Fannin Battleground State Historic Site, formerly called Fannin State Park, is located less than a mile south of U.S. Highway 59 at Fannin, Texas, in eastern Goliad County. The site encompasses the grounds of the battle of Coleto, fought in 1836 during the Texas Revolution between the Texan force under James W. Fannin, Jr., and the Mexican army under José de Urrea. The defeated Texans surrendered at this site on March 20, 1836, and later were executed in the Goliad Massacre (see GOLIAD STATE HISTORIC PARK). The battlefield site was marked originally with a pile of rocks placed by William L. Hunter, one of Fannin's men who survived the battle and escaped execution at Goliad. On October 15, 1891, Solomon Parks, Sr., of Goliad replaced the rocks with a massive iron screw from a cotton gin. Two yokes of oxen and a crew of men were necessary to transport and erect the new marker. In 1913 Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Hanley of Fannin donated the land for the park, which was established through the efforts of Leopold Morris of Victoria, then a member of the state legislature; Mrs. L. G. Kreisle and the Fannin chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas; and Goliad County officials. John Henry Kirby of Houston joined Morris in introducing the bill in the legislature, and John H. Bailey of Cuero (later of Austin) secured passage in the state Senate. Governor O. B. Colquitt signed the bill.
In 1914 the state built a rock wall around the park and set up a twenty-eight-foot grey-granite monument. Governor James Ferguson attended the dedication of the park. In 1965 the thirteen-acre park was placed under the care of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by act of the legislature. Effective January 1, 2008, operational control of Fannin Battleground State Historic Site was transferred to the Texas Historical Commission by the Eightieth Texas Legislature. The gin screw stood at the park entrance until 2008, and a small museum in the former bandstand still displays guns, implements, shot, and cannonballs exhumed at the site.