Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   




Celebrate San Jacinto Day at historic site

A brief but deadly battle ended the war for Texas’ independence from Mexico.

Every April, Texans celebrate the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, when Texas won independence from Mexico.

Perhaps the most amazing detail of the battle is its length — a mere 18 minutes. Yet however brief it was, the battle had an immense impact, eventually allowing the United States to continue its westward expansion.

One month earlier, delegates had gathered to sign a declaration of the state’s independence from Mexico at what is now Washington-on-the-Brazos. Despite the boldness of this proclamation, the Texian troops struggled against Santa Anna’s army, sent to quash the revolt, losing crucial battles at the Alamo and Goliad.

Utilizing intercepted communications, Gen. Sam Houston devised a plan to catch Santa Anna with limited troops near Lynch’s Ferry (where the San Jacinto River meets Buffalo Bayou). When Houston didn’t attack as expected on the morning of April 21, Santa Anna allowed his troops to relax. Meanwhile, Houston quietly sent his troops to the left and right flanks, then crept forward with his remaining forces.

The surprise attack — accompanied by shouts of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” — caught the Mexican troops off-guard. Only nine Texans died in the battle, while hundreds of Santa Anna’s troops were killed or captured, forcing he Mexican general to withdraw his troops from Texas. He was captured the next day.

This year, celebrate the 186th anniversary of the battle at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. Learn about the Road to San Jacinto, with representatives from other major Texas Revolution historic sites sharing their parts of the story. At the Living History Camp, visitors can interact with re-enactors as they cook, check weapons and engage in the daily routines of soldiers and civilians from almost 200 years ago. Re-enactments throughout the day tell the story of the final chapter of the fight for Texas’ independence. Enjoy family-friendly programming, kids’ activities, food trucks and local vendors. 


 TPWD Staff;   TPWD

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