The presidio was captured by insurgents twice during the Mexican War of Independence, by the Republican Army of the North in 1813 and by the Long Expedition in 1821. Each time the insurgents were later defeated by Spanish troops. By the end of 1821 Texas became part of the newly formed United Mexican States. Presidio La Bahía was one of the two major garrisons in Mexican Texas and lay halfway between San Antonio de Béxar (the political center of Texas) and Copano, the major port in Texas. In October 1835, days after the beginning of the Texas Revolution, a group of Texian insurgents marched on Presidio La Bahía. After a 30-minute battle, the Mexican garrison surrendered and the Texians gained control of the presidio, which they soon renamed Fort Defiance.
During the siege of the Alamo, Texian commander William B. Travis several times asked Presidio La Bahía commander James Fannin to bring reinforcements. Although Fannin and his men attempted a relief mission, they abandoned the attempt the following day. After the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston ordered Fannin to abandon Presidio La Bahía. He did so on March 19, 1836, but took a leisurely path. Following the Battle of Coleto, the Presidio La Bahía garrison was captured and imprisoned in the presidio. On March 27, 1836 the Texian captives were marched from the presidio and executed in an event known as the Goliad Massacre.
Today, Presidio La Bahía is the best-preserved Spanish presidio in the United States.
For more information on Presidio La Bahía from the Presidio La Bahía website, click here.