Fly the Texas flag on Oct. 2
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
Oct. 2 is one of the Texas Honor Days sponsored by The Daughters of The Republic of Texas (DRT). Kerrville's Joshua D Brown Chapter of DRT encourages flying your Texas flags on Oct. 2 and the other Texas Honor Days.
In 1835, Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, afraid Texians would use his power as dictator for an excuse to secede, ordered the Mexican military to disarm the Texians whenever possible. The Texians were Tejanos and Anglos living in the Mexican territory known as Tejas.
Santa Anna sent Mexican forces under Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea to Gonzales to take back the small 6-pounder bronze cannon delivered to them years before for the defense of the town from Indians and to keep the territory from falling into the hands of the United States.
As a symbol of defiance, the Texian women, Sarah DeWitt and her daughter Evangeline, using daughter Naomi's wedding dress, fashioned a flag with a black star above an image of the cannon containing the phrase "Come and Take It" below the symbols.
This was the same message that was sent to the Mexican dictator when the Mexican government told the Texians that they had to return their cannon. Historians believe this was probably the first time a single star was flown on a Texas battle flag.
The order to take back the little cannon proved more difficult than expected, and on Oct. 2, 1835, one hundred Mexican soldiers led by Lieutenant Francisco de Castaneda were sent to retrieve it.
By this time approximately 150 area Texians had joined Gonzales to help protect their symbol of freedom. The little cannon had been mounted on wagon wheels and moved to the rear of the Mexicans. When the Castaneda again demanded the return of the cannon, the Texans pointed to the cannon and said, "There it is, come and take it!"
One shot fired at the surprised forces from the cannon started the Texas Revolution for Independence. The Mexicans, encountering stiff resistance from the villagers and other area freedom fighters, retreated after a brief fight and the Texians kept their cannon.
The determined Texians would continue to battle Santa Anna and his army for another year and a half before winning their independence and establishing the Republic of Texas.