top of page

GOD & TEXAS: Mier Expedition

The 18-minute Texan victory at the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto was stunning and decisive. Following the win, Texan General Thomas J. Rusk wrote: “Never in the anals [sic] of war was the interposition of Divine Providence signally displayed.” Rusk knew that God had strengthened them for triumph.


But as the settlers cautiously returned to their pillaged homesteads, they lived with the threat that the Mexican army would one day return. As feared, Mexico notified Texas in January 1842 that the “sword of justice” would fall on them unless they again submitted to Mexican rule.  


Backing up its strong words, Mexico began a series of invasions into Texas. These war-like raids led President Sam Houston to appoint General Alexander Somervell as commander of 1,200 men. To show Texan strength, Somervell was ordered to capture the city of Laredo, which he brilliantly accomplished in December of 1842.


But when Somervell withdrew from the conquered Laredo, most of his soldiers refused to leave. They elected William S. Fisher to lead an invasion into Mexico, now remembered as the Mier Expedition. But the much larger Mexican army killed most of them and imprisoned 176 Texans. 


The Mexicans ordered that every tenth prisoner be executed. 17 black beans and 159 white beans were placed in an urn, and whoever drew a black bean was blindfolded and shot. The surviving soldiers remained in prison until released in September 1844.


After the prisoners returned home, heart-wrenching stories emerged of courage and renewed faith. Robert Beard was sickly, and vowed that if he drew a white bean, he would give it to his stronger brother, Charley. When one young soldier drew a black bean, the Mexican troops mocked him loudly, and showed phony pity.


William “Big Foot” Wallace was chained to T. J. Sensabaugh, and both men drew white beans. Later at midnight, Sensabaugh began to pray loudly and to sing hymns of thanksgiving to God for being spared. His worship reminds us of when the Apostle Paul and Silas sang their praises to God while in jail (Acts 16:25).


One young unnamed prisoner drew the last black bean. When he realized how close he was to being saved, he became physically emotional. Apparently he had grown up as a Christian, but had gone astray from the faith. Now, as he faced imminent death, he tried to make amends with God in the short time he had left before his execution. 


These are but a few of the life and death stories. Can you imagine holding the last black bean? Soon a bloodstained blindfold will cover your eyes, and the last sound you hear will be a firing musket. Would you be ready for what’s next?


The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 KJV, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” None of us has the assurance that we will be here tomorrow. We finalized our plans for eternity here on earth. Make Christ your choice and Heaven is assured. 

For more inspirational reading please visit

To purchase the book GOD and TEXAS, please visit


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
    bottom of page