When Col. Fannin surrendered his men, he trusted the Mexican General Urrea to be honorable.
For his own part, there is some indication that General Urrea might have been inclined to show mercy…but Santa Anna was not. He had financed the Texas campaign, in part, with his own money, and his ego could not endure the loss of such a vast expanse of land. No, Santa Anna gave orders to show no mercy.
On March 27, Fannin and all his men were executed by firing squad.
The atrocity fueled an immediate response in the Texas rebels. If ever they thought Santa Anna was unfair and unfeeling, they were convinced of it now.
“Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
These cries fed the fires of righteous wrath that gave Texans the will to win.