1836 – Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre – On the orders of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican army butchers 342 Texas POWs at Goliad, Texas
. On March 19, General José Urrea had quickly advanced and surrounded 300 men in the Texian Army on the open prairie, near La Bahia (Goliad). The two-day Battle of Coleto ensued, with the Texians holding their own on the first day. However, the Mexicans would receive overwhelming reinforcements and heavy artillery. In this critical predicament, Colonel James Fannin and his staff voted to surrender the Texian forces on March 20. Led to believe that they would be released into the United States, they were returned to the fort at Goliad, now their prison. The Mexicans took the Texians back to Goliad, where they were held as prisoners at Fort Defiance (Presidio La Bahia). The Texans thought they would likely be set free in a few weeks. General Urrea departed Goliad, leaving command to Colonel José Nicolás de la Portilla. Urrea wrote to Santa Anna to ask for clemency for the Texians. Under a decree passed by the Mexican Congress on December 30 of the previous year, armed foreigners taken in combat were to be treated as pirates and executed. Urrea wrote in his diary that he "...wished to elude these orders as far as possible without compromising my personal responsibility." Santa Anna responded to this entreaty by repeatedly ordering Urrea to comply with the law and execute the prisoners. He also had a similar order sent directly to the "Officer Commanding the Post of Goliad". This order was received by Portilla on March 26, who decided it was his duty to comply despite receiving a countermanding order from Urrea later that same day. The next day, Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Colonel Portilla had the 303 Texians marched out of Fort Defiance in three columns on the Bexar Road, San Patricio Road, and the Victoria Road, between two rows of Mexican soldiers; they were shot point blank, and any survivors were clubbed and knifed to death. Forty Texians were unable to walk. Thirty-nine were killed inside the fort under the direction of Captain Carolino Huerta of the Tres Villas battalion, with Colonel Garay saving one. Colonel James Fannin, the namesake of Fannin County, was the last to be executed, after seeing his men executed. Age 32, he was taken by Mexican soldiers to the courtyard in front of the chapel, blindfolded, and seated in a chair (due to his leg wound from the battle). He made three requests: that his personal possessions be sent to his family, to be shot in the heart and not the face, and to be given a Christian burial. The soldiers took his belongings, shot him in the face, and burned his body along with the other Texians who died that day.