THE TEXAS REVOLUTION
Perhaps no other state has a history with a more telling story than Texas. Six different flags were flown over this land in the 1500s when Spain was the first European country to colonize the region. From the autumn of 1835 to the spring of 1836, the Texas army fought fierce battles against Mexico, including the famous battle at the Alamo in San Antonio.
Just a few weeks later, on a marshy plain to the southeast of San Jacinto that would soon become the city of Houston, Mexican troops led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna were defeated by Texas troops led by General Sam Houston. The victory paved the way for the independence of Texas and established the future state as an independent republic.
The Texas Independence Trail traces the struggle for Lone Star independence in Southeast Texas. There are dozens of important sites that make up the mark, but three stand out above the rest as pivotal places for independence.
Washington on Brazos – Birthplace of Texas
On March 2, 1836, representatives of Texas settlements saw the Brazos and Navasota Rivers in a hall in the small town of Washington. It was here that 59 delegates drafted and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and created a constitution for a new republic.
Today, the Brazos State Historic Site includes the 293-acre Star of the Republic Museum in Washington, Barrington Living History Farm, the Fanthorpe Inn State Historical Site (a 19th-century stagecoach inn), and Independence Hall. The park grounds along Brazos provide a perfect setting for picnics and sightseeing.
Just as Texas representatives were meeting to declare their independence from Mexico, soldiers at the Alamo in San Antonio were fighting for their lives against the Mexican army. Santa Anna arrived in San Antonio on February 23 and began a 13-day siege of the Alamo Mission
. The small contingent of Texas soldiers, including the iconic figure Davy Crockett, stayed out for as long as they could. On March 6, Mexican forces captured the mission’s walls and killed about 100 Texas soldiers defending the Alamo.
Today, visitors to the Alamo can fully experience exhibits on the Texas Revolution and Texas history as well as stroll through the mission’s gardens.
San Jacinto Monument and Museum – Where Independence Was Gained
After defeats at Goliad, the Alamo, and other points throughout the region, the defenders of Texas were upset and upset by the onslaught of Mexican forces. General Sam Houston gathered his troops near the confluence of the San Jacinto River, and Buffalo Bayou and General Santa Anna moved their forces east to meet them.
On the afternoon of April 21, as Mexican forces were preparing to attack the next day, Houston and his army launched a surprise attack. The decisive battle lasted only 20 minutes and, in the end, Santa Anna was captured, ending the war.
Today, the obelisk of the San Jacinto Memorial and Museum of History stands above the battlefield and the Houston Ship Channel. The museum houses the largest collection of Texas art and artifacts, honoring both the war and the larger history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest. Visitors can also take a lift to the top of the nearly 570-foot monument for a fascinating view of the surrounding landscape.
The first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired at Gonzales in 1835, and Texas was annexed to the U.S. in 1845. was added to. This is the chronology that covers all the important dates between.
Battle of Gonzales October 2, 1835-
Although tensions had raged for years between the rebel Texans and Mexican officials, the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired in the city of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. The Mexican army was ordered to go to Gonzales and get a cannon there.
Instead, they were met by Texan rebels and a tense standoff broke out before a handful of Texans opened fire on the Mexicans, who swiftly withdrew. It was only a skirmish and only one Mexican soldier was killed, but it nonetheless marks the beginning of the war for Texas independence.
The Siege of San Antonio de Bexar October-December, 1835:
After the Battle of Gonzales, the rebellious Texans moved quickly to secure their gains before a large Mexican army arrived. Their main focus was San Antonio (then commonly known as Bexar), the largest city in the region.
Texan, Stephen F. Austin, arrived in San Antonio in mid-October and laid siege to the city. In early December, he attacked, gaining control of the city on the ninth. The Mexican general, Martín Perfecto de Casas, surrendered and by 12 December all Mexican forces had left the city.
The Battle of Concepcion October 28, 1835:
On October 27, 1835, a division of rebellious Texans led by Jim Bowie and James Fannin, based at the Concepcion Mission outside San Antonio, then dug under siege. The Mexicans, seeing this isolated force, attacked them at dawn on the 28th. The Texans lowered to avoid Mexican cannon fire, and returned fire with their deadly long rifles. The Mexicans were forced to retreat to San Antonio, giving the rebels their first major victory.
The Texas Declaration of Independence March 2, 1836:
On March 1, 1836, representatives from all over Texas met in Washington-on-the-Brazos for Congress. That night, some of them hastily wrote the Declaration of Independence, which was unanimously approved the next day. Among the signers were Sam Houston and Thomas Rusk. In addition, three Tejano (Texas-born Mexican) representatives signed the document.
The Battle of the Alamo March 6, 1836:
After successfully capturing San Antonio in December, the rebellious Texans reinforced the old Alamo Mission, a fortress-like position in the center of the city. Ignoring General’s orders (Sam Houston, the defender remained at the Alamo as Santa Anna’s massive Mexican army laid siege and laid siege in February 1836. He attacked on March 6. The Alamo was over in less than two hours. Gone. All the defenders were killed including Davy Crockett, William Travis and Jim Bowie. After the fight, “Remember the Alamo!” became a rallying cry for the Texans.
The Goliad Massacre March 27, 1836:
After the bloody Battle of the Alamo, Mexican President/General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s army continued its harsh march across Texas. On March 19, about 350 Texans under the command of James Fannin were captured outside Goliad. On 27 March, almost all the prisoners (some surgeons were spared) were taken out and shot. Fanin was also executed, as the wounded could not walk. The Goliad Massacre, followed so closely on the heels of the Battle of the Alamo, seemed to turn the tide in favor of the Mexicans.
The Battle of San Jacinto April 21, 1836:
In early April, Santa Anna made a fatal mistake: He split his army in three. He left one part to defend his supply lines, sending another to try and hold Texas Congress and a third to try to clear the last pockets of resistance, most notably Sam Houston’s army of about 900 men. Houston captured Santa Anna on the San Jacinto River and the armies clashed for two days. Then, on the afternoon of April 21, Houston attacked suddenly and ruthlessly. The Mexicans were driven away. Santa Anna was captured alive and signed several papers at the Independence of Texas and ordered his generals out of the area. Although Mexico would seek to retake Texas in the future, San Jacinto essentially sealed Texas’ independence.