The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 24
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
what ultimately occurred. But they illustrate the hopeless ama-
teurism of the Texan point of view. King and Ward both fought,
and fought well, until their ammunition was spent; when, unable
to resist longer, they separately attempted to retreat. King was
taken on the fifteenth, and shot next day with fourteen of his
men. Ward wandered for a week through swamps and prairies,
but was finally taken on the Garcitas, on March 22, with the
greater portion of his men, and was returned with them, to Goliad,
where they shared the common fate of Fannin's men.
Colonel Fannin, at Goliad, received on March 14 the long-awaited
orders, from General Houston, to retreat. The retreat was not
attempted until March 19. Two days were lost awaiting Ward and
King, as well as the coming of Captain A. C. Horton and his
Matagorda company, from Victoria, with teams and carts. No
good reason has ever been suggested for not retiring to Victoria
on March 17. It was not done, doubtless, because Colonel Fannin
was still awaiting Ward and King. But no good could come from
waiting, if they were involved with the enemy; and they could
fall back as well to Victoria, as to Goliad, if they were not.
Captain Horton, scouting, on the 17th, toward B6xar, discovered
Morales' column, which encamped that night on the Manehuilla,
in position to command the Victoria road. The 18th was spent
in the excitement of a series of skirmishes with the cavalry of
Morales' command. This wore down the Texan horses-part of
Captain Horton's company were mounted men-and left the all-
important oxen to stand in the corrales and starve. A plan to
retreat that night was abandoned, Captain Horton believing it
impracticable to keep to the road in the dark. For Fannin's men,
who were not frontiersmen, that was no doubt true. Fannin had
nine brass cannon, and insisted on taking all of them along.
Amateurs to the end, his men brought out all their arms, includ-
ing the nine cannon and five hundred spare muskets, but loaded
all their ammunition in a single oxcart, and forgot to bring along
anything that they could eat. The morning of the 19th was spent
chasing hungry and unmanageable oxen, and in dragging an un-
wieldy howitzer across the San Antonio ford. In the prairie
beyond the Manehuilla, Colonel Fannin halted for his oxen to
rest. Captains Duval and Shackelford, his ablest company com-
manders, objected to this halt, without water, and where no good
military position could be had. Their men smiled. They believed,
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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/m1/32/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.