James W. Fannin was born in Georgia on January 1, 1804, where he grew up and attended West Point Military Academy. He came to Texas in 1834, and became dedicated to promoting the Texas revolution. Fannin participated in the battles of Gonzales, Concepcion and Refugio. He commanded the regiment that was massacred at Goliad. He himself was captured and taken before the firing squad. Before he was shot, it is said he made three requests: to take his watch, the only possession of any worth left to him, and send it to his family, to shoot him in the heart so his death would be swift, and to bury his fallen men. None of his requests were granted. Several years ago his watch was located in Pennsylvania and donated to the Dallas Historical Society.