Mexican Victory at San Jacinto
by Eric Lipps
says: what if Texian Independence was crushed by Santa Anna at the
Battle of San Jacinto? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post
do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1836, on April 21st
at the Battle of San Jacinto, Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna
defeated the forces of U.S.-born Gen. Samuel Houston (pictured below),
commander in chief of the revolutionary forces of the breakaway state of
Texas, and captured Houston himself, after the latter's attempt to counter
the superior Mexican numbers with a surprise attack failed.
The battle would deliver a crippling blow to Texan morale, and would prove
to be the tipping point in the failed struggle for Texan independence. The
American Texans, or "Texians" as they were commonly called, had been
retreating toward the border with the United states since the fall of the
Alamo. Now that retreat became a rout, joined by many American settlers
whose presence complicated the efforts of the Texian army to regroup.
Tattered remnants of the once-proud force eventually limped across the
border into Louisiana along with several thousand civilian refugees.
would be freed by the Mexican government as a result of diplomatic efforts
on the part of President Andrew Jackson. He would, however, return home in
humiliation. He had emigrated to Texas originally to avoid the stigma
attached to his name by a fight with Ohio congressman William Stanberry
which had led to a high-profile trial and conviction for assault for which
he had escaped serious punishment only with the help of influential
friends.. Now his failure in Mexico was added to that burden. An ambitious
man, he saw his political prospects shrivel. He resumed his long-abandoned
practice as a lawyer, but found his reputation a serious hindrance in
Houston's disgrace and the defeat of his "Texians" meant the end of the
idea of Texan independence, Ironically, Houston himself had preferred not
independence but annexation of Texas by the United States. Texas would
remain the property of Mexico despite periodic efforts by U.S.
"filibusters" to foment a new rebellion. The last such effort would come
in 1859, as civil war loomed in the United States and slaveholding
Southerners sought to add one or more new slave states to the Union to
strengthen their position. Its failure arguably shortened the war, which
ended in Northern victory in November 1864, just after the re-election of
President Abraham Lincoln.
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