POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 7:26pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 8:55am
The city of Gonzales is a sleepy town of just over 7000 just off Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio.
But today we mark the day when it was much more than that.
As battles go, it wasn’t much of one.
Two dead on one side, none on the other.
But its significance goes far beyond the numbers.
On this day in 1835, the first battle of the Texas Revolution was fought.
And an iconic symbol was born.
Four years earlier, the government of Mexico had given settlers in the town a small cannon to help fend off Comanche raiding parties.
But when revolution and independence were sweeping through the Mexican state of Texas, the government asked for the gun back.
The colonists refused, and Mexican General Francisco de Castañeda and 100 dragoons or cavalry were sent to get it back by force if necessary.
Texians under Colonel John Moore resisted and after several hours of rather lazy firing, the Mexicans withdrew.
Militarily, it was pretty slim pickings, but symbolically, it was the Texas equivalent of Lexington or Concord.
Two women of the town, Cynthia Burns and Evaline DeWitt, painted these symbols on a piece of white cotton, creating a flag that has been borrowed or appropriated by various groups over the years.
But 178 years ago, it meant the first stirrings of the short war that later the next spring, resulted in the independence of Texas.