Defiance and Defeat – The Texan Stand in Mier

mier expedition

The Mier Expedition, a tale steeped in intrigue, bravery, and tragedy, is a fascinating chapter of Texan history. A tale that’s often overlooked, it’s a story that provides a unique perspective on the Texas-Mexico conflicts of the mid-19th century.

This expedition, the last of Texas’ major military campaigns against Mexico, was marked by a series of unfortunate events. From a failed attack on the Mexican town of Mier to the infamous ‘Black Bean Episode’, the Mier Expedition was a testament to the harsh realities of warfare.

Join us as we delve into this captivating saga, exploring the events that led to the expedition, the challenges faced by the Texan soldiers, and the enduring legacy of this historical event. Discover the Mier Expedition, a tale of courage, survival, and the indomitable spirit of the Texan people.

Mier Expedition

An elucidation of the origins of the Mier Expedition necessitates understanding of the precursory events, the pivotal figures involved, and the dynamics of Texas-Mexico relations at the time.

The Context of Texas-Mexico Relations

touristatrek.comThe mid-19th century marked a period of heightened tension and perennial conflict between Texas and Mexico. Post the Texas Revolution of 1836, the young Republic of Texas found itself grappling with strained relations with Mexico. Mexico refused to recognize Texas’ sovereignty, giving rise to frequent frontier skirmishes and escalating hostilities. Amid this volatile backdrop, the Mier Expedition took root, serving as a pivotal point in Texas-Mexico history.

Key Figures Behind the Expedition

Image3A few key individuals played instrumental roles in leading the Mier Expedition. Most notably, Alexander Somervell, a seasoned military figure, found himself appointed as the commander of the Texan militia. However, following a series of unsuccessful incursions into Mexican territory, Somervell ordered a retreat. Unwilling to abandon the expedition, a contingent of men led by William S. Fisher defied Somervell’s orders, choosing to forge ahead into the Mexican city of Mier. It’s this audacious stand that cast both Somervell and Fisher into the annals of Texan history, their actions serving as an enduring testament to the tenacity of the Texan spirit.

The Mier Expedition Unfolded

As the volatile story of the Mier Expedition continues, Texans faced intense adversity following their invasive decision to advance into Mier. This section delves into the hardcore conflicts that occurred in the aftermath, analyzing the capture of the Texas Militia, and the ominous Black Bean Incident.

The Capture of the Texas Militia

In direct defiance of their orders, Texans robustly advanced into the Mexican city of Mier, initiating a sequence of events that would lead to their capture. The Texas Militia, led by the audacious William S. Fisher, not only engaged the Mexican Army but also laid siege to the city. However, this bold action turned out to be their downfall. Facing a significantly larger and unyielding Mexican force, the Texans suffered defeat, resulting in the capture of approximately 300 militia members.

The Black Bean Incident: A Dark Turn

Image2Things took a darker turn when the captured Texans attempted a breakout from their imprisonment in Salado. Prompted by the breakout attempt, the Mexican president, Santa Anna, ordered a chilling decree: every tenth Texan would be executed. The method of selection was ruthless—in a notorious event known as the Black Bean Incident, prisoners were forced to draw beans from a jar. Seventeen Texans who drew a black bean met a harrowing end. This cruel lottery was a devastating blow to the Texas Militia and painted a grim picture of the controversial Mier Expedition.


The Mier Expedition’s story, steeped in Texan history, is a stark testament to the resilience Texans showcased amid adversity. Their bold advance into Mier, despite the risks, underscores this bravery. However, it’s the Black Bean Incident that casts a long, grim shadow over the expedition.

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