The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Goliad: One-Hundred Thirty Years After. By Roy Grimes.
Victoria (The Victoria Advocate Printing Company), 1966.
Pp. 157. Appendix. $2.95.
The coincidence of the 1966 calendar with that of 1836,
occurring mid-way in the painstakingly accurate restoration of
Goliad's historic Presidio La Bahia, provided an irresistible com-
bination resulting in a reappraisal of March, 1836. Roy Grimes,
associate editor of the Victoria Advocate, in a series published in
the Advocate from February 27 to April 1, 1966, related "day-to-
day in the words of men who were there," the story of Fannin's
command. Now published in a paper-bound volume, Goliad is
a collective account employing over twenty sources, both primary
and secondary.
The author effectively combines his own succinct style with
liberal quotations of poignant letters and diaries recounting hard-
ship and death. The journal of Joseph H. Barnard, surviving
physician, is quoted most extensively, but is supplemented by the
accounts of many others, including the journals and letters of
Colonel Fannin, John Sowers Brooks, Lewis T. Ayers, General
Jos6 Urrea and Colonel Jos6 de la Portilla; the contemporary
histories of William Wharton and Francis W. Johnson; and the
more recent writings of Carlos Castafieda, Joseph M. Nance, and
Refugio historian Hobart Huson.
The scope of such a work is often limited by its sources and
this is no exception. The author is at his best in the too-few places
where he is able to blend subtly the accounts of several observers
to present a nearly complete picture for a day's entry. When this
is not possible, he makes use of biographical sketches and de-
scriptive material. When historically controversial actions beg for
exploration, the reader must be content with the observation that
"The preponderance of the evidence seems to indicate. . . ." Cer-
tainly the division of command between Colonel William Ward
and Captain Amon King at Refugio and Fannin's surrender at
Coleto deserve more than a cursory glance. The divergent eye-
witness accounts to which the author alludes are sorely needed
in the text.
Unfortunately, in its transition from a newspaper serial to a
book, Goliad was neither footnoted, indexed, nor documented-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 13, 2014.