Interview with Gary
Brown . . . Part 2
Continued from Part 1
Brown: And then, of course after the battle of San Antonio, they reorganized and became Morris Company of the Greys, Cookes Company or San Antonio Greys and picked up other soldiers from other units to fill in the numbers. Some of the New Orleans Greys came down to Goliad with Burkes Mobile Greys.
ADP: Did it add to your confusion in your research with there being the San Antonio Greys and the Mobile Greys and the New Orleans Greys?
Brown: Well, a little bit, but I think that some historians actually believe that there were three companies of the Greys. When you read some of the really old stories, like in the late 1800's, they were referred to the two companies that came from Banks Arcade plus Cook's Greys. Really it wasn't the third company, but a reorganized company. It made it really difficult, I think, matching names up on rosters. So, yes it was really confusing.
ADP: You mentioned in your book that there were one or two Greys that were drummed out of the unit. Did you find out why?
Brown: There were only two that were officially listed as deserters. When you look through the muster rolls of the Texas Revolution that's a phenomenal rate. I mean these guys stayed with their companies. There were some that were expelled and I sure would like to know why. One of them was from Louisiana and I was talking to Greg Grant at Fort Jessup, who is also interested in the New Orleans Greys, and I was trying to get him to check on this one guy from Louisiana who was expelled and we have the time on it but that's something else that if someone could find out why would be fascinating.
ADP: Were their names listed?
Brown: Yes they were.
ADP: Was anything ever heard from them again or did they just vanish from history after that point?
Brown: Well, they dropped out. Who knows why? There was a lot of sickness here[at Goliad]. This was not a healthy environment and they may have died. The first Greys' casualty was murdered on the way to San Antonio. There were several of them I'm sure that died of sickness. Especially down here in Goliad because some of them had been wounded at the battle of San Antonio and came down here. One of them named Leonard cashiered out. We have a copy of Fannin's receipt cashiered $20. He cashiered out and he was sick. When Cooke left the Greys at Refugio and went north to join Sam Houston's staff. A lot of the Greys furloughed at that time too.
ADP: How do you feel about the New Orleans Greys flag being in Mexico?
Brown: I think that's where it belongs. This talk of trading three flags, The flags taken at San Jacinto. I think Mexico earned the Greys flag as a trophy of war. I think, this isn't a popular viewpoint, but I think Santa Anna was right. They were mercenaries and pirates and they were inspired by the United States and that flag was his proof of the US involvement. I wish they would put it on display. I understand that now you can not view the flag and I know that it's just disintegrating.
ADP: Well, supposedly there was a plot to steal the flag. Have you heard anything about that?
Brown: Yes, Texas Governor Bush signed into law the legislation that would allow him to trade the flags. I'm not sure what the specifics were, but I understand some militia group was planning instead of giving up these flags they were going to go down and steal the flag so Mexico has, pretty much, not talked to us about it since. I think that flag belongs down there. I do wish it were on display. I'd like to go and see it.
ADP: One of the reasons maybe that it isn't on display is so many people went to Chupultepec, which is kind of their Alamo, I think, and they want to see the Alamo flag and are not paying the proper respect they should have to Mexican history.
Brown: They are very sensitive about it and they should be. I hope the books also points out that Mexican soldiers were under very adverse conditions. Many of them fought very bravely.
ADP: The Soldados were not, and you could not count anybody that charged into the face of Travis's cannons at the Alamo that morning as a coward.
Brown: Some of the Mexican soldiers were convicts. Some of them were conscripts. Some of them were Indians. They shouldn't really have been in the army to begin with. They really didn't even have boots when they came up here. They were not true soldiers in the since of the word. But, I think the professional Mexican soldiers fought very, very well..
ADP: Hasn't recent information shown that Fannin surrendered at the Mexican's discretion?
Brown: Yes. Well the document pretty much says that.
ADP: For years everyone has said that they were betrayed, but they did sign the document which means Fannin may have kept this from his men?
Brown: He may have, but I also know that virtually every survivor who wrote an account of the surrender mentioned that Colonel Holsinger, the German artillery officer for the Mexicans, Colonel Holsinger kept telling them 12 days and parole. Fannin probably, and all of them believed that the surrender would be a 12-day captivity and parole back to the United States. So, Fannin may have held this information from his men. But I think too Holsinger was probably instrumental in getting them to believe they were going to get paroled out.
ADP: Gary, I really enjoyed this and this has been very informative to me and let's just hope you find more information for us and we're looking forward to anything else that you write.
Brown: Well, thank you very much and thanks for doing this interview. Like I say, I'm new at this but I really appreciate it.
ADP: Well we've really enjoyed it and hope this sells you a lot of books.
Brown: I would like for, of course, everybody to like the book,
but I think when literal historians like yourself say that, because you
are so all involved in this and sometimes I think you're the best experts
in a lot of this. When you say that you like it, it means a lot.
Special Thanks to John Bryant for conducting this one on one interview.