by Gary Brown
Republic of Texas Press
Hesitant Martyr in the Texas Revolution: James Walker Fannin is an interesting and insightful look at a Texas hero, who for too long has been relegated to a second class ranking in Texas history. Mr. Brown also the author of The New Orleans Greys tries and succeeds in telling what may have motivated many of the decisions made by James Fannin in his all to brief tenure as head of the Texian armies. Hesitant Martyr takes us from James Fannin's illegitimate birth to his death at the hands of his Mexican captors. In between, we are made privy to his dealings, as a slave trader and learn of his overwhelming desire to lead the military. Brown explores the relationship Fannin had with his family and Fannin's ultimate realization at Goliad that his situation was one that he desperately wanted to leave. Through his letters, we see the man whose own troops despised him.
Other books on the subject of Fannin and Goliad have taken a less than glowing view of the unfortunate Colonel, not so here. The author has tried to see behind Fanninšs decisions and has challenged the charges that the man was indecisive. He has made it clear that no man on the plains of Coleto showed more bravery than that shown by James Walker Fannin. Brown reveals the sad and unhappy fate of Fannin's wife and children in the aftermath his death. I personally found this information fascinating. Hesitant Martyr held my attention and caused me to re-evaluate some of my ideas concerning Colonel James Fannin. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in acquiring a more complete picture of a prominent yet much maligned figure of the Texian Revolution
John Bryant, Consulting Editor
Alamo de Parras