Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remember San Jacinto

Remember the Alamo? Of course you do. If you are lucky you've been there. You know about Travis and Bowie and Crockett. Maybe you've seen one or both of the movies. It is a remarkable story.

Remember Goliad? Probably not, if you aren't a Texan. Even if you are, unless you are a Texan over fifty when schools still educated folks, you probably don't. Goliad was where Bonham Fannin surrendered and then Santa Ana slaughtered the weaponless Texian prisoners. Not a good day in Texas history.

Today however is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. Sam Houston had led a retreat from San Antonio almost to Houston while Santa Ana pursued him. As the armies camped, the Mexicans at the end of their extended supply lines, they anticipated a battle the next morning. General Santa Ana entertained himself with one of his camp followers after lunch and settled into his afternoon siesta. Houston surprised him and the Texians attacked in the afternoon, decisively defeating the Mexican army once and for all then capturing Santa Ana cowering in a thicket.

Remember the Alamo! Absolutely. But remember San Jacinto as well.

It might be a good history for our president to read. Embrace victory. It is so much sweeter than defeat in war.


Kevin said...

Sorry, Ed, but it was James Walker Fannin who surrendered the forces at Goliad. Bonham was one of the coriers who died at the Alamo. (I'm a Texas History teacher by profession.) Thanks for remembering San Jacinto today!

Kevin said...

oops, that should be "couriers.) I can spell, but not type!

Ed Rasimus said...

Kevin, you are 100% correct. Fannin was the somewhat inept leader who hemmed and hawed about whether to retreat with his cannons or spike them until it was too late to do either effectively. Somehow he got a county named after him just like the rest. Much victory is determined by luck and often defeat is made inevitable by incompetence. Houston was lucky, Fannin was inept, and Travis was courageous.

Anonymous said...

Robert Langham, over at his blog,Blackfork, ( if I may ) has had a historical running narrative of the Texas War of Independence since the end of February. Absolutely fascinating for this native Kentuckian who called San Antonio home for 35 years. regards, Alemaster