Stout will sign copies of his book, “Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers,” during a re-enactment of the massacre at the Presidio La Bahia on Saturday.
Stout was a Marine Corps second lieutenant at Chase Field from 1982 to 1983 as a flight student. He and his wife, Monica, lived at the Imperial Apartments on North St. Mary’s Street.
They returned to Chase Field in 1986 and stayed until 1989 as a flight instructor on the T-2C Buckeye. They and their two children, Kristen and Katherine, lived in base housing during that stay. Kristen attended first grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Katherine attended Methodist Pre-school.
It was during his stay in Beeville that Stout developed an interest in the Goliad Massacre.
“When friends and family visited, we often went to Goliad,” Stout told the Bee-Picayune via e-mail. “It was a great to spend half a day and the site always reminded me of what I thought the Alamo must have looked like. It bothered me that there wasn't a lot of information about what actually happened at Goliad — and why.”
Stout, 48, said he was inspired to write the definitive account on the battle someday.
“Through my career, I started writing books, and always thought that I'd like to do something on Goliad once I established some credibility,” he said.
Stout spent 20 years as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot flying F-4s and F/A-18s and flew 37 combat missions during the Gulf War.
Now a senior analyst in the defense industry, he wrote several books about his experiences: “Hornets over Kuwait,” “The First Hellcat Ace” and “Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq,” among other books.
Once his credibility as an author was established, Stout set out to pen the Goliad Massacre.
The book has received rave reviews by authors and historians alike.
“An important work in telling what others have missed about the history of Goliad,” Newton Warzecha, director of Presidio La Bahia, says on the dust cover of Stout’s book. “Mr. Stout points out many pertinent facts concerning the people involved. He stresses that what happened to Fannin’s men rests on one man’s conscience — Santa Anna.”
Stout said he spent several years researching and writing the book.
“(Slaughter at Goliad) is a little unique in that its entire focus is on telling the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of Goliad,” Stout explained. “Drawing from my 20-year military career, I tried to analyze the actions of the main characters from a leadership perspective — why did they do what they did? And I believe I treated both sides even-handedly, as there was plenty of ‘wrong and stupid’ to go around.”
Stout said he recalls his time in Beeville with “a great deal of fondness.”
“The local community was always very kind and sharing,” he recalled. “I particularly enjoyed hunting and fishing, and someone was always throwing a great barbecue. My wife and daughters were always treated with kindness, respect and a genuine friendliness that we didn't always find elsewhere during my military career.”