Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 50
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don it when Col. Ben Milam asked for
volunteers to attack the fort, organized
about 300 men and, after fighting from
Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, 1835, forced General Cos,
who had arrived from Mexico and taken
command, to surrender, with the agree-
ment that he was to return with his en-
tire force to Mexico. Milam was one of
the two Texans to fall during the battle.
Fall of the Alamo.
The garrison at San Antonio dwindled
after the retirement of Cos, despite the
fact that it was known that Santa Anna
was marching on San Antonio with the
pick of the Mexican Army. Santa Anna
arrived there Feb. 23. The town was
defended by about 155 men under the
command of Col. William B. Travis.
Travis appealed repeatedly for aid, but
the provisional government was at odds
with itself, the council being arrayed
against the Governor, so nothing was
done. In fact, little provision had been
made for meeting the oncoming enemy.
About thirty men from Gonzales under
the command of Capt. Albert Martin
broke through Santa Anna's lines March
1, raising the force which had been cen-
tered at the Alamo to approximately 187.
It was this little band that held the Ala-
mo against overwhelming odds for five
more days in one of the most heroic
struggles to be found in the annals of
history. On March 6 Santa Anna
stormed the Alamo with something like
3,000 men and the last of the little band
of Texans died fighting. Among them
were William Barrett Travis, James
Bowie Davy Crockett and James B. Bon-
ham. Lack of co-ordination among Tex-
as authorities was partly responsible for
the tragedy of the Alamo.
Following the defeat of Cos, there had
been agitation for a war of independ-
ence against Mexico and several local
assemblies declared Texas a free and
sovereign state, notably one at Goliad
Dec. 20, 1835.
An ill-advised expedition against Mata-
moros was authorized by the provisional
council, although opposed by Houston
and Smith. It was headed by Col. J. W.
Fannin, Col. Francis W. Johnson and
Dr. James Grant. While the main body
was at Goliad a detachment of about
fifty under Johnson at San Patricio was
surprised by Colonel Urrea, advancing
from Matamoros, Feb. 27, 1836, and all
except Johnson and a few companions
were killed or captured. On March 2
Grant and a force of about twenty were
surprised while rounding up horses for
Fannin's cavalry on the Nueces near
Agua Dulce and all but a few were killed
These things were taking place while
the Alamo was under siege and while
civil and military authorities of the state
bickered among themselves.
Fannin remained at Goliad during the
siege of the Alamo. Receiving appeals for
assistance from Travis, he had once
started for San Antonio, but turned back
on receiving word that that place had
been completely surrounded by the Mex-
A detachment of about 150 men was
sent by Colonel Fannin to the aid of
Refugio under command of Lt. Col. Wil-
liam Ward. A scouting party under com-
mand of Capt. Amon B. King was sur-
prised by the Mexicans March 14 and
all but a few were killed or captured.
Colonel ward defended Refugio March
14 and withdrew towards Victoria under
cover of night. Subsequently, some of
these escaped but others were killed or
captured and sent to Goliad where they
were slain in a general massacre March
27, among these latter being Colonel
Ward. Those of Captain King's scout-
ing party, including King himself, who
surrendered were slaughtered by order
of Urrea near Refugio March 16.
Battle of Coleto and Goliad Massacre.
After the fall of the Alamo Fannin was
ordered to retreat, but delayed because
he had dispatched a detachment to Re-
fugio to protect the citizens against a
Mexican force threatening that place.
On March 19 he began his retreat, but a
heavy force under Urrea surrounded him
on Coleto Creek and a battle was fought
during the afternoon. Finding his 300
men greatly outnumbered by the Mexi-
cans, he surrendered the following
morning. They were returned to Goliad
and on March 27 were marched out of
camp and, under Santa Anna's orders,
Declaration of Independence.
While these things were taking place
at San Antonio and Goliad, confusion
reigned in governmental circles. When
it became apparent that the provisional
government had failed, a convention was
called to meet at Washington-on-the-
Brazos March 1, 1836. Here on March 2
it declared Texas independent. A Con-
stitution was adopted.
David G. Burnet was named provision-
al President and Sam Houston was again
chosen as commander in chief of the
army. This occurred while the battle of
the Alamo was being fought.
President Burnet set up his govern-
ment at Harrisburg. Houston started for
San Antonio, but at Gonzales, on March
13, learned of the fate of the defenders
of the Alamo. At Gonzales he had
found something fewer than 400 men; he
sent orders to Fannin to retreat from
Gollad and himself fell back beyond the
Colorado above Columbus. It was his in-
tention to make a stand here; his force
was strengthened by the arrival of vol-
unteers and he spent several days drill-
ing his men. Hearing of the loss of
Fannin's force, however, he retreated
across the Brazos at San Felipe and
marched to Hempstead, where he spent
several days in camp.
The center of Texas colonial popula-
tion lay in the territory between lower
Colorado and lower Brazos. The succes-
sive tragedies at San Antonio, San Patri-
clo, Agua Dulce, Goliad, Refugio and
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/52/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.