Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In Honor of Texas Independence Day...

...I'm posting about our trip last weekend to San Jacinto, where Texas won its independence.

This is a photo I took of the San Jacinto monument. The battle of San Jacinto is where Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. About 10 years later, it would become the 28th state in the Union. This would lead to the Mexican War (1846-1848) which resulted in the acquisition of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado.

On April 20th, General Sam Houston chose this area, where the Buffalo Bayou meets the San Jacinto River, to fight Santa Anna. Hours later, Santa Anna and his troops arrived. The next morning, another Mexican general arrived with 500 troops. Houston ordered a bridge destroyed to prevent more Mexican reinforcements, but this also isolated Houston's troops from additional troops, too. (Photo: Alex at the San Jacinto monument.)

Houston decided to attack that afternoon. The Texans charged across the prairie separating them from the Mexicans, but they were not seen as they were screened by trees and the rise of the ground between the two enemies. (Photo: Alex & I on nature walk near monument.)

The Mexican army wasn't expecting to fight until the following day. They had not posted sentries and were caught off guard. The Texans swarmed into the Mexican camp with cries of "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad." (Photo from top of monument showing the river.)

The Mexicans never implemented their battle plan and the battle ended in only 18 minutes. About 600 Mexican troops were killed while only nine Texans died in the battle. (Photo from top of monument. You can see the Houston skyline a little left of center.)

"General Santa Anna was captured the next day and forced to sign a treaty that recognized Texas independence and opened the gateways for America's continuing westward expansion." (Quote from San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site brochure printed by Texas Parks and Wildlife. I also used information from this brochure to write this post.)  (Photo of top of monument.)
This is a photo from one side of the monument. It begins, Texas declared her independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos March 2. For nearly two months her armies met disaster and defeat."

Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas won here led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the aquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed soverignty.


Robin said...

Well, our country certainly wouldn't be the same if that battle had gone differently, now would it?
Very cool info. Happy Independence Day!

lahbluebonnet said...

We visited there in 2005! My kids wrote a comparison contrast research paper on Texas Independence and the American Revolution. There are some similarities between the Battle of San Jacinto and the Battle of Yorktown!

lahbluebonnet said...

I can appreciate places like this so much more after being to Boston and having to imagine Bunker Hill as it was 200+ years ago, now that it is engulfed by the city. When we were at San Jacinto, I really got a feel for the battle. Of course part of the story with battles is geography and it's nice to still see the geography there!

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