"MY REAL FRIEND, JOE"

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Amid the horror and confusion a very few managed to escape by breaking through the Mexican lines. Joe Chadwick was not one of them. A survivor told later how he had urged Joe, not yet hit, to make a run for it: “No! [Chadwick] said, his friend [Fannin’s assistant adjutant, John Brooks] was lying wounded, and he would not desert him in his helpless situation to save his own life; but . . . he would remain and protect his friend, or share his fate!”

And so “my real friend, Joe” stayed on, and died with the others. Walt Whitman, in “Song of Myself,” wrote of the men who were slain at Goliad:

They were the glory of the race of rangers, /

Matchless with horse, rifle, song, supper, courtship, /

Large, turbulent, generous, handsome, proud, and affectionate …

Joe Chadwick probably would have found that rather romantic. But even Whitman’s eulogy could hardly have exaggerated the flame of personal loyalty that burned within him—never to be forgotten by George Catlin, who kept Joe’s face for history.