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The Men of Goliad11


Dr. Barnard has left us a graphic picture of Goliad as it appeared on February 12 to Colonel Fannin and his men. Because Goliad, as rebuilded, was on an entirely different site, we can still visualize the typical Mexican frontier village as they saw it on that day. The presidio church and the old fort remain, in outline, much as they were seen by Fannin's men. The few stone houses of the wealthier citizens, flat-roofed, with shuttered, glass-less windows, and floors of hardened mortar, are gone; but it is not too difficult to visualize them, as outworks, in close proximity to the fort. Fifty or a hundred jacales, housing the humbler inhabitants, then sprawled about, for the most part, seemingly between the river and the fort. But Goliad, as Colonel Fannin found it, was not an inhabited town, for its Mexican citizens, as Dr. Barnard tells us,

Fearful of compromising themselves too far, had removed to some ranchos about fifteen miles below the town.
This removal of the Goliad inhabitants was reported to General Austin by Captain Dimitt, October 25, 1835. Dimitt wrote:
For some reason or another the people of this place have nearly all left town. I have done, and have said everything which I could to inspire them with confidence -- but they had seen the brilliant equipment of General Cos, his sword and retinue; . . . they had listened to his flattering and captivating speeches, they had attended his parties and tasted his wine.
Since October this situation had not changed. Joseph T. Williams, of the Georgia Battalion, thus describes Goliad, as he saw it as one of Fannin's men:
At the commencement of difficulties between this country and Mexico, this village contained not less than a thousand inhabitants. . . . Since this period the inhabitants, who were . . . native Mexicans, had gradually retired down the river to another port, and this place is now inhabited . . . by volunteers. I do not believe there are ten native citizens here at this time. One-third of the place affords ample and comfortable quarters to the soldiers, and the residue is abandoned to cattle and dogs.
It may be remarked, in passing, that Colonel Fannin and other

Copyright © 1939 Texas State Historical Association

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Harbert Davenport 1936
H. David Maxey, Editor             Webpage of January 1, 2000