An account of the Battle of San Jacinto written by Sam Houston and sent to David G. Burnett, President of the Republic of Texas. The Mexican government offered settlers from the United States land at cheap prices. The Texas Revolution and the Republic of Texas, 8 Important People of the Texas Revolution, 10 Facts About the Independence of Texas From Mexico, Biography of Sam Houston, Founding Father of Texas, Biography of Stephen F. Austin, Founding Father of Texan Independence, The Battle of the Alamo: Unfolding Events. The Texans wanted to fight and several junior officers tried to convince Houston to attack. In one of the most one sided battles in history, the Texian soldiers crushed Santa Annas men in 18 minutes ensuring the succe… The Texans, still enraged over the massacres at the Alamo and Goliad, showed little pity for the Mexicans. Merchants 21. Losses: Mexican, 630 dead, 208 wounded, 730 captured; Texan, 9 dead, 30 wounded. Houston held a good defensive position and wanted to let Santa Anna attack first, but in the end, he was convinced of the wisdom of an attack. ... See how one small battle in Texas spilled over its borders to leave a mark not only on a young nation, but the world as well. Center row, third from left: Valentine Ignatius Burch of Tyler County, Texas. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto between the Texan army and Mexican forces, which took place on April 21, 1836. When Houston didn’t attack at first light, Santa Anna assumed he would not attack that day and the Mexicans rested. Settlers from the USA had been coming to Texas (then a part of Mexico) for years, with the support of the Mexican government, but a number of factors made them unhappy and open war broke out at the Battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. Image: Sam Houston. He also signed documents recognizing the independence of Texas and ending the war. Why did Texans attack a Mexican fort at Goliad? At that moment, Houston’s artillery opened fire, and the Texan infantry charged. Mexican General Santa Anna had unwisely divided his force to mop up those Texans still in rebellion after the Battle of the Alamo and the Goliad Massacre. He correctly surmised that Santa Anna was worth much more alive than dead. Santa Anna had set up camp on the San Jacinto Prairie (now in Harris County) with roughly 700 men. Three Mexican states joined Texas in the revolt against the dictatorship of Santa Anna. They were within 200 yards (183 m) of the Mexican camp when discovered. The Battle of San Jacinto (Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series Book 3) - Kindle edition by Pohl, James W.. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. After an eighteen-minute fight, the remaining Mexicans surrendered, but Santa Anna slipped away in a private’s uniform. From blades to bullets, learn about the weapons that stretched America’s borders to the Pacific Ocean, fueled America’s arrival on the world stage — and redefined our culture. Santa Anna’s defense collapsed as panicked Mexicans tried to flee the cavalry across the marshes. Many of Santa Anna’s best officers fell early and loss of leadership made the rout even worse. San Jacinto, Battle of. The Battle of Concepcion of the Texas Revolution, The Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution. On the afternoon of April 20, as the two armies continued to skirmish and size each other up, Sidney Sherman demanded that Houston send a cavalry charge to attack the Mexicans: Houston thought this foolish. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. This 1,200-acre park includes the towering San Jacinto Monument and the San Jacinto Museum of … Mexico would never regain the lost territory, in spite of sporadic incursions during the 1840s. Sam Houston and the meager army of Texans retreated eastward following the fall of the Alamo in the spring of 1836. In the wake of the Alamo debacle, with Mexican forces approaching, Houston and the troops under his command at Gonzales began an organized withdrawal to the northeast, accompanied by fleeing civilians. For the Mexicans, San Jacinto was the start of a long national nightmare that would end with the loss of not only Texas but also California, New Mexico, and much more. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. Had Santa Anna not split his forces, Houston's army may well have been beaten by the Mexicans' superior numbers. Santa Anna himself was captured and forced to sign a treaty, effectively ending the war. After having to cancel the San Jacinto Day festival and its battle re-enactment for the past two years, organizers are planning new approaches for … On 20 April, the two armies met in a low area of marshland and bayous near the San Jacinto River. Santa Anna decided to rest his new and tired troops before attacking, but he failed to post sentries. After the Alamo and Goliad, panicked Texans fled east, fearing for their lives. Today, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site commemorates the battle and includes the San Jacinto Monument, the world's tallest memorial column, at 570 feet (170 m). Santa Anna dictated orders to his generals: they were to leave Texas at once. Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? He defeated the Texans at the legendary Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Santa Anna was disgraced but would make yet another comeback in Mexican politics during the Pastry War against France in 1838-1839. The glorious victory silenced his critics and gave him the invincible air of a war hero, which served him in good stead during his subsequent political career. Santa Anna chased the fleeing Texans, alienating many with his policies of driving off Anglo settlers and destroying their homesteads. Texas was gone, soon to be followed by California, New Mexico, and much more Mexican territory. Manifest Destiny 13. On April 21, 1836 Texas earned independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the Texan War for Independence, the Texas militia under Sam Houston launches a surprise attack against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna along the San Jacinto River. The Mexican pursuit of Houston was three-pronged, and though…. Did Davy Crockett Die in Battle at the Alamo? The Battle of San Jacinto As related by DeWitt Colonist Creed Taylor to James T. DeShields and published in Tall Men With Long Rifles 1935. Meanwhile, Houston kept one step ahead of Santa Anna. Within 24 hours, some 600 Mexicans had been killed and more than 700 captured, including eventually Santa Anna himself, who was then freed after he came to terms with Houston to end the war. Santa Anna somehow evaded execution and eventually made his way back to Mexico, where he would later resume the Presidency, go back on his word, and try more than once to re-take Texas. "Presented for publication by … At about 3:30, the Texans began silently marching forward, trying to get as close as possible before opening fire. The angry Texans swarmed into the enemy camp, shouting “Remember Goliad!” and “Remember the Alamo!” After about 20 minutes, all organized resistance failed. The Mexicans were thoroughly routed, and hundreds were taken prisoner, including General Santa Anna himself. (Legend holds that Santa Anna was slow to respond to the assault because he was romantically involved with a woman when the attack unfolded, but that account is probably apocryphal.). The reality was different. The park is located in La Porte, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of downtown Houston. Somewhat amazingly, Santa Anna's generals did as they were told and retreated out of Texas with their armies. It was a humiliating defeat and for years. The Battle of San Jacinto was not a battle against the Mexican people. It crossed the Colorado River on March 17 and camped near present Columbus on March 20, recruiting and reinforcements having increased its size to 1,200 men. The Battle of San Jacinto - April 21, 1836 San Jacinto Battleground is the site where the army of a newly-declared independent Republic of Texas under Sam Houston attacked and defeated a division of the Mexican Army under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on April 21, 1836. Thickly forested with oak trees and dotted with marshes, it was alien territory to the Mexicans, but not to the Texans. Battle of San Jacinto, (April 21, 1836), defeat of a Mexican army of about 1,200–1,300 men under Antonio López de Santa Anna by about 900 men (mostly recent American arrivals in Texas) led by Gen. Sam Houston. Panicked Mexicans tried to flee only to find themselves trapped by the river or bayou. Houston wisely refrained. One of the eight inscriptions on the exterior base of the San Jacinto Monument reads: “Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. This was typical of Houston’s command. The battle was a turning point for Texas' independence from Mexico. With his 918 troops, Sam Houston set up camp with his back to the river and the bayou. Center row, second from left: Valentine Burch. San Jacinto was Houston's finest hour. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-San-Jacinto-1836, Lone Star Junction - Battle of San Jacinto, 21 April 1836, National Park Service - American Latino Heritage - San Jacinto Battlefield La Porte, Texas, Texas State Historical Association - The Handbook of Texas Online - Battle of San Jacinto, The Civil War - The Battle of San Jacinto. Santa Anna attempted unsuccessfully to probe the Texan position, and there was an exchange of artillery fire. On the following day, April 21, Santa Anna received some 500 reinforcements under the command of General Martín Perfecto de Cos. Mexican 14. Which Texas leader surrendered and was executed along with his soldiers because of his defense of Goliad at the battle of Coleto Creek? In the meantime, more information about the article and the author can be found by clicking on the author’s name. Santa Anna believed that the Texans were beaten even though General Sam Houston still had an army of almost 900 in the field and more recruits came every day. Front row, second from right: George Petty of Washington County. Houston and his officers spoke with Santa Anna for hours before deciding on a course of action. _____ showed Indian trails to settlers who headed west, led journeys up major rivers, and discovered mountain passes that later became major routes to the West. Updated March 24, 2019. The morning of April 21 dawned bright and crisp. San Jacinto 27. In either case, history would be much different today. Mexico would futilely try for years to reclaim Texas, only finally relinquishing any claim to it after the Mexican-American War. San Jacinto County (/ ˌ s æ n dʒ ə ˈ s ɪ n t oʊ / SAN jə-SIN-toh) is a county in the U.S. state of Texas.As of the 2010 census, its population was 26,384. Meanwhile, Mexican General Santa Anna marched his army to crush the Texan rebels. December 7, 2020. The Battle of San Jacinto lasted less than twenty minutes, but it sealed the fate of three republics. Fought along the San Jacinto River, near the site of what was to be the city of Houston, the battle ensured the success of American settlers in the Texas Revolution (War of Texas Independence). For the Mexicans: about 630 dead, 200 wounded and 730 captured, including Santa Anna himself, who was captured the next day as he tried to flee in civilian clothes. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The siege of the----- took place during the Revolutionary Era in Texas History. Its county seat is Coldspring. When Houston learned what Santa Anna had done, he knew the time was right and turned to meet the Mexicans. Houston arrived with about 1,400, settling down some 500 yards away. Omissions? New York: Anchor Books, 2004. As it was, the Mexicans' crushing defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto proved decisive for Texas. The final toll for the Texans: nine dead and 30 wounded, including Sam Houston, who had been shot in the ankle. But every effort was doomed to failure. 13. After days of retreat, Houston’s men relished the attack, taking the resting Mexican force by surprise (during the Mexicans’ siesta), shouting, "Remember the Alamo, remember Goliad!" Volunteer companies rushed to join General Samuel Houston’s growing Texas army. The Battle of San Jacinto was an important battle in the Texas Revolution (1835-1836). What decision by Sam Houston paid off at the Battle of San Jacinto? Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. The significance of this short battle cannot be overestimated. But at San Jacinto, Texian and Mexican soldiers used weapons of the old school — gripping wood and iron as they held the gaze of the enemy’s eyes. Corrections? Three signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence were Mexican Texans. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resul… The monument contains an inscription, part of which reads: "Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. General Sam Houston, sensing Santa Anna's mistake, engaged him on the shores of the San Jacinto River. The Mexicans were taken completely unawares. The Battle of San Jacinto, which takes its name from San Jacinto River, took place on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas. Cholera 12. There were still three large Mexican armies in Texas, under Generals Filisola, Urrea and Gaona: any one of them was large enough to potentially defeat Houston and his men. The Battle of San Jacinto. What was the main reason that the new nation of Texas was in Debt? It was to be a great day for Texas. Mexican General Santa Anna had unwisely divided his force to mop up those Texans still in rebellion after the Battle of the Alamo and the Goliad Massacre. The Texans fired at close range and rolled over the hasty Mexican breastworks. Sherman rounded up about 60 horsemen and charged anyway. Cover title. Shouted the Texian troops led by Gen. Sam Houston when they surprised the Mexican army that was camped here in 1836. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. The decisive Battle of San Jacinto resulted in Texas’ independence from Mexico. Houston avoided contact with the pursuing Mexican army until his Texas army gained strength and training. Raymond K. Bluhm Jr. is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and military historian, author, and former professor of American History. Tensions had long been simmering between rebellious Texans and Mexico. Learn how Sam Houston turned a steady retreat into a surprise attack, and certain defeat into sudden victory at San Jacinto. Source(s): Osterhout, Paul, 1859-1944, List of participants in the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas (undated, but post 1836) Source Identifier: Osterhout Family Papers, MS 355, Box 4 folder 7 item 16, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. When no attack followed in the morning, the Mexican troops relaxed even further. As most of the men were volunteers, they did not have to take orders from anyone if they didn’t want to and often did things on their own. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. San Jacinto Battlefield is a National Historic Landmark. The Battle of San Jacinto refers to at least two paintings by Henry Arthur McArdle, depicting the Battle of San Jacinto. Frontispiece “Battle of San Jacinto” is a photograph of a painting by Henry A. McArdle. One version, measuring approximately 8 feet (2.4 m) by 14 feet (4.3 m), is installed in the Texas Senate chamber of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. His critics called him a coward, but Houston felt he would only get one shot at defeating the much-larger Mexican army and preferred to pick the time and place for battle. Fought along the San Jacinto River, near the site of what was to be the city of Houston, the battle ensured the success of American settlers in the Texas Revolution (War of Texas Independence). As soon as the Mexicans realized an attack was coming, Houston ordered the cannons to fire (he had two of them, called the “twin sisters”) and the cavalry and infantry to charge. Native Americans (Used twice) 28. General Sam Houston, sensing Santa Anna's mistake, engaged him on the shores of the San Jacinto River. Commanders. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, ​was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. The worst part of the slaughter was at the edges of the Bayou, where fleeing Mexicans found themselves cornered. Every kid who has gone through elementary school in or around Houston has been to the San Jacinto Monument on a field trip (and skinned a knee going down the stairs of the Battleship Texas, the WWI and II era ship which some kids mistakenly thought helped Sam Houston win the battle of San Jacinto). The Texan Army was made up of many native-born Mexicans, some of whom were killed at the Alamo. The Battle of San Jacinto is commemorated by Texans because it resulted in the surrender of-----Santa Anna. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. In the wake of the Alamo debacle, with Mexican forces approaching, Houston and the troops under his command at Gonzales began an organized... San Jacinto Monument, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, LaPorte, Texas, U.S. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. On March 13, 1836, the revolutionary army at Gonzales began to retreat eastward. General Sam Houston led a force of about 900 Texans against General Antonio Santa Anna and slightly larger Mexican force. Go. From their crude pallets the boys sprang up as if for a joyous holiday. His reluctance to attack Santa Anna's unified force and his refusal to let the captured dictator be executed are two good examples. Louis Wiltz Kemp was a noted historian and writer, an expert on the Battle of San Jacinto and instrumental in establishment of the San Jacinto Park and Museum.He served as vice-president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association when this booklet, an autographed copy in possession of the author, was written in 1947. Nicaragua 10 Cordobas Banknote, Year 2007 – Face and Back 10 cordobas, Nicaragua, featuring Hacienda San Jacinto, series A 2007 banknote, back. The Battle of San Jacinto – Texas History. Questions or concerns? Painting that depicts the surrender of Mexican General Santa Anna to Texan Sam Houston after the Battle of San Jacinto. Mexican politicians made great plans to get Texas back, but deep down they knew it was gone. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Brands, H.W. The battle was a rout, as hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured. The Mexican army retreated, effectively ending the only realistic chance they ever had of re-taking Texas. Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.com with greater speed and efficiency than has traditionally been possible. His mounted troops rode around the Mexican flanks while the Texan battle line moved quickly and quietly directly across the open prairie. Mexican President/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched north with a massive army to put down the rebellion. Today, there is a monument at the San Jacinto battlefield, not far from the city of Houston. detail from 10 cordobas 2007 banknote, Nicaragua, inscription “Hacienda San Jacinto” The Hacienda may look small on the outside, but it is big on the inside, and looms bigger still in history, for here a giant was stopped. Houston set up camp nearby. The Battle of San Jacinto proved to be the decisive engagement of the Texas Revolution and effectively secured independence for the Republic of Texas. The troops were becoming increasingly impatient, however, by the time they reached Buffalo Bayou, a few miles southeast of present-day Houston. About 500 Mexican reinforcements arrived. San Jacinto Day is a day of state pride for Texans in the United States on April 21 each year. In April of 1836, Santa Anna learned that Houston was moving east. Many were asleep and almost none were in defensive position. Santa Anna set up camp on April 19, 1836, in a marshy area bordered by the San Jacinto River, Buffalo Bayou and a lake. This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. the decision to take some to time to improve his troops. The United States would go on to acquire not only the Republic of Texas in 1845 but Mexican lands to the west after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War in 1848. This was followed by the Goliad Massacre, in which some 350 rebellious Texan prisoners were executed. The Mexicans did not flinch and before long, the horsemen were trapped, forcing the rest of the Texan army to briefly attack to allow them to escape. The county's name comes from the Battle of San Jacinto which secured Texas' independence from Mexico and established a … Photograph of the Survivors of the Battle of San Jacinto, at a meeting of the Texas Veterans' Association at Galveston c. 1880. Battle of San Jacinto, (April 21, 1836), defeat of a Mexican army of about 1,200–1,300 men under Antonio López de Santa Anna by about 900 men (mostly recent American arrivals in Texas) led by Gen. Sam Houston. The troops under Cos were particularly tired. Let us know. Part of the Texas Revolution of 183536, it was fought between a Mexican army led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna and the Texian force of Sam Houston. Santa Anna, on the other hand, split his force, sending some units to secure his long supply line while others sought to capture the provisional Texan government. After the battle, many of the victorious Texans clamored for the execution of General Santa Anna. December 29, 2020. The battle of San Jacinto was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution. James Fanin. Citizens of the new Republic of Texas responded to the destruction of the Alamo and massacre of the unarmed Texans captured at Goliad with outrage. He divided his army in three: one part went on a failed attempt to capture the provisional government, another remained to protect his supply lines, and the third, which he commanded himself, went after Houston and his army. His decisions were consistently proven wise. Following Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, the newly formed Republic of Mexico encouraged American immigrants to settle in Texas, which was part of the Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas. Cassidy. Updates? The battle took place on April 21, 1836 near the modern town of La Porte, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston. He personally led the remaining 600 men after Houston. Sam Houston’s picture is a photograph by Elwood M. Payne, of an etching made from a daguerreotype in the San Jacinto Museum of History. Nine of Houston’s men had been killed or mortally wounded, and about 30 wounded less seriously, in this heavily lopsided victory. Go. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Battle of San Jacinto (Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series Book 3). Eighteen minutes was all it took for Houston’s troops to take control of the Mexican camp. In addition, Santa Anna's generals had the strength to defeat the Texans: had Santa Anna been executed, they likely would have kept fighting. Following the fall of the Alamo and the Texan’s defeat at Goliad, Sam Houston deliberately let himself run out of territory at San Jacinto. The Texans had just suffered two huge losses at the Alamo and Goliad and were on the run. Lone Star Nation: the Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence. to protect settlers from Mexican soldiers. 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