On April 16, 1836, General Sam Houston had a difficult decision to make. After weeks of running from the Mexican army, Houston and his rag-tag army of settlers turned soldiers found themselves at a “fork in the road.” In what is today New Kentucky Park in Tomball, Texas, General Houston had to decide whether to turn left to Louisiana, which meant the safety in the United States, or right, which meant facing Santa Anna and the Mexican army in Harrisburg or modern-day Harris County. As most of you know, Houston choose the right path. And on April 21, 1836 defeated the powerful Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto.
In honor of the 179th anniversary of the Texan victory at Battle of San Jacinto, we here at The Daytripper would like to highlight the incredible history that is the road of Texas’ independence. And show you the spots were you can travel to retrace those famous steps.
October 2, 1835
The first shots of the revolution are fired.
Mexican soldiers were sent to Gonzales, Texas to take a cannon that Mexico has loaned them to scare away Indian attacks. Texans did not let the soldiers into town and fired on them, beginning the Texas revolution. Today you can visit the cannon at the Gonzales Memorial Museum.
March 2, 1836
Texans declared independence from Mexico.
At the Convention of 1836, Texans wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston was named the commander of the Texas military. Visit the recreate Independence Hall inside of Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park.
March 6, 1836
After a 13-day attack on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio, Mexican soldiers killed all 189 Texans trying to defend the Alamo. Some of the most famous defenders were Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, and James Bowie. Every year millions visit this sacred shrine in downtown San Antonio.
March 27, 1836
Following the Battle of the Alamo, support for the Texan army had grown tremendously. With supporters from both Texas and the United States signing up to join the fight. Santa Anna was livid and his vengeance came when James W. Fannin and his men surrendered on May 20, 1863 at the Battle of Coleto Creek. Fannin tried to discuss civilized terms that stated the Texan army should treated as prisoners of war instead of being executed. To no avail, about 350 Texan prisoners, including Fannin himself, were executed. To plan your own daytrip to Goliad, you can retrace Chet’s steps by viewing the Goliad episode or you can visit the Goliad State Park and Historic Site and Presidio La Bahia.
April 21, 1836
Texans win the Battle of San Jacinto and their independence.
Led by Sam Houston, the Texas army defeated the troops of Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. The win is the victory that Texas needed to finally gain independence from Mexico. As you might have seen in our recent Baytown episode, the public can visit this historic site year around. Visit the San Jacinto Monument of History for more details.