La Grange in Fayette County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Dawson Expedition / Historic Oak Tree
The Dawson Expedition
Under this historic oak on September 15, 1842, Capt. Nicholas Mosby Dawson organized his company of Fayette County mounted volunteers, who rushed to reinforce Col. Matthew Caldwell, after San Antonio was captured by Gen. Adrian Woll.
On Sept. 18 upon approaching Salado Creek near San Antonio, Dawson found a battle already in progress. His men were surrounded beyond rifle range by Mexican cavalry who opened with cannon fire, and soon half were killed or wounded. Dawson tried to surrender, but when some of his men kept firing the Mexicans closed in and a general massacre ensued. Thirty-six Texans were killed; only three escaped. Fifteen were captured, marched to Mexico and imprisoned in Perote Castle. Those who survived were later released.
The dead were buried on the field of battle and reinterred Sept. 18, 1848, in a tomb on Monument Hill overlooking La Grange. A Texas county was named in honor of the brave Capt. Dawson.
Historic Oak Tree
Here on the courthouse square, the scarred remains of what was once a mighty
They held in their keeping the safety of the Republic. They kept alight the lamp of liberty because they refused to betray their Texas heritage by abandoning the eternal values embodied in the concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Their patriotic sense of duty helped to preserve the American way of life, and their record of service to God and Country is almost without peer. They lived and died so that the eternal verities by which men live shall not perish from the earth.
Erected 1964 by La Grange State Bank. (Marker Number 1184/2495.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & Patriotism • War, Texas Independence. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1833.
Location. 29° 54.358′ N, 96° 52.714′ W. Marker is in La Grange, Texas, in Fayette County. Marker is at the intersection of North Washington Street and West Colorado Street, on the left when traveling north on North Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: La Grange TX 78945, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Texas Rangers Memorial (a few steps from this Lester Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dawson Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); La Grange Depot Museum (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fayette County Courthouse (about 400 feet away); Birthplace of the SPJST (about 400 feet away); The First U.S. Postal Rural Mail Route in Texas (about 500 feet away); Site of a Twin Blockhouse (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Grange.
Also see . . . Dawson Massacre. The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on March 5, 2012.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 4, 2012, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 948 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 4, 2012, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. 2. submitted on February 14, 2015, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. 3. submitted on March 4, 2012, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. 4. submitted on February 14, 2015, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.