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About these pages . . .


These pages document Harbert Davenport's story of the Goliad Men, the ill-fated Republic of Texas forces under the command of Colonel James W. Fannin, Jr. in 1836. Most of Col. Fannin's men were captured and massacred on March 27, 1836, at Goliad, Texas, by the Mexican army of Santa Anna, shortly after the fall of the Alamo. A biography of Harbert Davenport (1882-1957) can be found in The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association web site.

On the right side of the Contents page is an outline of the complete manuscript, Notes from an Unfinished Study of Fannin and his Men, by Harbert Davenport, 1936. Starting with Davenport's cover letter, the manuscript can be read in its entirety by using the "Page -" and "Page +" links on the navigation bars at the top and bottom of the pages. There are also links to the start of major sections and an index to the biographical sketches.

At the bottom of the page is Appendix A: "The Men of Goliad," Davenport's dedicatory address at the unveiling of the monument erected by the Texas Centennial Commission at the grave of Fannin's men, June 4, 1938. The address, published in 1939, was drawn from this 1936 manuscript and three later sources which modified Davenport's list of men lost in the Battle of Refugio Mission. The paper includes his list of men killed in the Goliad Massacre, a summary missing from this 1936 manuscript. The 1939 paper omits names of men not in Fannin's final command and introduces some name-changes not documented in the paper. (The name changes may be documented in the twenty-odd shelf feet of Davenport papers at the Texas State Archives and the University of Texas at Austin.)

Also at the bottom of the page is Appendix B: "Fannin's Men: Some Additions To Earlier Rosters", Thomas L. Miller, 1958, containing additional names from Bounty & Donation land grant records for possible incorporation in the list of Fannin's men.

Changes from the original manuscript

This online publication of Davenport's manuscript is verbatim, for authenticity. The few changes for better presentation and readability are:

  • Use of italics for underlined words, names of ships and published works (occasionally underlined by Davenport)

  • block indent of longer quoted material

  • additional paragraphing of long sketches

  • about two dozen corrections in the sequence of the biographical sketches, for strictly alphabetical order

This reordering of the sketches means online pagination will differ somewhat from the second manuscript draft (see The Manuscripts), which, itself, has inconsistent pagination.

With the advantage of sixty more years of historical research after Davenport's work, I've been able to find additional information for the online manuscript. Davenport used square brackets for his notes so my additions as Editor are marked as "[Ed: ...]" if they fit easily within the text, or as "[Ed: ... 3]" with a link to my Notes page.

Much of Davenport's source material has since been published (see Bibliography), some as web pages, so the reader can more easily access the original. The spelling of the names of Fannin's men varies greatly across the original records. In this manuscript, Davenport used the spelling he considered most appropriate given all surviving records.

Editor's pages

On the left side of the Contents page, below the title, are my summaries and links to additional historical material developed after Davenport's work.

  • The Editor's Composite List is intended to add names of men of the Goliad Campaign who were not included in Davenport's biographical sketches. There is no such thing as a "final list" of the Goliad Men as new evidence will continue to appear. The Goliad Massacre victim William S. Brown was identified in 1999 as William Silvan Brown of Montreal, Canada (see biographical sketch added to Davenport 1936.)

  • Goliad Bounties & Donations are names of grantees whose warrants show service in the Goliad campaign.

  • The Companies & Captains is a chronology of organization over the period of the Fannin Command, with links to the manuscript section.

  • The Probable Fate Index facilitates access to Davenport's eighteen lists of the probable fate of each of Fannin's men.

  • The Chronology shows important dates of the Texan Revolution and dates of subsequent events affecting the historical documentation of Fannin's Men.

  • The Bibliography page lists Davenport's sources with notes about their later publication, in some cases as web pages.

Web page maintenance

The safest way to correct an online work is to use a plain-text editor (e.g., Windows Notepadtm) that can change a page's content without altering the HTML. Commercial web-preparation programs insulate the user from HTML details, but often rewrite the original HTML to their current proprietary level without the user's knowledge. Also, commercial programs may substitute current absolute link addresses in a page

(e.g., <a href="http://www.tshaonline.org/fannin/hd_014.html">)

for the original relative link addresses

(e.g., <a href="hd_014.html">),

without the user being aware. The changed page is fine until the online work is moved to another server where the absolute links no longer function.

Simply uploading a corrected web page from a personal computer to a server can be damaging. The safest way is to use a file-transfer program that provides a "raw ASCII" option (e.g., WS_FTPtm) that does not alter the HTML. Some Internet browsers provide an upload option, but may reformat the page in their proprietary HTML in the process without the user's knowledge. The uploaded web page then looks fine on the same browser, but may not look the same on other browsers.

Acknowledgments

We owe a special debt to the grandchildren of Harbert Davenport, who graciously allowed this manuscript to be put on the Internet, making it available to people who otherwise would never see a copy.

We are likewise indebted to The Texas State Historical Association for permission to include Davenport's 1939 paper, "The Men of Goliad", and Miller's 1958 paper, "Fannin's Men: Some Additions to Earlier Rosters", which complement Davenport's 1936 manuscript.

Professor James E. Crisp of North Carolina State University has been a source of helpful advice, new information, and the trusting loan of his valued photocopy of the first manuscript draft.

And where would historical research be without the diligent work of our librarians and archivists. Many thanks to the staff of the Texas State Library and Archives for their assistance. I appreciate also librarians Carole Johnson, Claudia Philpott, and Anita Voorhies, of the J. Conrad Dunagan Library, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, for a photocopy of the second manuscript draft and dozens of "sticky notes" to make sure I could read the blurred portions. Barry Atkins of the Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin, has been helpful in adding details from the Goliad men's land grant records.

About the Editor

And the Editor? I'm a Texan with a hobby of helping make Texas historical material available to people who cannot visit the archives or borrow the documents. And even those who can, having material a mouse-click away instead of a few weeks away, may benefit. My goal is to reproduce historical material accurately so the online version will be as useful and trustworthy as the original. I'll leave interpretation and critique of the contents to the professional historians.

H. David Maxey, Editor
2002


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Harbert Davenport 1936
NOTES FROM AN UNFINISHED STUDY OF FANNIN AND HIS MEN
H. David Maxey, Editor             Webpage of July 5, 2002