In late September, 1835, Colonel Ugartechea, the commander of the Mexican garrison at San Antonio, sent a few men to Gonzales to recover a cannon that had been loaned to the town to fight off occasional Indian attacks. The citizens of Gonzales realized that the intent of the move was to disarm possible rebels, and so the request was denied.
Ugartechea then sent dragoons under Captain Francisco Castaneda to demand the cannon unconditionally. As word of the conflict spread, the Texan force grew to over 200 armed men and the town was fortified. The cannon was mounted on a wagon, and blacksmiths hammered iron scrap and chains inth the cannonballs.
Two ladies of the town, Cynthia Burns and Evaline DeWitt, painted a flag on cotton cloth, depicting the cannon, the lone star of Texas and a clear challenge to the enemy.
The Mexican troops moved north to ford the river and approach Gonzales. The Texans decided that they had to attack before Mexican reinforcements arrived. They crossed the river at dusk, formed their battle lines at night and surprised the Mexicans at dawn on October 2nd.
The battle that followed was brief; when the Texans opened fire, the Mexicans withdrew, abandoning their supplies. Stephen F. Austin joined the army as commander on October 10th, and the other Texans, under the command of James Collingsworth, took the Goliad the next day. On October 12th, the march on San Antonio began.