Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02)
September 27, 1835 ñ Lt. Francisco de Castaneda of the Mexican Army sent to Gonzalez to retrieve a cannon lent to the citizens, resulting in a battle over the ìCome and Take Itî cannon.
A phrase from the Texas War for Independence immediately came to mind: ìCome and Take It.î One of my favorite Texas battle flags bares these words of defiance. It came about in Gonzales, Texas, in late September of 1835 and the disagreement over a cannon resulted in the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
The famous bronze cannon was loaned to the Gonzales colonists by the Mexican government to defend themselves from hostile Apaches and Comanches. But when tensions between the Texians and the Mexican government began to heat up, Mexican Corporal Casimiro De LeÛn and five soldiers of the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parrasqv were sent to reclaim the cannon. But, that was easier said than done.
The feisty Texians said they were keeping the gun and took the soldiers prisoner. The ladies of settlement made a flag bearing the words ìCome and Take It!î to be flown over the cannon. The gun had been buried in a peach orchard near the Colorado River for safety, but was retrieved shortly after and readied for battle and mounted on cart wheels. The Mexican government responded by sending 100 troops to put an end to the dispute and were met by a militia of frontier Texians and Indian fighters who simply said, "There it is ñ come and take it." The rest as they say is Texas history.
And that's just the way it is.
Of the multiple banners that flew over DeWitt Colony territory and those under which DeWitt colonists served and died, this famous flag is one which originated solely within and is unique to the DeWitt Colony and a symbol of contribution of the region to the Texas Independence movement. The banner can be said to be the counterpart in concept and message of resistance as the early "Don't Tread on Me" flags of the American Revolution. Some say it was made from the white silk of the wedding dress of Empresario DeWitt's daughter, Naomi, and was flown by DeWitt Colonists reinforced by volunteers from the other settlements at the confrontation with the Mexican army in October 1835 over the Gonzales cannon (Battle of Gonzales). Other reports suggest it was made after the confrontation during the muster at Gonzales for defense of Texas and the assault on Bexar.
Eyewitness DeWitt Colonist Creed Taylor relates in his memoirs (Tall Men with Long Rifles) that following the Battle of Gonzales as the army was being prepared in Gonzales to march on Bexar "the question of a flag came up. Some of our leaders wanted to march and fight under the Mexican national colors; others wanted the eagle, cactus, and snake, eliminated from the flag and in their stead a star. But it was soon ascertained that the boys wanted nothing that bore the slightest resemblance to the flag of Mexico. At a meeting of the officers a committee of five were appointed to select the design for our flag. This committee was to report by three o'clock the next day. And this gave the occasion for the loftiest display of patriotism on the part of