The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 21
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The Men of Goliad
it was, nevertheless, at that time the normal "old settler" Texan's
point of view.
In their thought that feeding the army was, first of all, the
duty of the government, they were right; and that the government
did not so feed them, Colonel Fannin, as much as any other indi-
vidual, was to blame. His letters were all directed to "Acting
Governor" Robinson, and the discredited remnant of the Council,
which was too lacking in character and credit and had become too
impotent and feeble to so much as hire a courier, much less find
wagons, teams, provisions, and military transport or supplies. And
yet it lacked the patriotism and intelligence to get out of the way
and permit others to discharge the duties it was failing, or refusing,
Copano had now been abandoned by the Texans, and remaining
at Goliad with the means at Colonel Fannin's command could not
save Copano from being put to the enemy's use. Goliad had, there-
fore, become unimportant as a military post. Of this Colonel
Fannin was always quite aware. But having interested his soldiers
in rebuilding Goliad, and they having become, while so doing, enam-
ored of their work, they were most unwilling to leave it until the
enemy had tried it out. Colonel Fannin well knew that he ought
to put the Guadalupe between his forces and the enemy; fall back
to Victoria, a place "most defensible by a small force of any,
whatever, in Texas"; and put himself in contact with, and in
position to defend, his supplies; but he lacked the moral courage
to suggest "a retrograde movement" to his "sanguine, chivalrous
volunteers." These, fed for months on bull beef, were spoiling
for a fight. They had not yet come to realize that war was other
than an exciting and enjoyable game.
Colonel Fannin, seeking an order that would explain and justify
a retiring movement to his men, wrote the rump government, to
which he still paid homage, on March 1:
I should be pleased to have one more express from Wash-
ington, and if we are not to be sustained in a proper manner,
and in good time, receive orders to fall back to the provisions,
and on the colonies, and let us all go together. Let me repeat
to you that I consider myself bound to obey your orders ....
I have orders from you not to make a retrograde movement,
but to await orders and reinforcements.
There was small excuse for his having directed this letter to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/29/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.