Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Letter From Goliad

On Saturday, Art Chapman's column in the Star Telegram told of a long ago war - the Texas battle for independence from Mexico.

On February 24, 1836, William Barrett Travis wrote his famous letter from the Alamo. His eloquent words:

"I shall never surrender or retreat. I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid."

On the same day some 90 miles away in Goliad, a young Tennessee volunteer by the name of John C. Logan sent a letter to his friends. If you know your Texas history, then the Goliad Campaign is a chilling story; more than 300 soldiers serving under Colonel James Fannin were executed - shot at dawn on Palm Sunday and the bodies partially burned and left to the weather, and scavanging animals.

J.C. Logan's letter was a personal one and relates how desperate a situation his company was in; they had no corn or flour, and were eating only beef:

"I again take the libery of adressing a few lines to you to let you know That I am well at Present whoping that the Few lines may find you in the same."

"We are all most naked as we are cuting Up tent cloth to make us Panteloons & Every man is his own Taylor in this Army & a good many of us are bare footed. Worst of all the Schooner that was bringing provision & clothes has been wrecked. ...all for the chance of us tripping up a few mexicans."

"There is a force from mexico of about 7000 men marching to retake this Country again & our whole force at this time dont Exceed 800 men but we are willing to meet them when Ever the arrive."

Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner, is spotlighting Logan's letter "because it is one of 35 million documents in the Land Office archives that need professional conservation. These documents include maps, land grants, surveys and field notes."

All Texans ( and Texans-at-heart) can participate in this preservation through donations or purchases of historical maps currently housed in the state archives.

The link is here: Save Texas History Program

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