On the road with Ann & Ken travel blog

Mission Espiritu Santo - A Franciscan Mission occupied from 1749 until 1830...

Interior

Part of the original walls - these date to 1758

The door into the Mission

This door leads into the sancturay - not sure what the skull...

Our Lady of Loreto Chapel - this was built inside the Presidio...

The interior Presidio grounds - they are preparing for a re-enactment which...

I just liked the looks of this wall, window and Yucca

Birthplace of the hero to Mexico's independence - Ignacio Sequin Zaragoza -...

Statue honoring General Zaragoza

One last look at the Presidio with the nine flags under which...

Monument on the battlefield in which Fannins troops surrendered.

Monument - and final resting place - to the Massacre that occured...

Downtown Goliad with it's courthouse square ( The texas version of a...

Built in 1894 this is the courthouse

The large tree in front of the courthouse is called the 'hanging...


After a four night stay back at Tropic Winds in Harlingen in which we did laundry, cleaned the house (inside and out) and said good bye to the last few couples from our caravan we headed up to Victoria, Texas. We had originally planned on going to Corpus Christi or Rockport but at the last minute decided to head to Victoria. Why, you may be asking. Well, I don't know, it just seemed like the thing to do. We have a membership campground here ( Dad's RV) and the drive from Harlingen goes right through Victoria. It could also be that without a wagonmaster and a trip log we don't know what to do! It was a little strange heading out alone and going the speed limit...I think we are in need of some 're-training'.

Just a short distance down the road from Victoria is Goliad State park. This park contains the Mission Espiritu Santo. Construction was completed on this Mission in 1749 and as with other missions we've visited it was used to 'convert & save' the local population. The mission was closed in 1830 due to a declining Indian population, lack of money and political turmoil in Mexico.

Another part of Goliad State Park is the Zaragoza Birthplace. General Zaragoza is a Mexican hero and was at the center of Mexico's struggle for independence from France. On May 5 1862 outside the Mexican city of Puebla, Zaragoza led an outnumbered, outgunned volunteer militia of farmers and merchants against a superior French army. He inspired his troups with the words, "Your foes are the first soldiers of the world, but you are the first sons of Mexico". Zaragoza's army was victorious and the victory at the Battle of Puebla is celebrated to this day in Mexico and the American Southwest as Cinco De Mayo. Pretty cool that just weeks ago we were at the battlefield in Puebla Mexico and here we are at his birthplace!

The final part of Goliad State Park is the Fannin Battleground. It is interesting to us that we all seem to know about the Alamo (early March 1836) but we don't know about the defeat that occured here in 1836. Colonel James Fannin commanded up to 400 troops. After the fall of the Alamo General Sam Houston ordered Fannin and his troops to abandon the Presidio La Bahia ( renamed Fort Defiance ) and to join him. Fannin delayed in his retreat and miscalculated the proximity and strength of General Jose Urrea's battalion of Mexican troops. Urrea's cavalry overtook Fannins troops on March 19, 1836 and after two days of fighting the Texians surrendered.

Fannin and his troops were marched back to Fort Defiance ( Presidio La Bahia ) and imprisoned. A week later, on Palm Sunday, they were marched out of the fort and executed 'as pirates who had borne arms against the government'. 341 men, including Colonel Fannin were executed. There was twice as much loss of life at Goliad as there was at the Battle of the Alamo.

The Presidio La Bahia is now owned by the Catholic Church and is open for visitors. Interesting that the 'fort' is run by the church but the Mission is run by the state - seems backwards, doesn't it? It was a great day taking in some little known Texas history and it made our 'unplanned' stop in Victoria very worthwhile!



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