[imgbelt img=monument-hill-cannon530.jpg]An old town (by this state’s standards) honors heroes from the days of the short-lived Republic of Texas.


Dawson Massacre of 1842 and the executions following the infamous Black Bean Drawing of the Mier Expedition, 1843.

Obviously, no one alive today remembers these historic events, but re-enactment is the next best thing. (Better actually, with cannon fire, uniforms, drums and the life-or-death lottery, minus the death part.)

Nicholas Dawson’s men were slain responding to a Mexican invasion of the Republic of Texas six years after its independence. The Mexican force had entered Texas twice that year and taken San Antonio. On their second foray, they captured members of a San Antonio court in session, the captives including Samuel Maverick (the original, before there was James Garner or John McCain). Several militia and ranging companies (precursors of the Texas Rangers) from various parts of the Republic converged on the city.

A small group of 54 men under Dawson’s command had ridden hell for leather from Fayette County to assist. While resting themselves and their horses in a muskeet (sic) grove on the edge of San Antonio they were ambushed by a larger Mexican force. A fierce battle ensued with 36 of the men being killed and 15 captured — three of Dawson’s company escaped. The dead Fayette County men were left where they fell on the Salado Creek bank. They were later buried by family and friends who arrived too late to help in the battle.

Monument Hill-Kreische Brewery State Historical Site, La Grange, Texas.