Friday, October 4, 2013

Come and Take It Days, Gonzales, TX

The Growing Tyranny
Under the leadership of General Santa Anna, the government of Mexico was transformed into a military dictatorship, ignoring the Constitution of 1824, which had cost many

lives and had secured liberties not previously enjoyed by the people. The state of Coahuila did not cooperate with Santa Anna's plans, and the state of Zacatecas rebelled, but was brutally crushed by the military. One of Santa Anna's "reforms" was to reduce the number of the militia to one soldier for every five-hundred inhabitants, and to disarm the remainder. This arbitrary decree was a sufficient justification of Texas for her subsequent acts...

Word had just come of a serious problem at Gonzales. The colonists there were shining up a small cannon given them years ago to ward off Indians. Col. Ugartechea, garrison commander at San Antonio, acting under a decree disarming citizens, sent a file of cavalrymen riding to Gonzales with an order for the surrender of the gun. Andrew Ponton, the Gonzales alcalde, received the order and stalled for time. He sent a message stating he was absent. He demanded an order from the political chief of the Department of the Brazos before releasing it. The noncommissioned officer in charge of the Mexican cavalry left his men camped at Gonzales and rode back to San Antonio de Bexar for further instructions from Colonel Ugartechea. Meanwhile, Ponton buried the cannon in a peach orchard and sent runners to the surrounding area for armed assistance.
Not long after, the Texans shed all pretense of ever surrendering the cannon. Joseph D. Clements delivered the message to the Mexican army: “I cannot, nor do I desire to deliver up the cannon...and only through force will we yield.”
In the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 2, 1835, the Texans crossed the river under cover of darkness and surprised reinforcements who had arrived from San Antonio, fired the first shot in the Texas Revolution, and emerged victorious when the enemy retreated and left all supplies behind...
Come and Take it festival Oct. 4, 5 and 6 at Gonzales, Texas...

No comments:

Post a Comment