Letter of James Fannin to Acting Governor James W. Robinson During Texas Revolution

Head Quarters Army of Texas Fort Defiance Goliad Feby 28 1836 6 o’c P.M. To the Acting Governor, & Council of the Provisional Govt. of Texas  I have to inform you that I have just received the unpleasant intelligence that Colo. Johnsons command were yesterday morning before day light surprised by the Enemy at San Patricio- I received my intelligence by express from Edwd. Gritten in the Mission del Refugio, who reports that Col. Johnson with two men had arrivd, on foot at a Rancho near that place- I also learn that two others had arrived at the Mission—Capt Pearson was shot down & others when asking for Quarters- From those who have escaped it is impossible to learn the strength of the army or the loss sustained by our countrymen


Mr. Gritten writes that Col. Johnson and his Companions will as soon as fresh horses can be procured proceed to this place  They will probably arrive tomorrow morning This morning Col. Ferris left this post with a communication from me informing you of the return of the Troops to this place after crossing the River on the way to Bexar. The propriety of their retrogade movement will now be apparent.  It is now obvious that the Enemy have entered Texas at two points, for the purpose of attacking Bexar & this place- The first has been attacked and we may expect the enemy here momentarily- Both places are importent- and this at this time particularly so- All our provisions are at Matagorda Dewitts Landing Coxes point & on the way here- We have not in the garrison supplies of Bread Stuff for a single day and as yet but little Beef and should our Supplies be cut off our situation will be, to say the least disagreeable- & in case we are not reinforced and a sufficient force sent to convey the provisions (as we have no means of transportation) when famine begins to look us in the face, we shall be compelled to cut our way through the enemy leaving the artillery & munitions of war in their hands- We hope, however for the best we hope that before this time the people have risen and are marching to the relief of Bexar & this post- but should the worst happen- on whose head should the burthen of censure fall- not on the heads of those brave men who have left their homes in the United States to aid us in our struggle for Liberty -but on those whose all is in Texas & who notwithstanding the repeated calls have remained at home without raising a finger to keep the Enemy from their thresholds- What must be the feelings of the Volunteers now shut in Bexar- & what will be those of this command if a sufficient force of the enemy should appear to besiege us here without provisions- Will not curses be heaped on the heads of the sluggards who remained at home with a knowledge of our situation


Our present force in Garrison is about four Hundred & twenty, including Guerra’s company of Mexicans—(about five white citizens of Texas in this number   I omitted to mention that the force on the Nueces was divided into two parties one under Col. Johnson—in the Village of San Patricio & the other under Col. Grant & Maj. Morris on the road above- of the fate of the latter party we know nothing—as yet.  I am with respect & Consideration Yr. obt. servt.  J. W. Fannin Jr. Col. Comt. &c.  Superscription:  If this can be fowd early, so as to overtake the Express sent off this morning, it will save much time—Col. Ferris went by Dimmitts landing with it—Speed—go at speed  Forward with all dispatch and spread the alarm & call out the whole people to arms—to arms.  [Addressed: To/His Excellency James W. Robinson Actg Govr and Genl. Council of Texas Washington   Express


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