History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 54
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HISTOR Y OF TEXA.8
,and were captured and killed. Fannin, in
Goliad, on the 16th of March, was reinforced
by the Twenty-eighth Cavalry. IIe
then prepared for a retreat; but just at
nightfall a large force of the enemy was discovered
in the neighborhood, when he remounted
his cannon anal prepared for defense.
The following account of the disastrous 1,ittle
of C(olita, which followed, is copied fr'on an
able historian of Texas: "The morning of
the 17th was foggy. and as no enemy appeared
to be in bight Fannin concluded to
make good his retreat. After reaching a
point about eight miles away from Goliad,
they halted to permit the oxen to graze.
They then resumed their march, and were
within two miles of Colita creek whe:i a
company of Mexican cavalry was discovered
in front of them, issuing from a point of
timber. Urrea had taken advantage of the
fog to get around and in front of Fannin's
force. IHorton's cavalry had gone in advance
to make arrangements for crossing the
stream, and could not get back to their coinlanions.
Two charges of Urrea's cavalry
were gallantly repulsed by Fannin's artillery,
which did great damage to the Mexicans.
The fight was kept uip till nightfall, when
the enemy retired out of range and the Texans
prepared for a renewal of the fight in the
morning. Their condition was indeed critical.
Fourteen of their number had been
killed, and sixty others, including Fannin,
were wounded. Urrea received during the
night heavy reinforcements. With no adequate
protection, in an open prairie, witirout
water, surrounded by an enemy five times
their number, what could they do but surrender
as prisoners of war? A white flag was
raised and the following terms of Arrender
agreed upon: That the Texans should be
treated as prisoners of war according to the
usages of civilized nations; that private property
should be respected and restored, but
side arms of the officers should be given up:
the men should be sent to Copano, and thence
in eight days to the United States, or as soon
as vessels could be procured to take them;
thle officers should be paroled and returned to
thle United States in like manner.
After surrendering in good faith and relying
upon the honor, in this case at least, of
the Mexican general, the prisoners were looking
forward to a speedy release, and on Palm
Sunday, the 27th, they were expecting to be
forwarded to their homes. But alas! vain
hope! the treacherous scoundrel to wlomn
they surrendered had broken his military
word and was about to place his name in the
same category as the Caligulas and Neros
and other fiends in human shape. Without
warning and tinder the pretense of starting
thelim homeward, the privates were marched
out in four companies, strongly guarded,
from the old mission at Goliad, where they
had been sent, and where the men of Ward's
force were also confined, and who, too, met
the same fate as Fannin's men. They were
taken in different directions, and within
sound of tJhe officers, whose fate bad also
be *n decided upon, they were brutally slaughtered!
A few, by feigning death and lying
still till dark, escaped. The officers and the
wounded, who were still in the fort, were then
taken out, and all of them met the same fate
as the privates, Fannin being the last to suffer
death. That Santa Anna, at the close of
the victorious revolution, should have been
permitted to escape the fate of those brave
patriots, has been a hard pill for most Texans
to swallow. Ten years later, when he
was in command of the Mexican army opposing
General Scott, and when he was
I again captured, it was 4ifl.ctlt for the Amer
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/56/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .