The Campaign of San Jacinto

Few American military victories have been more lopsided, and more unlikely, than the victory of the Texan forces over the army of Santa Anna, dictator of Mexico, on April 21, 1836.

To crush the insurgent Texans, Santa Anna had assembled a force of 6000 men, far outnumbering any conceivable force that the Texans could bring against him.  After taking the Alamo at San Antonio and putting all the defenders to the sword on March 6, his right wing under General Urrea briefly engaged and caused the surrender of approximately 350 Texan volunteers under James Fannin.  The Texans surrendered.  Santa Anna ordered the execution of the Texan prisoners, an order which General Urrea initially resisted carrying out since it violated the terms under which the Texans had surrendered.  Santa Anna confirmed the order and the reluctant Urrea had the prisoners massacred on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836.

General Sam Houston, commanding the rag tag militia and volunteers which made up the Army of Texas, slowly retreated east towards the Sabine River in the face of the overwhelming Mexican force, gathering reinforcements as he went.  Terrified Texan civilians engaged in a mass exodus away from the Mexican forces.  Houston was condemned by the civilians, the President of Texas and many members of his army as a coward who would not fight, but Houston would not risk a battle until he thought he had at least a slim chance to prevail. (more…)

Published in: on June 6, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Campaign of San Jacinto  
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