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San Jacinto, Battle of


SAN JACINTO, BATTLE OF (21 April 1836). On 11 March 1836, five days after the defeat of the Texas revolutionaries at the Alamo, General Sam Houston retreated with 374 men from Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna's advance. Houston recruited as he retreated, while Santa Anna divided his army in pursuit. On 20 April, Houston's force, now 800 strong, intercepted Santa Anna's force of about 1,200 men at Lynch's Ferry, which crossed the San Jacinto River. Destroying a bridge protecting his own as well as the Mexicans' avenue of retreat, Houston attacked. Santa Anna's surprise was complete. A thinly held barricade was quickly overrun, and organized resistance ended within twenty minutes.

The rest was slaughter. Texas figures on enemy casualties—630 killed, 208 wounded, 730 prisoners—are inexact, the total reflecting more men than Santa Anna probably would have had on the field. Texan losses were 16 killed, 24 wounded, including Houston. Santa Anna, a prisoner, signed armistice terms under which the other divisions of his army immediately evacuated Texas.


De Bruhl, Marshall. Sword of San Jacinto: A Life of Sam Houston. New York: Random House, 1993.

Pohl, James W. The Battle of San Jacinto. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1989.

Williams, John H. Sam Houston: A Biography of the Father of Texas. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

MarquisJames/a. r.

See alsoAlamo, Siege of the ; "Remember the Alamo."

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