largest single loss of life in the cause for Texas Independence occurred on March
It was on that Palm Sunday when Mexican troops, acting on orders
from Gen. Santa Anna, executed the 341 men under the command of Col. James Walker
The bodies were stripped and left unburied.
surrendered his troops to superior Mexican forces after he was led to believe
that his men would be treated fairly.
On June 3, 1836, Texas troops under
the command of Gen. Thomas Rusk gathered the remains of Fanninís men and gave
them a military funeral.
A good friend and former colleague when I was
employed at The Gonzales Inquirer, Wallace ďSargeĒ Morgan, is a descendant of
J.G. Ferguson. Ferguson was among those Texans who were murdered at Goliad.
book, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, by Thomas Lloyd Miller,
has an entry showing that the heirs of Joseph G. Ferguson received 1920
acres of land as payment for Fergusonís service to the Texas Army from January
19 to March 27, 1836.
Morgan was kind enough to share a letter that was
written by J.G. Ferguson to his (Fergusonís) twin brother on March 2, 1836.
is ironic that this letter was written on the day that Texas Independence was
document gives a real insight into the final days surrounding the tragedy at Goliad
as seen through the eyes of a man who lived and died there.
Within Goliadís Walls March 2, 1836
I am now
within the walls of this town, waiting for the enemy which we are expecting daily,
for they have already besieged San
Antonio, only one hundred miles distant, and a report tells us that 2000 troops
are coming to attack this place.
Our number of men consists of about 400,
all of whom are volunteers from the states, with the exception of about 30 regulars.
Our commander is Col. Fannin, and I am sorry to say the majority of the soldiers
donít like him - for what cause I do not know - unless it is because they think
he has not the interest of the Country at heart, or that he wishes to become great
without taking the proper steps to attain greatness.
On last Friday, February
26, we started to San Antonio to
attack the enemy at that place, but we got only two miles from town and camped
for the night. Next morning a Council of War was called, when it was concluded
that we had better to return here and put the town in a better state of defense.
upon the whole was good policy, not only in that respect but others. One of which
is this: all of our provisions in the bread line was at Cepano and Dimmits Point,
forth miles below here, and it was necessary that we should stay in order to keep
the Mexicans from cutting off our supplies.
Which no doubt would have been
done ó and may do it yet ó for there are no troops at either place to hinder that
from being done.
Provisions are and have been very scarce. I have had
to live three days at a time on bull beef and coffee but now our coffee has given
out, and without new supplies, our bread will be gone in a few days.
it will be beef all the time. We are not prepared by any means to stand a siege,
inasmuch as we have neither ammunition nor provisions, so you see we must make
The situation of the country is of a high, dry character.
No local causes for diseases of any kind and the land is first rate. Though with
all the advantages, it is no country for me.
My dislike to the country
is a want of society and government, both of which will hardly be realized shortly,
for it is filled up with people who are for their own emolument, to the exclusion
of others. And when that is the case, you may judge of things as you see proper.
I think I stand a good chance for being Sergeant Mate to the army at this place
as soon as there is something to do in that line. My time of service will be out
April 19, and unless things shall change for the better, if I should live, you
will see me as soon after that time as I can get to where you live.
is often that I think of you all, and wish to enjoy your presence, but perhaps
it may be so that we may never meet on earth again; yet I pray God we will all
meet in Heaven. Yes Jack, though I am surrounded by wicked men, yet I still try
to serve the Lord.
Tell Nancy that I have heard from James and David Wright.
They are both living and doing pretty well.
I have not space on this sheet of paper to write you much more, so farewell. May
God bless and preserve you is my prayer, for Christís sake.
Star Diary January
13 , 2014 column
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