Come and Take It Battleground

The name Come and Take It refers to the motto adopted by the Texian rebels. On the morning of October 2, 1835, Lieutenant Castañeda requested the cannon be returned to the Mexican military-a condition on which it had been loaned to DeWitt's Colony-but the Texians pointed to the gun which stood about 200 yards to their rear, and said, there it is-come and take it. Soon after the conflict began, at the request of the Anglo-Celtic leaders, the ladies of the settlement hastily made a flag to fly over the cannon. The flag featured a white ground with a black cannon in the center, and the motto Come and take it! above and below. Much has been made of an account that appears in Noah Smithwick's The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days (1900), in which Smithwick identifies the cannon as an iron six-pounder. This is the only account, however, of events at Gonzales in October 1835 which identifies the Gonzales gun as being made of iron. Primary documents indicate that the gun probably was a cannon belonging to George Huff, a blacksmith and gunsmith from San Felipe. Another discovery claim concerning the Gonzales cannon came into being after a major flood in July 1936, when a small iron salute cannon was discovered downstream from Hardy's Bluff on Sandies creek. Many individuals believe the small salute gun is the Gonzales cannon because it was found at a location that appears to match the information in the Smithwick book. The gun, however, matches none of the characteristics attributed to the Gonzales cannon by reliable primary sources. The Smithwick account incorrectly identifies the Gonzales cannon, but the Sandies salute gun does not even conform to Smithwick's description of the cannon he believed to be the Gonzales gun. Although what happened to the Come and Take It cannon is not known, still another, and probably more likely scenario, resulted from actions of the Mexican army after the fall of the Alamo, when Antonia López de Santa Anna's troops melted down an unknown number of bronze guns. The Gonzales cannon may have been one of these.