In 1831, Mexican authorities gave the settlers of Gonzales a small cannon to help protect them from frequent Comanche raids. Over the next four years, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and in 1835 several states revolted. As the unrest spread, Colonel Domingo de Ungartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, felt it unwise to leave the residents of Gonzales with a weapon and requested the return of the cannon.
When the initial request was refused, Ugartechea sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon. The soldiers neared Gonzales on September 29, but the colonists used a variety of excuses to keep them from the town, while secretly sending messengers to request assistance from nearby communities. Within two days, up to 140 Texans gathered in Gonzales, all determined not to give up the cannon. On October 1, settlers voted to initiate a fight. Mexican soldiers opened fire as Texans approached their camp in the early hours of October 2. After several hours of desultory firing, the Mexican soldiers withdrew.
Although the skirmish had little military significance, it marked a clear break between the colonists and the Mexican government and is considered to have been the start of the Texas Revolution. News of the skirmish spread throughout the United States, where it was often referred to as the "Lexington of Texas". The cannon's fate is disputed. It may have been buried and rediscovered in 1936, or it may have been seized by Mexican troops after the Battle of the Alamo.
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- Package Contents - One 3ft X 5ft Come and Take it Cannon Flag