On 20 April, the two armies met in a low area of marshland and bayous near the San Jacinto River. Houston set up camp nearby. The final toll for the Texans: nine dead and 30 wounded, including Sam Houston, who had been shot in the ankle. He defeated the Texans at the legendary Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Santa Anna’s defense collapsed as panicked Mexicans tried to flee the cavalry across the marshes. History lends events such as the independence of Texas a certain feeling of inevitability as if it was always the destiny of Texas to become first independent and then a state in the USA. Updated March 24, 2019. Santa Anna was disgraced but would make yet another comeback in Mexican politics during the Pastry War against France in 1838-1839. Native Americans (Used twice) 28. _____ 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. They were within 200 yards (183 m) of the Mexican camp when discovered. The angry Texans swarmed into the enemy camp, shouting “Remember Goliad!” and “Remember the Alamo!” After about 20 minutes, all organized resistance failed. 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. The park is located in La Porte, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of downtown Houston. The Mexicans were taken completely unawares. Santa Anna dictated orders to his generals: they were to leave Texas at once. Santa Anna attempted unsuccessfully to probe the Texan position, and there was an exchange of artillery fire. "Presented for publication by … 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. 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). General Sam Houston, sensing Santa Anna's mistake, engaged him on the shores of the San Jacinto River. ... 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The battle of San Jacinto was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution. General Sam Houston, sensing Santa Anna's mistake, engaged him on the shores of the San Jacinto River. Nicaragua 10 Cordobas Banknote, Year 2007 – Face and Back 10 cordobas, Nicaragua, featuring Hacienda San Jacinto, series A 2007 banknote, back. In either case, history would be much different today. What was the main reason that the new nation of Texas was in Debt? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The Mexican army retreated, effectively ending the only realistic chance they ever had of re-taking Texas. San Jacinto Battlefield is a National Historic Landmark. The siege of the----- took place during the Revolutionary Era in Texas History. The Battle of San Jacinto lasted less than twenty minutes, but it sealed the fate of three republics. 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. Questions or concerns? 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. Mexican 14. Commanders. 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. 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. 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!" Learn how Sam Houston turned a steady retreat into a surprise attack, and certain defeat into sudden victory at San Jacinto. 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. The Mexicans were thoroughly routed, and hundreds were taken prisoner, including General Santa Anna himself. 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. 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). 13. The Battle of San Jacinto was an important battle in the Texas Revolution (1835-1836). San Jacinto 27. 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 … He correctly surmised that Santa Anna was worth much more alive than dead. San Jacinto was Houston's finest hour. After an eighteen-minute fight, the remaining Mexicans surrendered, but Santa Anna slipped away in a private’s uniform. 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. Many of Santa Anna’s best officers fell early and loss of leadership made the rout even worse. When Houston didn’t attack at first light, Santa Anna assumed he would not attack that day and the Mexicans rested. Cassidy. An account of the Battle of San Jacinto written by Sam Houston and sent to David G. Burnett, President of the Republic of Texas. In April of 1836, Santa Anna learned that Houston was moving east. The Texans wanted to fight and several junior officers tried to convince Houston to attack. 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. Santa Anna chased the fleeing Texans, alienating many with his policies of driving off Anglo settlers and destroying their homesteads. Tensions had long been simmering between rebellious Texans and Mexico. 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. 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. 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. Photograph of the Survivors of the Battle of San Jacinto, at a meeting of the Texas Veterans' Association at Galveston c. 1880. The Battle of Concepcion of the Texas Revolution, The Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto between the Texan army and Mexican forces, which took place on April 21, 1836. 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). Nine of Houston’s men had been killed or mortally wounded, and about 30 wounded less seriously, in this heavily lopsided victory. Santa Anna himself was captured and forced to sign a treaty, effectively ending the war. 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. 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. The Battle of San Jacinto. Somewhat amazingly, Santa Anna's generals did as they were told and retreated out of Texas with their armies. The Battle of San Jacinto is commemorated by Texans because it resulted in the surrender of-----Santa Anna. The Texans fired at close range and rolled over the hasty Mexican breastworks. 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. Meanwhile, Mexican General Santa Anna marched his army to crush the Texan rebels. 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 Battle of San Jacinto refers to at least two paintings by Henry Arthur McArdle, depicting the Battle of San Jacinto. Manifest Destiny 13. 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. Mexican politicians made great plans to get Texas back, but deep down they knew it was gone. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. 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. It was a humiliating defeat and for years. In addition, Santa Anna's generals had the strength to defeat the Texans: had Santa Anna been executed, they likely would have kept fighting. Omissions? 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. Many Mexicans tried to surrender, saying “me no La Bahía (Goliad), me no Alamo,” but it was no use. The battle took place on April 21, 1836 near the modern town of La Porte, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston. 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. A Texan council of war, in the meantime, voted to attack, and Houston launched his 900 Texans in a risky assault that afternoon. 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 significance of this short battle cannot be overestimated. From their crude pallets the boys sprang up as if for a joyous holiday. After the Alamo and Goliad, panicked Texans fled east, fearing for their lives. This was followed by the Goliad Massacre, in which some 350 rebellious Texan prisoners were executed. Thickly forested with oak trees and dotted with marshes, it was alien territory to the Mexicans, but not to the Texans. the decision to take some to time to improve his troops. In the meantime, more information about the article and the author can be found by clicking on the author’s name. 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. The Mexican government offered settlers from the United States land at cheap prices. December 7, 2020. Texas Revolution: 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. 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. With his 918 troops, Sam Houston set up camp with his back to the river and the bayou. Updates? 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. What decision by Sam Houston paid off at the Battle of San Jacinto? San Jacinto Day is a day of state pride for Texans in the United States on April 21 each year. The Texan Army was made up of many native-born Mexicans, some of whom were killed at the Alamo. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. On March 13, 1836, the revolutionary army at Gonzales began to retreat eastward. Center row, second from left: Valentine Burch. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resul… 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. 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. But every effort was doomed to failure. Did Davy Crockett Die in Battle at the Alamo? Mexican President/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched north with a massive army to put down the rebellion. Santa Anna set up camp on April 19, 1836, in a marshy area bordered by the San Jacinto River, Buffalo Bayou and a lake. Panicked Mexicans tried to flee only to find themselves trapped by the river or bayou. Painting that depicts the surrender of Mexican General Santa Anna to Texan Sam Houston after the Battle of San Jacinto. Raymond K. Bluhm Jr. is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and military historian, author, and former professor of American History. At that moment, Houston’s artillery opened fire, and the Texan infantry charged. When Houston learned what Santa Anna had done, he knew the time was right and turned to meet the Mexicans. 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. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. His reluctance to attack Santa Anna's unified force and his refusal to let the captured dictator be executed are two good examples. James Fanin. Many were asleep and almost none were in defensive position. His mounted troops rode around the Mexican flanks while the Texan battle line moved quickly and quietly directly across the open prairie. His decisions were consistently proven wise. The county's name comes from the Battle of San Jacinto which secured Texas' independence from Mexico and established a … Today, there is a monument at the San Jacinto battlefield, not far from the city of Houston. The battle was a turning point for Texas' independence from Mexico. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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. The troops were becoming increasingly impatient, however, by the time they reached Buffalo Bayou, a few miles southeast of present-day Houston. Texas was gone, soon to be followed by California, New Mexico, and much more Mexican territory. This 1,200-acre park includes the towering San Jacinto Monument and the San Jacinto Museum of … Houston wisely refrained. 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. Three signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence were Mexican Texans. The Battle of San Jacinto was not a battle against the Mexican people. The battle was a rout, as hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured. Cover title. Frontispiece “Battle of San Jacinto” is a photograph of a painting by Henry A. McArdle. Sam Houston and the meager army of Texans retreated eastward following the fall of the Alamo in the spring of 1836. Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? (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.). 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. Losses: Mexican, 630 dead, 208 wounded, 730 captured; Texan, 9 dead, 30 wounded. Which Texas leader surrendered and was executed along with his soldiers because of his defense of Goliad at the battle of Coleto Creek? 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. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, ​was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. 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. 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. It was to be a great day for Texas. Volunteer companies rushed to join General Samuel Houston’s growing Texas army. The Texans, still enraged over the massacres at the Alamo and Goliad, showed little pity for the Mexicans. Three Mexican states joined Texas in the revolt against the dictatorship of Santa Anna. 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. The troops under Cos were particularly tired. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. 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. 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. 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. General Sam Houston led a force of about 900 Texans against General Antonio Santa Anna and slightly larger Mexican force. Center row, third from left: Valentine Ignatius Burch of Tyler County, Texas. Why did Texans attack a Mexican fort at Goliad? Image: Sam Houston. He also signed documents recognizing the independence of Texas and ending the war. On the following day, April 21, Santa Anna received some 500 reinforcements under the command of General Martín Perfecto de Cos. When no attack followed in the morning, the Mexican troops relaxed even further. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Had Santa Anna not split his forces, Houston's army may well have been beaten by the Mexicans' superior numbers. The Battle of San Jacinto – Texas History. December 29, 2020. 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. Merchants 21. Santa Anna had set up camp on the San Jacinto Prairie (now in Harris County) with roughly 700 men. About 500 Mexican reinforcements arrived. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Battle of San Jacinto (Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series Book 3). The morning of April 21 dawned bright and crisp. San Jacinto, Battle of. Houston arrived with about 1,400, settling down some 500 yards away. 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. 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. 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. 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. The Mexican pursuit of Houston was three-pronged, and though…. As it was, the Mexicans' crushing defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto proved decisive for Texas. The worst part of the slaughter was at the edges of the Bayou, where fleeing Mexicans found themselves cornered. 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