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San Jacinto Battleground

On April 21, 1836, about 9am General Martin Perfecto do Cos with reinforcements of 500 troops arrived and was put into line between the north end of the breastwork and the bluff line along the marsh. This increased the Mexican troops to about 1250 while the Texans numbered about 800. All day long the men of the Texan army stood around expecting an order to form up and move out.

About 3:30pm it finally came. The army advanced as units in the same order in which it had been camped. Silently they crossed through knee high grass, approximately one mile toward the Mexican positions. The Mexicans had not posted any sentries, pickets or lookouts, allowing the Texans to advance across the low ground, over the ridge line, and to a short distance in front of the breastworks before being detected. THis surprise was one of the major factors in the Texas victory. Another factor which weighed heavily in the Texans' favor was the psychological states of the respective armies. The Texans were defending their homeland and their families. Since joining the army they had been retreating, and they were aware that Santa Anna had killed or massacred every Texan unit he had met. They knew that they would either leave the field as victors or they would not leave it at all. General Houston recorded in his report of the battle that: "Colonel Sherman, with his regiment, having commenced the action upon our left wing-rung the war cry, REMEMBER THE ALAMO! General Santa Anna, in his report of the battle, noted that: "One of their wings had driven away the three companies posted in the wood on our right, and from among the trees were now doing much execution with their rifles." On his horse about the center of the Texas line, General Houston was between the two lines and was wounded in the ankle by a musket ball. The Texan artillery, the Twin Sisters, had moved to within 70 yards of the Mexican Breastworks, dealing death with their ridles, muskets, shotguns, pistols, tomahawks, and long knives. The Mexican were wquipped with English muskets and trained in Napoleonic tactics-massed units firing volleys. A well trained unit could deliver three volleys per minute. A volley was devastating, down range it had a scything effect. If the Mexicans had been able to form their units and deliver even one or two volleys, the result of the battle could have been different. A crucial event in the battle occurred when the Texan Second Regiment drove the three companies north of the breastworks out of the trees, down behind the breastworks and parallel to it. This confusion added greatly to the inability of the Mexican officers to organize their units. The Mexicans did not get off a single volley. Out of the formations in which they were trained to fight, the Mexicans were not effective. They were not individual fighters as were the Texans, and this was the Texans kind of battle. The cavalry, under Mirabeau B. Lamar, neutralized the Mexican dragoons and obstructed the attempts of the Mexican infantry to escape across the prairie to the south. After only about 20 minutes of fighting at or near the breastworks, the Mexicans retreated. The Texans pursued for more than an hour, driving them back to the water, with about 630 killed and more than that number captured. Very few escaped. The next day, Santa Anna was captured and brought into the Texan camp. Reluctantly he agreed to the terms of a treaty requiring Mexican soldiers to evacuate Texas. The result was-THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. (by William T. Kendall)

Height:570 feet * Approximate Weight:70,300,000 lbs Architect: A.C.Finn * Sculptor: William McVey Construction Firm: WS Bellows Construction Corp. Construction Dates: April 21, 1936 to April 21, 1939

The San Jacinto Monument commemorates the heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who helped win the independence of Texas. The initiative to erect a memorial on the battleground began as early as 1856 with the Texas Veterans Association. In the late 19th century, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas successfully sought funds from the Texas Legislature for the acquisition of the site for a state park. In 1936, as part of the centennial celebration of Texas independence, construction of the monument commenced. The Monument is built of reinforced concrete and faced with fossilized Texas Cordova shellstone. The 35,000 ton Monument rests on 15 feet of solid concrete. The Texas Lone Star atop the Monument is 34 feet tall and weighs approximately 220 tons.

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