Saturday, April 21, 2012

Remembering San Jacinto Day

When I was in 4th grade and studied Texas History for the first time, I learned about San Jacinto Day.  The date stayed in my memory, not because of the historic battle, but because April 19th was my parents' anniversary; April 20th was my cousin's birthday; and April 22nd was my birthday.  I don't know why, but I thought surely there was another family related event on the 21st to keep the string going.  Since no one could tell me one, when I learned about San Jacinto Day, I decided that would be a date to remember.  How little I understood the significance of that date then.

Over 25 years ago, I became a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas since I was able to prove I had ancestors living in Texas before it became a state in 1846.  Long ago our DRT members encouraged the Texas legislature to build a monument at the site of the Battle of San Jacinto.  Ground breaking ceremonies took place in March 1936 as part of our Texas Centennial Celebration. 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife has information posted about the 1200-acre  San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site  consisting of the Battleground, Monument and Battleship TEXAS.

This is only a part of the inscriptions on the sides of the monument at San Jacinto telling the importance of this day.  "On this field on April 21, 1836 the Army of Texas commanded by General Sam Houston, and accompanied by the Secretary of War, Thomas J. Rusk, attacked the larger invading army of Mexicans under General Santa Anna. The battle line from left to right was formed by Sidney Sherman's regiment, Edward Burleson's regiment, the artillery commanded by George W. Hockley, Henry Millard's infantry and the cavalry under Mirabeau B. Lamar. Sam Houston led the infantry charge.
With the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" the Texans charged. The enemy taken by surprise, rallied for a few minutes then fled in disorder. The Texans had asked no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling, victory complete, and Texas free! On the following day General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, self-styled "Napoleon of the West," received from a generous foe the mercy he had denied Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.
Citizens of Texas and immigrant soldiers in the Army of Texas at San Jacinto were natives of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Scotland.
Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty."

The San Jacinto Museum's website states: The Battle of San Jacinto marked the stunning conclusion to the Texas Revolution, as Texian forces—outnumbered and under-trained—launched a successful attack. The battle lasted approximately 18 minutes. Discipline was hard to maintain as Texian soldiers rallied to cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!”

No comments:

Post a Comment