Little Bits of History

Remember the Alamo

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 22, 2012

Antonia de Padua Maria Severino Lopez de Santa Anna y Perez de Lebron

April 22, 1836: The Texas forces under Sam Houston capture Santa Anna. Antonia de Padua Maria Severino Lopez de Santa Anna y Perez de Lebron was a Mexican political leader, on and off president of Mexico, and General leading the troops against the Texans fighting a war of Independence. Texas was under Mexican control when hostilities broke out on October 2, 1835. The American settlers were not happy with the Mexican rule of Coahuila y Tejas. The Siete Leyes (Seven Laws) of 1835 saw Santa Anna (then President) abolishing the Constitution of 1824, a representative government offering the ruled a voice in their leadership.

The Seven Laws were unpopular throughout Mexico and several of the United Mexican States resorted to violence. The Battle of Gonzales began the Texans’ War of Independence. By March 2, 1836, Texas had declared itself independent of Mexican rule. On March 6, the Battle of El Alamo (from the Mexican perspective) was ended with the Texans suffering a crushing defeat. The Alamo was taken and every American rebel was killed. Even the Texans who had surrendered were killed as the order came to take no prisoners. Davy Crockett and James Bowie both died in the attack. The Goliad Massacre (March 27) also resulted in 350 Texans killed.

The battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21. General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican forces numbering 1,360. The 910 Texans were waiting for Santa Anna’s troops to attack. Instead of allowing them to rest, the Texans took the lead and attacked with an outflanking maneuver interrupting the Mexicans taking their afternoon siesta (with no guards posted). At 4:30 PM, Vince’s Bridge was burned and the Texans silently advanced through the woods and surprised Santa Anna’s troops. There were only nine Texans killed with 23 more wounded. The Mexican forces had 630 killed, 208 wounded, and 730 captured.

Santa Anna escaped and was found hiding in a marsh, wearing a dragoon private’s uniform on this date. He was taken to acting Texas President, David G. Burnet and eventually the Treaties of Velasco were signed by both men. Santa Anna was held for months before being transported back to Mexico. The new government there failed to recognize the treaty signed by their ex-President. There were two treaties, one formal with ten points, and a second secret treaty with seven points. Eventually a pact was reached later in the year marking the border between the two combatants at the Rio Grande.

Texas, to be respected must be polite. Santa Anna living, can be of incalculable benefit to Texas; Santa Anna dead, would just be another dead Mexican. – Sam Houston

When a general is given command of an army and everything that is necessary is furnished to him and placed at his disposal, he should be held strictly responsible if he departs from the established rules of war. The government has said, and with truth, that all the resources at its command were placed at my disposal in this campaign, but these being so few, could it have given me many? – Santa Anna

History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. – Charles de Gaulle

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. – Harry Emerson Fosdick

Also on this day:

One Ringy-Dingy – In 2000 the UK updates the phone system.
Earth Day – In 1970, Earth Day was first celebrated.
Oklahoma Land Run – In 1889, land in Oklahoma was parceled out in a land run.

4 Responses

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  1. Bobby Dias said, on April 22, 2012 at 10:01 am

    At the time of the battle of the Alamo against the forces of Santa Anna, Texas was an independant country already, the Congress of the United States had passed a resolution acknowledging their independence. Texas had never been ruled by Mexico- that was only a declaration by Santa Anna who needed something to raise money and an army.
    The final treaty came as a result of an independant army capturing Mexico City, this army coming from California when Mexico tried to take over California. In both the California and Texas invasion by Mexico the two were independant countries and both countries were protected by volunteers who believed in people staying free from dictators from anywhere.
    In the early 1960s I saw the ONE set of original maps that set the northern boundary of Mexico- and I saw the revision map that moved the boundary to the Tijuana River from a point about 1 mile north of that river near San Diego, the land gained by the United States by this revision was paid for and did not include the rest of California or anything else(Santa Anna also delared California to be part of Mexico, BIG mistake.

  2. Bobby Dias said, on April 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I should have said why the BIG mistake- pre-invasion declaration by Mexico gave the volunteer army time to assemble in northern California before the army from Mexico(actually was a private army) started their march towards California. Santa Anna’s early declaration that Texas was part of Mexico gave much needed time for volunteers to organize to protect Texas. Santa Anna’s army was also privately funded and manned, not acknowledged by Mexico officially- Santa Anna was on his own quest and later was formally denounced by Mexico’s legislature.

  3. Gerald said, on April 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

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