Mexican army executes 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad

In a disastrous setback for the Texans resisting Santa Anna’s dictatorial regime, the Mexican army defeated and executed 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad.

Goliad had been captured by the Texans several months earlier.

This time, disagreements among the Texans led to a division of the rebels. James W. Fannin had only 300 Texans to protect Goliad, a position the rebels needed in order to maintain their supply routes to the Gulf Coast. As Urrea’s much larger army approached, Fannin was unsure if he should go to the aid of the overwhelmed men at the Alamo.

Fannin attempted to retreat from the approaching Mexican army, but his decision came too late. Urrea surrounded the small column of rebel soldiers on an open prairie, where they were trapped without food, water, or cover. Fannin realized there was no chance of escape. Rather than see his force completely murdered, Fannin surrendered.

The Texans believed they would be treated as prisoners of war. Santa Anna, however, had clearly stated that he considered the rebels to be traitors who would be given no mercy. In obedience to Santa Anna’s orders, on this day in 1836 Urrea ordered his men to open fire on Fannin and his soldiers, along with about 100 other captured Texans. More than 400 men were executed that day at Goliad.

Rather than crushing the Texas rebellion, the Goliad Massacre helped inspire and unify the Texans. Now determined to break completely from Mexico, the Texas revolutionaries began to yell “Remember Goliad!” along with the more famous battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!”

Source: Mexican army executes 417 Texas revolutionaries at Goliad
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