This was typical of Houston’s command. His reluctance to attack Santa Anna's unified force and his refusal to let the captured dictator be executed are two good examples. 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. Nicaragua 10 Cordobas Banknote, Year 2007 – Face and Back 10 cordobas, Nicaragua, featuring Hacienda San Jacinto, series A 2007 banknote, back. Many of Santa Anna’s best officers fell early and loss of leadership made the rout even worse. Houston wisely refrained. Santa Anna decided to rest his new and tired troops before attacking, but he failed to post sentries. Many were asleep and almost none were in defensive position. San Jacinto was Houston's finest hour. On the following day, April 21, Santa Anna received some 500 reinforcements under the command of General Martín Perfecto de Cos. The troops under Cos were particularly tired. 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. This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. 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. 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 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!" 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. The Battle of San Jacinto. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resul… Questions or concerns? 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. He defeated the Texans at the legendary Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Go. Panicked Mexicans tried to flee only to find themselves trapped by the river or bayou. 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). Manifest Destiny 13. The Texans had just suffered two huge losses at the Alamo and Goliad and were on the run. Cholera 12. 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. 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. But every effort was doomed to failure. When Houston didn’t attack at first light, Santa Anna assumed he would not attack that day and the Mexicans rested. At that moment, Houston’s artillery opened fire, and the Texan infantry charged. Mexico would futilely try for years to reclaim Texas, only finally relinquishing any claim to it after the Mexican-American War. This was followed by the Goliad Massacre, in which some 350 rebellious Texan prisoners were executed. Meanwhile, Mexican General Santa Anna marched his army to crush the Texan rebels. It was a humiliating defeat and for years. Houston avoided contact with the pursuing Mexican army until his Texas army gained strength and training. Let us know. 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. 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. Mexico would never regain the lost territory, in spite of sporadic incursions during the 1840s. Sherman rounded up about 60 horsemen and charged anyway. The Mexicans were thoroughly routed, and hundreds were taken prisoner, including General Santa Anna himself. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. When Houston learned what Santa Anna had done, he knew the time was right and turned to meet the Mexicans. "Presented for publication by … The Texans wanted to fight and several junior officers tried to convince Houston to attack. The final toll for the Texans: nine dead and 30 wounded, including Sam Houston, who had been shot in the ankle. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, ​was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. Santa Anna was disgraced but would make yet another comeback in Mexican politics during the Pastry War against France in 1838-1839. General Sam Houston, sensing Santa Anna's mistake, engaged him on the shores of the San Jacinto River. The battle was a turning point for Texas' independence from Mexico. Tensions had long been simmering between rebellious Texans and Mexico. Corrections? Omissions? Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Battle of San Jacinto (Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series Book 3). Updates? The troops were becoming increasingly impatient, however, by the time they reached Buffalo Bayou, a few miles southeast of present-day Houston. San Jacinto Day is a day of state pride for Texans in the United States on April 21 each year. 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 was a rout, as hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured. In one of the most one sided battles in history, the Texian soldiers crushed Santa Annas men in 18 minutes ensuring the succe… Losses: Mexican, 630 dead, 208 wounded, 730 captured; Texan, 9 dead, 30 wounded. Cover title. 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. 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. The decisive Battle of San Jacinto resulted in Texas’ independence from Mexico. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. The significance of this short battle cannot be overestimated. 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). San Jacinto, Battle of. 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. Which Texas leader surrendered and was executed along with his soldiers because of his defense of Goliad at the battle of Coleto Creek? 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. Santa Anna attempted unsuccessfully to probe the Texan position, and there was an exchange of artillery fire. 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. 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 Battle of San Jacinto was an important battle in the Texas Revolution (1835-1836). Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto. Did Davy Crockett Die in Battle at the Alamo? Meanwhile, Houston kept one step ahead of Santa Anna. 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. 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. 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. It was to be a great day for Texas. 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 Mexican pursuit of Houston was three-pronged, and though…. The county's name comes from the Battle of San Jacinto which secured Texas' independence from Mexico and established a … 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. Santa Anna’s defense collapsed as panicked Mexicans tried to flee the cavalry across the marshes. Commanders. Sam Houston and the meager army of Texans retreated eastward following the fall of the Alamo in the spring of 1836. Houston set up camp nearby. The Battle of Concepcion of the Texas Revolution, The Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution. The Texan Army was made up of many native-born Mexicans, some of whom were killed at the Alamo. The battle of San Jacinto was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. In addition, Santa Anna's generals had the strength to defeat the Texans: had Santa Anna been executed, they likely would have kept fighting. He correctly surmised that Santa Anna was worth much more alive than dead. What was the main reason that the new nation of Texas was in Debt? Santa Anna chased the fleeing Texans, alienating many with his policies of driving off Anglo settlers and destroying their homesteads. The Battle of San Jacinto is commemorated by Texans because it resulted in the surrender of-----Santa Anna. 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. James Fanin. Native Americans (Used twice) 28. After an eighteen-minute fight, the remaining Mexicans surrendered, but Santa Anna slipped away in a private’s uniform. 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. 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. 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. Thickly forested with oak trees and dotted with marshes, it was alien territory to the Mexicans, but not to the Texans. 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. Photograph of the Survivors of the Battle of San Jacinto, at a meeting of the Texas Veterans' Association at Galveston c. 1880. Raymond K. Bluhm Jr. is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and military historian, author, and former professor of American History. Brands, H.W. Front row, second from right: George Petty of Washington County. 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. The Texans, still enraged over the massacres at the Alamo and Goliad, showed little pity for the Mexicans. As it was, the Mexicans' crushing defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto proved decisive for Texas. 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. Mexican President/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched north with a massive army to put down the rebellion. The Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, was the defining battle of the Texas Revolution. Mexican 14. Merchants 21. Santa Anna set up camp on April 19, 1836, in a marshy area bordered by the San Jacinto River, Buffalo Bayou and a lake. Painting that depicts the surrender of Mexican General Santa Anna to Texan Sam Houston after the Battle of San Jacinto. His mounted troops rode around the Mexican flanks while the Texan battle line moved quickly and quietly directly across the open prairie. The Battle of San Jacinto was not a battle against the Mexican people. 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. When no attack followed in the morning, the Mexican troops relaxed even further. Why did Texans attack a Mexican fort at Goliad? 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. Lone Star Nation: the Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence. Shouted the Texian troops led by Gen. Sam Houston when they surprised the Mexican army that was camped here in 1836. 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