Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers

Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers

4.0 1
by Jay A. Stout
     
 

Silver Medal winner for "Military Non-Fiction" category

Military Writers Society of America 2008 Awards

The Sons of the Republic of Texas Presidio La Bahia Award, 2nd Place

Texas lost many volunteers during its hard-won fight for independence from Mexico, but one harrowing

Overview


Silver Medal winner for "Military Non-Fiction" category

Military Writers Society of America 2008 Awards

The Sons of the Republic of Texas Presidio La Bahia Award, 2nd Place

Texas lost many volunteers during its hard-won fight for independence from Mexico, but one harrowing episode stands out. Following a one-sided battle on the prairie near Coleto Creek, 250 mostly American prisoners were marched back to the presidio at Goliad where they were joined by more than 200 others. Subsequently, on orders from President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, they were brutally slaughtered on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The loss of so many fighting men in a single day was, at the time, one of the largest in U.S. history. The reaction in Texas was one of horror, fear, and, for some, a lust for revenge. The revulsion felt throughout the United States turned American sympathies against Mexico and its efforts to preserve its territorial integrity. Based on extensive research, this book offers a powerful description of what happened and an astute analysis of why it happened. For historical background, it also presents an overview of Texas and Mexican history and the factors that led to the massacre.

As a career military officer, author Jay Stout offers insights not grasped by other writers on the subject. He pays particular attention to the leadership on both sides during the revolution and discusses why the massacre has been largely ignored in the years since. Stout deglamorizes the fight against Santa Anna and his army, while at the same time acknowledging the Mexican perspective and the motivations of Mexico's leaders. The author's dynamic writing style, combined with the compelling subject matter, makes this book attractive to everyone interested in the military, Texas, and American history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jay Stout deftly details the little-known—and deeply disturbing—tale of blunder and bluff that, on Palm Sunday 1836, led to the incredible Mexican massacre of hundreds of American captives at a long-forgotten Texas outpost. Powerful and fascinating." — W.E.B. Griffin, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591148432
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Pages:
242
Sales rank:
1,285,048
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Jay A. Stout, now a senior analyst in the defense industry, spent twenty years as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot flying F-4s and F/A-18s. During the Gulf War he flew thirty-seven combat missions. An Indiana native and 1981 graduate of Purdue University, he now lives in San Diego, California. Stout is also the author of Hornets over Kuwait, The First Hellcat Ace and Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq, among other books.

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Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jay Stout’s Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers is a compelling history of the Texas fight for independence from Mexico in 1836. The primary focus as stated in the title is the events that took place around Goliad at the Presidio La Bahia in March of that year. The strength of the book is the telling of the seldom mentioned skirmishes and battles that took place during this period. These include the fight at San Patricio, another at Refugio, the advance on Matamoros and the main event; the Battle of Coleto Creek. Even the first battle for the Alamo is covered to give the reader the full sense of the Anglo-Texas fight with the various Mexican armies. Unlike other works on the Texas revolution Stout’s book does not focus on the second battle for the Alamo, the James Bowie, David Crockett and William B. Travis fight to the death. Nor does it single out the Battle of San Jacinto as the only Texan victory. The Battle of Coleto Creek is vividly written with a captivating description of Colonel William Fannin and his volunteers including the little known role played by General Sam Houston. According to the book, Fannin made mistakes but also did a much better job of command during the battle than some have previously recognized. Unfortunately, Stout lays out a premise that is based on a 21st century standard of military leadership and command, rather than the practical ability or experience of the Texan volunteers of 1836. General Houston, Colonel Fannin and the Mexican General Jose’ Urrea faced many challenges that required little time to plan, prepare or game out. Yet they all had a role in the revolution and this historic event that exhibited their strengths and weaknesses as military commanders and men in these deadly endeavors. Stout describes the weapons both forces used, as well as the challenges of supply, communication and command of the soldiers involved. His research is thorough and the book reflects that effort. The relationship between settlers and volunteers is explored and is insightful. According to Stout, most volunteers came to Texas for adventure rather that rewards such as land grants. Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers, by Stout- a retired Marine pilot, is a wealth of knowledge and an important addition to any library or history of the Texas Revolution of 1836. Some interesting conclusions can be draw from the book regarding the strategic military value of both the Alamo and Presidio La Bahia. A student of Mexico’s rich history also would gain from the military, political and financial challenges Santa Anna faced regarding Texas during this time. Slaughter at Goliad is an important compliment to previous works on the subject of Texas’ revolutionary history.