Col. Bradburn initially established the fort with as little as 45 men, however, by 1832 the men manning the fort rose to almost 300. In the same time span, Anglo Texan settlers who were accustomed to free ranging on their new settlements increasingly grew outraged on the taxation and control that Col. Bradburn and the Mexican government exercised. Eventually, small militias were formed by the Texans which sparked Col. Bradburn to imprison rebel leaders. A local lawyer, Patrick Jack, was the first to be imprisoned by Col. Bradburn for being a commander of one of the most organized militias at the time. In response, William B. Travis (who later commanded the Texan defense of the Alamo), instigated Col. Bradburn and in turn, became imprisoned himself at Fort Anahuac (Henson, 2010).
The imprisonment of William Travis in 1832 led to Texan rebel militias attacking Fort Anahuac as well as attempts to refortify and reinforce it. When the Mexican government finally withdrew and abandoned the fort, Texan militias dismantled Fort Anahuac and colonizers of the area stole the masonry of the fort, repurposing the stone for their own uses (Weiser, 2017). The militia attack on Fort Anahuac was the first military engagement between Mexico and the United States and is believed to be the precursor, if not the first action in the Texas Revolution.