Today marks 177 years of Texas Independence.
In September 1835, Col. Domingo de Ugartechea, the military commander at Bexar, sent Corporal Casimiro De León and five soldiers of the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras to retrieve a cannon used by the citizens of Gonzales as protection against Indian raids. “The Gonzales colonists notified Ugartechea they were keeping the gun and took the soldiers prisoner. The cannon was then buried in George W. Davis’s peach orchard and couriers sent to the Anglo-Celtic settlements on the Colorado River to obtain armed assistance. Ugartechea responded by sending 100 troops under Lt. Francisco de Castañeda to make a more serious request for the return of the gun. On September 29, Capt. Robert M. Coleman arrived at Gonzales with a militia company of thirty mounted Indian fighters. The gun was retrieved from its shallow grave, taken to John Sowell’s blacksmith shop, and mounted on a pair of cart wheels. …. The name “Come and Take It” refers to the motto adopted by the Texian rebels. On the morning of October 2, 1835, Lieutenant Castañeda requested the cannon be returned to the Mexican military-a condition on which it had been loaned to DeWitt’s Colony-but the Texians pointed to the gun which stood about 200 yards to their rear, and said, “there it is-come and take it.” Soon after the conflict began, at the request of the Anglo-Celtic leaders, the ladies of the settlement hastily made a flag to fly over the cannon. The flag featured a white ground with a black cannon in the center, and the motto “Come and take it!” above and below. Much has been made of an account that appears in Noah Smithwick’s The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days (1900), …”