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 oak marks the spot from which Fayette County has on every occasion sent its sons to battle. Wives, mothers and sweethearts have bade farewell here and sent their men to war, each time to win acclaim
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.)
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Dawson Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Fayette County Courthouse (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of the SPJST (about 400 feet away); The First U.S. Postal Rural Mail Route in Texas Site of a Twin Blockhouse (about 600 feet away); Beer Office and Bottling Company (about 600 feet away); Bradshaw-Killough House (approx. ¼ mile away); Hermes House (approx. 0.3 miles 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.)
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • War, Texas Independence •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2012, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 706 times since then and 48 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.