by Joe Griffith

Fighting for Texas:  Georgians and
the battle for Texas Independence

In 1835, "Texas" offered to those who would come to help win its independence the promise of free land and living on an abundant frontier unfettered by a central government.  That was a strong pull for Americans fearing the erosion of their individual freedom or simply seeking a new life in a fresh land free from unpaid debts.  For a few, it was the challenge and adventure of a new frontier.  Mexico itself had won its independence from Spain in 1821.  Among the Americans who responded to the offer were a group of Georgians.  This is an account of the bravery and courage of the band of Georgians who fought and died helping Texas win its independence from Mexico in the early decades of the nineteenth century.

It began in 1821, when Stephen F. Austin and 300 settler families, began colonizing land granted to them by the liberal government of Mexico.  Other colony groups followed until by 1836 there were about 30,000 Anglo-Americans, 5,000 Negro slaves or indentured servants, 4,000-5,000 Mexicans, and 14,200 Indians living in Texas.1

Over the fifteen years of Austin's colonization, the relationship between the government of Mexico and the Americans was becoming increasingly contentious but was generally peaceful until Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna became President of Mexico in 1835.  On assuming the powers of dictator, Santa Anna, proceeded to tighten governmental control over the colonies in Texas vowing to drive all the "Pirates" as he referred to the Americans back across the United States border.  The Mexican President sought and obtained from the Mexican Congress the decree of December 30, 1835, which directed that all foreigners taken in arms against the government should be treated as pirates-not prisoners of war-and shot.2 Santa Anna believed that policy would be an effective deterrent to expected help for Texas from the United States.  The President's attitude toward the Americans turned Stephen Austin from his dream of Texas becoming an independent province under Mexico to his call in 1835 for complete Texas independence from Mexico.

The opening shot of the Texas revolution occurred at a ford on the Guadeloupe River just south of Gonzales on March 2, 1835.  One hundred and sixty settlers refused to surrender a cannon that had been lent to them four years earlier for defense against the Indians.  The settlers with long rifles opened fire on 100 Mexican Dragoons.3 One Mexican was killed and the others retreated to San Antonio.  The defeat of the Mexicans sent to retrieve the cannon at Gonzales was quickly followed by the capture of two small Mexican garrisons at Lipantitlan and Gohad.  Bolstered by these successes, Texans laid siege to the large Mexican force at San Antonio, forcing a surrender on December 10, 1835, and compelling Santa Anna's forces to withdraw from Texas.  It appeared to the Texans that the war was over.  They were jubilant at their victories, but those who knew Santa Anna, including Stephen Austin, the first commander-in-chief of the volunteer army elected in October, 1835, knew the dictator would return at the head of a large army to reclaim Texas and to eliminate the American colonies in Mexico.

Anticipating the threat of Santa Anna's Army, Stephen Austin and others appealed to the United States for war funds and volunteers for help.  Some of these appeals were made to the southern states where many of Austin's early colonists in the twenties had come.  Of those who had "gone to Texas" many were Georgians.  For example, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar from
Columbus, Georgia had been in Texas long enough to assume an important position of leadership as Commander of the Texas Cavalry during the revolution which lead to his becoming the second president of Texas.4 James Walker Fannin, Jr., born in 1805, the illegitimate son of Dr. Isham Fannin, was adopted and raised by his maternal grandfather, James W. Walker, near Marion, Georgia.  A tall gangling Georgian at the age of 32 he had come to Texas in 1834, where he traded in slaves and became a successful land speculator.  As for his military experience, in 1819, he entered West Point under the name James Walker but after two years he dropped out.  In Texas, he was Captain of the Brazos Guards at Gonzales on October 2, 1835 and was one of Austin's scouts as the Texans moved on San Antonio.  He also commanded the Texas troops in the Battle of Concepcion on October 28.  Sam Houston, who was appointed to replace Austin as commander-in-chief of the army of Texas in November, 1835, made Fannin a colonel in December, 1835.5 Fannin immediately began assembling a force to attack Matamoras at the mouth of the Rio Grande River in support of a plan to join the liberal Mexican resistance against Santa Anna.  However, when Fannin learned that Mexican General Jose Urrea had already fortified Matamoras, he decided to fortify Goliad instead.  His strategy was that by holding Goliad he could cut off the flow of Mexican supplies to San Antonio coming by water through the port at Copano.  However, it was a useless strategy since Santa Anna did not use the port, choosing instead to bring his supplies overland in support of his move to retake San Antonio.

Austin had given up the command of the army to serve as a emissary to the United States to appeal for funds and volunteers.  His appeals for help were heard in Georgia.  The headlines in the Macon Messenger newspaper read, "the cries of our fellow countrymen of Texas have reached us calling for help against the Tyrant and Oppressor.  Let all who are disposed to respond to the cry, in any form, assemble at the courthouse, on Tuesday evening next, at early candle light."6

On Tuesday, November 12, 1835, a public meeting was held in Macon.  Captain Levi Eckley, Commander of the Bibb Cavalry, presided over the meeting and Simri Rose served as Secretary.  General Robert Augustus Beall, John Rutherford, and Samuel M. Strong were among those speaking in support of going to the aid of the Texans.  Colonel William A. Ward proposed to form a company of infantry to enlist in the army of Texas.  That evening 32 men came forward and enrolled as volunteers.  It was reported that more than $4,000 was raised that evening to defray expenses for the volunteers' trip to Texas.  The volunteers were to be led by William Ward.  Wednesday, November 18, 1835, was selected as the day of departure for Texas.  Colonel Ward borrowed United States rifles from the arsenal of the State of Georgia for the volunteers.7

On November 17, 1835, a group of 35 volunteers for Texas met at Girard opposite Columbus, Georgia.  William A. 0. Wadsworth was elected as their leader.  On November 18, 1835, the Macon volunteers, under the direction of William Ward left Macon for Montgomery, Alabama.  They went by way of Columbus, Georgia where they were joined by Wadsworth's Columbus volunteers.  At Montgomery the Georgians boarded the Benjamin Franklin, for passage to Mobile.8

Mindful of the neutrality act of the United States Government, the volunteers were described by themselves and others as "die brave and patriotic band of emigrants from Georgia to Texas." The Georgians were determined that their activities would be within the letter of the law.  Their interpretation was that departure for Texas as private citizens in no way violated the law of the land.  Organization of the men into military units must wait until their arrival in Texas.9

At New Orleans the Georgians boarded the schooner Pennsylvania for passage to Texas.10 On Sunday, December 20, 1835, they arrived at Velasco, at the mouth of the Brazos River.  There, they were welcomed by Austin, Fannin, Wharton, and Archer.  Austin was on his way to the United States to seek further assistance in the fight for Texas independence.11

At Velasco, on December 22, 1835, the Georgia volunteers were organized into three companies and designated the Georgia Battalion with William Ward as Major, Commanding.  The First Company had been enlisted at Columbus, Georgia by William A. 0. Wadsworth, who was now the captain, commanding the company.  The company strength was about 35, which included some men from Alabama and Mississippi who had joined the company en route to Texas.  The Second Company had been enlisted at Macon, Georgia, by William Ward.  Uriah J. Bullock was the captain, commanding the company.  The company strength was about 36, which included some men from Alabama and Mississippi who had joined the unit along the way to Texas.  When the company left Velsco on the Brazos on January 24, 1836, Captain Bullock was sick with measles and unable to travel, and he never rejoined it, or exercised command.  The Third Company was also recruited by Ward from Macon and Milledgeville.  The strength of the company was 36 and James C. Winn, of Gwinnett County, Georgia was its Captain.  This company included additions other than from Georgia, mostly Mississippi volunteers.12

A short time later, a regiment was organized at Velasco composed of the Georgia and LaFayette Battalions.  Colonel James W. Fannin of the LaFayette battalion was designated as the Regimental Commander.

Major Ward of the Georgia Battalion was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the regiment and Warren J. Mitchell was promoted to Major and replaced Ward as the commander of the Georgia Battalion or First Battalion.  The LaFayette Battalion or Second Battalion, composed of a mix of volunteer units from such other states as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee, was commanded by Major Benjamin C. Wallace from Erie, Pennsylvania.13

Fannin's Regiment remained at Velasco for about one month and then on 21 January, 1836, moved by ship from Velasco to the port of Copano.  From there, on 22 January, they marched north to the mission at Refugio, which was about fifteen miles from the coast.  Three weeks later, on 12 February, Fannin's Regiment marched to Goliad some twenty-seven miles farther north from Refugio.14  El Presidio de LaBahia del Espirito Santo or the Fort of the Bay of the Holy Ghost at Goliad was an old structure now in ruin that had been built by the Spaniards when they first arrived in this country as a means of protection against the Indians.  It is situated on the south-west bank of the San Antonio River, about thirty miles from where that river empties into the Bay of Espirito Santo.  Built upon a rock elevation, the mission afforded a good defensive position. 15 There, Fannin took possession of the mission and continued to prepare for his expedition to Matamoros.  At Goliad other units joined Fannin's expeditionary force which had grown to 600 men and 19 pieces of artillery.  Almost every man had his rifle and brace of pistols.  The men for the most part were altogether superior to what would normally be expected of an army, in intelligence and education.16

By 16 February, noting the increased activity of the Mexican army around Goliad and expecting an attack, Fannin decided to hole up in the mission which he had renamed Fort Defiance.17 Meanwhile, Colonel William Travis at the Alamo who anticipated an attack by Santa Anna's main division of 5,000 men had sent a message to Fannin pleading for reinforcement.  Fannin, only 95 miles away to the south, received the message, but made no reply.  On 25 February, Travis sent a second message to Fannin informing the Georgian that the Mexicans were in San Antonio.  This time Fannin prepared to respond.  He readied 320 of his men to march to the assistance of the Alamo.18

On 26 February, Fannin's 320 men had gone only a few hundred yards toward the Alamo when a supply wagon broke down.  The column was stopped to make repairs.  Since the repairs took most of the day, Fannin decided to wait until the next morning to continue the march to the Alamo.  Then, the next morning, it was discovered that the wagon's oxen had got loose during the night and it took most of that day to round them up.19 By late afternoon on the 27th of February, Fannin was beginning to have second thoughts about going to the Alamo.  With only 320 men, mostly on foot, with limited provisions, to march nearly one hundred miles through a hostile and uninhabited country, to reinforce the Alamo with its 150 defenders against Santa Anna's 5,000 man army with his cavalry and artillery was to ignore the bleak reality of the situation.  Sam Houston had already pointed out, to all that would listen, the futility of defending outposts such as the Alamo and Goliad.  They were situated in open prairie country, fifty to seventy miles from any settlement they could depend on for supply or assistance.  They controlled no passes and posed no obstacle to an advancing army.  They defended only the ground on which they stood and guarded the area only as far as their guns could reach.  In fact, General Houston had ordered the fortress of Goliad and the Alamo to be evacuated and destroyed, but his orders had been ignored.  So, Fannin conferred with his officers and decided that going to the Alamo was impracticable, if not madness and hence they resolved to return to Goliad and prepare for its defense against the Mexican forces of General Uffea known to be on their way to attack Fort Defiance.20 The Alamo fell on March 6.

Informed of the fall of the Alamo, General Houston sent a message to Fannin on March 11 instructing him to blow up Fort Defiance and fall back "as soon as practicable" to the town of Victoria on the Guadalupe River.21 Meanwhile at Goliad, in response to an urgent message from a Mr. Ayres at Refugio, requesting that a guard be sent down to assist him in bringing out the families, Fannin sent Captain Amon King with an escort party of 30 men from the Georgia Banhon.  Before King had joined William Ward to come to Texas, he had been the town marshal of Paducah, Kentucky.22 The distance to Refugio was thirty miles and King and his men arrived there late in the afternoon of the 11th and found that the Mexicans had been plundering the deserted homes of some of the Irish colonists.23 King, decided to exceed his escort mission, revert to an enforcer of the law and punish the marauders, but he soon found they were too much for his small force to handle.  A collective force of aroused locals, Indians, and Mexican soldiers forced King to take refuge in the mission and he hurriedly sent a message back to Fannin for help.24 Whatever his motives, King had deviated from his orders to assist the colonists and provide protection en route to Goliad in favor of finding some enemy to shoot at.  'Thus, Fannin was now forced to send his second in command Lieutenant Colonel Ward and the Georgia Battalion of about 120 men back to the Refugio mission to rescue both Captain King and the families.25 Ultimately, King's actions would waste precious time and start a chain of events that would not only cost him his life, but the lives of the entire garrison at Goliad.

At about the same time Colonel Fannin was sending out the Georgia Battalion to Refugio, he received the message from General Houston ordering him to destroy Goliad and retreat to Victoria.26 Fannin intended to obey the order as soon as the Georgia Battalion returned to Goliad the next day with King and the families from Refugio.27 But his time for escape to Victoria was slipping away.  Thousands of Mexican troops were moving into the area.

The Georgia Battalion departed Goliad on Saturday morning, 12 March, at 3 a.m. and arrived at Refugio at 2 p.m. the same day.  They found Captain King and his men fortified in the Refugio mission and a large number of Mexicans across the river in plain view.  The battalion stayed in the mission until dark and then forded the river, attacking and killing 25 Mexicans with no loss to the battalion.28

On the morning of the 14th, Ward started preparations for the march back to Goliad.  But, then a sentry reported hearing a strange bugle call. Ard sent a force under his second in command, Dr. Warren Jordan Mitchell, on a scout south to locate the enemy advance.  As Mitchell's party was moving out, Captain King began quarreling with Colonel Ward.  Essentially, Captain King refused to return to Goliad until he had punished some local rancheros for their part in the fight.  On his own, King called for volunteers.  With 28 enthusiastic volunteers, King went out of the mission and ambushed eight local Tejanos he assumed to be spies.29

Meanwhile, General Urrea's army of 1,500 was approaching from the south.  Mitchell's scouting party spotted them and quickly returned to the Refugio mission and sounded the alarm of an impending attack.  Upon attempting to return to Refugio, King and his men stumbled on Urrea's army who were now laying siege to the mission church and they were immediately attacked by the Mexicans.  There was no way for King to reach the mission so he made a swift retreat.  After wandering around the vicinity of the Refugio mission evading the Mexicans for some time, King was eventually forced to surrendered.  Then, he and his men were marched a few hundred yards toward Goliad.  A short time later, they were halted and shot by their Mexican captors.  The bodies were left unburied on the praire.30 In the meantime, Colonel Ward, hearing the firing of shots in the direction King had gone, attempted to go to his rescue, but encountering a large force of Mexicans in that direction, he returned to the mission and prepared for a desperate defense.  Any prospect of Ward getting to Goliad with the families or even his battalion was now gone It appeared he was now limited to the defense of the church and the people in it.31

The battalion blockaded all the entrances to the church with benches, pews, or anything available to provide cover.  The mission building itself was an old stone ruin vulnerable to assault from three sides and on the fourth side there was a wall around an old cemetery.  Captain Bullock's Company of 35 men (Bullock was not there) was deployed in the cemetery and the remainder of the battalion occupied the ruins of the mission.32 The Mexicans advanced on the mission but the accurate fire of the battalion drove them back.  The battle continued into the evening when the Mexican force under the command of General Urrea withdrew, but not out of sight.33

The Georgia Battalion had only brought 36 rounds of ammunition per man to Refugio and their supply was about gone.  Therefore, Ward faced with retreat or surrender, sent two messengers, Corporal James B. Murphy of Milledgeville and J. B. Rodgers from Wadsworth's Company to Fannin back at Goliad with a request for more ammunition and more men.  The messengers were quickly captured by the Mexicans.  However, a message did come through from Fannin brought by Edward Perry ordering Ward to abandon the church, blow up the fort, and retreat to Victoria instead of Goliad, where Fannin would join him there.34

On the night of March 14, Ward and the Georgia Battalion, under cover of darkness, made their escape from the church through the woods and swamps.  However, Ward took the road south toward Copano instead of immediately heading east toward Victoria as ordered by Fannin.  They crossed Melon Creek, destroying the bridge behind them to delay Urrea's pursuit.  Then, Ward changed direction to the northeast and attempted to get to Victoria across country without guides and very few rounds of powder and ball to continue to fight.35

The Georgia Battalion was now lost on the prairie without food or water.  Their need for water became so acute that Ward sent out David Holt and seven men to find water.  Holt and his men became even more lost and were never able to rejoin the battalion.  Eventually they all escaped to Texas settlements to the east.36

At 9 a.m. on 19 March, 1836, Fannin and his 400 remaining men began their long delayed retreat from Goliad toward Victoria.  Only six miles out of Goliad on an open plain hung with a heavy fog, General Uffea and his men caught up with Fannin.  Not far from a wooded area that would have afforded him some protection, Fannin had pulled his men and wagons together and formed a square for their defense in the open.  Their hollow square was three ranks deep, each man having three to four muskets and many having bayonets, rifles, and pistols.  From that position, Fannin and his men fought two days, killing 250 Mexicans while losing seven men killed and 60 wounded including Fannin who was wounded in the thigh.37 Sam Houston, in his defensive position on the Colorado River, on hearing of Fannin's plight said to his aide, "there is the last hope of Texas.  We shall never see Fannin nor his men."38

On 20 March, 1836, Colonel Fannin surrendered to General Uffea on the promise that they would be paroled and sent to the United States.39 Fannin and from 230 to 240 of his men able to walk were marched back to Goliad.40 On 21 March, Ward's Georgia Battalion reached Victoria, only to find it occupied by the Mexicans.  The battalion was attacked, but managed to escape into the marshes of the Guadalupe River, covering their retreat with their last few rounds of ammunition.  The battalion spent the night in the marshes.  At least 15 or more men of the battalion managed to escape and evade the Mexicans during the night.41

On the morning of the 22nd, Ward managed to rally the remnants of his battalion and moved out in the direction of Dimmit's Point on the Lavaca River, near Matagorda Bay.  Two miles from the point, Ward sent two men to scout the point to see who was in possession and awaited their return.  A portion of the Mexican army that was in pursuit of the battalion took the two men prisoner and surrounded the battalion.  The two captured men were sent to persuade Colonel Ward to see General Uffea concerning terms for the surrender of the Georgia Battalion.  Colonel Ward, Major Mitchell, and Captain Ticknor (of Alabama) met with General Uffea.  It was understood by the Americans that, if they surrendered, they would be returned to Copano and thence to New Orleans, or be detained as prisoners of war and be exchanged.  Ward opposed surrender, but without ammunition, no other course of action was open.  A vote was taken and it was decided by the majority to accept the terms offered by General Urrea and surrender.42

At the time of the surrender of the Georgia Battalion on 22 March, Ward had about 83 to 85 of the approximately 119 he had on March 14 when they had escaped from the mission at Refugio.  Of the 119 at Refugio, Wadsworth had 37, Bullock had 46, and Winn had 36.  Seven, including Captain Bullock, were left sick at Velasco with one attendant; 25 had deserted or left without leave; one was shot at Velasco; and one was discharged.  Two of Captain Winn's Company were either killed in action or massacred at Refugio, and two of Wadsworth's Company were captured.43

On the 23rd of March, Ward and about 85 men of the Georgia Battalion were marched as prisoners of war to Victoria by the Mexicans.  On the 25th, General Urrea sent Ward and his men to Goliad.  On the 26th, Ward and the Georgia Battalion arrived at Goliad and were imprisoned with Fannin's men in the chapel of Presidio La Bahia.  At 7 p.m., an order arrived from Santa Anna stating that the prisoners were a hindrance and an expense, and were to be shot immediately.44

Early on Palm Sunday, March 27th, 1836, spring had come to south Texas.  The morning was hot and sultry, with grey clouds hanging over the horizon.  'Me prisoners were told to pack their belongings for an immediate march.

Rumors among the prisoners was that they would be marching to Copano Bay, where they would board a ship for New Orleans.  No one seemed to notice that the Mexican troops were wearing their parade ground uniforms and had neither knapsacks nor baggage.  The Mexican troops marched the prisoners, officers and men alike, divided into three groups out of Goliad, telling them they were to be freed on parole and sent to New Orleans.  One group was marching on the Bexar road, one on the Corpus road, and one marched toward the lower ford across the San Antonio River, in the direction of the Victoria Road.  With each of the groups the Mexican soldiers were drawn up in two lines, so that the prisoners were closely guarded on both sides.  The Mexican soldiers, who were as a rule talkative, were unbearably silent.  At selected spots on each of the three roads, from half to three-fourths of a mile from the presidio, the three groups were halted.  The method of execution was the same for each of the groups.  For example, for the group near the San Antonio River, about a half mile from the fort, the Mexicans turned and formed one line facing the prisoners.  A command to halt was given in Spanish.  A Mexican officer shouted to the prisoners to kneel.  There was the crash of musket fire and then all was quiet.  Lieutenant Colonel Ward was shot with the others.  Thick clouds of smoke rolled slowly toward the river.  Some of the prisoners ran for the river.  Others played dead.  So it was for each of the three groups.  Recorded estimates of the total prisoners massacred at Goliad range from 342 to 445.  It has also been estimated that perhaps 60 to 88 of the prisoners managed to survive the massacre.  For example, one source claims about 30, including doctors, artisans, and some wounded, were spared and about 30 more fled into the river marshes during the firing by the Mexicans at point blank range.  Colonel Fannin was not among them.  Wounded in the thigh and unable to walk, Fannin and some 40 to 55 other injured soldiers were executed separately in Goliad.  The wounded lying in the hospital were dragged out into the Fort and shot.  Fannin was shot in the face, stripped, and thrown onto a pile with the others.  Their stripped bodies were taken out of the Fort about a fourth of a mile and dumped onto a pile.45

After the massacre, the bodies of Fannin's Command to include those of the Georgia Battalion were poorly burned by the Mexicans on piles of green mesquite brush and the charred remains left for the vultures.46 On June 3, 1836, Brigadier General Thomas Jefferson Rusk and troops of the Texas Army, while in pursuit of the retreating Mexican army, came upon the grizzly remains of the massacred prisoners at Gohad.  They gathered the charred remains together, gave them a military funeral, and buried them in a common unmarked grave.47 Also, the bodies of Captain King and his men shot at Refugio were discovered and buried in an unmarked common grave.48

The common grave of Fannin's men remained unmarked until about 1858.  At that time, George von Dohlen, a Goliad merchant, placed a pile of rocks where he believed the common grave was located.  However, the area was grazed by large herds of wild cattle and the stones were soon scattered and the location of the grave forgotten.49 In April 1858, a memorial for the massacred
prisoners was erected in the city of Gohad, since by chat time no one knew the location of the common grave.50 Later, the Goliad
common grave site was determined by reference to bone fragments found on the ground and information from survivors of the massacre.51 In 1936, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, money was appropriated for a massive pink granite "Heroes at Rest" monument, which would display the names of all the known dead.  There are 355 names inscribed on the monument.  The monument near Fannin, Texas was dedicated on June 4, 1939.52 The unmarked common grave of Captain King and his men was discovered on May 9, 1934 and the bones were reinterred in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery near Refugio.53 The exact number of Georgians who lost their lives in Texas is not known, but, from the best accounts it seems that of the 37 men of Bullock's Company at Goliad, 9 were detained as physicians and workmen, 2 escaped, and 26 were shot.  Of the 38 men in Winn's Company, 37 were shot and one was detained.  All 25 of the men in Wadsworth's Company were shot by the Mexicans.  Therefore, it seems that 88 of Ward's Georgia Battalion, although perhaps not all of them were from Georgia, were massacred at Goliad.54

Although the Texans were victorious at San Jacinto, there was no triumphant homecoming for the Georgia Battalion for none was possible.  According to United States neutrality and Georgia law, the battalion did not represent or could officially be supported by the governments of the United States and Georgia.  Also, there was only a handful of survivors of the battalion to attest to their sacrifices.  Basically, the Georgia Battalion did not exist except as reflected in the memories of the families that would never see their loved ones again.

The monument in Texas that is believed to mark the site of the common grave of the Goliad prisoners reads, "Beneath this monument reposes their charred remains.  Remember Goliad!"55


1. S. V. Connor, Texas, a History (Dallas TX: G.L.A. Press, 1971) 1213.

2. Craig H. Roell, Remember Goliad!  A History of La Bahia (Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 1994) 68.

3. Claude Elliott, "Georgia and the Texas Revolution," The Georgia Historical Quarterly, 26.4 (1944): 233.

4. Walter G. Cooper, The Story of Georgia (New York: The American Historical Society, Inc, 1938) vol.  II, 379-381.

5. June R. Welch, Historic Sites of Texas, (Dallas, TX: G.L.A. Press, 1972) 88.

6. Elliott, 236.

7. Ibid., 236-237.

8. Ibid., 242.

9. Ibid., 238.

10. Ibid., 242.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Jakie L. Pruett and Everett B. Cole, Sr., Goliad Massacre (Austin TX: Eakin Press, 1985) xii.

14. Elliott, 244.

15.  Roell, 48.

16. Ibid., 59.

17. Ibid., 49.

18. Ibid.

19. Welch, 88.

20. Pruett and Cole, 67.

21. Roell, 55-56.

22. Ibid., 53.

23. Ibid.

24. Ibid.

25. Pruett and Cole 53.

26 Roell 56-57.

27. Pruett and Cole, 56.

28 Roell, 55.

29. Pruett and Cole. 56.

30. Elliott, 246.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. Ibid., 247.

34. Ibid.

35. Pruett and Cole 82-95.

36. Roell 64.

37. Ibid.

38. Ibid., 66.

39. Elliott 247.

40. Pruett and Cole 103-104.

41. Elliott, 248.

42. Roell, 69.

43. Ibid., 69-73.

44. Ibid., 74.

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid.

47. Ibid., 77.

48. Welch, 94.

49. Ibid.

50. Pruett and Cole, ix.

51. Roell 79.

52. Elliott, 250.

53. Ibid.

54. Welch, 94.

55. Ibid.


The so-called family of weapons, model 1840, included two light artillery pieces designed for field use, the six pounder gun and the twelve pounder howitzer. Of these, the six pounder gun, with its range of 1,500 yards and weight of 880 pounds, was the "basic field piece" of the army.

For siege purposes, a collection of heavy howitzers was developed. These included eighteen and twenty four pounder guns, eight inch howitzers, and eight and ten inch mortars. The siege guns were heavy, some reaching up to 5,600 pounds in weight, and were impracticable for field use.

A gun fires a flat trojectory. A howitzer, usually a smaller piece for the same size shot, fires with a reduced powder charge and with an elevated muzzle. A mortar, usually a heavy piece, fires at a steep angle, usually about forty-five degrees.

Joe Griffith is retired from the U.S. Army and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard.  He is retired military and enjoys writing and researching Georgia military history.

[Back to Top]

 [Return to Journal Index]