Re-enactors, visitors celebrate chance to remember Texas history

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

March 26, 2017 at 9:36 p.m.

Zorn resident Chuck Jones, 75, uses a loom to make a sash during the 32nd annual Goliad Massacre Re-enactment at  Presidio La Bahia on Sunday. This is the second year Jones has participated in the event.

Zorn resident Chuck Jones, 75, uses a loom to make a sash during the 32nd annual Goliad Massacre Re-enactment at Presidio La Bahia on Sunday. This is the second year Jones has participated in the event.    Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

GOLIAD - Edward Teniente continued in his father's footsteps Sunday during his part in the Goliad Massacre re-enactment at Presidio La Bahia.

Teniente, 31, of Laredo, has been acting in the Goliad Massacre re-enactment weekend event for 12 years and played a Mexican sergeant during the re-enactment's pivotal moment: the massacre.

"My dad is the one who got me started," Teniente said. "My dad and his love of history and living history - He's the reason why I'm here. All the credit goes to him."

Teniente's father, Eduardo, died in 2009.

Teniente said he feels like he is paying his respects to history during the re-enactments.

"A big part is educating our future generations because one day we'll be gone and need someone to replace us and carry the torch," he said. "That's why we're here."

Aside from Goliad's re-enactment, Teniente follows the Texas Revolution trail and participates in other re-enactments as well. The Goliad Massacre re-enactment is by far the best one, he said.

"You get to meet up with your friends," he said. "It's a close-knit Texas Revolution family."

This weekend marked the 32nd year for the re-enactment, which started about the time of the Texas Revolution's 150th anniversary, said Scott McMahon, Presidio La Bahia director.

"It's important to remember history like this so you can remember where you came from," he said. "Who you are as a people, as a state."

The Goliad Massacre happened March 27, 1836, during the Texas Revolution. Nearly 500 soldiers from the Texas army were killed by the Mexican Army.

"It's not just tragic for the Texians, but it's tragic for the Mexican army as well because the officer that was in charge here didn't approve of the massacre, but he was under orders from his general to carry this out," he said.

Scoutmaster Peter Zehrer brought his Boy Scouts of America Troop 452 of about 20 for the entire re-enactment weekend, and they camped out in the Goliad State Park. Zehrer and his assistant scoutmaster, Winston Whittington, have brought their troop for the last five years from Friendswood.

"They learn about Texas history firsthand," Whittington said. "They see the good and the bad parts of it, what people sacrificed for our freedoms. They really appreciate that. To be able to see it helps them understand a little bit better."

The sons of the troop leaders, Ashton Whittington, 13, and Andrew Zehrer, 14, have been to the re-enactment several times.

"I like walking around in the middle of the day and just seeing everything like how it was," Ashton said. "We learned about this in school. ... They can only tell you so much about this in school, but now we come here and learn more."


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