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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Goliad: Presidio La Bahia


Photo by Ralph Wranker

FORT DEFIANCE

Presidio La Bahia, a Spanish fort near Goliad, had already been around for a while by the time its walls echoed the sounds of the Goliad Massacre of 1836. First established in 1721, Spain relocated the fortress along the Guadalupe River in 1725.  After missionaries failed to convince local Karankawas to submit to the Catholic Church (the presidio served as fortress to nearby La Bahia mission), it was moved again in 1749 to the banks of the San Antonio River, a location considered safe from Karankawa retaliation. Presidio La Bahia had also already served two masters, first Spain then Mexico, before the Texian forces dominated the fort in the Battle of Goliad. Subsequent Texian troops at La Bahia, under the command of Colonel James Fannin, would not be so victorious however. Charged with providing military support during the siege of the Alamo, Fannin, in what some consider a less than valiant effort to march troops from La Bahia to the Alamo, never reached the San Antonio garrison by the time the Alamo fell. On the return trip to La Bahia, Fannin and his troops were forced to surrender to Mexican General Jose de Urrea who then gave orders to execute the captive Texians.

Restored in the 1960s, this National Historic Landmark is operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria and its chapel continues to serve as a community church. Presidio la Bahia provides visitors with a thorough accounting of its three hundred-plus year history, including an annual series of live reenactments that illustrate La Bahia’s contribution to the Texas legacy. 

This short film uses 360-degree video technology to give fans of Texas history a new way to study and understand the Goliad Massacre. Move your phone or drag your mouse to see every detail, including new information and video footage of artifacts, the role of Col. James W. Fannin, and the Battle of Coleto Creek. Watch it again to see any trivia you missed!

Watch the videos below to learn more about Spanish Settlement of Texas and Hispanic Soldiers and Texas Independence. These videos were produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage


Location

  • U.S. Highway 183, 1 mile south of Goliad
  • Goliad, Texas
  • 77963

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Daily 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., closed major holidays.

  • Adults: $4, Seniors: $3.50, Children (6-12): $1, Children (5 and younger): Free


Map


Texas in Review - Shrine at Goliad (1957)
Donor: Texas Historical Commission
Sound | 1957
Film courtesy Texas Archive of the Moving Image

This clip, originally aired as part of the April 8, 1957 episode of Texas in Review, commemorates the anniversary of the Goliad massacre. A number of guns, sabers, knives, and other military accoutrement are displayed for the camera as the narrator recounts the story of the defeat of Colonel James Fannin's army at the battle of Coleto, and the subsequent massacre of an additional 342 men at Presidio La Bahia on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. It was this defeat in the Texas struggle for independence from Mexico that gave rise to the famous battle cry "Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad."

 

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Read more about Presidio La Bahía in the Handbook of Texas Online.