The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 207
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Notes and Documents
Abel Morgan and His Account of
the Battle of Goliad
JOSEPH MILTON NANCE*
ABEL MORGAN WROTE THIS NOW RARE DETAILED REMINISCENCE IN
1847, eleven years after the Texas Revolution and only five years af-
ter his release as a Mexican prisoner detained at Matamoros. His skill as
a physician's assistant saved his life on March 27, 1836, the day of the
massacre of Fannin's men. Morgan later had to accompany the Mexican
wounded in May when the Mexican Army began its retreat to the Rio
Grande in accordance with the Treaty of Velasco between General Anto-
nio L6pez de Santa Anna and the Texan government. His recall of the
events at Goliad and in Matamoros provides an intimate glimpse of a sol-
dier's life during the battle and as a captive.
Morgan published his account as a pamphlet in his hometown, Paduc-
ah, Kentucky, and it later was serialized in at least one newspaper. One
pamphlet, perhaps the only surviving copy, rests in the National
Archives in Washington, D.C.; another copy, once with Abel Morgan's
1851 petition in the Texas Secretary of State archives, cannot be locat-
ed. Harbert Davenport saw the file while researching "The Men of Goli-
ad" published in 1939 and Kathryn Stoner O'Connor cited portions of
the Morgan narrative in her The Presidio La Bahia del Espiritu Santo de
Zuriga, r721z-846, published in 1966.1
* Joseph Milton Nance is a former chair of the Department of History at Texas A&M Universi-
ty. He wishes to express thanks to Mrs. Margaret S. Henson of Houston for reading his manu-
script and making suggestions for shortening it.
' Wadesborough North Carolmna Argus, May 13, 1849; Joseph Milton Nance to TSHA, Sept. to,
1995; Harbert Davenport, "The Men of Goliad: Dedicatory Address at the Unveiling of the Mon-
ument ... ," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XLVIII (July, 1939), 1-41; Harbert Davenport,
"Notes from an Unfinished Study of Fannin and His Men," Harbert Davenport Papers (type-
script; Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; cited hereafter as CAH);
Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, The Presidio La Bahia del Espirtu Santo de Zuliga, 1721 to 1846
(Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1966), 202-220.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/257/?rotate=90: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.