Fort Defiance

By: Craig H. Roell

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: August 3, 2020

Fort Defiance was the name given by James W. Fannin, Jr., to the La Bahía presidio, Nuestra Señora de Loreto, at Goliad in February 1836, when the fort was repaired and strengthened, primarily under the direction of Joseph M. Chadwick, in preparation for the Mexican advance during the Texas Revolution. Fannin drew the name by lottery; the two losing choices were Milam and Independence. The presidio was called Fort Goliad during the earlier command of George M. Collinsworth, whose volunteers initially overpowered the Mexican garrison in October 1835, and also by his successors, Philip Dimmitt and Francis W. Thornton, whose forces held the presidio until Fannin took charge in February 1836. Many continued to call the sanctuary Fort Goliad during Fannin's tenure (see GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1835, GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1836).

Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, The Presidio La Bahía del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, 1721 to 1846 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1966). Ruby C. Smith, "James W. Fannin, Jr., in the Texas Revolution," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 23 (October 1919, January, April 1920). Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Craig H. Roell, “Fort Defiance,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 3, 2020