360 infantrymen. He discovered through his mounted scouts the location of Fannin's column and that the rebel force was considerably smaller than supposed, information that prompted him to return 100 infantrymen to Goliad to help secure Presidio La Bahía and escort the artillery ordered to join him as soon as possible. Horton's approximately thirty cavalrymen served as advance guards on all sides of Fannin's column. The unalert rear guard, however, which included Hermann Ehrenberg,qv failed to detect the Mexican cavalry. Meanwhile, the Texans had scarcely resumed march after resting the oxen before another cart broke down; its contents had to be transferred to another wagon. Fannin then sent Horton to scout the Coleto Creek timber, now in sight, when the Mexican cavalry emerged from behind them. Upon overtaking the lumbering Texan position at about 1:30 P.M., the Mexican commander ordered his cavalry to halt Fannin's advance toward the protective timber. Fannin set up a skirmish line with artillery while the column attempted to reach Coleto Creek, about two miles distant.
Perceiving the danger, he then formed his men into a moving square and continued toward the closer timber of Perdido Creek, which was less than a mile away when the Texans were overtaken by Mexican cavalry. Caught in a valley some six feet below its surroundings, the Texans were trying to get to the more defensible higher ground about 400 to 500 yards distant, when their ammunition cart broke down. While Fannin called a council to determine the feasibility of taking what ammunition they could and reaching the timber, Urrea, seeing his advantage, attacked.
With little water, and situated in an open prairie covered with high grass that occluded vision of their enemy, Fannin's men made ready their defense. Their hollow square was three ranks deep. Each man received three or four muskets. Bayonets, rifles, more than forty pairs of pistols, and abundant ammunition complemented this arsenal. The San Antonio Greys and Red Roversqqv formed the front line; Duval's Mustangs and others, including Frazer's Refugio militia, formed the rear. The left flank was defended by Westover's regulars, the right by the Mobile Greys.qv The artillery was placed in the corners (except when moved as needed), and Fannin assumed a command position in the rear of the right flank. In addition, an outpost of sharpshooters formed around Abel Morgan'sqv hospital wagon, which had become immobilized earlier when an ox was hit by Mexican fire.
Soon after Urrea's cavalry managed to stop Fannin's retreat, the Mexican general amassed his troops and attacked the square. The rifle companies under Morales assaulted the left, the grenadiers and part of the San Luis Battalion charged the right under Urrea's direct supervision, the Jiménez Battalion under Col. Mariano Salas attacked the front, and Col. Gabriel Núñez's cavalry charged the rear.
Sources differ widely about the numbers of men involved on March 19. Fannin defended his position with about 300 men. Urrea wrote that he had eighty cavalry and 260 infantry at the time the Texans were overtaken, a figure confirmed by Peña, who also stressed that most of the Mexican troops were Alamo veterans. Many Texas sources give unrealistically high numbers for Urrea's pursuit force. Clearly the Mexican general set out with only a small force of veteran troops to ensure catching Fannin, and left orders for a larger force, including artillery, to follow and aid in battling the Texans once they were caught. It seems likely that Urrea had between 300 and 500 men when he overtook Fannin, and after receiving reinforcements by morning, March 20, he had between 700 and 1,000.
The battle of Coleto lasted until after sunset on March 19. The Texans made effective use of their bayonets, multiple muskets, and nine cannons; their square remained unbroken. Dr. Joseph H. Barnardqv recorded that seven of his comrades had been killed and sixty wounded (forty severely), Fannin among them. The Mexican general was impressed with both the "withering fire of the enemy" and their ability to repulse his three charges. Ironically, Urrea retired because of ammunition depletion. His casualties were heavy as well, though accounts vary widely. He then positioned snipers in the tall grass around the square and inflicted additional casualties before Texan sharpshooters were able to quell these attacks by firing at the flashes illuminating the darkness. Ultimately, the Texans under Fannin suffered ten deaths on March 19.
Fannin's men hardly felt defeated and anxiously awaited Horton's return with reinforcements from Guadalupe Victoria. None came, however, for Horton was unable to cut through the Mexican lines. William Ward and the Georgia Battalion, defeated in the battle of Refugio, were close enough to hear the Coleto gunfire during their retreat to Victoria, but were exhausted and hungry. Urrea knew from captured couriers that Ward and Fannin would try to rendezvous at Victoria, so with the aid of Carlos de la Garza's men, he kept the Georgia Battalion isolated in the Guadalupe riverbottom until they surrendered. At the Coleto battlefield, Urrea posted detachments at three points around Fannin's square to prevent escape and kept the Texans on stiff watch throughout the night with false bugle calls.
Fannin's position became critical during the night because the lack of water and inability to light fires made treating the wounded impossible; the situation was made even more unbearable by a cold and rainy norther. The cries of the wounded demoralized everyone. The lack of water, which was required to cool and clean the cannons during fire, also guaranteed that the artillery would be ineffective the next day, especially considering that the artillerists had sustained a high number of casualties. Furthermore, ammunition was low. A council among Fannin and his officers weighing these facts concluded that they could not sustain another battle. The proposition to escape to the Perdido or Coleto creek timber under dark and before Urrea received reinforcements was rejected, since after much debate the men unanimously voted not to abandon the wounded, among whom the unwounded all had friends or relatives. They therefore began digging trenches and erecting barricades of carts and dead animals in preparation for the next day's battle. By the time this was completed, the Mexican position had been reinforced with munitions, fresh troops, and two or three artillery pieces from Goliad. Urrea placed his artillery on the slopes overlooking the Texan position and grouped for battle at 6:15 A.M., March 20.
After the Mexican artillery had fired one or possibly two rounds, Fannin was convinced that making another stand would be futile. Another consultation among his officers produced the decision to seek honorable terms for surrender for the sake of the wounded, and to hope the Mexicans would adhere to them. Fannin's men apparently drafted terms of surrender guaranteeing that they would be considered prisoners of war, that their wounded would be treated, and that they sooner or later would be paroled to the United States. But Urrea could not ratify such an agreement; he was bound by Santa Anna's orders and congressional decree to accept no terms other than unconditional surrender. He made it clear to Fannin in person that he could offer only to intercede on the Texans' behalf with Santa Anna. The extant document of capitulation, signed by Benjamin C. Wallace, Joseph M. Chadwick,qqv and Fannin, shows that the Texas commander surrendered his men "subject to the disposition of the supreme government"; but Fannin apparently did not make this fact clear to his men, since survivors' accounts indicate that the Texans were led to believe they were surrendering honorably as prisoners of war and would be returned to the United States. This discrepancy is significant only in light of the ultimate fate of Fannin's command. Nevertheless, traditional Texan renditions inaccurately imply some insidious conspiracy in the surrender episode.
Those Texans able to walk were escorted back to Goliad. Texas physicians were made to care for the Mexican wounded to the neglect of their own men. Many of the Texas wounded were not transported to Goliad for three days; Fannin himself was left on the field for two. Urrea, meanwhile, continued his advance to secure Guadalupe Victoria, from where he wrote Santa Anna recommending clemency for the Goliad prisoners. One week after Fannin's surrender, however, Santa Anna bypassed Urrea and ordered Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla,qv the commander at Goliad, to carry out the congressional decree of December 30, 1835, that captured armed rebels must be executed as pirates. Fannin's entire command, together with William Ward and the Georgia Battalion, were shot in the Goliad Massacreqv on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836.
Although the battle of Coleto is usually considered meaningful only as a prologue to the massacre, it does have separate significance. The sequence of events underscores the tragedy of Fannin's inability to make timely decisions crucial for success. This disadvantage was worsened by his disrespect for the capabilities of his enemy and a reluctance, common in the Texas army, to coordinate campaigns. Urrea, by contrast, showed skill in staying alert to Fannin's plans, keeping the Texans inside the presidio an extra day, pursuing and catching them by taking advantage of every opportunity, and isolating Ward's men near Victoria while successfully battling Fannin's command at Coleto Creek. Still, the Texans, though most were relatively untrained volunteers, obeyed their commanders and withstood the onslaught of seasoned enemy troops. The intensity of this battle produced heroism on both sides.
The battle's greatest significance, however, remains bound up in its consequences. Urrea's victory gained him greater esteem in the army but also incurred the jealousy of other generals, especially Santa Anna, who had only recently suffered through his difficult victory at the Alamo. Ironically, the triumph caused overconfidence among Mexican leaders, who, like Santa Anna, now believed the campaign against the rebellion to be nearing a successful conclusion. Finally, it was the Goliad Massacre and not the defeat and surrender at Coleto Creek that soured United States opinion against Mexico and gave Houston and the Texas army the second half of the rallying cry that inspired victory at the battle of San Jacintoqv: "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" The assumed location of the Coleto battlefield is now maintained as Fannin Battleground State Historic Siteqv by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Departmentqv and is near Fannin, Texas (once called Fanning's Defeat), on U.S. Highway 59 between Goliad and Victoria.
I´m also learning about the Texican president Lamar, Canales and the texican support to the republic of Rio Grande, the expedition to Santa Fe of 1841, The expedition to Laredo and Santa Fe of 1842, the attempted breakout of texicans at Saltillo prision, the Black Bean episode and the involvement of Texas on the Yucatan War.
BLACK BEAN EPISODE. The Black Bean Episode, an aftermath of the Mier Expedition,qv resulted from an attempted escape of the captured Texans as they were being marched from Mier to Mexico City. After an escape at Salado, Tamaulipas, on February 11, 1843, some 176 of the men were recaptured within about a week. A decree that all who participated in the break were to be executed was modified to an order to kill every tenth man. Col. Domingo Huerta was to be in charge of the decimation. The victims were chosen by lottery, each man drawing a bean from an earthen jar containing 176 beans, seventeen black beans being the tokens signifying death. Commissioned officers were ordered to draw first; then the enlisted men were called as their names appeared on the muster rolls. William A. A. (Bigfoot) Wallace,qv standing close to the scene of the drawing, decided that the black beans were the larger and fingered the tokens successfully to draw a white bean. Observers of the drawing later described the dignity, the firmness, the light temper, and general courage of the men who drew the beans of death. Some left messages for their families with their companions; a few had time to write letters home. The doomed men were unshackled from their companions, placed in a separate courtyard, and shot at dusk on March 25, 1843. The seventeen victims of the lottery were James Decatur Cocke, William Mosby Eastland, Patrick Mahan, James M. Ogden, James N. Torrey, Martin Carroll Wing,qqv John L. Cash, Robert Holmes Dunham, Edward E. Este, Robert Harris, Thomas L. Jones, Christopher Roberts, William N. Rowan, James L. Shepherd, J. N. M. Thompson, James Turnbull, and Henry Walling. Shepherd survived the firing squad by pretending to be dead. The guards left him for dead in the courtyard, and he escaped in the night but was recaptured and shot. In 1848 the bodies were returned from Mexico to be buried at Monument Hill,qv near La Grange, Fayette County.
MIER EXPEDITION. The Mier expedition, the last of the raiding expeditions from Texas into the area south of the Nueces River during the days of the Republic of Texas,qv was the most disastrous of the expeditions from Texas into Mexico. It developed out of the Somervell expedition,qv which captured Laredo and Guerrero. On December 19, 1842, Alexander Somervell,qv recognizing that his expedition had been a failure and concluding that a longer stay upon the Rio Grande might prove disastrous, ordered his troops to prepare to return home by way of Gonzales. Many of the men had reached the conclusion that there was little possibility of accomplishing their objectives of engaging the Mexican Army and of seizing and plundering Mexican towns, but they were so dissatisfied with the order to return home that they determined to separate from the command, cross the river, and attack the Mexican settlements to secure cattle and horses. Only 189 men and officers obeyed the order to return; five captains and most of the men refused to do so. Constituting what is known as the Mier expedition, they moved down the Rio Grande to a convenient campsite and selected William S. Fisherqv as their commander. Some wanted revenge and retaliation; many sought adventure; the leaders were nearly all political opponents of Sam Houston.qv
The expedition set out on December 20. Forty men under Thomas J. Greenqv floated downstream in four vessels captured near Guerrero. A small group of Texas Rangersqv serving as a spy company under Ben McCullochqv operated along the west bank of the river; the main body of men under Fisher went down the east side. On December 22 the 308 Texans reached a point on the east bank of the Rio Grande opposite Mier, and McCulloch's spy company was sent to reconnoiter the town. They found that Mexican troops were assembling along the river, advised Fisher against crossing, and abandoned the expedition when their advice was not heeded. Thereupon, John R. Baker,qv sheriff of Refugio County, succeeded to the command of the spy company. Leaving a camp guard of forty-five men, Fisher and the remainder of his men crossed the river on December 23 and entered Mier without opposition. A requisition for supplies levied against the town was fulfilled by late afternoon, but there were no means for transporting the goods to the river, and the Texans had no desire to carry the goods on their backs. When the alcalde promised to have the supplies delivered the next day to the Texas camp, the Texans withdrew from Mier, taking the alcalde with them to guarantee delivery of the supplies. All day on December 24 the Texans waited in vain for delivery of the goods. During the morning A. S. Holderman, who had crossed the river to look for horses, was captured by a small detachment of Mexican cavalry. His journal revealed to the Mexicans the size, character, and organization of the Texan force. On December 25 Fisher learned from a captured Mexican that Gen. Pedro de Ampudiaqv had arrived at Mier and prevented delivery of the supplies. The Texans decided to go after their rations. On the afternoon of December 25 a camp guard of forty-two men under Oliver Buckman was posted, and 261 Texans crossed the Rio Grande once more, attacked Mier, and fought until the afternoon of December 26, outnumbered almost ten to one. Mexican losses were 600 killed and 200 wounded as against thirty Texans killed and wounded; but the Texans were hungry and thirsty, their powder was almost exhausted, and their discipline had begun to crack. Ampudia adopted a suggestion of sending a white flag to the Texans and demanding their surrender; the ruse was successful.
The Texans later claimed they had surrendered as prisoners of war, but no terms of capitulation were signed until after their arms had been grounded and the terms then stated that they would be treated with "consideration." Later President Houston stated that the men had acted without authority of the government, leaving the impression that they were not entitled to treatment as prisoners of war unless the Mexican government wished to assume that obligation. Warned by two of their comrades who escaped from Mier after the battle, the Texan camp guard, with the exception of George W. Bonnellqv and a man named Hicks, avoided capture and retreated into the settled area of Texas. The captured Texans were sentenced to execution, but on December 27 Ampudia had the execution decree reversed. The able-bodied prisoners were marched through the river towns to Matamoros, where they were held until ordered to Mexico City. En route to the capital they planned their escape frequently. Finally, at Salado, on February 11, 1843, a successful break was carried out. For seven days the Texans headed towards the Rio Grande, but in trying to pursue a circuitous route through the mountains during the dry season they became separated and lost. After extreme suffering, they surrendered singly and in small groups to Mexican troops sent in pursuit; in the end only three members of the expedition made good their escape to Texas. The 176 recaptured Texans were returned to Salado. Upon learning of the escape, Antonio López de Santa Annaqv ordered that those who had fled be executed, but Governor Francisco Mexía of the state of Coahuila refused to obey the order, and the foreign ministers in Mexico were able to get the decree modified. The government then ordered that every tenth man be executed. The seventeen men who were selected for execution in what is known as the Black Bean Episodeqv were blindfolded and shot. Ewen Cameron,qv leader of the break, failed to draw a black bean of death but was later executed by special order of Santa Anna. During the months of June, July, and August 1843, the Texans did road work near Mexico City. In September they were transferred to the Perote Prisonqv where the San Antonio prisoners whom they had set out to liberate were being held. A few of the Mier men escaped while stationed in the vicinity of Mexico City, others tunnelled out of Perote and succeeded in reaching home. A few of the wounded who had been left at Mier recovered, bribed the guard, and effected their escape. Many of the men died in captivity from wounds, disease, and starvation. From time to time a few of the prisoners were released at the request of certain officials in the United States and others at the request of foreign governments. The last of the Mier men were released by Santa Anna on September 16, 1844.
Throughout the period of the Republic of Texas and ending with the Compromise of 1850, Texas claimed a large area to the north and west of its current boundaries. This area included a large stretch of the Santa Fe trail, a lucrative trade route that linked Missouri (then the eastern boundary of the United States) with the town of Santa Fe in present day New Mexico.
In an effort to reap some of the commercial benefits of this trade and to further establish Texas' claim to the Santa Fe area, President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed commissioners to the region and promised governmental representation and other benefits to its citizens.
Then, without the approval of the Congress of the Republic, Lamar proposed an expedition to Santa Fe to effect his plan. Volunteers were solicited and prospective merchants of Santa Fe trade were promised transportation and protection for their goods during the expedition. William G. Cooke, Richard F. Brenham, Jose Antonio Navarro, and George Van Ness joined the expedition as commissioners. A military escort of several companies was organized, commanded by Hugh McLeod. Altogether, an expedition of some 320 men (together with 21 ox-drawn wagons carrying merchandise valued at $200,000) set out on June 19, 1841 from a point just north of Austin.
Throughout the summer, the caravan threaded its way slowly to the northwest. Although threatened at times by Indians, the expedition suffered delays and much hardship due mainly to dwindling provisions and failure to locate a suitable route through an extremely rugged terrain.
Their most surprising and severe setback upon entering the settlements of New Mexico, however, was the hostile reception they received. Rather that the welcome that they had expected, they were greeted by an armed force sent out by New Mexican Governor Manuel Armijo, who maintained close ties with the Texan's arch enemy--Mexico. Through the efforts of William G. Lewis, a traitor from within the Texan expedition, the Texans were persuaded to surrender to Armijo's forces.
Following their surrender, the Texans were taken prisioners, treated harshly, and marched some 2000 miles to a prison in Mexico City. After considerable diplomatic controversy between Mexico and the United States, most of the prisioners were released the following April.
The expedition thus ended in failure. It became yet another of a series of encounters between Texas and Mexico that would lead to the annexation of Texas by the United States, and ultimately, the Mexican-American war.
Many Mexicans also suspected that the settlers represented a covert t="on">U.S. effort to seize lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace>. (They had taken note of the cases of tate wt="on">Floridatate> and lace wt="on">laceName wt="on">LouisianalaceName> laceType wt="on">TerritorylaceType>lace>, where Anglo territory expanded at the expense of Latin holdings. In tate wt="on">Floridatate>, t="on">Spain had ceded control to the lace wt="on">t="on">U.S.lace> after an American general occupied it during "hot pursuit" of Indians across the border. That general was Andrew Jackson. He was now president of the lace wt="on">t="on">United Stateslace>.)>>
Mutual ethnic prejudice in the two populations was undeniable. (But, as usual, the ones with the most contact produced the least friction. But assuming there was enough friction, someone had to decide to exploit it before a war could start.)>>
Many of the American settlers ("Texians" they were called) were Southerners who believed in and practiced slavery. (They noticed that the Mexican government had out-lawed slavery in tate wt="on">Texastate>, where it continued under other guises, but left in legal in the rest of lace wt="on">t="on">Mexicolace>, where it was not practiced.)>>
The settlers gravitated toward the black-land regions of eastern Texas, mostly in the an area immediately west of what is now Houston, to the town of Gonzales, about 65 miles east of San Antonio. That meant they had failed to form the desired buffer between Comancheria (Comanche territory in central and northwest lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace>) and the Mexicans.>>
So in 1830 t="on">Mexico called a halt to immigration, leading to unrest that culminated in 1832 with the taking of a Mexican fort on lace wt="on">laceName wt="on">GalvestonlaceName> laceType wt="on">BaylaceType>lace> by the Texans. Parallel, unconnected, political turmoil throughout t="on">Mexico led to the withdrawal of most Mexican garrisons in lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace>.>>
The political unrest ended with the ascension of Santa Anna, who abrogated the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (based on a federal government of sovereign states), dissolved local legislatures, and imposed central control. (The Texans discovered that their political conventions were acts of treason.) Reactions included uprisings in central t="on">Mexico, unrest in t="on">Saltillo -- and a rebellion in lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace>.>>
May 1835 -- Santa Anna's national Mexican army attacks the rebelling state and city of lace wt="on">t="on">Zacatecaslace>, whose militia is larger and better equipped than the Mexican national army. Also, Zacatecas is served by professional officers who defected from Santa Anna. Some of these turn out to be double agents, and resistance collapses as soon as Santa Anna attacks. The city is subjected to two days of looting, arson and rape. About 2,500 people die. Santa Anna denounces foreign instigators, and Americans and Englishmen are killed when found, their wives chased naked through the streets. (Or so it was reported.) Santa Anna orders that foreigners found among the rebel forces be summarily shot, but his subordinates demur. (This would change.) Texans would start warning of "pollution of our women" and see Mexican agents behind every domestic problem.>>
October 2, 1835 -- Skirmish at t="on">Gonzales, tate wt="on">Texastate>, when a Mexican garrison from lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace> came to take away the cannon the town had previously been issued for defense against Indians. There is a brief confrontation. The Mexican force withdraws back to lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace>.>>
October 24, 1835 -- Various Texan militias that have coalesced around lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace> begin laying siege to the Mexican garrison there.>>
November 1835 -- The lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace> governing council authorizes a navy and acquires four ships. Their successful depredations lead Santa Anna to dismiss the idea of suppressing lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace> via a blockade and/or naval campaign. (Also, he did not have the cash to lease the necessary transport vessels.) In the resulting land campaign he could not depend on supplies via sea and would have to live off the countryside.>>
November 26, 1835 -- Foragers from the Mexican garrison at lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace> are destroyed in the "Grass Fight.">>
December 4, 1835 -- The Texan besiegers, reduced by men returning to their farms and families, decide to retreat. But then Col. Ben Milam objects, and gets himself made head of an attack by acclamation. He has about 350 men available.>>
December 5, 1835 -- The attack on lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace> begins at 3 a.m. treet wt="on">t="on">Incoherent streettreet> fighting drags on. Milam is killed on the third day and buried where he fell. The site is now a city park.>>
December 10, 1835 -- lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace>'s Mexican garrison of 1,105 (many of them recent conscripts of negative value) surrenders and evacuates. A Texan garrison of about 104 men take over the Alamo.>>
January 3, 1836 -- The Texan government authorizes a raid on lace wt="on">t="on">Matamoros, t="on">Mexicolace>, but sets up no clear chain of command for the Texan armed forces and eventually names four different commanders for the expedition, including Sam Houston. About 500 men gather at San Patricio (near modern lace wt="on">t="on">Corpus Christilace>) for the raid. About that many more gather at Goliad under Col. James Fannin, a lace wt="on">West Pointlace> drop-out. Many of them are American adventurers rather than Texans, the latter having gone home for spring planting.>>
January 10, 1836 -- Complaints that the Alamo had been stripped of cannons and supplies for the t="on">lace wt="on">Matamoroslace> expedition causes squabbling to break out in the Texan ruling council.>>
February 11, 1836 -- Col. James Neill, official commander of the lace wt="on">Alamolace>, leaves for a "family emergency." (He ended up in lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace>'s army, where he was wounded in action.) He leaves young Travis in command. The garrison, however, holds an election and selects Bowie. The two agree to be co-commanders.>>
February 13, 1836 -- Travis sends a complaint to the government about lace wt="on">t="on">Bowielace>'s drunkenness -- and demands more reinforcements, having decided that defending the place was important.>>
February 24, 1836 -- Travis sends out his famous appeal.>>
February 25, 1836 -- After fighting off a Mexican probe, Travis sends off an appeal addressed to Sam Houston, carried by Capt. Juan Sequin.>>
February 27, 1836 - The Mexican coastal column sweeps into San Patricio, killing most of the hangers-on left over from the lace wt="on">t="on">Matamoroslace> expedition -- estimates range from three dozen to 150. Travis sends out another appeal to Fannin, carried by James Butler Bonham, a fellow lace wt="on">tate wt="on">South Carolinatate>lace> lawyer from Travis' home county.>>
March 1, 1836 -- Responding to Travis' appeal, 32 Texans from Gonzales arrive at the lace wt="on">Alamolace>. They will leave behind 20 widows. At Washington-on-the-Brazos, 150 miles east of lace wt="on">t="on">San Antoniolace>, the Texans convene a convention to form a new government.>>
March 2, 1836 -- Further remnants -- maybe 25 men -- of the lace wt="on">t="on">Matamoroslace> expedition are over-run by the Mexican coastal column at Agua Dulce. The new tate wt="on">Texastate> government declares independence from lace wt="on">t="on">Mexicolace>.>>
March 4, 1836 -- Fannin finally decides to move toward the lace wt="on">Alamolace>. Four miles down the road his wagons start breaking down. The force turns back. Santa Anna learns immediately of the sortie and dispatches a battalion. It returns in time for the storming. That night an unnamed woman leaves the lace wt="on">Alamolace> and is brought before Santa Anna, telling him the defenses are about to collapse. She urges him to attack immediately.>>
March 5, 1836 -- Santa Anna over-rules subordinates who want to wait several more days for the siege artillery to arrive, and sets the attack for the next day. Travis sent out one last courier -- 16-year-old James Allen -- with another appeal to Fannin.>>
March 11, 1836 -- lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace> reaches Gonzales and finds 374 men have spontaneously gathered there. News of the lace wt="on">Alamolace>'s fate arrives. t="on">Houston sends orders to Fannin to join lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace>'s force, but if Fannin receives it he shows no urgency in acting on it. lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace> then burns the town and retreats.>>
March 13 and 14, 1836 -- Fannin sends about 150 men to nearby Refugio to assist in the evacuation of settlers in the face of the Mexican coastal column. They are scattered by the arrival of the Mexican force.>>
March 17, 1836 -- t="on">Houston reaches the lace wt="on">Colorado Riverlace> with his force, now at about 500 men and boys.>>
March 18, 1836 - The coastal column skirmishes with Fannin's force at Goliad. Fannin decides to evacuate.>>
March 19, 1836 -- Fannin moves his force out of Goliad, and is soon surrounded and pinned down in the open.>>
March 20, 1836 -- Fannin surrenders "at discretion" (i.e., unconditionally) although he apparently has the impression he and his men will be simply expelled from lace wt="on">t="on">Mexicolace>. They are marched back to Goliad. Except for the force lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace> is gathering, the Texan army has been destroyed.>>
March 27, 1836 -- In response to orders from Santa Anna, Fannin's men are marched out of Goliad and shot. About 390 are killed, and another 27 escape to spread the news.>>
April 1836 -- tate wt="on">Texastate> is convulsed with the "Runaway Scrape" as essentially the entire Texan population abandons their land and flees across the soggy landscape toward tate wt="on">Louisianatate> (i.e., the lace wt="on">t="on">U.S.lace> border.) The commander of the lace wt="on">t="on">U.S.lace> border force apparently looks the other way in the case of solders deciding to cross over and join the fighting, but otherwise produces no direct aid.>>
April 10, 1836 -- About 5,000 refugees are reported gathered at the ferry crossing of San Jacinto Bayou at the northern extremity of lace wt="on">laceName wt="on">GalvestonlaceName> laceType wt="on">BaylaceType>lace>. (The state still operates a ferry there.)>>
April 18, 1836 -- Deaf Smith, a scout for lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace>, captures a Mexican courier whose papers show the planned movements of the Mexican columns. The courier was using captured Texan saddlebags monogrammed "W. B. Travis.">>
April 20, 1836 -- t="on">Houston lets his force be "trapped" by Santa Anna's column, near the lace wt="on">San Jacintolace> ferry crossing. There is a brief skirmish, and then the Texan force returns to its camp, grumbling at lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace>. Santa Anna keeps his men under arms all night, assuming a night attack was coming. Nothing happens.>>
April 21, 1836 -- Santa Anna's force of about 1,200 is over-run in broad daylight by a sudden attack on its camp by lace wt="on">t="on">Houstonlace>'s entire Texan force, then numbering 918. With the Texan camp only about a mile way over open terrain, Santa Anna had apparently posted no sentinels before retiring for a siesta and letting his tired troops do the same. The Texans lost nine dead and 30 wounded. Houston, who led from the front, lost two horses and was shot in the foot. Santa Anna, captured the next day in the bushes, agreed to recognize tate wt="on">Texastate> independence and ordered all Mexican forces to evacuate lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace>.>>
Thereafter -- lace wt="on">tate wt="on">Texastate>lace> become an independent republic
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