The Fannin Battleground State Historic Site near Goliad has a gray, granite obelisk that pinpoints in the sky where 300 Texans began their march to infamy.
Thirteen days after the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, Col. James W. Fannin abandoned Presidio La Bahia at Goliad and began retreating toward Victoria. His ragtag army made it about 10 miles from the fort before they were overrun by Mexican troops.
After surrendering, the rebels were marched back to Goliad. Gen. Santa Anna ordered the army of the Republic of Texas executed on Palm Sunday morning, March 27, 1836. Less than a month later, the revolution ended at San Jacinto.
A survivor of the massacre returned shortly afterward to mark the site of Fannin's surrender. The landowner added an iron cotton gin screw that still marks the spot. In 1913, the battleground became a state park.
For years, the site was a garden where visitors came to picnic and watch reenactments. A bandstand was built over the small brick museum building where the story of Fannin's fate unfolds in paintings and maps. The park is still a pleasant and reverent reminder surrounded by the thorny mesquite of the coastal plains.
The Fannin Battleground State Historic Site is east of Goliad off US 59. There is no fee to visit the site, which is open daily during daylight hours. To follow the story of 1836, go to www.visitfanninbattleground.com.
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