General Houston raised his sword. Hundreds of courageous men, all volunteers, waited for his order. Sam barked his word, “Advance” and the battle began, quietly.

Finally, the army of Texas could finally fight.  They had retreated time and time again.  Houston was desperately trying to train his men, build resources and seeking the right opportunity to engage in a strategic battle that he could win.

On the fields of San Jacinto, just East of modern-day Houston, over 900 Texans marched in silence toward Santa Ana’s highly experienced, well-equipped, battle-hardened troops.  The Mexican President and General was on a rampage to squash the rebels of Tejas.  Fresh off a series of victories, he was determined to end the rebellion.

However, burning deep in the souls  of the Texas army were bitter memories of their fallen comrades in the Alamo.  This was further emblazoned by the news of the massacre at Goliad.  This fierce band of individuals were hardened in their determination to avenge their fallen fellows.

It was just after 3 PM in the afternoon.  The Mexican troops were relaxing during their siesta.  Overconfident they did not even post any sentries.

The Texans fired their two cannon, bombarding the Mexican encampment.  Total pandemonium erupted in the Mexican camp.  At nearly point-blank range the Texans fired their weapons, swung their tomahawks and slashed with their knives.

Santa Ana had perceived himself as the Napoleon of the West.  His army was trained according to the European firing their muskets simultaneously from straight ranks.  Broken up and scattered, their habit of warfare couldn’t even form let along become organized.

Houston’s forces stormed the placement of the Mexican army.  Once the cannon fire was launched, the Texans deluged their opposition with cries of “Remember the Alamo!” “Remember Goliad!”

It was mayhem from the beginning to the end.  Mexican soldiers panicked without  their normal formations.  As individuals they fell quickly at the hands of the Texan onslaught. 

Twenty minutes into the battle, it was over.  Over 600 Mexicans had died.  Only 9 Texans lost their lives.

Santa Ana was defeated.  The Republic of Texas was born.  Subsequently, the United States gained the lands that doubled its size, expanding its borders to the Pacific Ocean.

I learned this stunning chapter in American history, in Texas history when I visited the San Jacinto monument.  It is a must for all Texans, especially we who are new to our adopted state.  Something special stirs in your spirit when you learn of these valiant men so long ago.

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