Battle of Refugio
Overview
 
The Battle of Refugio was fought from March 12–March 15, 1836, near Refugio, Texas
Refugio, Texas
Refugio is a town in Refugio County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,941 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Refugio County. Although the town's name is derived from Spanish, a vast majority of the town's residents pronounce it re-fury-oh. The Spanish pronunciation is...

. Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 José Urrea and 1,500 Centralista soldiers fought against Amon Butler King and his 28 American volunteers and Lieutenant Colonel William Ward and his approximately 120 Americans. The battle, a part of the Goliad Campaign
Goliad Campaign
The Goliad Campaign refers to a series of battles which occurred in 1836 as part of the Texas Revolution, which ultimately led to the Goliad massacre...

 of the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, resulted in a Mexican victory and splintered Texan resistance.
Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 James Fannin
James Fannin
James Walker Fannin, Jr. was a 19th-century U.S. military figure on the Texas Army and leader during the Texas Revolution of 1835–36...

 and his men had improved the fortifications at the old Presidio La Bahía
Presidio La Bahía
The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, known more commonly as Presidio La Bahia, or simply La Bahia is a fort constructed by the Spanish Army that became the nucleus of the city of Goliad, Texas, United States. Originally founded in 1721 on the ruins of the failed French Fort Saint...

 and renamed it "Fort Defiance." News of the fate of Texans under Frank W. Johnson
Frank W. Johnson
Francis White "Frank" Johnson was a co-commander of the Texian Army from December 1835 through February 1836, during the Texas Revolution. Johnson arrived in Texas in 1826 and worked as a surveyor for several empresarios, including Stephen F. Austin. One of his first activities was to plot the...

 at the Battle of San Patricio
Battle of San Patricio
The Battle of San Patricio was a 19th century battle fought on February 27, 1836, between the Republic of Mexico and the rebelling Mexican state of Texas.-Background:...

 and James Grant
James Grant (Texas)
James Grant was a 19th century Texas politician, physician and military participant in the Texas Revolution.-Early life:James Grant was born on July 28, 1793, in Killearnan Parish, Ross-shire, Scotland. In 1823, he traveled to northern Mexico, ending up in Texas. He became interested in real...

 at the Battle of Agua Dulce (both captured in earlier fights) created confusion rather than stirring the volunteers gathered at Goliad into action.
Encyclopedia
The Battle of Refugio was fought from March 12–March 15, 1836, near Refugio, Texas
Refugio, Texas
Refugio is a town in Refugio County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,941 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Refugio County. Although the town's name is derived from Spanish, a vast majority of the town's residents pronounce it re-fury-oh. The Spanish pronunciation is...

. Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 José Urrea and 1,500 Centralista soldiers fought against Amon Butler King and his 28 American volunteers and Lieutenant Colonel William Ward and his approximately 120 Americans. The battle, a part of the Goliad Campaign
Goliad Campaign
The Goliad Campaign refers to a series of battles which occurred in 1836 as part of the Texas Revolution, which ultimately led to the Goliad massacre...

 of the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, resulted in a Mexican victory and splintered Texan resistance.

Background

Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 James Fannin
James Fannin
James Walker Fannin, Jr. was a 19th-century U.S. military figure on the Texas Army and leader during the Texas Revolution of 1835–36...

 and his men had improved the fortifications at the old Presidio La Bahía
Presidio La Bahía
The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, known more commonly as Presidio La Bahia, or simply La Bahia is a fort constructed by the Spanish Army that became the nucleus of the city of Goliad, Texas, United States. Originally founded in 1721 on the ruins of the failed French Fort Saint...

 and renamed it "Fort Defiance." News of the fate of Texans under Frank W. Johnson
Frank W. Johnson
Francis White "Frank" Johnson was a co-commander of the Texian Army from December 1835 through February 1836, during the Texas Revolution. Johnson arrived in Texas in 1826 and worked as a surveyor for several empresarios, including Stephen F. Austin. One of his first activities was to plot the...

 at the Battle of San Patricio
Battle of San Patricio
The Battle of San Patricio was a 19th century battle fought on February 27, 1836, between the Republic of Mexico and the rebelling Mexican state of Texas.-Background:...

 and James Grant
James Grant (Texas)
James Grant was a 19th century Texas politician, physician and military participant in the Texas Revolution.-Early life:James Grant was born on July 28, 1793, in Killearnan Parish, Ross-shire, Scotland. In 1823, he traveled to northern Mexico, ending up in Texas. He became interested in real...

 at the Battle of Agua Dulce (both captured in earlier fights) created confusion rather than stirring the volunteers gathered at Goliad into action. Centralist sympathizers in the region had gathered and raided Victoria earlier in the month. To make matters worse, Fannin learned that some colonists who supported the revolt were in danger from Urrea's advance.

The battles

On March 10, he sent Amon B. King and a small force with wagons to collect the families and escort them back to Goliad. March 11th was spent gathering families and loading carts for the return trip. However, on the 12th, King decided to confront the Centralista forces of Carlos de la Garza
Carlos de la Garza
Carlos de la Garza is a Los Angeles based record producer, engineer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. He began his career as a drummer and guitar player the mid-1990s for such bands as F.Y.P, Suburban Rhythm, Colony of Heaven, and Action League before becoming a full-time touring drummer for the...

 and the rancheros that rode with him. The opposition forces proved to be greater than imagined. King then asked Fannin to send help.

King and the Kentucky Mustangs took refuge in the old Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission
Spanish missions in Texas
The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. The missions...

 at Refugio
Refugio
Refugio may refer to:Places:*Refugio County, Texas*Refugio, Texas, a town in Refugio County*Refugio State Beach, near Santa Barbara, California*Refugio Canyon, a region near Santa Barbara, California...

 on March 12. Receiving word, Fannin dispatched William Ward
William Ward (Texas)
William Ward , was a Macon, Georgia native, who answered the appeal from Texas, during the Texas Revolution. He recruited men from Georgia and led the Georgia Battalion.-Georgia native:William Ward and Dr...

, commanding a group from Peyton S. Wyatt and the Georgia Battalion to assist King. Although successful in breaking up the siege on the 13th, the arrival of Ward at Refugio initiated a conflict over command between the two officers. This in-fighting caused the insurgents to break into several smaller detachments. King would now leave and attack a nearby ranch, believed to be Centralistas, killing 8.

As more of Urrea's troops begin to arrive, skirmishes with Ward and the men continue. The groups hold their own on the 14th, repelling four assaults and inflicting heavy casualties (80 - 100), on the Spanish troops. The Texians suffered light losses, (about 15), but were now short on ammunition and supplies. King returned from his raid in the evening, but could not get to the mission for safety. They would fight from a tree-line across from it, near the river. Ward sent courier James Humphries to Fannin for direction. Edward Perry returned word from Fannin to fall back to Victoria , where Texian forces were to later regroup.

At night, the groups attempted the escape. The wounded and a few others would remain safely behind. Their flight seemed successful at first, but there were overwhelming amounts of Spanish troops in wait. Each group was subsequently defeated and its survivors captured by Urrea's troops. After battling for twelve hours and inflicting heavy casualties, on their enemies, they would only suffer 1 casualty and 4 wounded. 32 men and King would surrender on the 15th, after their remaining powder became unusable, after crossing the river. They would be returned as prisoners of war to the Refugio Mission.

On March 16, fifteen men were executed; King and the remnants of his company, and several of Ward's men. Juan José Holzinger, a German-Mexican officer, saw fit to save Lewis T. Ayers, Francis Dieterich, Benjamin Odlum and 8 men from the local families. The remaining 15 men were spared to serve the Mexican army as artisans (blacksmiths, wheelwrights, mechanics ).

Ward and the bulk of his men escaped toward Copano
Copano, Texas
Copano, Texas or El Copano is a ghost town on the northwestern shore of Copano Bay in Refugio County. It is located north of present day Bayside, on Copano Point. The port, which holds the distinction as the first in South Texas, was founded in the early 18th century by the Spanish, and named for...

, then turned at Melon Creek and headed for Victoria, where he thought Fannin should be, hearing the gunfire on the Coleto Creek
Coleto Creek
Coleto Creek is a river in Texas. It runs through the small town of Yorktown, Texas. It feeds the Coleto Creek Reservoir. It's mouth is at the Guadalupe River.-References:**USGS Hydrologic Unit Map - State of Texas...

 as they moved on. At Victoria, they found no time for rest; it too was overrun with Urrea's troops. The group was forced to scatter after a short skirmish erupted with Urrea's cavalry. Staying off the main roads they moved toward Lavaca Bay
Lavaca Bay
Lavaca Bay is a northwestern extension of the Matagorda Bay system found mostly in Calhoun County, Texas, United States. The ports of Port Lavaca and Point Comfort have been established on the bay, and are the main areas of human habitation...

, with ten of them eventually escaping. The remainder were to be captured on March 22 by Urrea, two miles from Dimmit's Landing. Informed of Fannin's surrender, Ward's group were marched back to Victoria, where Holzinger again saved twenty six men, by conscripting them as laborers for Urrea. Urrea had left Colonel Telesforo Alavez, in charge of Victoria. Señora Francita Alavez
Francita Alavez
Francita Alavez was known as the "Angel of Goliad," for saving the lives of Texas prisoners of war in the "Goliad Massacre" and at Victoria, Texas, by interceding on their behalf and persuading the help of Mexican officials.-Background:...

 intervened with her husband as well, to make sure the captive laborers lives would be saved. The remainder were sent to Goliad by March 25.

Fannin learned of Ward and King's fate on the 17th and had finally left for Victoria on the 19th, which proved to be too late, as the right wing of the Spanish Army was now in place to capture Fort Defiance. Fannin and his command would never make it to Victoria.

Overview and outcome

The majority of Texans that were killed in the series of skirmishes or were captured and later executed, some in the Goliad Massacre
Goliad massacre
The Goliad Massacre was an execution of Republic of Texas soldiers and their commander, James Fannin, by Mexico, reluctantly carried out by General Jose de Urrea.-Background:...

, occurred following King's and Ward's rift . Fannin had received orders from General Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 while King and Ward were away that directed him to evacuate Goliad and retire to Victoria
Victoria, Texas
Victoria is a city in and the seat of Victoria County, Texas, United States. The population was 60,603 at the 2000 census. The three counties of the Victoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 111,163 at the 2000 census,...

 as soon as possible. Reluctant to leave before various detachments returned, Fannin failed to leave Goliad ahead of Urrea's advance, leading to the Battle of Coleto
Battle of Coleto
The Battle of Coleto, also known as the Battle of Coleto Creek, the Battle of the Prairie, and the Batalla del encinal del Perdido, was fought on March 19 and 20, 1836, during the Goliad campaign of the Texas Revolution...

.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK