After the massacres at the Alamo and Goliad, the Texas Army, led by General Sam Houston, began a retreat east across Texas that would be known as the Runaway Scrape. While Houston came into the Harris County area on a northern route, bringing them to Spring Creek (where Lisa & grew up), Santa Anna led his Army on the southern route – crossing the Brazos River at Richmond and burning the town, Harrisburg.
Houston made a fateful decision to turn south, crossing White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou, camping his Army in a small wooded area where the Bayou meets the San Jacinto River. Santa Anna and his 1200 troops lay less than a mile away on the other side of a slight rise.
April 21, at 3:30 p.m., Houston ordered the attack, surprising the Mexicans during their afternoon siesta. Shouting “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” the 910 Texans soundly defeated the Mexican Army in an 18-minute battle, killing 630 and capturing another 730 men. Only 9 Texans were killed or mortally wounded.
For a firsthand account of the battle, read the original copy of Sam Houston’s report on the Battle of San Jacinto held at the Texas State Library & Archives.
The battle took place on privately-owned land which was purchased sometime in the 1890s by the State of Texas and opened as a State Park. The San Jacinto Monument, constructed between 1936-1939, is the world’s tallest war memorial and is 15 feet taller than the Washington monument.
I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and follow my links to the Archives, Battleground, and Monument to read and learn more about this preeminent day in Texas History.