Happy Texas Independence Day! We remember March 2, 1836 because on that day Texas declared its independence from Mexico at the Convention of 1836. Yet, there were many significant events that led up to this final important moment (and you can find a timeline here). Here’s a list of all the modern day places that are significant to the Texas Revolution, in chronological order of their place on the revolution timeline. You can retrace Texas’s fight for independence by following this entire list on a road trip or just choose a few to find artifacts and retrace certain moments on Texas’s road to freedom.
(1) Gonzales Memorial Museum – Gonzales, TX
The journey to Texas Independence started in Gonzales on Oct. 2, 1835, when Texans — already angered by Santa Anna’s tyranny — refused to surrender a cannon to a troop of Mexican soldiers and taunted them with a call to “Come and Take It”. The Texans attacked the Mexican troops thus igniting the revolution. You can view this important cannon, artifacts from the early days in Gonzales, and a memorial dedicated to the men who died in the Alamo at the Gonzales Memorial Museum.
(2) The Alamo – San Antonio, TX
Every Texan is sure to “Remember the Alamo,” where General Santa Anna and his troops surprised the Texans after the Siege of Bexar, leading to defeat after a 13-day battle at the Alamo. Visit this iconic Texas mission in the heart of downtown San Antonio to see the line Travis drew in the sand asking his men to join him in the fight for Texas, learn about the fateful battle and honor the men who lost their lives here.
(3) Washington-on-the-Brazos Site – Washington, TX
In the video above, you’ll see our time at the site where 59 men gathered on March 2 to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence claiming Texas as free from Mexico’s control. Not only can you still tour Independence Hall, the little cabin where Texas first gained freedom, but at this site you’ll also find the Star of the Brazos Museum and Barrington Living History Farm, where you can learn about and experience early Texas life.
(4) Fannin Battleground State Historic Site – Victoria, TX
After the fall of the Alamo, Santa Anna was angry that the Texan army was increasing, so he ordered all prisoners from battle be shot. To escape death, Commander James Walker Fannin, Jr., surrendered at the Battle of Coleto on the condition that they be escorted back United States. This historic site is where the Battle of Coleto was fought, and you’ll find a monument marking the spot where Fannin surrendered.
(5) Presidio la Bahia – Goliad, TX
After Fannin and his men surrendered at the Battle of Coleto Creek and Mexican General Mexia agreed to their condition of being treated as prisoners of war and escorted back to the United States, the prisoners were delivered to Presido la Bahia. But instead of keeping his word, on March 27, Mexia had the Mexican troops execute the Texan soldiers by the side of the road. Fannin and the other injured soldiers were executed in front of the chapel. Visit this site in remembrance of the brave men who died at the Goliad Massacre. Down the road, you’ll find the Fannin Memorial Monument, marking where Fannin and his men are buried.
(6) New Kentucky Park – Hockley, TX
This park near Tomball is the site of Sam Houston’s famous “fork in the road” decision during the Texas Revolution. As he was traveling with the Texas troops, he had to decide whether to turn left and head for safety in Louisiana or turn right and face the Mexican Army. He headed right toward San Jacinto to face the Mexican army head on. Stop by to see the marker signifying this fork in the road.
(7) San Jacinto Battleground Site – La Porte, TX
The Battle of San Jacinto was the last major battle of the Texas Revolution, when the Texan army surprise-attacked the napping Mexican troops. During the 18-minute battle, the Mexicans were defeated and Santa Anna was captured the next morning. Walk the area where Houston and the troops claimed victory for Texas, visit the San Jacinto Museum of History to learn more about the battle and ride the elevator to the top of the monument for a bird’s-eye view of the battleground and the bay.
(8) San Fernando Cathedral – San Antonio, TX
In this cathedral are the few remains of the Texas heroes who died at the siege of the Alamo, including Travis, Crockett and Bowie. After the battle of the Alamo, Santa Anna ordered the remains of the Texas troops burned and scattered, but Juan Seguin gathered them and hid them in this Cathedral. Stop by to pay your respects to these great men.
Click here for ten epic Texas Independence Day parties around the state!