The Battle of San Jacinto was a pivotal conflict fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Houston, Texas, during the Texas Revolution.
It was the decisive fight of the revolution, a conflict between the Mexican government and American settlers in Texas who wanted independence. These settlers had moved to Texas from other states in the United States.
Both the Texan army, under the command of General Sam Houston, and the Mexican army, under the command of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, engaged in combat during the conflict.
The Texans were victorious, and the battle is regarded as one of the most important victories in military history because of their accomplishment.
It was successful in securing Texas’ independence from Mexico, which paved the way for the territory to be annexed by the United States in 1845, and also led to the capture of General Santa Anna as a result.
The engagement is commemorated in Texas on a yearly basis on April 21 as San Jacinto Day, which is a holiday observed statewide.
Battle of San Jacinto Facts
1. It took place close to the San Jacinto River
Because it took place close to the San Jacinto River, the conflict is known as the Battle of San Jacinto.
During the Texas Revolution, a fight that was fought between Texas and Mexico for independence, this battle took place between the Texan army and the Mexican army.
2. The Texas Revolution began in 1835
The Texas Revolution was a series of violent confrontations that took place in Texas between the Mexican government and American settlers in Texas who desired independence.
These settlers were from the United States. The Texas Revolution began in 1835, and the decisive victory over Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 was what ultimately led to Texas’s independence from Mexico.
3. The Battle of San Jacinto was preceded by two major defeats for Texas forces
The Battle of San Jacinto was preceded by two major defeats for Texas forces, the Battle of the Alamo and the Goliad Massacre.
The Battle of the Alamo took place between February 23 and March 6, 1836, and resulted in the deaths of all Texan defenders, including prominent characters such as Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.
Also Read: Facts About the Mexican American War
The Goliad Massacre happened on March 27, 1836, when the Mexican army killed nearly 300 Texan soldiers. These two occurrences inspired Texas forces and resulted in the legendary battle cry at San Jacinto, “Consider the Alamo! Consider Goliath!”
The triumph at San Jacinto was viewed as a means of avenging previous setbacks and securing Texas’ independence from Mexico.
4. General Sam Houston was in charge of the Texan army
During the Battle of San Jacinto, General Sam Houston was in charge of the Texan army as the commander in chief. Before being involved in the Texas Revolution, Sam Houston was a well-known figure in American politics.
He held positions as a U.S. Congressman, the Governor of Tennessee, and a U.S. Senator prior to his participation in the Texas Revolution. In addition, he served his country throughout the War of 1812, during which he was injured in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
5. General Antonio López de Santa Anna was in charge of the Mexican army
During the Battle of San Jacinto, General Antonio López de Santa Anna was in charge of the Mexican army as the commander in chief.
Santa Anna was the President of Mexico at the time, and he presided over the country during a period that was marked by significant political and social change.
Also Read: Battle of the Alamo Facts
His involvement in the Texan Revolution, as well as his later clashes with the United States, notably the Mexican-American War, have ensured his place in history.
The Texas Revolution reached a pivotal turning point when Texan forces captured Santa Anna during the Battle of San Jacinto. This event changed the course of the revolution.
6. General Santa Anna, was captured the day after the Battle of San Jacinto
The Mexican army’s commander, General Santa Anna, was captured the day after the Battle of San Jacinto while dressed as a common soldier.
He was brought before General Sam Houston, the head of the Texas army, for talks. The two men signed the Treaty of Velasco, which granted Texas independence from Mexico.
On May 14, 1836, Santa Anna signed a contract that acknowledged the Republic of Texas as an independent nation, vowing to evacuate all Mexican forces from Texas.
However, the Mexican government refused to acknowledge the pact, and hostilities between the two countries continued until the United States seized Texas in 1845.
7. The Texan army suffered little fatalities in the Battle of San Jacinto
The Texan army suffered little fatalities in the Battle of San Jacinto, with only 9 soldiers dead and 30 wounded.
The Mexican army, on the other hand, sustained considerable losses, with over 600 troops killed or injured and another 700 taken prisoner.
8. The Battle of San Jacinto took place on a marshy plain
The Battle of San Jacinto took place on a marshy plain, making it impossible for the Mexican army’s artillery to maneuver. The Mexican soldiers struggled to advance rapidly on the soft, swampy ground, giving the Texans a substantial edge. During the conflict, the Texans benefited from the terrain.
The Texans were also able to conduct a surprise attack on the Mexican army, catching them off guard, thanks to the cover offered by the trees and vegetation. The marshy terrain and surprise attack were important factors in Texas’ success at the Battle of San Jacinto.
9. General Sam Houston, was injured during the battle
The commander of the Texas army, General Sam Houston, was injured during the Battle of San Jacinto. Despite receiving a bullet wound in the ankle, he persevered to lead the Texan army to victory.
Houston’s disability forced him to resign from the military in 1837, but he went on to become the Republic of Texas’ first president, serving from 1836 to 1838 and again from 1841 to 1844.
Houston played an important part in Texas history, helping to secure the state’s independence from Mexico. The Battle of San Jacinto and Houston’s leadership are acknowledged as pivotal moments in Texas history.
10. The San Jacinto Battlefield presently houses the San Jacinto Monument and Museum
The San Jacinto Battlefield presently houses the San Jacinto Monument and Museum, which honors the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas history. The monument is a 567.31-foot-tall column capped with a 220-ton star marking the battle’s location.
It is one of the world’s highest monuments, and tourists can ride an elevator to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The museum displays a collection of relics and exhibits depicting the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto.
The museum has a 160-seat theater where a short video about the conflict is shown, as well as exhibitions of weaponry, uniforms, and other historical relics. The San Jacinto Monument and Museum are major tourist locations in Texas, with thousands of visitors each year.