Saturday, November 12, 2011

Passport to Texas History: Goliad

Example of a guard tower.

Another stop on our quest to complete the Passport to Texas History was Goliad. Goliad is home to the Presidio La Bahia as well as other historical sites.  We actually visited Goliad in March of this year, but were not aware of the Passport program at the time (I found out a week later!) Presidio La Bahia was built on this site in 1749. The presidio was involved in a number of incidents during the Texas Revolution, beginning with its capture by the Texians in October 9, 1835. The first Declaration of Texas Independence was signed here, although it was a bit premature.
 
Shortly after the battle of the Alamo, Sam Houston ordered the Texian Army to leave the Presidio. But as they left the fort, they were attacked and involved in the Battle of Coleto Creek. They were defeated, and Col Fannin and approximately 350 soldiers were captured by the Mexican army and returned to the Presidio as prisoners. A week later, on Palm Sunday, the men were massacred by the Mexican army. The medical staff of this Texian force was spared so they could be used to treat the Mexican soldiers wounded in the battle at the Alamo, but the rest of the soldiers (341 men), and Col. Fannin were separated into groups and shot
The older kids read the information about the Massacre at Goliad. MT looked at the pictures and understood that something horrible happened here. He found it very sad.

The bust of the 'Angel of Goliad'. An incredible reminder that sometimes doing the right thing is very, very difficult and dangerous.
A few escaped, thanks to a woman known as the wife (but probably a mistress) of Captain Alvarez of the Mexican army. She pleaded with Mexican officers to spare the lives of the men, and helped a few escape. She became known as the Angel of Goliad and later, abandoned by Captain Alvarez, settled on the King Ranch to live out her life protected by the King family. A beautiful bronze statue is on the grounds outside the Presidio and is surrounded by benches labeled with the names of her descendants, many of which appear to live in the area near Goliad.

I love watching these guys grow up! FRitW and MT had lots of questions for Kirk.

The doors to the chapel.

The Presidio was restored in the 1960’s, but the church within the Presidio has been in constant use since 1779. While we toured the grounds, we watched as people set up a reception for a wedding to be held at the church that night.
The well in the courtyard with one of the guard towers in the distance.

Maggie loved the unusual keyholes and copper decorations on each door

One of the most interesting things we learned on this trip, was that many of the citizens really struggled with deciding where their loyalty should lay. These people were Mexican born, but most were in disagreement with the current government by General Santa Ana. They desired a change in government, but not necessarily independence from Mexico. The massacre may have played a large part in swaying citizens toward supporting complete independence from the Mexican government.

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1 comment:

Briana said...

Great post! I hope we can work Goliad in to our trip next Jan!