Arnold a forgotten hero in TX liberation
Many brave men fought for Texas independence. Some were lucky to be remembered and volumes of books were written about their character, deeds, while others had only a mention. Hendrick Arnold was one of the forgotten heroes, who slid into neglected pages of history. Such was the life of Arnold, a black man who fought in several battles for Texas freedom and independence.
A free black man who came to Texas in the winter of 1826 and settled in Stephen F. Austin’s colony on the Brazos River. Arnold had gained a good reputation for his ability to scout and for his ability to ride a horse. Apparently, he was a good man to have in a fight, Arnold was popular among the white settlers of the region. They had been stirred to resist the Mexican army which had been coming into the region to collect guns, supplies and cannons to fight off Indians. Each settlement raised a group of volunteers ready to ride in defense of their homes. Arnold was elected scout thereby becoming the unofficial leader.
When the Mexicans marched on Gonzales, a little town with a brass cannon, the news of their approach spread like wildfire over Texas. The citizens of Gonzales hid the cannon, but challenged the Mexicans with a flag with the words of “Come and Take It.” The statement became one of the historic battle cries of the fight for independence. After a brief skirmish, the Mexicans failed to get the cannon and retreated to San Antonio. Hearing about the trouble in Gonzales, Arnold and his men marched to San Antonio or Bexar, as it was called, to join other Texans eager to fight.
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