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Remember Goliad!
Presidio La Bahia ^ | March 27 1836 | Daughters of the Republic of Texas

Posted on 03/27/2005 3:58:41 AM PST by Rightly Biased

 
The Goliad Massacre
 

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 pervious 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."

It was a foggy morning at sunrise. The able bodied men were formed into three groups, and under very heavy guard taken out of the fort. The Mexican troops were lined up on each side of the line of prisoners. One group was taken out on the San Antonio road, another on the Victoria road, and the other on the Copano road. The prisoners had little suspicion of their fate, because each group had been given a different story as to where they were going. One group was told that they were going to gather wood, another to drive up cattle, and the other group was told that they were going to the port of Copano. At selected spots on each of the three roads from one half to three-fourths of a mile from the fort, the groups were halted. After they halted, the guards on one side stepped through the ranks so that all the guards were on one side, they turned and fired at very close range. Those men that where not killed ran and were pursued by the cavalry.

The soldiers then returned to the fort and executed the wounded that were in the chapel. The wounded were taken out and laid in front of the chapel doors. There were about forty of them. They were then shot as they laid on the ground. Colonel Fannin was saved until last. (Note: Fannin's room was in the south extension of the chapel. The room was separated from the main chapel by a wall. A door from the room opened into the Quadrangle. Fannin's room is now known as the Flag Room. Today, the doorway has been sealed, but you can see the outline of the doorway.) Fannin was taken outside the chapel, blind folded and seated in a chair next to a trench by the watergate. He made three requests, not to be shot in the face, his personal possessions be sent to his family, and that he be given a Christian burial. He was shot in the face, an officer took his personal possessions, and his body was burned along with many of the other bodies. Not all bodies were burned, some were left where they died. There were 342 men who died in the Goliad Massacre, which is almost twice the number of men who died at the Alamo and San Jacinto combined. Twenty-eight men did escape from the three massacre sites and seventeen men's lives were spared. It is from the accounts of the men who escaped and were spared that we know what happened at Presidio La Bahia. Francita Alavez, the Angel of Goliad and the wife of General Urrea saved the lives of a number of the men.


 
Massacre Locations
 
 

(Above) Massacre locations overlaid on plat of the townsite of La Bahia filed in 1857 by Doctor Barnard. Today, the actual locations of the massacre are located on private property.

After the massacre, a shallow trench was dug, most of the bodies were gathered and burned. Other bodies were left where they fell in the fields near the fort.

 


 
After The Massacre
 

The clothes of those massacred were stripped off the dead bodies. The women took the clothes to the river and washed out the blood of the men killed, so they could be used by the Mexicans. Eye witness accounts of those spared from the massacre were filling up a water barrel as they watched the river turn red with the blood of their companions.

The bodies would be exposed to the elements and wild animals for over two months. Abel Morgan, one of the few men spared to care for the wounded Mexican soldiers wrote in his account of the massacre: "...Shirlock and I went down to the river after water and Shirlock observed me 'old man, they are going to make a clean turn of us in the morning.' About that time I felt as if it would not make much difference with me; for we were kept at work day and night and if we could have had time to sleep, who could have slept while there were hundreds of wolves and dogs eating the remains of our fellow soldiers, in our hearing?...
1

Note: Those that were spared from the massacre were given white arm bands to wear and were allowed to walk about freely. If they lost the arm band, they would be shot immediately, as the Mexican troops were still looking for those that had escaped the massacre and for any Texian troops that might be in the area.

During the massacre, Abel Morgan and several other men to be spared were placed in the Calaboose (Calaboose meaning "Jail". It is located next to the main gate). They heard the gun fire of the men being killed. Although, they did not actually witness the massacre. Later in the day, one of the Mexican officers and some of his men came inside the calaboose to eat. As they sat across from each other, a young Mexican boy offered his bowl of soup to the men. Reluctantly, they each took a few sips of soup.

The massacre impacted the Mexican troops in different ways. Some were elated and threatened to kill those that were spared. Others, like the Mexican officer sitting in the Calaboose with Abel Morgan broke down crying. 
1

After the battle of San Jacinto, a rumor circulated that General Santa Anna had been rescued from Sam Houston's army, and that Houston had surrendered. This rumor set the troops in the presidio into a celebration. One of the celebratory actions was to shoot at the chapel bells, and this went on for the entire day. Today, you can view one of the bells that was cracked from a gun shot. 
1

By the time it was realized that General Santa Anna had indeed surrendered, the troops in the presidio gathered up what few remains they could find of the men. At this time, almost month had passed and they tried to burn the remains again. The troops then abandoned the presidio and headed south. 
1


 
Formal Burial Of Fannin And His Men
 

More than two months after the March 27th massacre, Texas General Thomas J. Rusk, who established his headquarters at Victoria, was escorting second in command of the Mexican army, General Vicente Filisola and the remainder of the retreating Mexican army around Goliad. General Filisola came by Goliad, but did not dare enter it, as he feared the tempers of the very few remaining men there. This was about June 3rd, 1836.

In Goliad (the area around Presidio La Bahia), the ghastly remains of the massacred men of Fannin's Command were found in the partially covered trenches where they had been dumped and burned. Some bones, gnawed by coyotes and dogs were on top of the ground. General Rusk immediately gave orders for a formal military burial of the bones. Rusk issued the following order for the military funeral:

ARMY ORDER: June 3, 1836 A general parade of the army will take place tomorrow morning half past 3 O'clock A.M., The funeral is ordered at 9 O'clock A.M. Sherman will take command and conduct the procession in the following order: First Artillery, 2nd. Music, 3rd Maj. Morehou's Command, 4th 6 company officers---6 company officers, 5 Mourners. Those of Fannin's command who were in the army and who have so miraculously escaped will attend as mourners, 6. commander in Chief & Staff, 7. Medical Staff, 8. 2nd Regt. comd. by Major Wells, 9. 1st Regnt. Comd. by Lieut. Col. Summerville, 10. Regulars Comd. by Lieut Col. Millard, Major Poe will order a minute gun fired from the fort, commencing with the time the procession moves until it arrives at the grave. Major Morehouses' Command will fire 3 rounds of Blank Cartridges at the grave. Signed Thos J. Rusk Brigr. Gn Com. On reaching the grave General Rusk delivered a short, but feeling and eloquent address.

"FELLOW SOLDIERS: In the order of Providence we are this day called upon to pay the last sad offices of respect to the remains of the noble and heroic band, who, battling for our sacred rights, have fallen beneath the ruthless hand of a tyrant. Their chivalrous conduct entitles them to the heartfelt gratitude of the people of Texas. Without any further interest in the country than that which all noble hearts feel at the bare mention of liberty, they rallied to our standard. Relinquishing the ease, peace, and comforts of their homes, leaving behind them all they held dear, their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives, they subjected themselves to fatigue and privation, and nobly threw themselves between the people of Texas and the legions of Santa Anna. There, unaided by re-enforcement's and far from help and hope, they battled bravely with the minions of a tyrant, ten to one. Surrounded in the open prairie by this fearful odds, cut off from provisions and even water, they were induced, under the sacred promise of receiving the treatment usual to prisoners of war, to surrender. They were marched back, and for a week treated with the utmost inhumanity and barbarity. They were marched out of yonder fort under the pretense of getting provisions, and it was not until the firing of musketry did the shrieks of the dying, that they were satisfied of their approaching fate. Some endeavored to make their escape, but they were pursued by the ruthless cavalry and most of them cut down with their swords. A small number of them stand by the grave-a bare remnant of that noble band. Our tribute of respect is due to them; it is due to the mothers, sisters, and wives who weep their untimely end, that we should mingle our tears with theirs. In that mass of remains and fragments of bones, many a mother might see her son, many a sister her brother, and many a wife her own beloved and affectionate husband. But we have a consolation- yet to offer them: their murderers sank in death on the prairies of San Jacinto, under the appalling words, "Remember La Bahia." Many a tender and affectionate woman will remember, with tearful eye, "La Bahia." But we have another consolation to offer. It is, that while liberty has a habitation and a name, their chivalrous deeds will be handed down upon the bright pages of history. We can still offer another consolation: Santa Anna, the mock hero, the black-hearted murderer, is within our grasp. Yea, and there he must remain, tortured with the keen pain of corroding conscience. He must oft remember La Bahia, and while the names of those whom he murdered shall soar to the highest pinnacle of fame, his shall sink down into the lowest depths of infamy and disgrace.
2

 

 
Grave Site Almost Lost
 

Doctor Barnard Files A Plat Of The Townsite Of La Bahia In 1857:

A plat of the townsite of La Bahia was made and filed in Goliad County in 1857, from data furnished by Dr. Barnard. The plat located land owner's property boundaries, the "Old Fort" (Presidio La Bahia), and the location of the burial site of "Fannin's Men". Dr. Barnard is believed to have had first hand information as to the actual site of the burial, as he was one of the doctors spared at the Goliad massacre. He and the other medical personal spared from the massacre were sent to San Antonio to care for Santa Anna's wounded troops. The filing of the plat of the townsite of La Bahia would become critical seventy five years later. 
1

George Von Dohlen Marks The Grave Site Of Fannin's Men In 1858:

After the massacre on March 27, 1836 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. Some of the survivors of the massacre attended the ceremony.

The common grave (trench) 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. For many years this place remained unmarked and unprotected, until the very location was almost forgotten - almost, but not quite. 1

Two Acres Purchased In 1928:

In 1928, Judge J. A. White, Mr. W. E. Fowler, and Goliad Mayor Joseph Wearden, believing the story of rocks placed by George Von Dohlen in 1858, bought for the County of Goliad two acres of land from Manuel Cabrera, a descendant of early La Bahia natives. 
1

Fannin's Grave Located And Verified In 1930:

In 1930 some Goliad Goliad Boy Scouts found charred bone fragments that had been unearthed over the years by animals. The Boy Scouts reported the find to their families. This find created interest with some citizens of Goliad.

Goliad Citizens Visit Fannin's Men Grave Site In 1932:

On New Year's Day, 1932, Goliad citizens succeeded in attracting an investigation of the site by University of Texas anthropologist J. E. Pearce. The citizens found fragments of charred bones and teeth which a dentist, a member of the group, pronounced as undoubtedly human remains. This aroused interest in suitably marking the grave site. The authenticity of the gravesite was further verified by historians Clarence R. Wharton and Harbert Davenport. The plat of the Townsite Of La Bahia, filed by Dr. Barnard in 1857 was used as part of the verification of the site.

Monument Dedicated In 1938:

In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, money was appropriated to build a massive pink granite monument, dedicated on June 4, 1938. Harbert Davenport presented the address, which was published as "The Men of Goliad" in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (1939).

Monument and grave site of Fannin's men


The names of all of the men massacred is engraved on the monument face.




TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: anniversary; massacre; palmsunday; remembergolaid; rememberthealamo; texashistory

 

 

Remember Goliad!!

Dimmit's Bloody Arm Flag

 
 
Several historians have given similar reports on the "Bloody arm flag of Goliad" said to have been made by Captain Phillip Dimmitt. On December 20 1835 the first declaration of Texas independence was signed at Goliad in the chapel of the Presidio by members of Dimmitt's command then stationed at La Bahia. After signing, the group went into the quadrangle and "amidst rapturous hurrahs, the flag of Texas Independence was hoisted and unfurled to the wintry wind".

The flag was described as being made of white domestic, two yards long and one yard wide. "In the center was a sinewy arm and hand, painted red, grasping a drawn sword of crimson." The flag pole was made from a tall sycamore tree found on the banks of the San Antonio River.

1 posted on 03/27/2005 3:58:41 AM PST by Rightly Biased
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To: MeekOneGOP; TexasCowboy; Flyer

Today is Easter! but Remember Goliad!! as well


2 posted on 03/27/2005 4:00:48 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased; philman_36

 

 

Remember Goliad!!

3 posted on 03/27/2005 4:06:20 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased

My cousin Isaac Ryan was killed in the battle at the Alamo. I have a copy of his Baptism certif. and his parents wedding license. I keep meaning to send copies to the Alamo. They have his name on a plaque in there. Our heroes, thank you to all of them~ God bless their memory.


4 posted on 03/27/2005 4:08:01 AM PST by buffyt (I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion. From Doctor's Hippocrates oath)
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To: Rightly Biased

" Francita Alavez, the Angel of Goliad and the wife of General Urrea saved the lives of a number of the men."


I believe that there was a Mexican officer named Garay who also helped some of the Texans escape.


5 posted on 03/27/2005 4:11:18 AM PST by djpg
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To: buffyt

The DRT would appreciate your Contribution.

I was a little upset last time I visted the Alamo 3/18/05 there was a "tattoo artist" in a kiosk (not with needles thank goodness) set up back by the restrooms inside the walls of the complex. I was appalled sent the President of the DRT a letter she answered me but didn't know why. She said she'd know why buy this week.

RB<><


6 posted on 03/27/2005 4:12:21 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased
Let's also all remember the correct response when autocrats come to take your arms, also learned from the Texans of the era:



Old Come and Take It

7 posted on 03/27/2005 4:13:30 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Official Ruling Class Oligarch Oppressor)
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To: djpg

http://www.presidiolabahia.org/angel_of_goliad.htm

Here is some info about who helped some of the men.


8 posted on 03/27/2005 4:15:14 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: FreedomPoster
I work in Gonzales across from Texas Heroes Square I see that Flag everyday.

Of the multiple banners that flew over DeWitt Colony territory and those under which DeWitt colonists served and died, this famous flag is one which originated solely within and is unique to the DeWitt Colony and a symbol of contribution of the region to the Texas Independence movement. The banner can be said to be the counterpart in concept and message of resistance as the early "Don't Tread on Me" flags of the American Revolution. Some say it was made from the white silk of the wedding dress of Empresario DeWitt's daughter, Naomi, and was flown by DeWitt Colonists reinforced by volunteers from the other settlements at the confrontation with the Mexican army in October 1835 over the Gonzales cannon (Battle of Gonzales). Other reports suggest it was made after the confrontation during the muster at Gonzales for defense of Texas and the assault on Bexar.

9 posted on 03/27/2005 4:18:05 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased
There were 342 men who died in the Goliad Massacre, which is almost twice the number of men who died at the Alamo and San Jacinto combined.

He means the number of Texans, not the number of men. A whole lot of Mexicans died at San Jacinto, many of them killed while trying to surrender.

10 posted on 03/27/2005 4:19:57 AM PST by Restorer
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To: Restorer

Well yeah! I be a Texan who else would that be about;^)


11 posted on 03/27/2005 4:21:55 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased

Thank you, Rightly Biased..5th generation Texan here and Texas Proud.


12 posted on 03/27/2005 4:59:24 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: MEG33

You are most welcome Meg!!

Thanks for the bump

RB<><


13 posted on 03/27/2005 5:02:10 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased

God Bless Texas!


14 posted on 03/27/2005 5:16:01 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

He has and I pray He continues too

Thanks for the Bump


15 posted on 03/27/2005 5:16:59 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: buffyt

Well, I am sort of ticked at Fannin. He is the guy with 300 soldiers who ignored the Alamo's plea for help. Neither Fannin nor Houston came to Travis's aid. I just don't understand it. You can call Fannin a hero...but he simply surrendered to Santa Ana...


16 posted on 03/27/2005 5:26:29 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: Rightly Biased
Ah, yes! Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!

I gotta come back here in a bit a read this, thanks! :^D

My thread from three years ago:

166 years later, Texas recalls the Goliad massacre -
"Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!"


17 posted on 03/27/2005 5:40:10 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: Restorer

"A whole lot of Mexicans died at San Jacinto, many of them killed while trying to surrender."

Hey, Restorer, are you one of this blame America or, in this case, blame Texas first bunch?

If you are, I got no sympathy-you can kiss my Texas lovin' A$$!


18 posted on 03/27/2005 5:42:19 AM PST by izzatzo
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To: Rightly Biased
No, forget Goliad. The smartest thing Americans do is to "let the dead bury the dead." If you don't believe it, consider places where they never forget, like Northern Ireland or the Middle East.
19 posted on 03/27/2005 5:51:10 AM PST by Grut
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To: Restorer
A whole lot of Mexicans died at San Jacinto, many of them killed while trying to surrender.

Shortly after the Goliad massacre and long before the Geneva Convention.

Don't Mess With Texas

20 posted on 03/27/2005 5:57:47 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob (This tagline is Bush's fault.)
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To: Grut

Not a Texan are you?


21 posted on 03/27/2005 6:06:33 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Dudoight
Someone who is interested in that era of Texas history should enjoy reading The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan.

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com

A novel about the Alamo promises as much suspense as a movie about the Titanic: we already know how it's going to end. The bloody siege of the Alamo was, of course, not only the defining crisis in the Texan struggle for independence from Mexico but also an event that secured martyrdom for the 200 or so men who died there and transformed a dusty Franciscan mission into a national shrine, an American Troy. As with all mythologized chronicles, however, the Battle of the Alamo ultimately resolves into mundane fact, a catalog of human error, ego, and heroism. And it is these details that Stephen Harrigan regards in his broad and powerful third novel, The Gates of the Alamo.

Passing lightly over the oft-profiled Alamo stalwarts--Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and the young commander William Travis--Harrigan focuses on fictional secondaries, primarily botanist Edmund McGowan and mother and son Mary and Terrell Mott. Rigidly devoted to his work, Edmund straddles the fence in the dispute over Texas, even as war murmurs grow. But when he meets widowed Mary, who maintains her small inn with a steady, gentle resourcefulness, his good nature pulls him steadily into the inevitable conflict. Mary herself is forced to quarter Mexican soldiers; and then, as she watches incredulously, her young son seeks to test himself in the erupting skirmishes. Eventually the trio find themselves inside the Alamo during the nearly two-week battle, their various conciliations frustrated by the surrounding mayhem.

- - - - - - - - - -

I'm recommending the book because I enjoyed it very much and am sure that many Freepers would too.

22 posted on 03/27/2005 6:18:39 AM PST by Max in Utah (By their works you shall know them.)
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To: Max in Utah

Thanks...I love Texas, and Texas history. Texas is unique when comparing it to the character of any other state. My great- grandparents immigrated here in the 1870's. The other set of great-grand parents came a few years later, all by covered wagon. My mother and grandfather were born here. Unfortunately, I was not born here, but I live here now! The first Thanksgiving was celebrated here in 1598! It was a hard scrabble life that Texas settlers endured. Texas created the cowboy...many were real heroes! Just got back from visiting Big Bend Nat'l Park. I can't imagine how the settlers managed to survive in that terrain. But...they did. Kudos for Texans and Texas!


23 posted on 03/27/2005 7:04:23 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: Rightly Biased

Two of my kinfoks died at Goliad. Have sent this link to other interested relatives.

Thanks for posting it.


24 posted on 03/27/2005 7:16:41 AM PST by msmagoo54
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To: Rightly Biased

Goliad is a Texas History Goldmine, another town though not as large is Old San Patricio, either one is as interesting as visiting the Alamo.

Now my goof-off surfing trail for the day has been established, I am going to plan a Texas Historical site/town trip for next week-end.

Thanks Rightly Biased for posting this.


25 posted on 03/27/2005 7:19:27 AM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: Restorer

Don't have a whole lot of sympathy for them after they committed what would today be considered a war crime, sorry. Also, in that era, you didn't *have* to take the surrender of an enemy. If you did, you were bound by honor to not kill or mistreat them, which the Mexicans conveniently ignored.


26 posted on 03/27/2005 7:32:30 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

It is reasonable to point out that very few of the Mexican soldiers present at San Jacinto had personally participated in the killing at Goliad.

Your point about not accepting surrender is well taken. For that reason the massacre at the Alamo was (barely) justifiable under the current laws of war.

That at Goliad was an egregious violation of them.

I guess "Remember Goliad" just doesn't roll off the tongue the way "Remember the Alamo" does.


27 posted on 03/27/2005 7:36:20 AM PST by Restorer
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To: Grut

The problem with those areas isn't that they don't forget, its that they don't forgive. Remembering an act is just fine if you don't hold a grudge about it.

Most people in Texas long ago forgave the Mexicans, but we'll never forget. Or do you think that what our men accomplished in Europe and Asia sixty years ago should also be forgotten?


28 posted on 03/27/2005 7:37:02 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Restorer

Contemporary accounts claim that "Remember Goliad" was shouted by far more men at San Jacinto than "Remember the Alamo".

As for those present on the Mexican side at San Jacinto, the man who ordered the slaughter at Goliad and who made it a standard operating policy in his army was leading their army. So was his command staff, who mostly agreed with him, and most of the army there apparently also agreed with him, per contemporary accounts. Remember, these were veterans fresh from the Napoleonic Wars.


29 posted on 03/27/2005 7:44:34 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: FreedomPoster

"You want the cannon back? You can have it - projectile first. Come And Take It, boys."


30 posted on 03/27/2005 8:50:35 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Rightly Biased; Dog Gone; PhilDragoo; devolve; yall


From the article:

Colonel Fannin was saved until last. (Note: Fannin's room was in the south extension of the chapel. The room was separated from the main chapel by a wall. A door from the room opened into the Quadrangle. Fannin's room is now known as the Flag Room. Today, the doorway has been sealed, but you can see the outline of the doorway.) Fannin was taken outside the chapel, blind folded and seated in a chair next to a trench by the watergate. He made three requests, not to be shot in the face, his personal possessions be sent to his family, and that he be given a Christian burial. He was shot in the face, an officer took his personal possessions, and his body was burned along with many of the other bodies.


Wow, talk about being mean as snakes!

Well, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing these ar$ehole$ are rotting in he** right now.


31 posted on 03/27/2005 9:07:25 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: TexasTransplant

Your Welcome

Enjoy Goliad its really a neat place.


32 posted on 03/27/2005 6:21:44 PM PST by Rightly Biased (<><)
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To: Rightly Biased

Huzzah!


33 posted on 03/28/2005 3:38:30 AM PST by philman_36
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