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Goliad—March 27, 1836

The bookends of the Texas Revolution are Gonzales, and San Jacinto. In between are the Alamo and Goliad and a series of other battles, too. But the Alamo and Goliad were grievous losses which shaped the future of Texas in ways that are still being debated by the scholars and historians.

“Goliad Executions”

“Goliad Executions” by Norman Price (from the Texas State Archives and Library Commission)

The Texian army was disorganized and under-supplied in every way, and once Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande, events moved so quickly that real organization did not catch up to Santa Anna’s superior forces until San Jacinto.

After the fall of the Alamo, there were a series of skirmishes which culminated in the Goliad Massacre, when Col. Fannin and his men were caught on the open prairie and forced to surrender. Though Fannin and his men were told they would be moved out of the area, Santa Anna ordered them to be executed.

Around 6:00 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, after being held captive for one week, Fannin’s men were told to gather up their things. They thought that they were going to the Port of Copano and then on to New Orleans. They were happy and singing. They knew that Colonel Fannin had returned from the Port of Copano the previous day. What they didn’t know was that at 7:00 p.m. the previous evening, Colonel Portilla had received word directly from General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to execute the men. About an hour after Portilla received the execution order from Santa Anna, he received another order from General Urrea to “Treat the prisoners with consideration, particularly their leader, Fannin, and to employ them in rebuilding Goliad.”

Please read the rest of the narrative from which I have quoted the above paragraph, at Presidio La Bahia (Fort on the Bay) in Goliad. There were survivors at Goliad, from which the story has been pieced together.

The 23nd Annual Goliad Massacre – Fort Defiance Living History Program, a re-creation of the occupation of the fort by Col. Fannin and the Goliad Massacre, occurs this Saturday and Sunday (March 29-30). This is the only event of its kind in the State of Texas. Saturday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Candlelight Tours 7 P.M. to 9 P. M. Sunday, following the Massacre Reenactment at 10:00 A.M., there will be a memorial service and a pilgrimage to the Fannin Memorial.

2 thoughts on “Goliad—March 27, 1836

  1. I took my family to Goliad a couple of years ago to see the re-enactment — it was very educational; there were lots of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in attendance, as well as many “civilians”!

    Its worth the trip if you’ve never seen it.

  2. I wish Larry and I could go this weekend, but it will have to wait. I have read where others describe the experience of visiting there as “almost holy.”

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