Actual Factual Georgia:Georgians aided in Texas fight for independence

Q: Wasn't there a Georgian who played a pivotal role in Texas' war of independence from Mexico? I remember hearing about him, but can't remember his name.

A: There were many Georgians who played significant roles during the Texas Revolution as several men volunteered to fight and die in the fight against Mexico in the 1830s.

Two stand out.

James Fannin was born in Georgia and attended the University of Georgia for a while before enrolling at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he struggled with his grades and withdrew.

He moved back to his home state, married, had a family and lived in Twiggs and Troup counties before moving to Columbus.

Fannin then relocated his family to Texas in 1834, where he quickly became part of Texas’ movement for independence.

Fannin helped win the battle of Concepcion, where he gained the nickname “Hero of Concepcion,” and was promoted to colonel.

He commanded many volunteers from his home state at the battle of Coleto, where they surrendered after being surrounded by Mexican forces.

Fannin and more than 340 of his men, according to the Texas State Historical Association, were executed in what’s known as the Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836, three weeks after the fall of the Alamo.

Georgia’s Fannin County was named for him.

Another Georgian, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar made a name for himself in Texas.

He was born in Louisville, southwest of Augusta, and worked for Gov. George Troup in the 1820s.

Always looking for challenges, Lamar wrote poems, helped start the Columbus Ledger – now Ledger-Enquirer and was elected to the Georgia Senate, but moved to Texas in 1835 after the death of his wife and two unsuccessful attempts to run for Congress.

He had returned to Georgia, but learned of the Alamo and the Fannin’s death, so he hustled back to Texas, where he joined Sam Houston’s army.

He helped save the life of Thomas J. Rusk, a lawyer from Clarkesville, Ga., and took part in the decisive battle of San Jacinto.

Lamar was then elected vice president of the new republic and then succeeded Houston to become the second president of Texas in 1838.

He helped establish the Texas capital of Austin and set aside land for public schools and universities.

Lamar left office in 1841 and wrote more poetry and traveled before he died in 1859.

Lamar County in Texas was named for him, but Georgia’s Lamar County was named for his nephew – take a deep breath – Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.