The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 52
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52 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
to retreat, the halting in the prairie-were now followed by the
error of surrender. The result is an exceeding great pity for their
fate; but the glory of the Alamo, which they might, at least, have
shared, is not theirs.
Such of the force, with a few exceptions, as were able to march,
were taken heavily guarded to Goliad. Carts, in the next few
days, returned for the remainder, mostly wounded. The men be-
lieved that they had made an honorable surrender, and that they
were to be treated as prisoners of war. But they had Santa Anna
to deal with, a man of great vanity, and him they did not under-
stand. The seriousness with which Santa Anna took himself would
be amusing if the results had not been so tragic. He thought that
his puny campaign and battles were of Napoleonic importance.
E-le was a Dictator; obstacles must be swept from his path. What
were the lives of ordinary men to the will of a genius? These
prisoners were a drag on his advance, they needed a large guard,
they were an expense. He perhaps stored up a diplomatic excuse,
a mental reservation or two; his government's resolution that in-
vaders should be treated as pirates, attachment of blame to an in-
ferior officer-anything would suffice, for he never really expected
to have to render an excuse to the world, least of all to Houston.
If he were but swift enough, all the enemy would melt before him
as these were doomed to do. He measured Anglo-Saxon resistance
by a Mexican's standard. He did not understand that these very
atrocities of his were the agent that would sharply bring these men
to act as one, that the sting of that insolence would cause them to
forget every other consideration and difference in the determina-
tion to wipe out the shame of it. Houston answered the excuse
that Santa Anna, after all, was obliged to make to him, "But you
are the government; the dictator has no superior."
So the order was issued by Santa Anna that these prisoners were
to be done away with. Not the first in command, not Urrea was to
be executioner; they had not time to attend to such details. It
was left to the Commandant, and after it was done, this sen-
sitive Mexican wrote to General Urrea to say that he was very
much distressed, and that he did not want any more of the like
work, he was not a public executioner. The prisoners in the mean-
time did not understand Santa Anna! They had been beginning
rather to look forward to being sent home. A remnant of their
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/64/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.