The Texian Army, also known as the Army of Texas and the Army of the People, was a military organization consisting of volunteer and regular soldiers who fought against the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution. Approximately 3,700 men joined the army between October 2, 1835, during the Battle of Gonzales through the end of the war on April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto. After gaining independence the Texian Army would be officially known as the Army of the Republic of Texas. In 1846, after the annexation of Texas by the United States, the Army of the Republic of Texas merged with the US Army. Sam Houston became the new commander in chief of the new Texas army.
Army of Texas
Army of the People
Sam Houston's call for the Army of Texas recruitment proclamation on December 12, 1835
|Active||October 1, 1835 - April 21, 1836|
|Country||Republic of Texas|
|Allegiance||Republic of Texas|
Consultation (Texian provisional government)
Constitution of the Republic of Texas
|Role||Ground-based military warfare|
|Stephen F. Austin|
Sam Houston (WIA)
James Fannin (POW) (Executed)
William Travis †
James Bowie †
Davy Crockett †
Frank W. Johnson
Stephen F. Austin
Benjamin Milam †
William Ward (POW) (Executed)
George H. Burroughs
Thomas H. Breece
Robert C. Morris
When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, the former Spanish province of Texas became part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. Many of the people who lived in Texas, which had included the land north of the Medina and the Nueces Rivers, 100 miles (161 km) northeast of the Rio Grande, west of San Antonio de Bexar, and east of the Sabine River, wished to be a separate state again. For the first time, the government of Texas encouraged immigrants from the United States to settle its lands. By 1834, an estimated 30,000 English speakers lived in Texas, compared to only 7,800 of Spanish heritage. The bankrupt Mexican government was unable to offer Texas much military support. Many of the settlements had created small militias to protect themselves against raids by Indian tribes.
Under President Antonio López de Santa Anna the government of Mexico began to drift towards a more centralist form. In 1835 Santa Anna revoked the Constitution of 1824 and began reigning as a dictator. In various parts of the country federalists revolted.
In September 1835, Colonel Domingo Ugartechea, the military commander of the Mexican forces at San Antonio de Bexar set troops to recover a small cannon that had been given to the people of Gonzales for protection. When the Mexican troops, under Lieutenant Francisco de Castañeda, reached Gonzales, the head of the local militia, Captain Albert Martin, convinced the troops to wait for several days. Martin then sent messengers to other English-speaking settlements, asking for reinforcements to help protect the cannon.
Within several days, militias from Fayette County and Columbus arrived. In Gonzales, the Texian forces combined to form a single force. The militiamen held an election and chose John Henry Moore as their captain, Joseph Washington Elliot Wallace as a lieutenant colonel, and Edward Burleson as major. The first military action taken by the new army was the Battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. After a skirmish, the Mexican troops withdrew to San Antonio, leaving the cannon with the Texians. After the battle ended, disgruntled colonists continued to assemble in Gonzales, eager to put a decisive end to Mexican control over the area. The Committee of Safety at San Felipe named the gathering "The Army of the People."
Within a week, the men had taken the Mexican post at Goliad. On October 11, the disorganized volunteers elected Stephen F. Austin, who had settled Texas's first English-speaking colonists in 1821, as their commander-in-chief. Austin had only two months of military experience in the Missouri First Regiment of Mounted Militia under Colonel Alexander McNair, where he earned the rank of quartermaster sergeant, but he saw no combat.
In 1836, Texas had a population of 40,000 people. Approximately 2,000 of the citizens, around 5% of the population, served in the army at some point between October 1835 and April 1846. Still, Historian Paul Lack argues that "for a people of such fabled militance, the Texians turned out for army duty in the period of crisis at a low rate of participation". The army was augmented with volunteers from the United States.
Overall, 3,685 men served in the Army of the People between October 1, 1835 and April 21, 1836. Forty percent of them had emigrated after October 1. Of the Texians, 57.8% were residents of the Department of the Brazos, 10.4% of the Department of Bexar, and 31.7% from the Department of Nacogdoches. Of the men who arrived in Texas after October 1, 1835, not all of these additions were American citizens; many were recent immigrants from Europe who were seeking adventure and potential riches in Texas. Through the course of the Texas Revolution, one in seven of the English-speaking settlers in Texas joined the army. One in three adult male Tejanos, that is, Spanish-speaking settlers in Texas, joined the army.
The composition of the army changed dramatically over time, with four distinct waves:
The early army was composed predominantly of Texas residents, with every municipality represented. Over 1,300 men volunteered for the army in October and November 1835. Of these, approximately 1,100–1,500 were residents of Texas, with an average date of emigration of 1830.[Note 1] Half of the men were married. Roughly 51% of them came from the Department of the Brazos, an area in central Texas which consisted of the colonies established by Stephen F. Austin and Green DeWitt, as well as some of the area granted to Sterling C. Robertson. An additional 15% of the volunteers were from the Department of Bexar, where most citizens were Tejano, and which was partially occupied by Mexican troops. Thirty-four percent of the volunteers came from the Nacogdoches district of far East Texas, an area where homes and families were not under threat.
After the Texas victory in Bexar in early December, men began leaving the army and returning home. By the end of February 1836, fewer than 600 men remained in the army. A total of 917 men served in the army for varying lengths of time in January – March 1836. In a sharp contrast from the army of a few months prior, these men were predominantly newcomers to Texas. The overwhelming majority—78%—had arrived from the United States since the outbreak of hostilities in October. They had an average age of 27, and almost two-thirds were single. Of the Texians who continued to participate, 57% were from the areas most at risk of Mexican attempts to reassert control over its national territory—Bexar, Gonzales, Matagorda and Jackson—despite the small population of these areas. When examined in the context of the political districts, 59% of the Texians were from the Brazos department and 23% from Bexar.
The army suffered significant losses at the battles of the Alamo and Coleto. The provisional government passed conscription laws, which should have resulted in about 4,000 men joining the army. The laws were impossible to enforce due to the fact that most citizens had fled as part of the Runaway Scrape. By the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, new commander Sam Houston had a total of 1,282 recruits in the army. Of these, about 250 were ill, at camp, or on scouting missions at the time of the battle.
The average date of emigration was 1835; 21% of the men had arrived in Texas after October 1, 1835, and almost 18% had arrived between January 1 and October 1, 1835. Approximately 60% of the soldiers were single, and their average age was 28. In many families, the younger sons joined the army while the fathers escorted the women and younger children east, away from the advancing Mexican army. 67% of the Texians who volunteered were from the Brazos Department, an impressive number considering the heavy losses many of these areas had sustained in the March fighting. 25% were from the Nacogdoches district, fewer than had served in 1835. Only 5% of the Texians were from the Bexar District. This number was low both because many of the volunteers had perished at the Alamo or Coleto and because the area was now occupied by the Mexican army. It was not only difficult for men to leave the area, but it was unwise to leave their families. The majority of the men from Bexar who served in April were cavalry officers under the command of Colonel Juan Seguin.
An additional 623 men served in April outside of Houston's army. Less is known about these men, who had no central command or location. It is estimated that 31% were recent arrivals from the United States. They were older, with an average age of 34, and over 41% of them came from the Nacogdoches district. Historian Paul Lack described these men as a home guard, a "last line of defense" for the Texians.
398 men served in both 1835 and April 1836. Of these, 58% were single, with an average age of 30, and 26% had arrived in Texas after the war began. Of the Texians, 63% were from the Brazos district, 11% from Bexar, and 26% from Nacogdoches. Lack posits that many of those who chose not to re-enlist in April 1836 believed that they had done their duty. For the most part, they were older and, as they had been in Texas longer, they had more to protect.
Believing the hostilities were over, by the end of May, most of the Texas residents had left the army, which shrank to 400 men. With fears of a Mexican counterattack spreading, more volunteers arrived from the United States. By June, the ranks had increased to 1300–1700 men, and by September to 2,500 men, spread across 53 companies. Of those in the army in September, 1,800 had come to Texas after the Battle of San Jacinto.
The structure of the Texian Army was relatively fluid. Originally, it was composed entirely of volunteers or militia, who came and went at will. To become an officer, a man must simply have had enough money or charisma to convince others to serve under him. In the first half of the Texas Revolution, many of the units and individual volunteers came from the United States. The United States volunteer units in the Army represented ten states; from New Orleans, Louisiana the New Orleans Greys, from Alabama the Red Rovers, Huntsville Rovers, and Mobile Greys, from Mississippi the Mississippi Guards and Natchez Mustangs, from New York the 1st New York Battalion and 2nd New York Battalion and from other states the Georgia Volunteers, Kentucky Mustangs, Missouri Invincibles, North Carolina Volunteers, and Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, and Union Guards
By the end of the war, the army had grown to include three distinct divisions. Members of the regular army enlisted for two years and were subject to army discipline and the army's chain of command. A squad of permanent volunteers enlisted for the duration of the war. This group was permitted to elect its own officers, outside the oversight of the army commander-in-chief. Most of the men who joined the permanent volunteers had settled in Texas before the war had begun, both Tejano and Texians. The last unit was the volunteer auxiliary corps, comprising primarily recent arrivals from the United States who officially enlisted for a six-month term. On November 24, 1835, the Texas provisional government authorized the creation of ranging companies of rifleman. Robert "Three-legged Willie" Williamson was asked to raise three of these companies with 56 men each. Rangers were to be paid $1.25 per day.
Neither the regular nor volunteer components of the Texian Army were issued specific uniforms. Several of the companies that formed in the United States, including the New Orleans Greys, purchased U.S. Army surplus uniforms before they arrived. Other companies had more loosely defined "uniforms", such as wearing matching hunting shirts.
Texian volunteer Noah Smithwick wrote a description of the volunteer army as it looked in October 1835:
Words are inadequate to convey an impression of the appearance of the first Texas army as it formed in marching order. ... Buckskin breeches were the nearest approach to uniform and there was wide diversity even there, some of them being new and soft and yellow, while others, from long familiarity with rain and grease and dirt, had become hard and black and shiny. ... Boots being an unknown quantity, some wore shoes and some moccasins. Here a broad brimmed sombrero overshadowed the military cap at its side; there, a tall "beegum" rode familiarly beside a coonskin cap, with the tail hanging down behind, as all well regulated tails should do ... here a bulky roll of bed quilts jostled a pair of "store " blankets; there the shaggy brown buffalo robe contrasted with a gaily colored checkered counterpane on which the manufacturer had lavished all the skill of dye and weave known to art ... in lieu of a canteen, each man carried a Spanish gourd.... Here a big American horse loomed above the nimble Spanish pony, there a half-broke mustang pranced beside a sober methodical mule. A fantastic military array to a casual observer, but the one great purpose animating every heart clothed us in a uniform more perfect in our eyes than was ever donned by regulars on dress parade.
The regular division of the Army was officially established on December 12. Any man who enlisted in the regular division would receive $24 in cash, the rights to 800 acres (320 ha) of land, and instant Texas citizenship. Those who joined the volunteer auxiliary corps would receive 640 acres (260 ha) of land if they served two years, while those who served 1 year would receive 320 acres (130 ha). A month later the establishment of a Legion of Cavalry would be authorized.
The commander of the regular forces, Sam Houston, called for 5,000 men to enlist in the regular army but had difficulty convincing men to join. Many of the arrivals from the United States did not want to be under a more strict military control, and instead informally joined the volunteer units that had gathered in other parts of Texas. These volunteer soldiers were in many cases more impassioned than the Texas settlers. Although the provisional Texas government was still debating whether the troops were fighting for independence or for separate statehood, on December 20, 1835, the Texian garrison at Goliad voted unanimously to issue a proclamation of independence, stating "that the former province and department of Texas is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign and independent state".
The provisional government had originally placed Houston in charge of the regular forces, but in December the council gave secret orders to James Fannin, Frank W. Johnson, and Dr. James Grant to prepare forces to invade Mexico. Houston was then ordered to travel to East Texas to broker a treaty that would allow the Cherokee to remain neutral in the conflict. Johnson and Grant gathered 300 of the 400 men garrisoned in Bexar and left to prepare for the invasion.
The government was woefully short of funds. On January 6, 1836, Colonel James C. Neill, commander of the remaining 100 troops in Bexar, wrote to the council: " there has ever been a dollar here I have no knowledge of it. The clothing sent here by the aid and patriotic exertions of the honorable Council, was taken from us by arbitrary measures of Johnson and Grant, taken from men who endured all the hardships of winter and who were not even sufficiently clad for summer, many of them having but one blanket and one shirt, and what was intended for them given away to men some of whom had not been in the army more than four days, and many not exceeding two weeks."
For the next several months it was unclear who was in charge of the Texian army—Fannin, Johnson, Grant, or Houston. On January 10, Johnson issued a call to form a Federal Volunteer Army of Texas which would march on Matamoros during the Matamoros Expedition.
The Mexican army returned to Texas in February and initiated a siege of the garrison in San Antonio on February 23. The commander at the Alamo, William B. Travis, sent numerous letters to the Texas settlements, begging for reinforcements. Men began to gather in Gonzales to prepare to reinforce the garrison. Before they left, the Mexican army launched the Battle of the Alamo, and all of the Texian soldiers who had been stationed in Bexar were killed. This left two branches of the Texian Army: Fannin's 400 men at Goliad and Neill's 400 men at Gonzales, who soon reported to Houston. On hearing the news of the massacre at the Alamo, Houston ordered his army to retreat and burned the town of Gonzales as they left. He ordered Fannin to bring his men and join the rest of the army. Fannin's force was defeated at the Battle of Coleto Creek, and on March 27 Fannin and his men were executed at the Goliad Massacre. A few soldiers escaped, and 80 soldiers who had just arrived from the United States and had no weapons were spared.
As news spread of the defeats at the Alamo and Goliad, men flocked to the Texian army. By early April, Houston commanded about 800 men. The Texas Revolution essentially ended on April 21, when the Texian Army routed a Mexican force and captured Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto.
For six months David G. Burnet, ad interim President of the Republic, had diligently maintained the army laws set forth by the Consultation in December 1835. The 1835–36 Regular Army of Texas would never consist of more than 100 soldiers and would never approach the Consultation's number goal of 560 infantry, 560 artillery and 384 cavalry, in the permanent "Regular Army" of Texas. However, the goal of independence was achieved, nonetheless.
Mexican Tejas Militia
| Texian Army
Army of the Republic of Texas
Albert Sidney Johnston (February 2, 1803 – April 6, 1862) served as a general in three different armies: the Texian Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army. He saw extensive combat during his 34-year military career, fighting actions in the Black Hawk War, the Texas War of Independence, the Mexican–American War, the Utah War, and the American Civil War.
Considered by Confederate States President Jefferson Davis to be the finest general officer in the Confederacy before the later emergence of Robert E. Lee, he was killed early in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862. Johnston was the highest-ranking officer, Union or Confederate, killed during the entire war. Davis believed the loss of General Johnston "was the turning point of our fate."
Johnston was unrelated to Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston.Army of the Republic of Texas
The Army of the Republic of Texas was the land-based component of the armed forces for the Republic of Texas. It directly descended from the Texian Army, which was established on October 2, 1835, to fight for independence from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. The army was provisionally formed from the Consultation in November 1835, and officially established on September 5, 1836, from Article II, Section 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. After Texas' annexation by the United States, the Army of the Republic of Texas was merged into the United States Army. Today, the 141st Infantry Regiment trace their lineage back to the Texas Revolution.Battle of Concepción
The Battle of Concepción was fought on October 28, 1835, between Mexican troops under Colonel Domingo Ugartechea and Texian insurgents led by James Bowie and James Fannin. The 30-minute engagement, which historian J. R. Edmondson describes as "the first major engagement of the Texas Revolution", occurred on the grounds of Mission Concepción, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of what is now Downtown San Antonio in the U.S. state of Texas.
On October 13, the newly created Texian Army under Stephen F. Austin had marched towards Bexar, where General Martín Perfecto de Cos commanded the remaining Mexican soldiers in Texas. On October 27, Austin sent Bowie and Fannin, with 90 soldiers, to find a defensible spot near Bexar for the Texian Army to rest. After choosing a site near Mission Concepción, the scouting party camped for the night and sent a courier to notify Austin. After learning that the Texian Army was divided, Cos sent Ugartechea with 275 soldiers to attack the Texians camped at Concepción. The Texians took cover in a horseshoe-shaped gully; their good defensive position, longer firing range, and better ammunition helped them to repel several Mexican attacks, and the Mexican soldiers retreated just 30 minutes before the remainder of the Texian Army arrived. Historians estimate that between 14 and 76 Mexican soldiers were killed, while only one Texian soldier died.Battle of Goliad
The Battle of Goliad was the second skirmish of the Texas Revolution. In the early-morning hours of October 9, 1835, Texas settlers attacked the Mexican Army soldiers garrisoned at Presidio La Bahía, a fort near the Mexican Texas settlement of Goliad. La Bahía lay halfway between the only other large garrison of Mexican soldiers (at Presidio San Antonio de Bexar) and the then-important Texas port of Copano.
In September, Texians began plotting to kidnap Mexican General Martín Perfecto de Cos, who was en route to Goliad to attempt to quell the unrest in Texas. The plan was initially dismissed by the central committee coordinating the rebellion. However, within days of the Texian victory at the Battle of Gonzales, Captain George Collinsworth and members of the Texian militia in Matagorda began marching towards Goliad. The Texians soon learned that Cos and his men had already departed for San Antonio de Béxar but continued their march.
The garrison at La Bahía was understaffed and could not mount an effective defense of the fort's perimeter. Using axes borrowed from townspeople, Texians were able to chop through a door and enter the complex before the bulk of the soldiers were aware of their presence. After a 30-minute battle, the Mexican garrison, under Colonel Juan López Sandoval, surrendered. One Mexican soldier had been killed and three others wounded, while only one Texian had been injured. The majority of the Mexican soldiers were instructed to leave Texas, and the Texians confiscated $10,000 worth of provisions and several cannons, which they soon transported to the Texian Army for use in the Siege of Béxar. The victory isolated Cos's men in Béxar from the coast, forcing them to rely on a long overland march to request or receive reinforcements or supplies.Battle of San Jacinto
The Battle of San Jacinto (Spanish: Batalla de San Jacinto), fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes. A detailed, first-hand account of the battle was written by General Houston from Headquarters of the Texian Army, San Jacinto, on April 25, 1836. Numerous secondary analyses and interpretations have followed, several of which are cited and discussed throughout this entry.
General Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, and General Martín Perfecto de Cos both escaped during the battle. Santa Anna was captured the next day on April 22 and Cos on April 24, 1836. After being held about three weeks as a prisoner of war, Santa Anna signed the peace treaty that dictated that the Mexican army leave the region, paving the way for the Republic of Texas to become an independent country. These treaties did not specifically recognize Texas as a sovereign nation, but stipulated that Santa Anna was to lobby for such recognition in Mexico City. Sam Houston became a national celebrity, and the Texans' rallying cries from events of the war, "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" became etched into Texan history and legend.Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing the Texian and immigrant occupiers. Santa Anna's cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians, both legal Texas settlers and illegal immigrants from the United States, to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the rebellion.
Several months previously, Texians had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. About 100 Texians were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexicans marched into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to retake Texas. For the next 10 days, the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies from Texas and from the United States, but the Texians were reinforced by fewer than 100 men because the United States had a treaty with Mexico, and supplying men and weapons would have been an overt act of war.
In the early morning hours of March 6, the Mexican Army advanced on the Alamo. After repelling two attacks, the Texians were unable to fend off a third attack. As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian fighters withdrew into interior buildings. Occupiers unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texians died, while most historians of the Alamo agree that around 600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat. The news sparked both a strong rush to join the Texian army and a panic, known as "The Runaway Scrape", in which the Texian army, most settlers, and the new, self-proclaimed but officially unrecognized, Republic of Texas government fled eastward toward the United States ahead of the advancing Mexican Army.
Within Mexico, the battle has often been overshadowed by events from the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. In 19th-century Texas, the Alamo complex gradually became known as a battle site rather than a former mission. The Texas Legislature purchased the land and buildings in the early part of the 20th century and designated the Alamo chapel as an official Texas State Shrine. The Alamo has been the subject of numerous non-fiction works beginning in 1843. Most Americans, however, are more familiar with the myths and legends spread by many of the movie and television adaptations, including the 1950s Disney mini-series Davy Crockett and John Wayne's 1960 film The Alamo.Benjamin F. Bryant
Benjamin Franklin Bryant (March 15, 1800 – March 4, 1857) was a military officer noted for his service to in the Texian Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, and later in the Army of the Republic of Texas. Bryant founded the frontier fort Bryant Station and was personally recognized by Sam Houston and the Texas Legislature, who voted in 1931 to relocate his grave to the Texas State Cemetery due to his notable place in Texas history.Edward Burleson
Edward Burleson (December 15, 1798 – December 26, 1851) was the third Vice President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas was annexed to the United States, he served in the State Senate. Prior to his government service in Texas, he was a commander of Texian Army forces during the Texas Revolution. Before moving to Texas, he served in militias in Alabama, Missouri, and Tennessee, and fought in the War of 1812. Burleson was the soldier that was given Santa Anna's sword when he surrendered.Frank W. Johnson
Francis White "Frank" Johnson (October 3, 1799 – April 8, 1884) was a leader of the Texian Army from December 1835 through February 1836, during the Texas Revolution. Johnson arrived in Texas in 1826 and worked as a surveyor for several empresarios, including Stephen F. Austin. One of his first activities was to plot the new town of Harrisburg. Johnson unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Fredonian Rebellion and served as a delegate to the Convention of 1832.
During the early part of the Texas Revolution, Johnson served as the adjutant and inspector general of the Texian Army. During the final assault of the siege of Bexar, Johnson led one of the two divisions which fought Mexican troops and was a member of the committee that negotiated the Mexican surrender. Following the battle, Johnson became commander of the volunteers. In late December 1835, the Texas provisional government named him co-commander of an expedition to invade Mexico. By late January, the provisional government had named several others as heads of the Texian Army, and there was confusion in the army and the general public over who was in charge.
Johnson and his men were surprised at the Battle of San Patricio on February 27, 1836. Most of his men were killed, but Johnson escaped. During the next three decades, Johnson alternately lived in Texas or traveled the United States. He settled permanently near Austin, Texas in 1871 and spent the rest of his life researching Texas history. In 1914, thirty years after Johnson's death, historian Eugene C. Barker edited Johnson's manuscripts into a book, A History of Texas and Texans.Goliad massacre
The Goliad massacre was an event of the Texas Revolution that occurred on March 27, 1836, following the Battle of Coleto; 425-445 prisoners of war from the Texian Army of the Republic of Texas were killed by the Mexican Army in the town of Goliad, Texas. Among those killed was commander Colonel James Fannin. The killing was carried out under orders from General and President of Mexico Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Despite the appeals for clemency by General José de Urrea, the massacre was reluctantly carried out by Lt. Colonel José Nicolás de la Portilla.Grass Fight
The Grass Fight was a small battle during the Texas Revolution, fought between the Mexican Army and the Texian Army. The battle took place on November 26, 1835, just south of San Antonio de Béxar in the Mexican region of Texas. The Texas Revolution had officially begun on October 2 and by the end of the month the Texian had initiated a siege of Béxar, home of the largest Mexican garrison in the province. Bored with the inactivity, many of the Texian soldiers returned home; a smaller number of adventurers from the United States arrived to replace them. After the Texian Army rejected commander-in-chief Stephen F. Austin's call to launch an assault on Béxar on November 22, Austin resigned from the army. The men elected Edward Burleson their new commander-in-chief.
On November 26, Texian scout Deaf Smith brought news of a Mexican pack train, accompanied by 50–100 soldiers, that was on its way to Bexar. The Texian camp was convinced that the pack train carried silver to pay the Mexican garrison and purchase supplies. Burleson ordered Colonel James Bowie to take 45–50 cavalry and intercept the train. An additional 100 infantry followed. On seeing the battle commence, Mexican General Martín Perfecto de Cos sent reinforcements from Bexar. The Texians repulsed several attacks by Mexican soldiers, who finally retreated to Bexar. When the Texians examined the abandoned pack train they discovered that, instead of silver, the mules carried freshly cut grass to feed the Mexican Army horses. Four Texians were injured, and historian Alwyn Barr states that three Mexican soldiers were killed, although Bowie and Burleson initially claimed the number was much higher.Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo are an American professional soccer club based in Houston, Texas. The franchise competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), as a member of the Western Conference. The Dynamo had first played their home games at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus until 2011. Since 2012, the Dynamo has played home matches at BBVA Compass Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston. The team's head coach is Wilmer Cabrera.
The Dynamo was established on December 15, 2005 when the then owner of the San Jose Earthquakes, Anschutz Entertainment Group, announced that the team was relocating to Houston after failed attempts in securing a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose, California. The club would then be an expansion team of the league, which began play in 2006. The Dynamo is owned by Gabriel Brener, Jake Silverstein, Ben Guill, and world Olympic boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.Houston Dynamo's domestic success consists of winning the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups in their first two seasons. They also won the U.S. Open Cup in 2018. In 2008, Houston became the first American club to secure a point on Mexican soil in the CONCACAF Champions League era during the 2008–2017 format of the tournament.Ira Westover
Ira J. Westover (1795 – March 27, 1836) was an officer in the Texian Army who served in the Texas Revolution, leading a force of Texian riflemen during the Battle of Lipantitlán. He and his adopted son were killed in the Goliad Massacre.Jacob Snively
Jacob Snively (1809–1871) was a surveyor, civil engineer, officer of the Texian Army and the Army of the Republic of Texas, California 49er, miner, and Arizona pioneer.Philip Dimmitt
Philip Dimmitt (1801–1841) was an officer in the Texian Army during the Texas Revolution. Born in Kentucky, Dimmitt moved to Texas in 1823 and soon operated a series of trading posts. After learning that Mexican General Martín Perfecto de Cos was en route to Texas in the year 1835 (??) to quell the unrest, Dimmitt proposed that the general be kidnapped on his arrival at Copano. The plan was shelved when fighting broke out at Gonzales, but by early October, 1835, it had been resuscitated by a group of volunteers at Matamoros. Not knowing that Cos had already departed for San Antonio de Bexar, this group decided to corner Cos at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. Dimmitt joined them en route, and participated in the battle of Goliad.
Following the battle, Dimmitt assumed command of the Texian forces that remained at Presidio La Bahia. One of his first acts as commander was to design a new flag. Similar to the Mexican flag, his version replaced the central eagle with the words "Constitution of 1824", reflecting his loyalty to the Constitution of 1824, which had been repudiated by Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Against the wishes of the commander of the Texian Army, Dimmitt also authorized a group of his men to take Fort Lipantitlan. Their success meant that the only remaining group of Mexican soldiers in Texas were Cos's men in Bexar. Dimmitt and a few of his men left Goliad in early December to join the siege of Bexar and participated in the final battle which forced Cos to surrender. On their return to Goliad, Dimmitt's men declared independence from Mexico. In honor of their new aim, Dimmitt designed a second flag, a white background with a severed, bloody arm holding a sword. The new Texian Army commanders and the provisional government were angry with the premature declaration and instructed Dimmitt to lower his flag. He resigned his command in protest.
Soon after, Dimmitt joined the Texians garrisoned at the Alamo Mission in Bexar. On February 23, Alamo commander William B. Travis sent Dimmitt on a scouting mission to see if the Mexican Army was close. While Dimmitt was out, the Mexican Army surrounded Bexar. Fearing that he would not be able to reach the Alamo, Dimmitt instead returned to Victoria and tried to recruit volunteers to ride to the Alamo's relief. He and his volunteers eventually joined the Texian Army, under Sam Houston on April 22, the day after the battle of San Jacinto. Following the war, Dimmitt opened a trading post near the Nueces River. The post was raided by Mexican soldiers in July 1841 and Dimmitt was taken captive. He committed suicide in captivity later that year. Dimmit County, Texas is named for him.Sam Houston
Sam Houston (March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American soldier and politician. An important leader of the Texas Revolution, Houston served as the 1st and 3rd president of the Republic of Texas, and was one of the first two individuals to represent Texas in the United States Senate. He also served as the 6th Governor of Tennessee and the seventh governor of Texas, the only American to be elected governor of two different states in the United States.
Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, Houston and his family migrated to Maryville, Tennessee when Houston was a teenager. Houston later ran away from home and spent time with the Cherokee, becoming known as "Raven." He served under General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, and after the war he presided over the removal of many Cherokee from Tennessee. With the support of Jackson and others, Houston won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1823. He strongly supported Jackson's presidential candidacies, and in 1827 Houston won election as the governor of Tennessee. In 1829, after divorce his first wife, Houston resigned from office, and joined his Cherokee friends in Arkansas Territory.
Houston settled in Texas in 1832. After the Battle of Gonzales, Houston helped organize Texas's provisional government and was selected as the top-ranking official in the Texian Army. He led the Texian Army to victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in Texas's war for independence against Mexico. After the war, Houston won election in the 1836 Texas presidential election. He left office due to term limits in 1838, but won election to another term in the 1841 Texas presidential election. Houston played a key role in the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845, and in 1846 he was elected to represent Texas in the United States Senate. He joined the Democratic Party and supported President James K. Polk's prosecution of the Mexican–American War.
Houston's Senate record was marked by his unionism and opposition to extremists from both the North and South. He voted for the Compromise of 1850, which settled many of the territorial issues left over from the Mexican–American War and the annexation of Texas. He later voted against the Kansas–Nebraska Act because he believed it would lead to increased sectional tensions over slavery, and his opposition to that act led him to leave the Democratic Party. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidential nomination of the American Party in the 1856 presidential election and the Constitutional Union Party in the 1860 presidential election. In 1859, Houston won election as the governor of Texas. In that role, he opposed secession and unsuccessfully sought to keep Texas out of the Confederate States of America. He was forced out of office in 1861 and died in 1863. Houston's name has been honored in numerous ways, and he is the namesake of the city of Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States.Siege of Béxar
The Siege of Béxar (or Béjar) was an early campaign of the Texas Revolution in which a volunteer Texian army defeated Mexican forces at San Antonio de Béxar (now San Antonio, Texas, US). Texians had become disillusioned with the Mexican government as President and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's tenure became increasingly dictatorial. In early October, 1835, Texas settlers gathered in Gonzales to stop Mexican troops from reclaiming a small cannon. The resulting skirmish, known as the Battle of Gonzales, launched the Texas Revolution. Men continued to assemble in Gonzales and soon established the Texian Army. Despite a lack of military training, well-respected local leader General Stephen F. Austin was elected commander.
Santa Anna had sent his brother-in-law, General Martin Perfecto de Cos, to Béxar with reinforcements. On October 13, Austin led his forces towards Béxar to confront the Mexican troops. The Texians initiated a siege of the city.Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of a larger one that included other provinces opposed to the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government believed the United States had instigated the Texas insurrection with the goal of annexation. The Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops "will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag." Only the province of Texas succeeded in breaking with Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas, and eventually being annexed by the United States.
The revolution began in October 1835, after a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the increasingly large population of American settlers in Texas. The Mexican government had become increasingly centralized and the rights of its citizens had become increasingly curtailed, particularly regarding immigration from the United States. Colonists and Tejanos disagreed on whether the ultimate goal was independence or a return to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. While delegates at the Consultation (provisional government) debated the war's motives, Texians and a flood of volunteers from the United States defeated the small garrisons of Mexican soldiers by mid-December 1835. The Consultation declined to declare independence and installed an interim government, whose infighting led to political paralysis and a dearth of effective governance in Texas. An ill-conceived proposal to invade Matamoros siphoned much-needed volunteers and provisions from the fledgling Texian Army. In March 1836, a second political convention declared independence and appointed leadership for the new Republic of Texas.
Determined to avenge Mexico's honor, Santa Anna vowed to personally retake Texas. His Army of Operations entered Texas in mid-February 1836 and found the Texians completely unprepared. Mexican General José de Urrea led a contingent of troops on the Goliad Campaign up the Texas coast, defeating all Texian troops in his path and executing most of those who surrendered. Santa Anna led a larger force to San Antonio de Béxar (or Béxar), where his troops defeated the Texian garrison in the Battle of the Alamo, killing almost all of the defenders.
A newly created Texian army under the command of Sam Houston was constantly on the move, while terrified civilians fled with the army, in a melee known as the Runaway Scrape. On March 31, Houston paused his men at Groce's Landing on the Brazos River, and for the next two weeks, the Texians received rigorous military training. Becoming complacent and underestimating the strength of his foes, Santa Anna further subdivided his troops. On April 21, Houston's army staged a surprise assault on Santa Anna and his vanguard force at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Mexican troops were quickly routed, and vengeful Texians executed many who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was taken hostage; in exchange for his life, he ordered the Mexican army to retreat south of the Rio Grande. Mexico refused to recognize the Republic of Texas, and intermittent conflicts between the two countries continued into the 1840s. The annexation of Texas as the 28th state of the United States, in 1845, led directly to the Mexican–American War.Texians
Texians were residents of Mexican Texas and, later, the Republic of Texas.
Today, the term is used specifically to distinguish early Anglo settlers of Texas, especially those who supported the Texas Revolution. Mexican settlers of that era are referred to as Tejanos, and residents of modern Texas are known as Texans.