Gray's information was essentially correct.
After the battle for the Alamo, at which his army suffered 600 casualties,
Santa Anna left a remnant behind in San Antonio and divided his forces.
José de Urrea at the head of 550 troops was already advancing from
Matamoros toward Goliad; Joaquín Ramírez y Sesma led about 800
men to the Colorado River, where he faced off for a while with Houston's
army before heading to the Brazos (to Fort Bend at the time of the San Jacinto
battle); Antonio Gaona commanded about 725 in what Gray described as the
northern division, first on the Camino Real toward Nacogdoches before becoming
lost between Bastrop and San Felipe at the time of the decisive battle. Santa
Anna had even split his remaining force of 1,400, further depleting his
strength at San Jacinto. James W. Pohl and Stephen L. Hardin, "The
Military History of the Texas Revolution: An Overview," pp. 290-91; Webb,
Handbook, vol. 1, p. 670.|
51. [p.155] Primary responsibility for the decision to execute Fannin's men rested with Santa Anna. Urrea had previously sent prisoners of war to Matamoros in avoidance of Santa Anna's peremptory orders, executing only some of the Texas soldiers captured at Refugio who had treated local Tejanos similarly. Santa Anna in fact sent orders for the executions directly to the commander of the Goliad post in response to Urrea's recommendation of clemency. At the same time, Urrea had made written or verbal assurances (which one is disputed still) of leniency that he did not or could not stand behind. Pruett and Cole, Goliad Massacre, pp. 130-31; Webb, Handbook, vol. 1, pp. 704-5.
52. [p.155] Benjamin H. Holland came to Texas on Aurora in January of 1836 and enlisted in the New Orleans Grays. Fannin gave Holland command of some of the guns in an artillery company, and he served at La Bahia until March 12. Fannin made him one of the commissioners who carried the flag of truce on March 20. Holland, the highest-ranking survivor of the massacre, wrote one of the few first-hand accounts of the military events surrounding the Coleto battle and Goliad massacre. It repeats the story of escape given by Gray, adding that Holland wandered six days without food in the wilderness before locating Houston's army on April 10. See John M. Niles, History of South America and Mexico, pp. 328-34. On April 12 Holland received an appointment as master and commandant in the Texas Navy, which he held until the commission was revoked by President David G. Burnet on July 14, 1836. The man referred to as "Wallis" by Gray was Benjamin C. Wallace, who had been a Texas officer since November 28, 1835 (later to the rank of major by Fannin). Davenport, "Unfinished Study of Fannin," pp. 249, 436, 436a; pay receipt, Benjamin H. Holland folder, AMC.
53. [p.155] The monument on the site of the Goliad massacre lists 355 names in addition