Tag Archives: Santa Anna

Tuesday, February 23, 1836 – Texas History Told My Way

Tuesday, February 23, 1836 – Texas History Told My Way

On February 23, 1836 Mexican troops under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered San Antonio de Bexar, Texas and surrounded the Alamo Mission.

Davy Crockett looked at Commander William B. Travis and said “We’re gonna a need a lot more men.”

General Santa Anna gave the people behind the mission’s walls one more chance to surrender. Travis opened fired. Santa Anna screamed “NO QUARTERS! This meant kill them all. He then ordered the bugler to play DeGuello – The Death Song. The fate of the Texans was sealed.

On February 24, Travis sent a plea requesting more troops. It was signed Victory or Death. The reinforcements never arrived.

Thirteen days later on March 6, the Alamo Mission would fall into the hands of the Mexican Army and “no quarters’ and DeGuello would enter into the history books. The soldiers defending The Alamo achieved victory through death.

General Santa Anna then proceeded to employ military tactics and strategies so bad that even I can see the flaws. For some inexplicable reason he moved north, rather than southeast and then slowed his army, taking his own sweet time while chasing General Sam Houston. His map app must have really been bad.

Meanwhile, Sam Houston and all of the citizens of the town of Gonzalez were hauling ass south toward Harrisburg (Houston) toward the Gulf Coast.

As every Native Born Texas has imprinted on their brains at birth, we all know this story and how this story ends.

On April 21, 1836, the Texas Army, led by General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna’s Mexican Army. The Battle of San Jacinto is considered one of the most important battles that changed the history of the world. Make sure you read that sentence. It changed the history of the WORLD.

Texas achieved its independence from Mexico and formed the free and independent Republic of Texas.

And now, the thought question you have not been waiting for.

Why did the Mexican territory of Texas want its independence from the Republic of Mexico in the first place?

  • White United States settlers were immigrating to the territory in record numbers.
  • The large numbers of immigrating white settlers were bringing their slaves with them.

The Republic of Mexico abolished slavery in 1829. Therefore, the white people were coming to Mexico illegally and committing the crime of owning slaves.

Don’t you just love historical irony?

Friday, May 28, 2015 – Texas Rising – Where? In the Southern Texas Alps?

Friday, May 28, 2015 – Texas Rising – Where? In the Southern Texas Alps?

I was glad to see on FB that I was not the only one who is having some issues with the History Channel’s Texas Rising.  Issues were shared from individuals with a solid knowledge of Texas History to those with advanced and academic knowledge of the topic.  I am somewhere in between.

Granted the beginning credits offer a disclaimer that it is a dramatic interpretation. And it is based on Stephen L. Moore’s book by the same name. Mr. Moore is a native Texan, whose Texas roots go way back and he is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University – Ax ‘Em Jacks! So he must have Dr. Archie P. McDonald channeled into him for accuracy. He could even be Dr. Archie P. reborn, recycled, updated, Version 2.0 or however you want to look at it.

I think the musical score is great and I really like the kaleidoscope opening of each episode And I do like many other aspects of the series so far.

But some things are stretched beyond imagination and in some cases– just made up, inaccurate stuff.

Including thoughts on FB postings regarding the first episode that aired on Monday, Here’s What I’m Thinking:

One comment said the opening was too sensationalized and went to on question March 7 as the day the bodies were buried. There is some truth to both of those. But I disagree with the sensationalism.  Santa Anna riding through the streets around the mission and the following scenes resembled media footage of villages today conquered by tyrants and ruthless dictators. The scenes are violent, but unfortunately accurate.  Spoiler alert – if you thought the scenes of the Alamo aftermath were violent, wait until you see aftermath of The Battle of Coleto – aka The Goliad Massacre.

As to the March 7 and waiting until the next day to bury the dead –  That is plausible and possible, depending on what time the walls of the mission were breeched, a search, executing stranglers, the smoke clearing, etc.  If it were shortly before midnight, the Mexicans might have waited until daybreak to begin.  Hell, as crazy as Santa Anna was, he might have ordered them to wait until he could see it.

THE GEOGRAPHY and THE GEOLOGY!  When I first saw Houston’s camp in Gonzalez, I thought to myself – where the hell is that? I learned that there is a small geologic formation in Palmetto State Park near Gonzales that does have a drop-off and a cliff.  A similar geologic shape exists in nearby Smithville. So with a stretch of the imagination I could believe this.

Today there are views (at least on the parks’ websites) from both parks that might have resembled Texas territory in 1836.  Unfortunately today, May 29, 2015, both parks are underwater due to the recent flooding.  This is probably why the park in Gonzales is named Palmetto State Park.

As the rangers and soldiers move around, I can imagine some of those really high hills, and maybe some of the large rock formations and even the sandy soil with sparse vegetation.  The CCC planted vegetation in that area during the 1930’s. Much of the landscape would have been destroyed with urbanization.  But with an imagination stretch, maybe.

But those cliffs and mountains?  Get me a confirmation from a geology nerd, but NO WAY did Texas have those types of geologic formations except in some geologic time zone like the Third Ice Age or the Mesozoic or Paleozoic Periods in that part of Texas. Since our grand state does have it all, there are places where beautiful scenes like those do exist but not in that geographic designated area.

Several of the really key watchers picked up on some questionable comments.  For example, when Sam Houston says to Emily West post Alamo “Texas is not a slave state.”  Well, first of all – technically was not a state, but a territory. Depends which side you are asking.

State or territory? Whichever it was, it was a slave one. Slavery was the issue in the overall problems with Mexico.  Mexico’s laws outlawed slavery. And wasn’t Sam Houston a slave owner? Or had been at one time?

And Mexico was having serious issues with Americans immigrating to their country, not learning their language, bringing their slaves, putting their white children in their schools and bringing their traditions and customs. See reverse today.

And the relationship between Sam Houston and Emily West?  Taking comments now! I am speechless and highly doubtful. Has anybody checked on the Daughters of the Republic of Texas? They are probably still passed out in a dead faint.

Friday, March 6, 2015 – The Fall of the Alamo – The Thirteen Days of Glory

Friday, March 6, 2015 – The Fall of the Alamo – The Thirteen Days of Glory

In the early morning hours before dawn on March 6, 1836, the bugler and drums of the Mexican Army played El Degüello outside the garrison known as The Alamo. El Degüello was a bugle call, or dirge to signal that the defenders of the garrison would receive no quarter by the attacking Mexican Army under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. No quarter means death. No prisoners. Death.

Click to hear El Degüello .

Colonel William Barrett Travis, age 26, sent a letter on February 24 asking for reinforcements to defend freedoms demanded by the Texians. His letter is considered one of the most important documents in Texas history and in United States history.

Every Texas school child knows the outcome of the Alamo. Santa Anna’s army breeched the walls and no quarter was employed by the Mexican Army.  The importance of the battle itself lies in the fact that Sam Houston and others could escape Gonzales.  The thirteen day siege allowed Sam Houston to time to create, organize and train a military structure. The Texian Army would set up a camp near a place called San Jacinto.  This battle on April 21 between the Mexicans and the Texians is considered one of the most crucial battles that changed the world.  Yes, the world, not just Texas. More on that battle as April 21 approaches, but you better know who Emily Morgan was.

Here is Travis’ letter as read by Brian Burns.  Burns is a Texas folksinger.  This song is from his CD The Eagle and the Snake – Songs of the Texians. Every Texan should own this CD.

Bejar, Fby. 24th 1836—

To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world—

Fellow citizens & compatriots— I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man—The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch—

The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—

Victory or Death William Barret Travis, Lt. Col. comdt

P.S. The Lord is on our side—When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn—We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves—

Now, if that don’t bring a tear to your eyes, I don’t know what will.

Victory or Death. Remember the Alamo.  God Bless Texas.