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Fannin, meantime, had been joined at Goliad, on March 15th or 16th, by Horton's company. On the 19th he evacuated Goliad, intending to fall back to Victoria. He then had with him the "La Fayette Battalion," Westover's Regulars, Horton's Matagorda Company, Sprague's squad, a few of Fraser's men, and his company of volunteer artillery.

It was with this force that he was overtaken and surrounded by the enemy on the Coleto Prairie, on the afternoon of March 19th. He took position in a hollow square, and by hard fighting held his own until night, but was compelled to surrender next day. Horton, with twenty-seven mounted men, had gone forward before the action began to scout the crossing of Coleto Creek. This party was not captured.

Ten of Fannin's men were killed in action on March 19th, or else died on the battlefield of mortal wounds; and three others were killed in a private effort to escape. The others, including four sick and fifty-one who had been wounded and disabled, were returned to Goliad. There, on March 25th, they were joined by Col. Ward and his men.

At daybreak on the 27th, the unwounded men were marched from the fort, in three divisions, under heavy guard, and shot. Twenty-six of the intended victims, some of them wounded, escaped from the guns of the executioners. Colonel Fannin and the sick and wounded were shot within the fort. Through the intervention of Señora Alavez and Colonel Francisco Garay, eighteen prisoners were spared, whose execution had been comprehended within Santa Anna's direct and positive order for this wholesale butchery.
 


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© 1936 Harbert Davenport
NOTES FROM AN UNFINISHED STUDY OF FANNIN AND HIS MEN
H. David Maxey, Editor             Webpage of January 1, 2000