The Dawson Expedition- W.P. Freytag
Under this historic oak on September 15, 1842, Capt. Nicholas Mosby Dawson organized his company of Fayette County mounted volunteers, who rushed to reinforce Col. Matthew Caldwell, after San Antonio was captured by Gen. Adrian Woll.
On Sept. 18 upon approaching Salado Creek near San Antonio, Dawson found a battle already in progress. His men were surrounded beyond rifle range by Mexican cavalry who opened with cannon fire, and soon half were killed or wounded. Dawson tried to surrender, but when some of his men kept firing the Mexicans closed in and a general massacre ensued. Thirty-six Texans were killed; only three escaped. Fifteen were captured, marched to Mexico and imprisoned in Perote Castle. Those who survived were later released.
The dead were buried on the field of battle and reinterred Sept. 18, 1848, in a tomb on Monument Hill overlooking La Grange. A Texas county was named in honor of the brave Capt. Dawson.
Historic Oak Tree
Here on the courthouse square, the scarred remains of what was once a mighty oak marks the spot from which Fayette County has on every occasion sent its sons to battle. Wives, mothers and sweethearts have bade farewell here and sent their men to war, each time to win acclaim as true patriots.
They held in their keeping the safety of the Republic. They kept alight the lamp of liberty because they refused to betray their Texas heritage by abandoning the eternal values embodied in the concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Their patriotic sense of duty helped to preserve the American way of life, and their record of service to God and Country is almost without peer. They lived and died so that the eternal verities by which men live shall not perish from the earth.
- W.P. Freytag