Saturday, December 12, 2015

Texas Army's Route from Cypress to San Jacinto, April 17 - April 21, 1836

Previous Page Texas Army's Route from San Felipe to Cypress, TX, March 27 - April 16, 1836
San Jacinto Monument
The Texas Army left camp at the Matthew Burnett homesite in Cypress, Texas, and began their five day march toward Lynchburg's Ferry and the Battle of San Jacinto.

During this period of time the Texas Army would march 42 miles from Matthew Burnett's homesite and meet the Mexican Army on the grassy plains of San Jacinto near Lynchburg Ferry.


Map of Day Trip:

April 17, 1836

Camp at White Oak Bayou

On this date, the Texas Army broke camp at Matthew Burnett's homesite and began their march toward Harrisburg. The army marched nearly 20 miles and camped somewhere along the north bank of White Oak Bayou. According to some records, the army camped close to the present day Heights area of Houston. There are no markers to commemorate the site.

The Mexican Army arrived at the outskirts of Harrisburg, TX late on April 15th. They were in hopes of capturing President Burnet and his cabinet in Harrisburg. However, the president and cabinet had escaped and made their way to New Washington (present-day Morgans Point). The Mexican Army remained in Harrisburg until April 17th. When they evacuated the city, Santa Anna gave the order to burn the town. The army then marched toward New Washington.

April 18, 1836

Camp at Buffalo Bayou opposite Harrisburg

Since leaving Gonzales on March 13th the Texas Army had marched 200 miles. They marched approximately 6 miles on this date and reached the opposite bank of Buffalo Bayou at Harrisburg around noon. They found the charred remains of the town that had been burned the day before by the Mexican Army.

Historical Marker Text: Early Texas port and trading post. Site of state's first steam saw, grist mills and railroad terminal. Town founded, 1826, by John R. Harris, who was first settler in 1823. Became shipping center for early colonies, established when Texas was part of Mexico, with boats carrying cargo to and from Texas ports and points in the United States and Mexico. Became the seat of government of the Republic of Texas, March 22 - April 13, 1836, when David G. Burnet, President of the ad interim government and several of his cabinet resided near here in the home of Mrs. Jane Harris (site marked), widow of town founder. Here President Burnet adopted the flag for the Texas Navy. In 1835, local resident, Mrs. Sarah Dodson, had made here the first tri-color lone star flag. General Santa Anna attacked the town with 750 Mexican soldiers on April 16 attempting to capture Burnet and his cabinet. The whole town was burned. After Texas gained its independence at nearby San Jacinto, the town was rebuilt and again thrived. The Buffalo, Bayou, Brazos and Colorado, first railroad in Texas began here in 1852 and by the Civil War made the town a Confederate rail center. Became a part of Houston, by annexation, in 1926.

This Marker is located at the 8100 block of Lawndale at Frio in front of Frost Bank.

Texan Capture of Mexican Dispatches

Historical Marker Text: After the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, Gen. Sam Houston led the Texan Army in retreat from Gonzales. The Mexican army under Gen. Santa Anna followed eastward from San Antonio. On April 14, while Houston's army was north of him, Santa Anna led a division of his army from the Brazos River near present Richmond to Harrisburg. He crossed present southwest Harris County, then an uninhabited prairie, and reached Harrisburg (12 miles east of this site) on April 15. The Mexicans burned Harrisburg on April 17 and continued marching east.

Houston's army, arriving at Buffalo Bayou opposite Harrisburg on April 18, found the town in ruins, but did not know the whereabouts of the Mexican army. That day, Texan scouts led by Erastus "Deaf" Smith captured three Mexicans, including Capt. Miguel Bachiller, a courier, and a guide in this vicinity. The prisoners and their dispatches revealed the location, size, and plans of the Mexican army. With this vital intelligence, Houston intercepted Santa Anna's March on April 20 and defeated his division with a surprise attack on April 21 at the San Jacinto River. The Battle of San Jacinto ended the Texas Revolution and secured the independent Republic of Texas.
 This marker is located at North 2nd Street and Bellaire Boulevard in Bellaire, TX.

It's worth noting that the captured dispatches were contained in a satchel previously owned by William Barret Travis. The information contained in these documents was vital to Sam Houston. They indicated the plans and location of Santa Anna's army, and that the Mexicans were not currently aware of the Texas Army's location.

April 19, 1836

Camp at Harrisburg, TX

The Texas Army made preparations to cross Buffalo Bayou about two miles below Harrisburg near Sims' Bayou. The flooring from Isaac Batterson's home was used to build rafts to ferry the army and supplies across the rain-swollen Buffalo Bayou. The crossing took all day. Once across, they began their march toward Lynch's Ferry (present-day Lynchburg Ferry located next to San Jacinto Battle Field). The army marched until two o'clock a.m. and was within 2 1/2 miles of Lynch's Ferry.

Near Site of Isaac Batterson Home

Historical Marker Text: Famed for its part in winning the War for Texas Independence, the flooring of this house was, on April 19, 1836, appropriated by General Sam Houston to build rafts to ferry his army across rain-swollen Buffalo Bayou. Although 248 soldiers, most of whom were ill, remained at the Batterson place, Houston's army was victorious in the Battle of San Jacinto two days later. This land, originally part of the Ezekiel Thomas Estate, was purchased in 1835 by Batterson. The settlement he started (now Galena Park) he named "Clinton" for his former home in New York. This marker is located in front of the City Hall of Galena Park, TX.

Monument Text: 3000 ft. north at this site the Texas army under command of General Sam Houston crossed Buffalo Bayou on April 19, 1836 on a raft built from Isaac Batterson's house and began the march which terminated with the victory at San Jacinto April 21, 1836.

Monument located on the north side of Lawndale St. in front of the Lyondell Basell Refinery. This is 1.6 miles west of the Richey Road intersection.

The Mexican Army was located 18 miles east of Harrisburg at New Washington. While in there, Santa Anna seized Emily West and other black servants. Miss West was the indentured servant of Colonel James Morgan. Emily was forced to accompany the Mexican army. With regard to the Yellow Rose legend, she may have been in Santa Anna's tent when the Texans charged the Mexican camp on April 21, but it was not by choice.

April 20, 1836

Camp at San Jacinto

By 10:00 a.m. Sam Houston moved his troops into a small grove of live oaks adjacent to Buffalo Bayou and made camp. They knew that the Mexican Army was close by because they could see the smoke of New Washington burning in the distance. The army waits here and sends out scouts to find the Mexican Army.

After Santa Anna had learned of the location of the Texas Army at 8:00 a.m. that morning, he assembled his army and left New Washington in flames, and began marching toward Lynch's Ferry. After a 9 mile march they arrived at the ranch of widow Margaret (Peggy) McCormick near the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou. By 11:30 a.m. Mexican scouts made an appearance on the open grassy plain in front of the Texans position. The Texans responded with a volley from the Twin Sisters which resulted in the scouts' hasty retreat. Shortly thereafter, the Mexicans wheeled their canon known as the Golden Standard onto the battlefield and began exchanging fire with the Texans. After several volleys the Texans drew first blood. They wounded a Captain and killed two mules and one horse. Several skirmishes took place during this time resulting in the wounding of several Texans. Eventually, the Mexicans withdrew the Golden Standard, and their Infantryman from the battlefield.

April 21, 1836

Vince's Bridge

On the morning of April 21st the Texas Army burned Vince's Bridge. Historians have debated the location of the bridge, and who gave the order. Some say that the bridge was located over the much larger Sims Bayou rather than the smaller Vince Bayou. The bridge was supposedly burned to either prevent additional Mexican reinforcements reaching the area or to hamper the escape of the Mexicans. Regardless of the reason, both armies faced the same repercussions of the act. Neither army could retreat across the bridge, and neither could receive reinforcements.

Historical Monument Text: Site of "Vince's Bridge" destroyed by military permission April 21, 1836 by Deaf Smith, John Coker, Denmore Reves, John Garner, John Rainwater, Moses Lapham, Y. P. Alsbury. This heroic deed is believed to have insured the capture of Santa Anna.

The Vince's Bridge Historical Monument is located on North Richey St. just across the small bridge on the north bank of Vince Bayou. The photo of the monument was taken from the north bank looking south.

Battle of San Jacinto

At 3:30 p.m. General Sam Houston gave the order to assemble the troops. Within half an hour the troops were formed into four divisions in front of the small grove of live oaks. The Texans Army was approximately 930 men strong and anxious to fight. At 4:00 p.m. the troops were ordered, "Trail arms! Forward!". The army proceeded silently and was concealed from the Mexican Army by a small ridge located at the present-day location of the San Jacinto Monument. Shortly thereafter, the 2nd Regiment drew the first blood, and the Battle of San Jacinto began.

The Santa Anna's Army had been reinforced with 500 troops around 9:00 a.m. that morning. These reinforcements had not slept or eaten in twenty-four hours as a result of their forced march. The Mexican Army now numbered approximately 1,360 troops. When the battle began, many of the troops were asleep, and the rest were relaxing.

With cries of "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember La Bahia!" the Texans overpowered and defeated the Mexican Army in 18 minutes. The Mexicans had 630 killed, 208 wounded and 730 captured, whereas the Texans had only 9 killed and 30 wounded. The following day Santa Anna was captured, and terms and conditions for the withdrawal of the Mexican Army were drawn up.

Historical Markers near San Jacinto

Note: The Historical Markers and Monuments located south of the San Jacinto Battle Field on Independence Parkway are not in the proper historical location. They were erected in 1936 during the centennial year and coinciding with the construction of the San Jacinto Monument.

Monument with a relief carving of "The Surrender of Santa Anna" reproduction of William Henry Huddle 1886 painting. This monument marks the spot of this famous event. Located at San Jacinto on the banks of Buffalo Bayou and campsite of the Texas Army.

Text on the opposite side of the monument: Beneath an oak tree that grew on this site General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna President and Dictator of the Republic of Mexico was brought a captive April 22, 1836 before General Sam Houston Commander in Chief of the Army of Texas who had been painfully wounded on the day previous in the Battle of San Jacinto. Known to have been among the captors of Santa Anna were James Austin Sylvester, Joel Walter Robinson, Joseph D. Vermillion, Alfred H. Miles, David Cole.

Monument Text: Texas Army Attacked in Four Divisions - The Cavalry on the right, commanded by Mirabeau B. Lamar; next, the Infantry under Lieutenant Colonel Henry Millard and the "Twin Sisters" cannon under Colonel George W. Hockley; the 1st Regiment in the center under Colonel Edward Burleson; the 2nd Regiment, the left-wing, under Colonel Sidney Sherman.

This monument is located on the west side of Independence Parkway 0.75 miles north of SH 225.

Historical Marker Text: Battle of San Jacinto - At mid-afternoon April 21, 1836, two miles to the north, General Sam Houston with about 1,000 Texans in 18 minutes annihilated the 1,400-man army of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of Mexico. Screened by trees and rising ground, Houston's men formed with Edward Burleson's regiment at the center, Sidney Sherman's on the left-wing, artillery under George W. Hockley on Burleson's right, the infantry under Henry Millard on the right of the artillery. Under M. B. Lamar, a future president of Texas, the cavalry took the extreme right, to cut off a possible flight of Mexican troops. Their 4-piece band playing a popular love song, Will You Come to the Bower, the Texans attacked at a run, crying, Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Such was their fury that 630 of the enemy were killed, 730 captured. enemy lead shattered Gen. Houston's ankle, but he lost only 9 men killed or mortally wounded and 30 wounded less seriously. San Jacinto stands as one of the world's greatest victories It gave Texas independence, and with her annexation 9 years later brought into the Union all or parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Monument Text: The Mexican Cavalry was on the left-wing, Infantry, and Artillery in the center behind a fortification of boxes and baggage, while the extreme right was far extended.

This monument is located on the east side of Independence Parkway 1.3 miles north of SH 225.

1 comment:

  1. According to James Michener's novel, Texas,there ensued a debate in the Texian camp that morning. It's possible that General Houston, usually drunk until noon, opposed the charge when he awoke and favored further retreat. He was overruled by the other leaders.