Transcript of James Walker Fannin

This is Texas Originals. From Humanities Texas, for the advancement of heritage, culture and education.

James Fannin led the rebels massacred at Goliad in 1836. His defeat inspired the victory that secured Texas independence.

Fannin moved to Texas in 1834 from Georgia. When the Texas Revolution erupted in 1835, his ambition put him at the center of the action. With Jim Bowie, Fannin fought at the Battle of Concepción and participated in the siege of San Antonio.

Fannin then wanted to take the fight to Mexico by attacking Matamoros. However, when he learned that Santa Anna was preparing a massive invasion, he retired to the presidio at Goliad. There, he led the largest contingent of Texas rebels in the Mexican Army's path.

After the Alamo fell, Houston ordered Fannin to fall back from Goliad to Victoria. But Fannin hesitated, waiting five days to begin his retreat. Mexican forces overtook him at the Battle of Coleto. Though Mexican general José de Urrea sought mercy for his prisoners, Santa Anna stood firm in his orders. On Palm Sunday of 1836, the Mexican Army executed Fannin and more than three hundred of his men.

A few weeks later, when Houston finally engaged Mexican forces at the Battle of San Jacinto, cries of "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" spurred his men into battle. Victory and Texas independence followed, a legacy of Fannin's sacrifice.

More information about James Walker Fannin and other Texas Originals is available at This program is produced by KUHF Houston Public Radio and Humanities Texas, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.