Last modified: 2016-02-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: alabama red rovers | texas |
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image by Pete Loeser, 1 September 2014
The Alabama Red Rovers were a company of Alabamian volunteers organized in Courtland, Alabama, in 1835, under the command of Captain Jack Shackelford. About sixty volunteers signed up to help the Texans in their fight for
independence from Mexico. The volunteer company uniforms consisted of caped hunting frocks and jeans made of a rusty red dyed linsey-woolsey, and they wore coonskin caps. The ladies of Courtland also presented the red clad soldiers with this simple red banner to serve as a company guidon.
The volunteers were stationed at Fort Defiance (the Texan's name for Presidio LaBahia), a fort at Goliad. Soon after their arrival, the fort was surrounded by elements of the Mexican army led by General Jose Urrea. The fort commander ordered the evacuation of the Fort on March 19, 1836. However, the Mexican Army soon caught up with the retreating Texans in what would become the Battle of Coleto Creek. The next day the Texan's surrendered and were taken back to Presidio LaBahia and held as prisoners. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, all of the prisoners that were well enough to travel were marched from the fort under false pretenses, and within a couple miles of the Fort, they were halted and immediately massacred. Only Fifteen Red Rovers were able to escape the gruesome death of their comrades. Shackelford, who was in the infirmary at the time, also escaped the massacre. Captain Shackelford returned home to Courtland alone on July 9, 1836.
Pete Loeser, 1 September 2014