As the Alamo was under siege by the Mexican forces under Santa Anna in 1836, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Texas, led by Sam Houston, was arguing ineffectually over what to do, and never acted in time to help the Alamo defenders.
After the Alamo fell, the Texan rebels gained much sympathy in the US. The citizens of Cincinnati OH sent two cannons, which became known as “The Twin Sisters”, to the Texans. With an army of around 1000, Sam Houston moved to the San Jacinto River, near Houston. Santa Anna’s 1800 men were camped nearby. The Mexicans hadn’t expected the Texans to arrive for several more weeks and were unprepared for battle. They did not know that Houston’s force was nearby.
On the afternoon of April 21, 1836, Houston’s troops advanced along the Harrisburg Road towards the Mexican camp, screened by a row of trees. The resulting charge took the camp completely by surprise. Although Houston was wounded in the fighting, the Mexican troops were routed, and Santa Anna was captured in his tent. The battle lasted less than half an hour.
As a result, Santa Anna was forced to sign the treaty acknowledging the independence of the Republic of Texas.
Here are some photos from a visit to the battlefield.
Cannon, replicas of the “Twin Sisters”, mark the spot where the Texan Army was camped, near the harbor.
The Texans advanced along this road
The actual battle took place here, where the Mexicans were camped
Stone marker at the Mexican positions
The San Jacinto Monument towers over the battlefield
The museum inside the monument
Silverware taken from Santa Anna’s tent
Some personal belongings from Sam Houston