Presidio La Bahia is the site of one of the most important battles in the Texas War of Independence against Mexico.
The Texans succeeded in taking the Presidio from the Mexican army in October 1835, making this the first action against a Mexican military installation during the Texas Revolution. The Texans victory was short-lived. March of 1836 the Mexicans came to take it back.
Colonel Fannin, the Presidio commander had fewer than 400 men at his disposal. The rest of his cavalry soldiers had been dispatched to Refugio to help evacuate settlers who were in the path of the large Mexican army. That force was surrounded, surrendered, and executed. A few cavalry soldiers managed to escape to Victoria where they were supposed to join up with Fannin and his men; but instead they marched into the Mexican Army and were captured.
Sam Houston ordered Fannin to retreat to Victoria. However, he waited several days for the return of his force from Refugio, not knowing that the Refugio force was already dead.
Fannin finally made the decision to retreat, but the company traveled only about six miles before being surrounded by the 1200 strong Mexican army. The Mexicans suffered higher casualties than the Texans during the battle that afternoon, despite their superior force.
Still heavily outnumbered and with little water or supplies, the next morning on March 20.the Texans surrendered on terms; the Colonel accepting his surrender told Fannin that no soldiers taken on such negotiated terms had been killed. Fannin and his men were marched back to Goliad, where they were imprisoned. Believing that they would be taken captive and eventually returned to their homes.
Santa Anna was furious that the Texans had not been executed on the spot. Citing a recently passed law that all foreigners taken under arms would be treated as pirates and executed, Santa Anna sent orders to execute the Goliad prisoners.
(March 20, 1836), a week after their capture, the 324 Texan survivors were marched out of the Presidio and executed. Fannin was the last to be executed, after being forced to witness the deaths of his men. The bodies were then stacked in piles, and burned.
Several Texans did escape the massacre, to tell the story.
Following weeks after the March 6, 1836 massacre at the Alamo, Goliad helped to unite the Texans' determination to win their independence. Most Americans never heard of Goliad, but in my book the Battle was every bit as important as the Alamo.
Several survivors of the Goliad Massacre were able to join Houston at the final battle of the war at San Jacinto in April 21, 1836, where they won a decisive victory against the Mexican army and accepted Santa Ana's surrender.
Mexican War is different from the Texas Revolution . . .
(Dec., 1845) . . . the rupture of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States that followed congressional consent to the admission of Texas into the Union, President Polk sent John Slidell to Mexico to negotiate a settlement. Slidell was authorized to purchase California and New Mexico, part of which was claimed by Texas, and to offer the U.S. government's assumption of liability for the claims of U.S. citizens in return for boundary adjustments.
When Mexico declined to negotiate, the United States prepared to take by force what it could not achieve by diplomacy. The war was heartily supported by the outright imperialists and by those who wished slave-holding territory extended. The settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute (June, 1846), which took place shortly after the official outbreak of hostilities, seemed to indicate British acquiescence, for it granted the United States a free hand