James Fannin
Overview
 
For the Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, see James R. Fannin
James R. Fannin
James Roy Fannin , known as Jim Fannin, is the Democratic chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He is a former educator and active businessman in Jonesboro, the seat of Jackson Parish in north Louisiana, In 2003, Fannin was elected to represent House...

.


James Walker Fannin, Jr. (January 1, 1804(probably) – March 27, 1836) was a 19th-century U.S. military figure on the Texas Army and leader during 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...

 of 1835–36. After being outnumbered and surrendering to Mexican forces at the Battle of Coleto Creek, Colonel Fannin and nearly all his 344 men were executed soon afterward at Goliad, Texas
Goliad, Texas
Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1975 at the 2000 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for...

, under Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

's orders for all rebels to be executed.

He was memorialized in several place names, including a military training camp.
Fannin joined the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point on July 1, 1819 under the name "James F.
Encyclopedia
For the Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

, see James R. Fannin
James R. Fannin
James Roy Fannin , known as Jim Fannin, is the Democratic chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He is a former educator and active businessman in Jonesboro, the seat of Jackson Parish in north Louisiana, In 2003, Fannin was elected to represent House...

.


James Walker Fannin, Jr. (January 1, 1804(probably) – March 27, 1836) was a 19th-century U.S. military figure on the Texas Army and leader during 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...

 of 1835–36. After being outnumbered and surrendering to Mexican forces at the Battle of Coleto Creek, Colonel Fannin and nearly all his 344 men were executed soon afterward at Goliad, Texas
Goliad, Texas
Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1975 at the 2000 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for...

, under Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

's orders for all rebels to be executed.

He was memorialized in several place names, including a military training camp.

Early life and family

Fannin joined the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point on July 1, 1819 under the name "James F. Walker". He resigned from West Points due to poor grades, absences and tardiness.

In 1821 Fannin moved to Columbus, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Muscogee County, Georgia, United States, with which it is consolidated. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 189,885. It is the principal city of the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, which, in 2009, had an estimated population of 292,795...

 to become a merchant. He married Minerva Fort on 17 July 1829. They had two daughters together.

In 1834, Fannin settled at Velasco
Velasco, Texas
Velasco was a town in Texas, United States, that was later annexed by the city of Freeport. Founded in 1831, Velasco is situated on the east side of the Brazos River in southeast Texas. It is sixteen miles south of Angleton, Texas, and four miles from the Gulf of Mexico.The town's early history is...

 in the 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...

 state of Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas
Coahuila y Tejas was one of the constituent states of the newly established United Mexican States under its 1824 Constitution.It had two capitals: first Saltillo, and then Monclova...

 (now Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

), where he owned a plantation
Plantations in the American South
Plantations were an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum .-Planter :The owner of a plantation was called a planter...

. By 1835, Fannin was becoming part of the growing Anglo-American resistance to the Mexican government in Texas
Mexican Texas
Mexican Texas is the name given by Texas history scholars to the period between 1821 and 1836, when Texas was an integral part of Mexico. The period began with Mexico's victory over Spain in its war of independence in 1821. For the first several years of its existence, Mexican Texas operated very...

. He wrote letters seeking financial assistance and volunteers to help the Texas cause.

Texas Revolution

By September, Fannin was an active volunteer in the Texas Army. He participated in the Battle of Gonzales
Battle of Gonzales
The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops....

 on October 2 and urged Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

 to send aid to Gonzales. Fannin later worked with James Bowie, First Battalion, First Division, under Austin's orders to secure supplies and determine the conditions in and around Gonzales and San Antonio de Bexar. Under the command of Bowie, Fannin fought in the Battle of Concepción
Battle of Concepcion
The Battle of Concepción was fought on October 28, 1835 between Mexican troops under Colonel Domingo Ugartechea and Texian insurgents led by James Bowie and James Fannin. The 30-minute engagement, which historian J.R...

 on 28 October 1835.

In November 1835, Austin ordered Fannin and William B. Travis
William B. Travis
William Barret Travis was a 19th-century American lawyer and soldier. At the age of 26, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army...

 and about 150 men to cut off any Mexican supply party. On November 13, Houston offered Fannin the post of Inspector General
Inspector General
An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

 to the regular army. Fannin wrote back requesting a field appointment of Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 and a "post of danger". On November 22, 1835, Fannin was honorably discharged from the volunteer army by Austin and began campaigning for a larger regular army for Texas. He also went home to spend time with his family.

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...

, supported by Governor Smith, commissioned Fannin as a 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...

 in the regular army on December 7, 1835. By January 7, 1836, the provisional government had appointed Fannin 'military agent', to answer only to the council and not Houston. He began recruiting forces and supplies for the forthcoming and confusing campaign against Matamoros, Tamaulipas
Matamoros, Tamaulipas
Matamoros, officially known as Heroica Matamoros, is a city in the northeastern part of Tamaulipas, in the country of Mexico. It is located on the southern bank of the Rio Grande, directly across the border from Brownsville, Texas, in the United States. Matamoros is the second largest and second...

. Fannin had difficulty leading the volunteers in his charge. He tried to institute regular army discipline, but his irregular
Irregular military
Irregular military refers to any non-standard military. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organization, or to the type of tactics used....

 volunteers would not accept it. Many of his men thought he was aloof, and several historians believe that he was an ineffective commander because of it. The majority of the men serving under Fannin had only been in Texas a short time; he was frustrated by this, writing to Lt. Governor James W. Robinson "..among the rise of 400 men at, and near this post, I doubt if 25 citizens of Texas can be mustered in the ranks...".

In early February, Fannin sailed from Velasco and landed at Copano with four companies of the Georgia Battalion, moving to join a small band of Texans 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...

. Mexican reinforcements, under General Jose Urrea, arrived at Matamoros, complicating the Texan's plans to attack that city. Fannin withdrew 25 miles north to Goliad
Goliad, Texas
Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1975 at the 2000 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for...

 and quartered his troops at Presidio La Bahia
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...

. Made Lt. Colonel of the First Artillery, Fannin began strengthening defenses at Goliad, and sent out his captains to recruit more men for the army. "Enlist all you can.." ..." fill up your companies, and be ready for the field soon".

Failed expedition to support the Alamo and aftermath

Appeals from Travis at the Alamo (via James Bonham
James Bonham
James Butler Bonham was a 19th-century American soldier who died at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution...

) prompted Fannin to launch a relief march of over 300 men and four pieces of artillery on 25 February 1836. After some delay, Fannin and his men moved out on the 28th for the more than 90 miles to San Antonio. The relief mission was a failure. The troops barely had crossed the San Antonio River
San Antonio River
The San Antonio River is a major waterway that originates in central Texas in a cluster of springs in north central San Antonio, approximately four miles north of downtown, and follows a roughly southeastern path through the state. It eventually feeds into the Guadalupe River about ten miles from...

 when wagons broke down, prompting the men to camp within sight of Goliad. They had little or no food, some men were barefooted, and the oxen teams wandered off during the night. On March 6, 1836, the Battle of the Alamo
Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar . All but two of the Texian defenders were killed...

 was fought, with all of the Alamo's defenders (about 187 men) being killed by Mexican forces.

The Mexican forces under General José de Urrea were now rapidly approaching the Texian stronghold in Goliad. They defeated Texian forces 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:...

 on February 27, where 20 were killed and prisoners were taken. 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...

 and four other Texans were captured but later managed to escape and rejoin James Fannin's command at Goliad.

The Battle of Agua Dulce
Battle of Agua Dulce
The Battle of Agua Dulce Creek occurred approximately south of San Patricio on March 2, 1836 between the Republic of Mexico and the rebellious Mexican state of Texas as part of the Texas Revolution. In February 1836, Mexican General Jose Urrea led a contingent of troops along the Texas coast,...

 was fought on March 2. Dr. 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...

, Robert C. Morris and twelve others were killed, with prisoners taken. Plácido Benavides
Plácido Benavides
Plácido Benavides was an early Mexican-born settler in De Leon's Colony, Victoria County, Texas. Benavides earned himself the sobriquet of the Paul Revere of Texas for his 1836 journey from San Patricio to Goliad to Victoria, warning residents of the approaching Mexican army. He was twice elected...

 and six others escaped to notify Fannin of the situation.

On 12 March, Fannin sent Captain Amon Butler King and about twenty-eight men to take wagons to Refugio to help evacuate the remaining families. King and his men confronted an advance party of General Urrea's cavalry in the Battle of Refugio
Battle of Refugio
The Battle of Refugio was fought from March 12–March 15, 1836, near Refugio, Texas. Mexican General 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...

; his defense failed and he withdrew to the old mission. A local boy managed to get away and alerted Fannin of the skirmish. Fannin sent Lieutenant Colonel 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...

 and about 120 men to King's aid. Ward managed to drive the small Mexican forces away and decided to stay the night to rest his men. On March 14, 1836, Ward and King were attacked by Urrea and over 200 Mexican soldiers as they were about to leave. This detachment was part of Urrea's larger force of nearly 1200 men. The same day, General Houston ordered Fannin to retreat 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,...

. Fannin then sent word to the men at Refugio to rendezvous with his command at Victoria. Other dispatches were intercepted by the Centralista forces, thus informing them of Fannin's plans.

Fannin needed means of transport and had sent Albert C. Horton and his men to Victoria, to bring carts and twenty yokes of oxen from army quartermaster John J. Linn, who did return around March 16. Horton's men would later form Fannin's advance guard when the retreating to Victoria.

Fannin finally received the alert of King and Ward's defeat from, Hugh McDonald Frazer, on March 17.

Battle of Coleto Creek

On March 19, 1836, Fannin led the Texans on a retreat from Presidio La Bahia
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...

 (which Fannin had renamed Fort Defiance) and destroyed everything which they did not take with them. Transporting nine cannons and over 500 spare muskets, Fannin's forces were also heavily laden with supplies and baggage. The column traveled about six miles when Fannin ordered a halt to rest his animals. At about 3:00pm, Mexican cavalry appeared. The Texans immediately formed a hollow square
Infantry square
An infantry square is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order when threatened with cavalry attack.-Very early history:The formation was described by Plutarch and used by the Romans, and was developed from an earlier circular formation...

 with their wagons and cannons placed in each corner for defense as Gen. Urrea's forces attacked. After a fierce battle, the Mexicans lost about 100-200 killed and wounded; Texan losses were 7-9 killed and 60 wounded. But facing overwhelming odds, Fannin and his troops surrendered the next day, at 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 Goliad Massacre

The Mexicans took the Texans back to Goliad, where they were held as prisoners at Fort Defiance. The Texans thought they would likely be set free in a few weeks. General Urrea departed Goliad, leaving command to Colonel Jose Nicolas de la Portilla. Urrea wrote to Santa Anna to ask for clemency for the Texans. Urrea wrote in his diary that he "...wished to elude these orders as far as possible without compromising my personal responsibility." On March 26, 1836, 19:00, Santa Anna ordered Portilla to execute the prisoners.

The next day, Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

, March 27, 1836, Colonel Portilla had the 302 Texans marched out of Fort Defiance into three columns on the Bexar Road, San Patricio Road, and the Victoria Road, between two rows of Mexican soldiers; they were shot pointblank, and any survivors were clubbed and knifed to death.

The 40 wounded men that could not walk were executed inside the fort compound. Colonel Fannin was the last to be executed, after seeing his men executed. Age 32, he was taken by Mexican soldiers to the courtyard in front of the chapel, blindfolded, and seated in a chair (due to his leg wound from the battle). He made three requests: he asked for his personal possessions to be sent to his family, to be shot in his heart and not his face, and to be given a Christian burial. The soldiers took his belongings, shot him in the face, and burned Fannin's body along with the other Texans who died that day.

Twenty-eight Texans escaped by feigning death and other means. Three known survivors escaped to Houston's army, where they fought in the Battle of San Jacinto
Battle of San Jacinto
The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen...

. In numerous accounts of the Goliad Massacre, a Mexican woman, Francisca (Francita, Panchita or Pancheta) Alavez, sometimes referred to by other surnames (Alvarez or Alavesco), rescued about 20 Texan soldiers; she became known as "The Angel of Goliad." Other people known to rescue some prisoners were Juan Holzinger. At Victoria, he saved two German Texans captured among Capt. Amon B. King's men, and twenty-six of Lt. Col. William Ward's troops by claiming to need them to build boats and transport cannons across the San Antonio River. In addition, Colonel Garay, Father Maloney (also referred as Molloy), Urrea's wife and an unnamed girl were credited with rescuing prisoners during 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...

.

Legacy and honors

  • Fannin County, Texas
    Fannin County, Texas
    As of the census of 2000, there were 31,242 people, 11,105 households, and 7,984 families residing in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile . There were 12,887 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile...

     and Fannin County, Georgia
    Fannin County, Georgia
    Fannin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created on January 21, 1854. As of 2000, the population was 19,798. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 22,580...

     and Fannin elementary are named in his honor.
  • Camp Fannin
    Camp Fannin
    Camp Fannin was a U.S. Army Infantry Replacement Training Center and POW Camp located near Tyler, TX. It was opened in 1943 and only operated for four years, before closing in 1946. It is credited with training over 200,000 U.S. Soldiers, sometimes as many as 40,000 at one given time.Originally...

    , a large military training camp near Tyler, TX, was named in his honor. It was used for POWs from Europe during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

  • A major street in downtown Houston is named after him.

External links


Further reading

  • Brown, Gary; James Walker Fannin-Hesitant Martyr in the Texas Revolution;Republic of Texas Press;ISBN 1-55622-778-7
  • Davis, William C.; Lone Star Rising-The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic;Free Press; ISBN 0-684-86510-6
  • Hopewell, Clifford; Remember Goliad-Their Silent Tents; Eakin Press; ISBN 1-57168-195-7
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK