Friday, May 8, 2015

Texas Independence—Gonzales, Texas

Gonzales, Texas is a town filled with history. Many people believe the Alamo was the first battle for Texas Independence, but in truth, the first shot was fired from Gonzales County.

In early Texas history, they were under Mexican rule and 400 hundred families were allowed to settle near the area where the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers met. In 1826, though peace had been negotiated with the Karankawa and Tonkawa Indians, the Comanche continued to raid. Requests were sent to the Mexican government in San Antonio for aid. Hoping for soldiers for protection, instead they received a six-pounder cannon sometime in 1831.

When politics came into play in the 1830s, "the Mexican government wavered between federalist and central policies." With unrest as to which side the settlers would take. When a Mexican soldier killed a Gonzales resident, outrage and public protests ensued. The Mexican Government felt it unwise to leave the cannon in the possession of the Gonzales citizens and sent a corporal and five enlisted men to take possession of the 6-pounder. The Mexican soldiers were escorted from the town empty handed.

Site where the cannon was buried.
Knowing the Mexican Army wouldn't allow Gonzales to keep the cannon and would send additional troops, mayor Andrew Ponton sent out requests for help. When they arrived, the Texians (as they were called in that era) had removed the ferry and all boats and they had no way to cross. They were informed the mayor was out of town and they'd have to wait until his return to cross. Three Texians hurried to bury the cannon while others spread out to seek help.

Eighty men arrived and they elected John Henry Moore of Fayette as their leader—Joseph
Washington Elliot Wallace and Edward Burleson of Columbus were elected second and third. The Texans no longer recognized Santa Anna's centralist government. They raised a white banner with a cannon painted in black and the words "Come and Take It." This was the first state flag of Texas and "evoked the American Revolutionary-era slogan 'Don't Tread on Me.'"

Moore called a war council which voted to initiate a fight. The cannon was dug up and placed on wheels. The Mexicans had moved up river about seven miles and at 6:00 A.M. the Texians opened fire. Both armies fell back due to difficulty maneuvering in the trees. When the Texians fired their cannon, Casteneda led his troops back to San Antonio.

This is just a small recap of the beginning of the Texas Revolution. There is so much more to read and see. Gonzales is filled with historic sites, homes, and museums. One day in this fine city was not enough. Take two or three.

Here are some of the historical homes.












Resource:
Discover Gonzales County 2015. "One Small Cannon," p. 4.

Thanks for reading!

Liinda
www.lindalaroque.com

1 comment:

  1. Got to love the Texans' way with words. Come and get it indeed.

    ReplyDelete