The Battle Of San Jacinto Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

The Battle of San Jacinto was the most decisive engagement of the Texas Revolution. The battle pitted the two top commanders of the opposing forces, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna from the Mexican forces and General Sam Houston of the Texans. The Texans were outnumbered nearly two to one, following a gallant battle at the Alamo mission. With the retreat of the Texans the Texas government had to move its home base from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Galveston. The upcoming battle near the San Jacinto River would prove to be either a victory or a defeat for the Texans in the Revolution.
In April of 1934 Santa Anna ousted Gomez Faias, and took control of the Mexican government. In a year Santa Anna had voided the earlier 1824 constitution and had replaced the Mexican Congress with his own appointed officials, who would agree with Santa Anna in all of his decisions, and he had established for himself a military tyrant rule. Santa Anna was referred to as the “Napoleon of the West” because of his military tyrant-like rule. Stephan Austin declared a call to arms on September 19, 1935. The first bloodshed came at the Battle of Gonzales on October 2 of that same year.
Santa Anna’s army moved forward into Texas during the winter, unexpected by the Texans who were ill prepared to face the Mexican Army at that time. Around 182 men decided to stay at the Alamo fortress to delay the Mexican Armies advance into the Texan’s soil. James “Jim” Bowie, William Barret “Buck” Travis, and Davy Crockett were among the most famous and influential individuals at the Alamo. Jim Bowie and Buck Travis assumed co-command of the men while Davy Crockett wanted to be considered as a “high” private. “The Mexican Army regarded these men as foreigners, but the colonists saw the Mexicans as invaders, and by the often unhappy logic of history, both parties were correct,” as T. R. Fehrenbach states, on page 191, in his novel, Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans. Many of the men at the Alamo were also Tennessians and Kentuckians, and not one of them was willing to retreat. Santa Anna laid siege for ten days, then on the eleventh day decided to advance and capture the Alamo. On March 6, 1836 Santa Anna initiated the attack. The first two waves were beaten off, and then the third wave finally reached the interior of the compound. As the Mexican Army came over the walls they were engaged in the most savage hand-to-hand combat they had ever seen. T. R. Fehenbach states on page 213, “The Texans had no bayonets, but by Mexican standards they were enormous men, towering a head or higher or more. They smashed, butted, used tomahawks and knives.” The Texans no longer were fighting to win, but were instead fighting to kill as many Mexican soldiers as they could, and died surrounded by the ones they had killed. After five hours the Alamo was taken and all the defenders killed except Mrs. Dickerson, the wife of a Texan lieutenant, her servant, and several Mexican women and children. The...

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