If you ever attended school in Texas, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard about the Goliad Massacre.
Colonel James Fannin and about 400 men were stationed at Goliad right around the time of the Battle of the Alamo. When the Alamo fell, General Sam Houston ordered Fannin and his men to retreat. They took their time and were caught by the Mexican Army before they could get far enough away.
After a brief battle where they were hopelessly outnumbered, Fannin and his officers approached the Mexican Army about surrendering. But ONLY if they were treated as prisoners of war and eventually released to return to their families.
The leader of the Mexican Army, General Urrea agreed and took the men prisoner, marching them from the battlefield back to Presidio La Bahia in Goliad.
As they waited, Urrea informed General Santa Anna that we wished to set the prisoners free, which infuriated Santa Anna. He informed Urrea that every prisoner at Goliad must be killed immediately.
Urrea waited a few days, unsure of what to do but finally agreed to follow his orders.
Without telling the prisoners, he divided them into three separate groups and marched each group out of Goliad along a different road.
After each group had traveled about half a mile, the soldiers lined the men up and shot them from a short distance away.
A few of the men managed to escape by hiding in the brush or jumping into the nearby San Antonio River.
In all, 342 prisoners died, and 28 successfully escaped. The story of Goliad spread and led to renewed vigor by the Texan Army. They redoubled their efforts and eventually captured Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto.
La Bahia is a must see if you are a fan of Texas history. The State Park is separate from the massacre site, about a mile down the road. It offers camping and fishing in the river. The Mission Rosario is also there and worth a look.
La Bahia and Goliad State Park are in South Texas.
There’s plenty of camping and room to run in the park. La Bahia is also different enough that they should be interested.