Saturday, March 18, 2023

"Come and Take It" Cannon

Location: Hub City RV Park; Yoakum, Texas

After typing, this is a longer than normal post. Beware.

Back a few weeks ago when I was planning my trip and making reservations, I found a period of time where every COE and State Park along my path had no vacancies. That period of time was this week and after doing some checking I  found it was due to Spring Break. So, I started checking into smaller towns that may not have an influx of people during the break. I found one in a little town called Yoakum, Texas. It has a city owed RV park located directly across the highway from the hospital and next to the city owned golf course on the outskirts of town. I called them and talked to a nice lady about making a reservation. In a heavy Texas "twang" accent she said, "we don't do that here". That bothered me a little bit since I like to have assurances about a place to stay, so I asked if they expected to be full during Spring Break. Her reply was classic and meant so much more than just answering my question,,, she said "Honey, people don't come to Yoakum for spring anything." I got here three days ago and found an empty campsite and set up camp. As per instructions post on the wall near the bathrooms at the entrance, I put my money in an envelope and dropped it in the "iron ranger". I was good to stay for four days.

I passed this campsite on my way out of Jim Hogg Campround. Loss for words.

Windshield view of the area between Austin and Yoakum

There are occasional hills with trees.

And you can't have a windshield view without some cattle now and again

This is my power pedestal. When I opened it up, I was a little surprised. I went to the other open campsites and they were all the same. I plugged my surge guard in and it said everything was fine. I thought about it for a while then decided to go for it and set up camp. By the way, that is the water faucet attached just above the electrical box. Water and electricity get along with each other, uh?

My campsite. Even with the questionable electrical box, I'm satisfied. Full hook-ups for $13.00/night, not bad. 

The view from my laptop desk. 

One of the things that has been on my list of things to see for a while is within a thirty mile drive. It's a cannon. Not just an ordinary canon, but a special cannon to the State of Texas. The reason it is special is because it helped start the Texas War of Independence. 

A quick (I hope) history: 

1821; Mexico wins Independence from Spain with Texas becoming part of Mexico. To populate Texas and keep the Indians busy, Mexico encourages Americans to migrate to Texas in exchange for free land. 

1830; Mexico begins to worry about the large amount of Americans migrating to Texas so they pass very restrictive laws against the Texans. The Texans don't like it one little bit.

1831; Mexico gives a small cannon to the town of Gonzales to help fight the Indians. It was so small, it could only be used to scare the Indians, if it worked. But it didn't work because the Mexicans had spiked the cannon so it couldn't fire. Spiked means they drove a nail into the firing port so there wasn't a way to light the gunpowder.

1833: General Santa Anna elected President of Mexico

1835: General Santa Anna tears up the Mexican Constitution and declares himself Dictator instead of just President.

September 1835: Texans were becoming too independent-minded for Santa Anna, so he did what all dictators do, he started to dis-arm the citizens of Texas. One of his acts of disarming was to send a corporal and five soldiers to Gonzales to get the cannon. The city politely said "no". 

October 2, 1835: Santa Anna didn't like that answer so he sent 100 soldiers from San Antonio to take the small cannon by force. Obviously, the cannon, which Mexico thought couldn't be fired, had become a "bone of contention", a "point of principal" to both sides. The 100 Mexican soldiers where met by 18 militiamen from Gonzales who were flying a flag that had a picture of a cannon, a star and the words "Come And Take It". The 18 men held the line until it was reinforced by militiamen from other towns. Eventually, it was 150 Texans against 100 Mexicans. And, oh, by the way, the Texans had "unspiked" the cannon, so it now worked. Again, it was so small, it wasn't effective militarily but when it fired, the 100 Mexican soldiers ran away. It is considered the first shots of the war and made an exclamation point in terms of Texas Independence. The flag became known as the Gonzales Battle Flag and helped rally Texans in their war.

October 13, 1835: The axle of the cannon broke so it was abandoned and buried in a creek. 

April 21, 1836: After the massacres at Goliad and the Alamo, General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas became an independent nation. 

And as Paul Harvey (youngsters will have to ask a seasoned citizen who that is) would say,,,, "and now the rest of the story",,,,,,. In July 1936, after heavy rains erode the banks of a creek near Gonzales, two guys find the cannon. They tried to drag it back to town but gave up and dropped it alongside the road. Apparently, a postman saw it and made arrangements for it to be picked up and placed in the basement of the post office where it stayed until 1968. In 1968 Henry Guerra traded for the cannon and loaned it to a museum in San Antonio. Somehow it finds its way to a gun show in the late 1970's and is bought by a Robert Vance. In 1979, Dr. Patrick Wagner buys the cannon and in the year 2000, upon his death, it is gifted to the Gonzales Memorial Museum which is where I saw it yesterday.

As a side note: the Battle Flag of Gonzales has been designated by the FBI to be an "Extremist Symbol". Something ain't right.

The cannon barrel is original. The wheels and caisson are modern items. That little thing is what sparked the war. Amazing, uh?

A big state has to have some big flags. 

A cold front blew thru yesterday bring cooler temperatures, wind and rain. The high today is 53 and tomorrow (moving day) is suppose to be 58. 

This is a replica of the Gonzales Battle Flag. Maybe lots of honest patriotic citizens should fly it and tell the FBI to "come and take it"? Just a passing thought.

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll finally make it to the coast. It will be good emotionally to see the Gulf of Mexico again.   

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe I'll Cya down the road. 


  1. A very well written blog entry. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the cannon history, when you said little, I pictured something just a bit larger. Just last week I read some history along the same lines. The Mexican war? Anyways without getting into politics, much, Mexico was a bit larger back then.
    Thanks again.

    1. You're welcome David,,,,history is great uh?

  3. P.S. When we were in high school my buddy made one about the same size in Metal shop. We filled it with a bunch of fireworks we had rounded up. KA-Booom....Try that today..Ha!

  4. Thanks for sharing Darrell.