Fannin County in north Georgia is named for Georgian James Fannin, who fought in the Texas independence movement.
Having attended West Point, Fannin was commissioned a colonel in the Texas Regular Army and raised the Georgia Battalion, primarily volunteers from Macon and Columbus. In 1836 at the Spanish fort at Goliad, on the banks of the San Antonio River, Fannin’s men surrendered to a superior force of Mexicans. They laid down their arms on condition they would be paroled, but Mexican General Santa Anna overturned the agreement.
On Palm Sunday, Fannin’s men—more than 330 Georgians and Texans—were executed. Fannin was taken out into the courtyard, blindfolded, and shot in the head. His body was burned. A Mexican officer found a month later with Fannin’s watch met a similar fate from the Americans.
The Goliad Massacre outraged Americans and played an important role in the fight against Mexico a decade later.
The Fannin Memorial Monument marks the spot where over 300 Georgians died in Texas on March 27, 1836, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.