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This Day in Georgia History

March 27, 1836

James W. Fannin Died

James W. Fannin was born in Morgan County, Georgia, on Jan. 1, 1804. He attended the University of Georgia but withdrew to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (though he did not graduate). He returned to Georgia, where he married and had two children. In 1834, Fannin and his family left for Texas, where he became a planter. After Texas declared its independence from Mexico, Fannin joined the Texas volunteer army. Because of his West Point experience, he was given the rank of captain - and later colonel. On March 19, 1836, after two days of battle, Fannin and 300 Georgia volunteers were forced to surrender to a Mexican Army three times as large. Fannin negotiated a surrender that would allow the troops in his command to be paroled. However, on March 27, all of the prisoners were marched to Goliad, where on Santa Anna’s order, the entire command of Georgia volunteers was massacred. This tragedy so inflamed Georgians that a decade later many volunteered to fight with U.S. forces during the Mexican War. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Goliad Massacre, the Texas Historical Commission built the Fannin Memorial Monument in 1936 on the site where Fannin and his men were buried. The monument has the name of each Georgian who died.