A Select Glossary of the
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The active period of the Texas Revolution lasted from October 2, 1835, to April 22, 1836. The capture of General Santa Anna, coupled with the decisive victory at San Jacinto, ended, for all practical purposes, the war with Mexico. Mexico would mount two raids into Texas, each capturing San Antonio temporarily. But never again did Mexico have permanent control of any Texas territory north of the Rio Grande. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in 1848, finally acknowledged Texas independence from Mexico.
The information for this select glossary of the Texas Revolution is drawn from a number of sources, but principally from the three-volume Handbook of Texas. With few exceptions, information about persons or places is confined to the period from October 1835 through April 1836. Additional information about the men who fought for and against Texas independence can be found in the Handbook and in the books listed in the bibliography.
The Texas Revolution
The summer of 1835 was filled with unrest. In June the colonists had discovered that General Cos intended to use the military to force Texan compliance with government regulations. William B. Travis and a body of some 50 men responded to this threat in August by attacking and taking the fort at Anahuac. The action, although universally condemned by the Texans, strengthened Mexican determination to bring a military peace-keeping force to Texas.
Texans feared that rights and liberties guaranteed by the Mexican Constitution of 1824 were threatened by this action and the increasing centralization of the government in Mexico. Mexican officials viewed Texan opposition as a direct attack on Mexican national honor, an insult to the government which had generously allowed the colonists to settle in Texas.
The arrival of Mexican troops in Texas finally united the Texans in opposition to Santa Anna’s government. When Colonel Ugartechea demanded that a cannon at Gonzales be returned, the colonists refused. The first battle of the Revolution took place. The Mexican commander was forced to retreat.
Gonzales fell on October 2; Goliad, on October 10. James Bowie and William Barrett Travis captured Espada and Concepcion Missions in October. Fort Lipantitlan surrendered in early November. Between December 5 and December 10, after a month-long siege, San Antonio was taken by the Texas Army and the Mexican troops remaining in Texas were forced to retreat to Mexico. At year’s end, no “foreign” troops remained on Texas soil.
The battles of 1835 were fought mainly by Texas settlers, men who had a vested interest in defending Texas’ soil. By the end of the year, however, they believed the war was over, and they returned to their homes. The 1836 campaign would be conducted principally with volunteers from the United States, a weakness that would hamper the war effort throughout the rest of the Revolution.
While the Texan army drove out the Mexican forces, a “Consultation” of delegates from each of the municipalities met to determine how best to proceed. On November 7, they issued a declaration of causes for taking up arms against Santa Anna. A vote of 33 to 15 favored the peace party: Texas would fight to restore the Constitution of 1824 and to achieve separate statehood for Texas within the Mexican confederation.
A government of sorts was set up by the Consultation. It consisted of a governor, council, and lieutenant governor. None of the parties held sufficient executive or legislative powers. Furthermore, the 5governor, Henry Smith, favored complete independence for Texas; a majority of the council favored continuing as part of Mexico. Within a month these parties were fighting among themselves. Then, on January 10, Governor Smith attempted to dismiss the council; the council impeached Smith and replaced him with Lt. Governor James W. Robinson.
The split between Smith and the council was caused by attempts to mount a Matamoros Expedition—an ill-favored plan to take the war outside of Texas and to keep U. S. volunteers occupied. Although the Matamoros Expedition never was organized, it drew off supplies and volunteers desperately needed in Texas, and it divided the political and military leaders at a time when unified action was essential.
As winter held Texas in its grip, Santa Anna mounted a counterattack. Arriving in San Antonio on February 23, he laid siege to the Alamo, where 150 Texans attempted to buy time for Texas. Only 32 volunteers from Gonzales came to reinforce the men at the Alamo. All were killed shortly after dawn on March 6.
While the Alamo was besieged, Texans met in Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. On March 2, the Convention declared Texas independence, and a Declaration to that effect was signed the following day. Before the meeting adjourned, a constitution was drafted and an interim government set up.
Texan reverses in the field continued. Learning of the fall of the Alamo, Sam Houston and the undermanned and untrained Texas army began a hasty retreat eastward.
F. W. Johnson was attacked at San Patricio on February 27, and only he and four men survived. James Grant and his men were surrounded and killed at Agua Dulce on March 2.
Refugio was attacked and Amon King and the garrison were killed on March 16. William Ward, who had been sent to relieve King, was captured with his men on March 22. They were marched to Goliad where they were executed on March 27.
Fannin, who had failed to respond to calls for help from the Alamo because he lacked transport for his arms and supplies, finally began a retreat on March 19. He and his men were caught outside Goliad at Coleto. After fighting off several attacks, Fannin was finally forced to surrender on the morning of the 20th. Returned to Goliad, Fannin and his men awaited a decision about their fate. Gen. Urrea favored treating them as prisoners of war; Santa Anna demanded that they be executed as pirates. Santa Anna prevailed. His orders were carried out on Palm Sunday, March 27.
Throughout April, the remaining Texas troops fled to the east. While they retreated, panic seized the colonists. The Runaway Scrape saw hundreds of families take to the roads fleeing from the oncoming 7Mexican army. Even the Texas government was caught up in the frenzy as Santa Anna moved steadily eastward. Indeed, the government narrowly escaped being captured as its members prepared to sail to Galveston.
Finally, on April 20, the Mexican and Texan armies met at San Jacinto. A brief skirmish was fought on April 20. Then, as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, on April 21 the Texan army advanced against Santa Anna’s troops. What took place then was a slaughter of the Mexican army, its men taken by surprise, cut off from escape.
The Texan victory was completed the next day when a poorly-dressed soldier was brought in from the field. The prisoners’ reactions soon revealed that this was, indeed, President-General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. For all practical purposes, the war was at an end.
Ad Interim GovernmentThe last act of the Convention of 1836 was to elect an interim government to serve until the people of Texas could ratify the Constitution and hold regular elections. David G. Burnet served as president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice-president. This government acted from March 16 until October 16, 1836.
Agua Dulce, Battle ofFought March 2, 1836. James Grant’s small body of men, a part of the Matamoros Expedition, and troops commanded by Jose Urrea met on a spot some 26 miles from San Patricio. Grant and most of his men were killed. Those who escaped death either were made prisoner by the Mexican army or were to join Fannin’s forces at Goliad, only to be executed in the Goliad Massacre.
Alamo MissionThe Mission San Antonio de Valero, known as the “Alamo,” was used as a fort by the Mexican army from 1821 until December 1835. After a two-month siege, Texan troops took 10over San Antonio on December 10, and drove the Mexican army from the city. Texan soldiers hastened to the Alamo on February 23, 1836, as Santa Anna’s army entered San Antonio. After a 13-day siege, the Mexican army succeeded in taking the Alamo on March 6. None of the 187 Texan soldiers survived the battle and its aftermath.
Almonte, Juan NepumocenoA colonel in the Mexican Army, Almonte accompanied Santa Anna as an aide-de-camp. He was captured at San Jacinto. Almonte’s report to the Mexican government in January 1834 alerted the government to the possibility that Texas might be taken from Mexico by force or by diplomacy.
AnahuacAngered over the arrest of Andrew Briscoe, citizens of Anahuac, led by William B. Travis, attacked the garrison on June 29, 1835. Mexican troops under Antonio Tenorio were forced to surrender and were expelled on June 30. The action was condemned by most Texans, and numerous communities sent in protests to the Mexican government. Mexico retaliated by sending military forces under the command of General Cos to Texas to quell any future demonstrations.
Archer, Branch TannerBefore joining the Consultation, Archer participated in the capture of Gonzales. He was the president of the Consultation, and he was appointed by that body to serve as one of three commissioners to the United States, empowered to secure men and money for the war effort.
Austin, Stephen FullerHis speech at Brazoria on September 8, 1835, encouraged the colonists to seek independence from Mexican rule. Austin was elected commander-in-chief of the Volunteer Army in the field, and, as such, directed the operations of the Texan army before Bexar. In November 1835, the Consultation appointed him a Commissioner to the United States, where he worked throughout the remainder of the Revolution, negotiating for men and money to support the revolutionary forces.
Austin, William TennantAt the beginning of hostilities, he sent supplies to the Texas army from the mouth of the Brazos. He participated in the siege of Bexar and later served as an aide to Stephen F. Austin, Edward Burleson, and Sam Houston.
Baker, MoseleyA leader of the war party in Texas before the Revolution, Baker went into east Texas with F. W. Johnson to recruit soldiers for Texas in August 1835. Baker fought in the battle of Gonzales and the Grass Fight. He was elected captain of his company on March 1, 1836. His command prevented the Mexicans’ crossing the Brazos during the Texas Army’s retreat. After burning San Felipe, he rejoined Houston’s army and was wounded in the battle of San Jacinto. In that engagement, Baker commanded Company D, 1st Regiment of the Texas Volunteers.
Barrett, Don CarlosBarrett served as president of the Mina Committee of Safety and Correspondence and represented that community at the Consultation. Barrett was instrumental in framing the Declaration of November 7, 1835. After the session, Barrett became a member of the General Council. He was elected judge advocate general of the Texas Army, but resigned because of ill health shortly after Henry Smith’s impeachment.
Bean, Peter EllisBean had served in the Mexican wars for independence from Spain, and, for that reason, was regarded with suspicion by the colonists. However, he is credited with having kept the Indian tribes from interfering with the Texan army throughout the Revolution. Neither side fully trusted him during the war.
Beason’s FerryCrossing on the Colorado River, south of Burn(h)am’s Ferry. Santa Anna’s army crossed the river at this point on April 5, 1836.
BexarThe term encompasses both the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar and the villa of San Fernando de Bexar, which became present-day San Antonio. It also includes the municipality of Bexar which eventually became Bexar county.
Benavides, PlacidoBenavides organized a band of Mexican soldiers to fight for the Texan cause at the outbreak of hostilities. In February 1836, he was with James Grant at the battle of Agua Dulce Creek. Grant ordered him to escape and to report the news of Urrea’s arrival to Fannin at Goliad.
Bonham, James ButlerBonham was commissioned a lieutenant of cavalry on December 20, 141835. He arrived at the Alamo some time between January 18 and 23, possibly with James Bowie. At the beginning of Santa Anna’s siege, Travis sent Bonham to Goliad to request reinforcements from Fannin. On Bonham’s return, he was sent to Goliad and Gonzales to raise volunteers. In spite of the danger, Bonham forced his way back into the Alamo on March 3 and died there on March 6.
Borden, Gail Jr.Borden published the Telegraph and Texas Register, beginning the publication on October 10, 1835. The press had to be moved from San Felipe to Harrisburg and then to Columbia as the Texans retreated before Santa Anna’s advance.
Borden, John P.Borden fought under Collinsworth at Goliad, October 7, 1835. Along with five other men, he signed a protest addressed to S. F. Austin, demanding that the men of Goliad be allowed to choose their own commander. He served under Dimmitt, but was discharged January 11. He rejoined the army on February 29, and, as a member of Moseley Baker’s company, he fought in the battle of San Jacinto.
Bowie, JamesA leader in the battle of Concepcion and the Grass Fight, Bowie also participated in the siege of Bexar and the surrender of 15General Cos. He commanded the volunteer forces in San Antonio when William B. Travis arrived with regular army troops. After James C. Neill left the San Antonio on February 14, 1836, Bowie and Travis shared command of the army: Travis in charge of the regular forces; Bowie, of the volunteers. He was stricken with “typhoid pneumonia” on February 24 and remained confined to his cot throughout the siege and fall of the Alamo.
Bowles, Chief (The Bowl)Chief of the Cherokee tribes in East Texas, Bowles was reported to have accepted a Mexican commission during the Revolution. However, he signed a treaty of peace with the Texas government on February 23, 1836, and the war ran its course with no organized Indian interference.
BravoA Mexican war vessel blockading the Texas coast in early November, the Bravo participated in the capture of the American ship, the Hannah Elizabeth. The Bravo, with two other Mexican ships, fought an engagement with the Texan man-of-war Independence in April 1836.
Another ship, formerly called the Montezuma but rechristened the Bravo was engaged in battle by the Invincible, commanded by Captain Jeremiah Brown. The battle took place at the mouth of the Rio Grande, about 35 miles from Matamoros. 16The Bravo grounded and was crippled by a broadside fired from the Invincible.
BrazoriaMost men from Brazoria had joined the Texan army at the outbreak of the war. Nearly all of the remaining population had fled in the Runaway Scrape when Jose Urrea burned the town on April 22, 1836.
BrutusThe Brutus was bought and equipped as a privateer by Augustus C. and John K. Allen. The brothers sold the ship to the Texas Navy on January 25, 1836. The ship did not see action in the war, however.
Bryan, Moses AustinWhile Stephen F. Austin commanded the Texan volunteers in the field, Bryan served as his secretary. After Austin’s retirement from the army, Bryan joined the army as private and fought in Moseley Baker’s company in the battle of San Jacinto. At the time, he was serving as Thomas J. Rusk’s aide-de-camp. He was an interpreter at the conference between General Houston and Santa Anna.
Bryan, WilliamA New Orleans merchant, Bryan furnished men and money to the Revolution. He was appointed general agent for Texas by the General Council on January 26, 1836, and, with his partner Edward Hall, he served 17as purchasing agent for the revolutionary government.
Buffalo BayouThis stream flows east from Fort Bend County to the San Jacinto River. On April 20, 1836, Sam Houston’s army crossed the San Jacinto River at Lynch’s Ferry and camped on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou. On April 21, the battle of San Jacinto was fought on its banks, near the point where the stream flows into the San Jacinto River.
Burleson, EdwardAt Gonzales, on October 10, 1835, Burleson was elected colonel of the only regiment raised under Stephen F. Austin’s command. He succeeded Austin in the command of the volunteer army in November. On December 3, Burleson was forced to order a withdrawal of the army to Goliad, but Milam’s support of an advance against Bexar countermanded that move. On December 18, Burleson succeeded Philip Sublett as colonel of infantry. At San Jacinto he commanded the 1st Regiment of Texas Volunteers.
Burnam’s FerryAlso spelled “Burnham’s,” the ferry was at the La Bahia Road crossing of the Colorado River. Sam Houston’s army crossed the river at this point on March 17, 1836. The ferry was destroyed on March 19 to prevent its being used by the Mexican army.
Burnet, David GouverneurBurnet represented the Municipality of Liberty in the Consultation. The Convention of 1836 elected him president of the interim government, a position he held until October 16, 1836.
CentralistsA Mexican political party which supported a strong central government (instead of a federal system). Although Santa Anna had originally gained the presidency of Mexico by supporting the federal cause, he had decided in 1834 that Mexico was not yet ready for democracy. He dissolved the state legislatures in October 1835, putting the nation under a single, central governing body.
Chambers, Thomas JeffersonChambers took an active part in the events leading to the Revolution. He offered his land for security to raise men and money for the war. The provisional government commissioned him a major general of reserves and sent him 19to the United States to secure volunteers and munitions.
Childress, George CampbellChildress was elected a delegate to the Convention of 1836 shortly after he arrived in Texas. There, he called the assembly to order and, after permanent organization, moved that a committee of five be appointed to write a declaration of independence. The document reported out by the committee was written by Childress.
Coleto, Battle ofFought March 19-20, 1836, this battle was the culmination of the Goliad campaign. James W. Fannin and some 400 men from Goliad were falling back toward Guadalupe Victoria when they were attacked by Urrea’s men near Coleto Creek. Although the Texans countered three attacks, they were forced to surrender when their water supplies ran out and Urrea’s main army arrived on the March 20.
Collinsworth, George MorseCollinsworth raised a company of 52 men from Matagorda, and, along with additional troops under Ben Milam, took Goliad on October 9, 1835. He was in command at Goliad until November 18. The General Council appointed him collector of customs for the port of Matagorda on December 10, 1835.
Collinsworth, JamesThe General Council elected Collinsworth captain of the Texas Regiment of Infantry (probably never organized). He represented Brazoria in the Convention of 1836, where he nominated Sam Houston for commander-in-chief. In the army, he assisted the families fleeing in the Runaway Scrape. He was made a major and appointed an aide-de-camp to Houston on April 8. His conduct in the battle of San Jacinto was commended by both Houston and Thomas J. Rusk in their reports.
Committee on Military AffairsCreated by the General Council, the Committee on Military Affairs, through its recommendations and its immediate supervision of military matters, did much to influence the conduct of the war from November 1835 through January 1836. Its members included Wyatt Hanks, J. D. Clements, and R. R. Royal.
Committees of Safety and CorrespondenceOn May 8, 1835, Mina organized a Committee of Safety and Correspondence, and Gonzales and Viesca followed suit a few days later. By the end of the summer, most communities in Texas had such organizations. Their purpose was to keep people in touch with developments that affected the Revolution.
Concepcion, Battle ofJames Bowie and James W. Fannin, with a detachment of 90 men were scouting for a secure campground when, on October 28, they were attacked by a Mexican cavalry force about a mile from Concepcion Mission. The battle lasted some thirty minutes, ending when the main body of the Texan army joined the fight. The army took over the mission grounds for a campsite.
ConsultationCalled for October 16, 1836, at San Felipe de Austin, the Consultation failed to convene a quorum until November 3. Although sharply divided between the “war hawks” and the “peace doves,” the body issued its “Declaration of November 7, 1835,” stating that the war’s aim was to restore the Mexican Constitution of 1824 and to make Texas an independent state within the Mexican Confederation. Sam Houston was made commander-in-chief of the regular army, a government was set up, authorized by the Organic Law, and three commissioners were sent to the United States to seek money and soldiers. The Consultation adjourned on November 14.
Convention of 1836The General Council, over Governor Smith’s veto, called for a Convention to assemble at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 1, 1836. The Convention adopted a 22declaration of independence, wrote a constitution, and elected a provisional government before adjourning hastily on March 17.
Cos, Martin Perfecto deCos was Santa Anna’s brother-in-law, sent to Texas in September 1835 to investigate the colonists’ refusal to pay duties at Anahuac. Cos landed 500 men at Matagorda Bay and then established headquarters at San Antonio. He intended to expel all who had come to Texas since 1830 and anyone opposed to Santa Anna. Forced to surrender San Antonio on December 10, Cos and his men were allowed to return to Mexico on their pledge never to take up arms against Texas again. However, Cos returned, commanding a column at the assault on the Alamo. He crossed Vince’s Bridge with reinforcements for Santa Anna just before Deaf Smith destroyed the bridge on April 21, 1836. He was captured after the battle of San Jacinto.
Crockett, DavidHe came to Texas “to fight for his rights.” Crockett and some of his “Tennessee boys” joined William B. Travis at the Alamo, where he and his men were killed. Contemporary reports from both Texan and Mexican sources claim that Crockett survived the assault on the Alamo, only to be executed on Santa Anna’s order.
Cuellar, Jesus “Comanche”Cuellar served as a guide for Ugartechea in November 1835 and fought under Cos during the siege of Bexar. He deserted the Mexican forces, reported to Edward Burleson the weaknesses in the defenses, and guided the Texans into San Antonio. He joined James Grant for the proposed Matamoros Expedition, but attached himself to James W. Fannin’s command at Goliad. He devised a plan for defeating Urrea’s army, but Fannin was unable to put it into effect. Cuellar was sent to Refugio to warn Ward of Mexican army operations, and from there he joined the Texas Army.
de Zavala, LorenzoA prominent Mexican Federalist and a Texas empresario, de Zavala moved his family to a home on Buffalo Bayou in December 1835. He supported the colonists in both their attempt to restore the Constitution of 1824 and in their later move for independence. He represented Harrisburg in the Consultation and in the Convention of 1836. He was elected interim vice 24president on March 17, 1836. His home was used as a hospital for the wounded after the battle of San Jacinto.
Declaration of IndependenceIssued by the Convention of 1836, the document called for complete independence from Mexico. Written by George Childress, the declaration was approved by the Convention on March 2 and was signed on March 3, 1836. The original document was deposited in the United States Secretary of State’s office; five other copies were sent out to cities in Texas. The five copies were lost, but the original document was returned to Texas in 1896.
Declaration of November 7, 1835Adopted by the Consultation, the document set out the reasons for making war against Santa Anna. Among its provisions were 1) Texas pledged support of the Constitution of 1824, whose terms Santa Anna had violated; 2) Texas was no longer bound by the compact of union because of this violation; and 3) Texas had the right to set up an independent government within the federation, and it would support any other Mexican state willing to take up arms in defense of federal principles.
Dickinson, Mrs. Almeron (Suzanna A.)Mrs. Dickinson and her daughter were in the Alamo with her husband Almeron Dickinson when the Alamo fell. One of the few survivors, Mrs. Dickinson was given a Mexican escort when she and her child left San Antonio after the battle.
Dimmitt, PhilipDimmitt (also spelled “Dimitt” and “Dimmit”) joined George M. Collinsworth in the assault on Goliad in October 1835. He remained at Goliad as captain, but Stephen F. Austin replaced him after receiving complaints about Dimmitt’s conduct from the alcalde of Goliad and former Governor Agustin Viesca. He participated in the siege of Bexar, then returned to Goliad. Dimmitt helped to frame the Goliad Declaration of Independence. He resigned his command on January 17, 1836. Dimmitt left the Alamo on February 23 and returned to Dimmitt’s Landing where he maintained a small force of men throughout the Revolution.
Duval, Burr H.Duval gathered a band of Texas sympathizers, called the Kentucky Mustangs, and set out for Texas in November 1835. Arriving at Quintana, the men set out for Goliad where they joined James W. Fannin’s command. He fought in the battle of Coleto, and was executed on March 27.
Duval, John CrittendenDuval joined his brother’s volunteer force and was with him in the battle of Coleto. John Duval, however, was able to escape. His description of the Goliad massacre, his escape and subsequent adventures became a Texas classic.
Eleven League GrantsUnder the Mexican Law of March 24, 1825, the government of Coahuila and Texas could sell eleven league grants only to Mexicans—an attempt to place some restrictions on land speculation by Anglo American settlers and to reward loyalty to the Federalist cause. However, the colonists found it easy, once a grant was issued, to transfer these titles to themselves. Traffic in eleven league grants increased markedly after 1830.
Espada MissionPursuant to an order by General Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie and James Fannin proceeded to San Francisco de la Espada Mission to 27gather information and supplies. On October 22, after a short engagement with the enemy, men in Bowie and Fannin’s detachment captured the mission. They were able to repel a Mexican attack on the 24th successfully.
Fannin, James Walker, Jr.Fannin participated in the battle of Gonzales as captain of the Brazos Guards. With James Bowie, Fannin led the Texan forces in the battle of Concepcion and the capture of the Espada Mission. Fannin was offered the position of Inspector General of the Texan forces by the General Council, but he took, instead, an honorable discharge on November 22, 1835. He then spent time campaigning for a larger army. On December 7, Sam Houston commissioned Fannin a colonel in the regular army; on December 10, the General Council ordered him to enlist reinforcements and contract for war supplies. As agent for the government, Fannin began recruiting forces for the proposed Matamoros Expedition on January 9. He was elected 28colonel of the Provisional Regiment of Volunteers at Goliad on February 7, and he acted as commander-in-chief of the army from February 12 to March 12, 1836. Learning that Urrea had occupied Matamoros, Fannin and his men fell back on Goliad and began fortifying the city. Ordered to relieve William B. Travis at the Alamo, Fannin made a short-lived effort to transport supplies and ammunition. When the transport wagons broke down, the soldiers voted to return to Goliad. After the fall of the Alamo, Houston ordered Fannin to retreat to Guadalupe Victoria. Fannin delayed, however, staying in Goliad until March 19. Urrea’s forces surrounded Fannin’s troops at Coleto Creek, and, after two days of pitched fighting, Fannin was forced to surrender. He and his men were executed at Goliad on March 27.
FederalistsA Mexican political party which supported a federal system of government. The federalists opposed Santa Anna’s proposal to do away with the Mexican Constitution of 1824. The party also advocated separate statehood for Texas. These men assisted the Texans during the 1835 campaign, abandoning the Texan cause only when the colonists declared independence from Mexico.
Filisola, VicenteAn Italian general, second in command to Santa Anna, Filisola supervised the troop crossings at the Colorado after the army left San Antonio. He joined Gaona in the march eastward. On April 23 Filisola received news of Santa Anna’s capture. Ordering the men under his command to congregate near Fort Bend, Filisola tried to surrender command. When his fellow generals refused to accept the resignation, Filisola led the Mexican retreat.
FlashThe Flash was a privateer fitted out for Texas in the spring of 1836. The ship picked up victims of the Runaway Scrape on the Brazos and took them to Morgan’s Point. At Morgan’s Point, the Flash took on the Texan provisional government and transported its members to Galveston, narrowly escaping capture by Almonte’s forces.
FloraAn American schooner, the Flora took Sam Houston to New Orleans for medical treatment after the battle of San Jacinto.
Fort BendSanta Anna transported his troops across the Brazos at this point. Later, as the Mexican forces retreated before the Texan army, Filisola gathered his available forces here and attempted to resign command.
Fort DefianceJames Fannin wrote the government in February to say that the men of Goliad, after strengthening the fort there, had elected to rename it “Fort Defiance.”
Fort JessupThe federal fort across the border in Louisiana. Secret messages from the fort’s commander, E. P. Gaines, to Sam Houston offered assistance in the pursuit of the war. Troops from Fort Jessup did, in fact, come onto Texan soil when rumors of Indian uprisings in the Nacogdoches area were received.
Four Hundred League GrantThe Coahuila and Texas legislature passed an act on March 14, 1835, authorizing the government to sell 400 leagues of land without regard to the size of individual grants—a violation of previously legislated limitations on the amount of land which could be purchased by one individual. The scandal divided Texans throughout much of the Revolution. Attempts to protect these extensive land purchases were the basis for repeated efforts to mount a Matamoros Expedition.
Gaines, Edmund PendletonAt Stephen F. Austin’s invitation, General Gaines led a troop of United States soldiers into east Texas to quell a threatened Indian uprising. They remained in the Nacogdoches area until the Texan government had been organized after the end of the war.
GalvestonMembers of the ad interim government fled to Galveston in April 1836. It became the temporary capital of the Republic, until the government was sworn in at Columbia in October 1836.
Gaona, AntonioGaona was a general in the Mexican army. Santa Anna ordered him to march to Nacogdoches by way of Bastrop. These orders were changed on April 15. Gaona was to proceed from Bastrop to San Felipe to join Santa Anna’s forces. Gaona’s men became lost in the “desert” around Bastrop, causing them to miss their rendezvous with Santa Anna and participation in the battle of San Jacinto.
GoliadFormerly called La Bahia, Goliad was a major point of military operations in both 1835 and 1836. Texans captured Goliad on October 9, 1835. Supplies captured in this battle allowed Stephen F. Austin and his men to carry on the siege of Bexar. James W. Fannin marched his command to Goliad and set up headquarters near the presidio. He remained committed to the defense of Goliad, seeing it as the most suitable location for a supply depot for the Texan forces in the field. James B. Bonham’s arrival from the Alamo, requesting men and supplies to relieve William B. Travis, caused Fannin to attempt a rescue mission. The effort failed, and Fannin remained at Goliad until March 19. As Urrea’s forces neared Goliad, they fought a number of skirmishes with troops under the command of Johnson, Ward, King, and Grant. The survivors of these conflicts—when there were any—rallied to Goliad, only to be captured at Coleto, marched back to Goliad and executed.
Goliad Declaration of IndependenceA document drafted by Philip Dimmitt and Ira Ingram, the Declaration was read to the citizens of Goliad on December 20, 1835. 91 signatures were attached, and the document was sent to the General Council. It arrived just as the government was deep in negotiations with 33sympathetic Federalists. The Declaration did not have any immediate effect on the Texan’s conduct of the war or their reasons for fighting. It did, however, alienate popular Mexican support for the Texan cause.
Goliad MassacreJames W. Fannin’s men captured at Coleto along with survivors of units commanded by Ward and Grant were returned to Goliad after the battle of Coleto. When Fannin surrendered, he understood that the men would be treated as prisoners of war, and Urrea did request that the prisoners be so regarded. The Mexican government, however, had passed the Black Decrees. Anyone taking up arms against the Mexican government was to be considered a pirate and was subject to immediate execution. Santa Anna wrote back ordering immediate execution, and he backed that order up with a similar one to Nicolas de la Portilla, the commander at Goliad. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836 unwounded Texans were divided into three columns and were marched down three roads to points about a half mile outside Goliad. Ordered to halt, the men were cut down by firing squads. Men from two of the columns, halted near wooded areas, were able to make an escape and to carry the news of the slaughter. Fannin, who had been wounded at Coleto, and about 40 men were killed at the fort.
Gonzales, Battle ofAn engagement fought four miles above Gonzales, the battle took place on October 2, 1835. When, in the latter part of September, Domingo de Ugartechea demanded the city surrender its cannon, the colonists refused. They buried the cannon in George W. Davis’s peach orchard on September 29. When the men under Francisco Castaneda marched on the town, the colonists dug up the cannon, mounted it, and fired the first shot of the Revolution. When the Mexican army learned that the unit sent to capture the cannon was taken prisoner, it stopped west of the Guadalupe.
Gonzales, Jose MariaA federalist colonel, Gonzales escorted former governor Agustin Viesca in his flight to Texas. In San Antonio, Gonzales issued a proclamation calling on Mexicans to support the Texan cause and to restore the Constitution of 1824. In January, he led a force against the Mexican town of Mier. Urrea marched to intercept the army, and, although he captured 24 federalist rebels on January 22, Gonzales and the rest made their escape. The captives were used as guides and scouts for Urrea’s army as they marched through Texas.
Grant, JamesDr. Grant joined the siege of Bexar. He was elected the Goliad representative to the 35consultation, but remained in the field during that body’s deliberations. In early spring 1836, Grant and F. W. Johnson organized a Matamoros Expedition and proceeded as far as San Patricio. Grant and a party of 15 volunteers were attacked at Agua Dulce Creek on March 2. Grant was killed, and most of his men who escaped were taken prisoner and marched to Goliad where they were executed on March 27.
Grass FightOn the afternoon of November 26, James Bowie with about 100 men attacked a pack train believed to be carrying supplies and pay for the Mexican troops in San Antonio. The engagement took place about a mile from San Antonio. Seeing the battle in progress, Cos began firing from the Alamo. Bowie’s detachment was joined by the main army. The Mexicans eventually retreated to San Antonio. The packs, when opened, were found to contain only grass for the Mexican cavalry horses.
Groce’s LandingLocated on the site of the Bernardo Plantation at the Maelina or Coushatta Crossing of the Brazos in present-day Waller County. Leonard H. Groce was operating the plantation at the outbreak of the Revolution. The Texas Army camped there on the west bank of the river, one-half mile from the ferry, from March 31 to April 14, 1836.
Hall, Warren D. C.Hall was a member of the Committee of Safety at Columbia. David G. Burnet appointed him adjutant general, and he served as secretary of war while Thomas J. Rusk was in the field with the Texas army.
Hannah ElizabethOn November 19, 1835, the American schooner Hannah Elizabeth was attacked by the Mexican armed vessel Bravo. On November 21, the Texan privateer William Robbins, which had received letters of marque and reprisal from the Texas government, landed 20 volunteers, the captain and 3 crew members. They took the Hannah Elizabeth from the Mexican captors. Considering the ship as salvage, the Texans eventually sold its cargo at auction, an action which led to considerable criticism from other Texans as well as protests from the United States.
HarrisburgThe General Council designated Harrisburg as the seat of government for the newly-created 37Municipality of Harrisburg. On April 16 Santa Anna burned the entire town, leaving only John W. Moore’s residence standing.
Horton, Albert ClintonHorton came to Texas with the Mobile Grays in late December 1835. In the spring, Horton raised a cavalry unit to go to James W. Fannin’s relief. They arrived at Goliad on March 16, and on March 17, the unit fought a brief skirmish with Urrea’s troops. His men were sent out to investigate the crossing at Coleto Creek on March 19, but when they returned, they found Fannin already surrounded by Urrea’s forces. Horton fell back, seeing the hopelessness of rendering any practical aid to Fannin.
Horton, AlexanderHorton served in the Consultation as the representative of Ayish Bayou. After Sam Houston was named commander-in-chief of the Texas Army in 1836, Horton became his aide-de-camp. He fought in the battle of San Jacinto.
Houston, SamA delegate to the Consultation, Houston was elected major general of the regular Texas Army by the General Council on November 12. He left to join the Texas forces at Goliad and Refugio on January 8. When he arrived, however, the 38volunteers refused to serve under him because of Houston’s opposition to the Matamoros Expedition. Houston went to east Texas and spent February negotiating peace treaties with the Indians. He represented Refugio in the Convention of 1836, and he was appointed commander-in-chief of all army units—regular, volunteer, and militia—by that body. He took command at Gonzales on March 11. Two days later he ordered a retreat eastward after receiving news of the fall of the Alamo. Finally halting at Groce’s Landing, Houston spent the next month training the raw recruits who made up the remaining Texas Army. On April 14 he then began the march which culminated in the battle of San Jacinto on April 21. Houston was severely wounded in the ankle in that engagement, and on May 5 he went to New Orleans for medical treatment.
IndependenceThis Texas Navy schooner was formerly the United States Revenue Cutter Ingham. The Independence was flagship of the Texas Navy, and on January 10, 1836, took her first cruise 39to Mexico under the command of Captain Charles E. Hawkins. On March 20, she undertook a second cruise to Mexico, during which she destroyed a number of small Mexican vessels. In early April, she exchanged fire with the Mexican brigs of war Urrea and Bravo, but the Mexican ships withdrew before the Independence’s fire. She returned to Galveston on April 28. On May 5, Santa Anna, President Burnet and the Cabinet sailed on the Independence for Velasco, arriving there on May 8.
InvincibleMcKinney and Williams purchased the Invincible and sold her to the Texas government on January 5, a move strongly opposed by Governor Smith. Jeremiah Brown was commissioned as her captain on March 12. The Invincible engaged the Bravo and wrecked her on April 3. During this fight, the American ship Pocket sailed up and was captured by the Invincible. For this action, the United Stated declared the Invincible a pirate ship. The U. S. sloop Warren captured her and took the ship and crew to New Orleans on May 1. They were tried on May 4, but were not convicted.
Jack, William H.He was a member of the Committee of Safety from Brazoria. During the revolution, Jack participated in the Grass Fight and the battle of San Jacinto. From April 2 to October 22, 1836, he was Secretary of State under President Burnet.
Jameson, Green B.Jameson served under Bowie as aide and chief engineer. At the Alamo he was responsible for strengthening the defenses and remounting the cannon. He was killed in the fall of the Alamo, March 6.
Johnson, Francis WhiteAt the beginning of the Revolution Johnson was appointed adjutant and Inspector General under Stephen F. Austin and Edward Burleson. He led one of the divisions into San Antonio during the siege of Bexar and was in command at the taking of the Alamo in December. In January, he ordered an expedition to Matamoros, in spite of opposition from Governor Smith and General Houston. On 41February 27, Johnson with a detachment of fifty men was surprised by Urrea at San Patricio. All but Johnson and four men were killed.
Karnes, Henry WaxKarnes fought in the battle of Concepcion and in the siege of Bexar. He organized a company of cavalry at Gonzales on March 20, 1836. Before the battle of San Jacinto, Karnes was sent on a spy mission with Erastus (Deaf) Smith to report on Mexican troop movements around Harrisburg. He and Juan N. Seguin followed the Mexican army’s retreat to protect Texan property.
Kimbro, WilliamKimbro raised a company of volunteers for the army in September 1835. This company fought under his command in the battle of San Jacinto.
King, Amon ButlerKings came to Texas in 1835 with the Paducah Volunteers, formed from Peyton S. Wyatt’s Huntsville Company. After reporting to 42Sam Houston, he was sent to Refugio in January. In March, King and his company were ordered to Goliad. They returned to Refugio on March 10 to bring stranded families and supplies back to Goliad. The group was attacked by rancheros, but King succeeded in getting the families to Refugio mission on March 12. Surrounded by the rancheros, King sent to James W. Fannin for relief. William Ward’s company was able to break up the siege on March 13. King, however, refused to return to Goliad with Ward, insisting instead on attacking the rancheros. Ward remained at Refugio to await King. On March 14, King’s return to Refugio was blocked by Urrea’s company. After a day-long battle, King’s men attempted to make their way back to Goliad, but soaked their guns and powder in the river as they undertook a crossing. They were captured on March 15 by Captain Carlos de la Garza and returned to the mission, along with stragglers from Ward’s company. They were taken out to be shot, but German officers in the Mexican army heard some of the prisoners speaking German. The group of 33 were returned to Refugio, where the Germans and some others of the prisoners were released. King and the remaining prisoners were marched out on March 16 and shot. Their bodies were left unburied on the plain.
La BahiaThe settlement which grew up around the presidio of La Bahia also took the name “La Bahia.” On February 4, 1829, the Congress of Coahuila y Texas declared it a town and changed the name to Goliad. In correspondence and reports during the Texas revolution, the terms “La Bahia” and “Goliad” are used more or less interchangeably.
Lamar, Mirabeau BuonaparteLamar joined the Texas army as it retreated eastward after the fall of the Alamo. At San Jacinto, on April 20, Lamar’s quick action saved the lives of Thomas J. Rusk and Walter P. Lane when they were surrounded by the enemy. He was commissioned a colonel on the following day and assigned the command of the cavalry in the battle of San Jacinto.
LibertyFormerly the William Robbins, the Liberty was purchased from McKinney and Williams. Its name was changed in January, 1836, when it began a cruise to seek out Mexican vessels of 44war. On March 3, it captured the Pelicano at Sisal, Yucatan.
LipantitlanMexican fort on the Nueces captured by the Texans under the command of Ira Westover on November 4, 1835.
Lockhart, ByrdLockhart commanded a company at the siege of Bexar. In March he was sent from the Alamo to get supplies and reinforcements. As a result, he survived the fall of the Alamo and later joined a spy company in the Texas Army.
Martin, WylieMartin was the political chief of Gonzales in 1835. Although he thought the Declaration of Independence premature, he raised a company and joined Houston at Columbus. He was sent to guard river crossings on the Brazos, but his force was unable to prevent the Mexican army’s crossing at Richmond. Martin returned to headquarters, surrendered his command, and went to aid families caught up in the Runaway Scrape.
MatagordaCaptured by Urrea on April 13, the town had been deserted, although some of its inhabitants could be seen on Culebra Island, south of Matagorda. Urrea took the supplies housed there and ordered the pier fortified.
Matamoros ExpeditionFirst proposed by the Consultation on November 13, 1835, the Matamoros Expedition was a disrupting factor throughout the Revolution. James Bowie was ordered to lead an expedition on December 17; later, the General Council ordered Houston to undertake the mission. Houston declined the command; Bowie never received his orders. In January 1836, the General Council ordered both James W. Fannin and F. W. Johnson to command a Matamoros Expedition. Johnson, with James Grant, took troops to Goliad and Refugio. However, at Refugio, Sam Houston’s protests against the legality of the Expedition caused considerable desertion. The remaining men were attacked by Urrea’s army at San Patricio and at Agua Dulce. Fannin, meanwhile, marched to Goliad where he remained until March 19. He and his men were attacked at Coleto and defeated on March 20.
McKinney, Williams and CompanyThomas F. McKinney and Samuel May Williams provided much-needed supplies and money 46during the revolution. The Texas government purchased the William Robbins (which was renamed the Liberty) and the Invincible from the firm. From the United States, Williams supplied arms and ammunition. The company provided some $99,000 worth of goods and services to Texas during the war. The government also authorized McKinney, Williams and Company to raise up to $100,000 on Texas lands for the war effort. Although Williams preferred fighting to support the Mexican Constitution of 1824, he came to accept the war for Texas independence. McKinney, on the other hand, continued to work for Texas but remained opposed to Texas independence for years after the war had ended.
Mexia, Jose AntonioIn November 1835, Mexia sailed from New Orleans for Tampico with a group of 150 men. Their attempt to capture the city failed, and, after remaining in the fort at Tampico for twelve days, he and most of his men retreated. They returned to Texas in December. He attempted to raise a Matamoros Expedition, but opposition by Governor Henry Smith and lack of funds prevented the project from materializing. Mexia declined orders to proceed with his troops to San Antonio, declaring that his services would be better used in recruiting. He returned to New Orleans where he spent the remainder of the war.
Milam, Benjamin RushMilam assisted in the capture of Goliad and was in charge of the officer prisoners sent to General Austin at Gonzales. Austin put Milam in charge of a scouting party to determine conditions at and best means of attack on San Antonio. When the main army arrived at San Antonio, Milam, James Bowie, and William B. Travis were sent on a scouting mission to the Rio Grande. Returning to San Antonio, Milam found the army about to fall back without making an attack on the city. He convinced some 300 volunteers to “follow old Ben Milam.” They began their attack on December 5. Milam’s command occupied the Veramendi house. One December 7, while crossing the courtyard, Milam was shot by a sniper.
Miller, Thomas R.One of eighteen men who delayed the Mexican troops sent to seize the cannon at Gonzales, Miller also represented Gonzales at the Consultation. He was a member of the Gonzales Volunteers who arrived at the Alamo on March 1. He was killed in the massacre on March 6.
Miller, Washington ParsonsMiller enlisted in the Texas Army in September 1835 and was appointed a major in the Regular Army on December 20. Miller and a body of 48volunteers from the United States were captured on March 2, 1836, when they landed at Copano Bay. They were marched to Goliad, but they were not among those massacred on March 27, since none of them had yet taken up arms against Mexico. He and his men were imprisoned at Matamoros.
Morton’s FerryNear the present site of Fort Bend or Richmond, the ferry was an important crossing on the Colorado River.
Navarro, Jose AntonioA delegate from Bexar to the Convention of 1836, Navarro was one of three native-born signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also served on the select committee to draft the Constitution of 1836.
Neill, James ClintonNeill joined the Texas army in September 1835. He was appointed a lieutenant colonel by the General Council on December 7. He commmanded an artillery company at the siege of Bexar. 49On December 21, Sam Houston ordered Neill to take charge of San Antonio and the Bexar district. He remained there until granted a furlough on February 14, when he left the Alamo because of illness in his family. Neill participated in the skirmish at San Jacinto on April 20 and was wounded in that engagement.
Old MillThe Old Mill was situated on the San Antonio River, about one-half mile north of San Antonio’s main plaza. It was headquarters for Stephen F. Austin’s army after the battle of Concepcion.
Organic LawThe Plan and Powers of the Provisional Government, a document hastily drawn up by the Consultation. Although the Organic Law set up a provisional government, there was no coherent separation of executive and legislative powers. The powers of the commander-in-chief extended over only the (as yet nonexistent) regular army. Volunteer soldiers already in the field refused to serve under the Organic Law’s provisions.
Padilla, Juan AntonioPadilla joined the Texas Army on October 22, 1835. He later served on the General Council.
PelicanoMexican vessel captured by the Texas navy ship Liberty outside Sisal, Yucatan, on March 3, 1836.
Permanent CouncilThe Permanent Council served as the governing body of Texas from October 11, 1835, to early November, when the Consultation achieved a quorum. It was made up of the Committee of Safety of San Felipe and representatives from the other Texas communities.
PocketAn American brig bound from New Orleans to Matamoros, the Pocket was captured by the Invincible. Taken to Galveston, the ship’s cargo was appropriated by the Texas authorities. A Texas court later condemned the Pocket as a lawful prize on the grounds that it was sailing under false papers and was carrying supplies and messages for Santa 51Anna. To calm U. S. indignation over the brig’s capture, William Bryan, and Toby and Brothers Company paid $35,000 for the ship and $8,000 in damages.
Portilla, Jose Nicolas de laLieutenant colonel under Urrea, Portilla was put in charge of James W. Fannin and his men after the defeat at Coleto. On March 26, Portilla received orders from Santa Anna to execute all prisoners; he received orders from Urrea to treat the men as prisoners of war and to set them to rebuilding Goliad. Deciding that Santa Anna’s orders took precedence, Portilla, on March 27, took the prisoners out of Goliad in three columns and had them shot.
Potter, RobertPotter joined the Nacogdoches volunteers commanded by Thomas J. Rusk. Until November 21, 1835, he worked with Dr. Grant to arm and equip the siege of Bexar. On November 30, he was commissioned in the Texas Navy. Potter represented Nacogdoches in the Convention of 1836, and he was appointed interim secretary of the Navy. Burnet appointed him commander of the port of Galveston on April 20, 1836.
Provisional GovernmentSet up by the Consultation, the Provisional Government served from 52November 15, 1835, to March 1, 1836. The body consisted of the governor, lieutenant governor, and General Council. From the beginning, the governor and the Council were at odds over their respective powers. By January 10, the governor had dismissed the Council, and the Council had impeached the governor, replacing him with the lieutenant governor. From January 17 on, the Council was unable to convene a quorum, and Texas remained without a functioning government until the Convention of 1836 met on March 1.
Ramirez y Sesma, JoaquinSesma commanded the brigade sent in advance of the main army under Santa Anna’s command. He joined forces with General Cos at Laredo, then merged with Santa Anna’s forces at the Rio Grande as it marched to Bexar. After the fall of the Alamo, Sesma was ordered to San Felipe, then to proceed to Anahuac by way of Harrisburg. On April 13, Sesma’s army crossed the Brazos at Thompson’s Ferry. He was camped on the east bank of the 53Brazos, near the Old Fort settlement on April 21.
Refugio, Battle ofWilliam Ward was sent to relieve Amon B. King and his men, surrounded by Urrea’s troops. Ward arrived at Refugio on March 13, but he and King immediately began arguing over the command. King and a body of men left the Mission, spent two days wandering in the vicinity before being captured and executed by the Mexican army. At Refugio mission, meanwhile, Ward was attacked on March 14. He and his men escaped from the mission that night, but they were captured at Victoria, marched to Goliad, and executed on March 27.
Robbins’ FerryIn operation since 1821, the ferry was located at Thomas Ford crossing of the Old San Antonio and La Bahia Roads over the Trinity River. It was named for Nathaniel Robbins.
Regular ArmyUnits, other than militia, authorized by any of the provisional governments, particularly those commanded by commissioned officers were considered part of the regular army. Volunteer units, on the other hand, elected their officers from their own ranks. Throughout much of the war, volunteer forces would refuse to serve under commissioned officers.
Robinson, James W.Robinson was a delegate from Nacogdoches to the Consultation in 1835. That body appointed him lieutenant governor of the General Council. As such, he took Governor Henry Smith’s place when the Council impeached Smith in January 1836. After the General Council resigned their office, Robinson left for the army, serving from March 12. He fought at San Jacinto as a private in William H. Smith’s cavalry company.
Ruiz, Jose FranciscoA native Texan, he was one of four representatives from Bexar to the Convention of 1836 where he signed the Declaration of Independence. As alcalde of San Antonio, he identified the bodies of William B. Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett after the fall of the Alamo. He stopped the Mexican soldiers who were throwing the bodies into the San Antonio River, and gathered wood and ordered the bodies to be burned.
Runaway ScrapeTexans fled from their homes before the advancing Mexican army. The pace of the refugee traffic increased as news of the fall of the Alamo, Houston’s retreat, and the massacre at Goliad circulated. Washington-on-the-Brazos, Richmond, and settlements on both sides of the Brazos were abandoned. Settlements between the 55Colorado and the Brazos followed, and then Nacogdoches and San Augustine. The panic was increased by reports of Mexican-inspired Indian uprisings. The panic ended only after the news of the battle of San Jacinto became widespread.
Rusk, Thomas JeffersonRusk organized a company of volunteers in the fall of 1835 at Nacogdoches and joined the army at San Antonio. He left before the siege of Bexar, appointed a contractor for the army. He was Inspector General of the army from December 14, 1835, until February 26, 1836. A delegate to the Convention of 1836, he was elected Secretary of War on March 17. He left to join the army on April 1 and remained with the regular forces under Houston’s command, participating in the Battle of San Jacinto.
San AntonioCaptured by the Texan army after active fighting from December 5 to 10, the town was retaken by Santa Anna on February 23. It remained 56in Mexican hands until after the battle of San Jacinto.
San FelipeThe Consultation met in San Felipe, November 1835, making San Felipe one of the first capitals of the Republic (until the Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos). It was burned on March 29, 1836, when retreating Texan soldiers were unable to prevent the Mexican army’s crossing the Brazos.
Jacinto, Battle ofOn April 17 Sam Houston led his army south to Harrisburg, finally abandoning his retreat eastward. On April 19, learning that Santa Anna and his army had crossed Vince’s Bridge to the west bank of the San Jacinto River, Houston and his men crossed Buffalo Bayou. On April 20, the Texans encamped. That afternoon, Sidney Sherman with a small detachment of cavalry fought a brief skirmish with the Mexican infantry in an attempt to capture the Mexican cannon. Santa Anna was joined in his camp, three-quarters of a mile from the Texan army, by a 540-man unit commanded by Martin Perfecto de Cos on the evening of April 20. On Thursday morning, Houston ordered Erastus (Deaf) Smith to destroy Vince’s Bridge secretly so that no further reinforcement could cross nor could either army retreat. The Texans 57formed their battle line about 3:30 in the afternoon. Surging over the battlefield shouting “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!”, the Texans caught the Mexican army unawares. The battle ended with a decisive victory eighteen minutes after it began. Sam Houston was seriously wounded in the battle. General Santa Anna was captured the next day.
San Patricio, Battle ofFrancis W. Johnson and James Grant used San Patricio as their headquarters during the Goliad Campaign of 1836. There Johnson and his men were attacked by Urrea’s army on February 27, 1836. Only Johnson and three or four men survived.
Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez dePresident Santa Anna was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican Army of Operations in November 1835 by President pro-tem Miguel Barragan. In December he joined Vicente Filisola at San Luis Potosi and began to organize the army for the Texas Campaign. On January 2, 1836, he began his march for Texas, crossing the Rio Grande on February 16. On February 23, his army joined the force commanded by Ramirez y Sesma, and by the afternoon, Santa Anna occupied San Antonio and had begun besieging the Texan 58army in the Alamo. At dawn on March 6, he began the assault of the fortress, which was subdued by 8 a.m. On March 31, he left San Antonio for San Felipe de Austin. A surprise attack on April 7 failed to reduce the town. On April 9 he left San Felipe and began a forced march for the river crossing at Marion, hoping to surprise the Texan army. His army did cross the river at Marion, but failed to capture any Texans. From there, his army was transported to Thompson’s Crossing on a captured flat boat. Santa Anna reached Harrisburg on the night of April 15, only to find it deserted. On the following day, after burning Harrisburg, his army marched on to Lynchburg. Waiting for reinforcements commanded by Cos, aware of the nearness of the Texan army, Santa Anna decided to make camp on the west bank of the San Jacinto River. There, on April 20, the army fought a skirmish with Sidney Sherman’s cavalry detachment, but full battle was not engaged until the following day. Captured by Texan soldiers on April 22, Santa Anna ordered General Filisola to begin a retreat across the Rio Grande. On May 14, he signed the treaties of Velasco and prepared to be returned to Mexico. But on June 1, Texans under the leadership of Thomas J. Green interfered, threatening to capture or to kill the Mexican leader. Finally, at the end of November, President Houston sent him under guard to 59Washington, D.C., to meet with President Andrew Jackson.
Seguin, Juan NepumocenoSeguin and his recruits joined Austin near San Antonio in October 1835. He participated in the capture of Concepcion Mission, the siege of Bexar, and was on duty in the Alamo in 1836. He escaped death only because he had been sent out of the Alamo as a messenger. Seguin was in charge of the rear guard of the army in its retreat east from Gonzales, and he helped Moseley Baker in his attempt to prevent Santa Anna’s crossing the river at San Felipe. Seguin rejoined Houston’s army and fought in the battle of San Jacinto. He was ordered, along with Henry Karnes, to follow the Mexican Army during its retreat in order to protect the property of Texans.
Sherman, SidneyIn 1835, Sherman raised money to equip a company of Kentucky volunteers. The force arrived in Texas in time to vote in the election for delegates to the Convention of 1836, then proceeded to San Felipe. Sherman was lieutenant colonel in the regiment raised by Houston at Gonzales in March. On April 20, he led a sortie to try to capture the Mexican cannon at San Jacinto. On the following day, he commanded the left wing of the Texan attack. After the battle of San Jacinto, 60Sherman served as president of the board of officers which distributed the Mexican spoils among the Texas soldiers.
Smith, Benjamin FortSmith commanded a company at the battle of Gonzales, relieved J. M. Collinsworth at Goliad, and later joined Austin in the siege of Bexar. He was a delegate to the Consultation, but he did not attend. However, he put eleven leagues of land at the government’s disposal on November 8, 1835. Smith left for Mississippi to recruit volunteers in late November. Returning to Texas in March, he reentered the army as a private. He was quartermaster and acting adjutant to General Houston during the retreat from Gonzales. At the battle San Jacinto, he served in Henry Karnes’s cavalry company.
Smith, Erastus (Deaf)Neutral at the beginning of the war, Deaf Smith joined the Texans when Mexican officials refused him permission to visit his family in San Antonio. He joined Austin’s volunteer army and became prominent as a scout. He participated in or gave information valuable to Texan forces at the battle of Concepcion and the Grass Fight. He led F. W. Johnson’s troops into San Antonio on December 5, 1835. After Cos’ surrender, Smith moved his family to Columbia then joined 61Houston at Gonzales. He was sent to reconnoiter the Alamo and returned with Mrs. Almeron Dickinson. Deaf Smith commanded a company in the reorganized army and was ordered to destroy Vince’s Bridge secretly before he took part in the battle of San Jacinto.
Smith, HenryFrom the beginning of the Revolution, Smith was a supporter of independence from Mexico. He was a delegate to the Consultation, participated in drafting the organic law, and was chosen provisional governor. His opposition to the peace party members of the General Council, as well as his suspicion of all offers of help from Mexican supporters brought Governor Smith into conflict with the rest of the government. On January 10 he dismissed the General Council, claiming it had no further function. The Council impeached Smith, replacing him with Lieutenant Governor James W. Robinson.
Stewart, Charles BellingerStewart was elected secretary of the Permanent Council on October 1, 1835. He later served as secretary to the executive and enrollment clerk by the General Council on November 18. He represented Austin at the Convention of 1836.
Tampico ExpeditionCommanded by Jose Antonio Mexia, 150 volunteers sailed from New Orleans November 6, 1835. Hoping to take the fort and the town of Tampico by surprise, they arrived at Tampico on November 14. Secrecy was impossible, however. The garrison’s commandant had aroused official suspicions, and he was arrested on November 13. And, when the ship attempted to approach the landing at night, it ran aground on the bar, and the men were forced to wade ashore. On November 15, they took up the march to Tampico, arriving there about midnight. Troops commanded by Gregorio Gomez attacked and wounded several of the expedition members. Mexia retreated to the bar and took refuge in the garrison, remaining there for twelve days. On November 26, what remained of the force embarked on the Halcyon. They arrived at the mouth of the Brazos on December 3. Three of the 31 prisoners left behind in Tampico died of their wounds; the rest were tried by court martial and shot on December 14, in spite of vigorous efforts 63by Texas and the United States to ransom the men.
Thompson’s FerryRiver crossing on the Brazos, three miles above Richmond. Houston’s army crossed at this point on April 14, 1836.
Tolsa, EugenioTolsa commanded the second brigade of Santa Anna’s forces. He was ordered to reinforce General Sesma at the Colorado, and, on March 31, to operate against the Bolivar-Harrisburg-Lynchburg area as far as the San Jacinto River.
Tornel, Jose MariaMexican Minister of War and Marine.
Travis, William BarretTravis organized a company of volunteers in June 1835 which expelled the Mexican garrison at Anahuac. He commanded a scouting company as part of the Volunteer Army before San Antonio. He was appointed a major of artillery in December, but later took a commission as lieutenant colonel of cavalry. Sent out to recruit volunteers, he was ordered to proceed to San Antonio with such troops as he could muster. He arrived there on February 2, 1836. Command fell to him when James Neill left, but by mid-February he was sharing command with James Bowie. After February 24, because 64of Bowie’s illness, Travis held sole command. Refusing to surrender the garrison to Santa Anna, Travis died in the assault on March 6.
Ugartechea, Domingo deMilitary commandant of Coahuila and Texas, he was put in charge of the forces at San Antonio in 1835. He ordered Lt. Francisco Castaneda to attempt to reclaim the cannon at Gonzales, thus setting off the organized resistance of the Texan colonists. He arrived in San Antonio with reinforcements for General Cos on December 9, just in time to take part in the surrender of the city. He retreated with Cos’s army to Laredo.
Urrea, JoseOn January 2, 1836, Santa Anna ordered Urrea to march to Matamoros to prevent the expected invasion by Texans. On February 18, Urrea left Matamoros and forced marched to San Patricio. There he surprised F. W. Johnson and his men at San Patricio on February 27, killing all but a handful. 65He attacked and defeated James Grant at Agua Dulce on March 2, then began the advance to Goliad on March 12. He attacked the mission at Refugio on March 14, occupying it on the following day. He laid siege to Goliad from March 16 to 20, finally defeating James Fannin at Coleto Creek on March 20. Urrea continued his march, capturing Texans at Victoria and on the Guadalupe River on March 21. On March 22 he captured the 100-man unit led by William Ward. Units under his command captured W. P. Miller and his men when they landed at Copano Bay. Urrea captured Matagordo on April 13, Columbia on the 21, and Brazoria on the 22. He was preparing to invade Velasco when ordered to retreat. Urrea strongly opposed executing the Goliad prisoners. The March 27 Massacre was carried out by Nicolas de la Portilla in obedience to Santa Anna’s orders.
Velasco, Treaties ofTwo treaties, one public, the other secret, were signed by Santa Anna and interim president David G. Burnet on May 6614, 1836. In the public treaty, Santa Anna agreed to cease all hostilities against Texas, then and in the future. Mexican troops would be withdrawn south of the Rio Grande, confiscated property would be restored to the Texan owners, and prisoners would be exchanged. Texas agreed to return Santa Anna to Mexico as soon as possible, and Texas army units would approach no nearer than five leagues to the retreating Mexican army. In the secret treaty, Santa Anna agreed to secure Mexican recognition of Texas independence and a permanent end to the war. The Mexican cabinet would receive a Texas mission to conclude a treaty of commerce and limits, Texas boundaries to extend no further south than the Rio Grande. Although the Mexican retreat was begun almost immediately, the Texas Army refused to allow Santa Anna’s return to Mexico. On May 20, the Mexican government declared all Santa Anna’s acts as a captive to be null and void.
VictoriaUrrea’s army, marching east after the battle of Coleto Creek, captured Victoria on March 21, a few hours after it had been burned by the Texans.
Viesca, AgustinFormer governor of Coahuila and Texas, Viesca arrived at Goliad on November 11, 1835. His ill treatment by Phillip 67Dimmitt led Viesca to protest to Texan leaders, particularly to Stephen F. Austin. The affair at Goliad threatened to upset all Mexican support for the revolution.
Vince’s BridgeCrossing Vince’s Bayou, the bridge was the only viable crossing at that point on the San Jacinto River. Erastus (Deaf) Smith secretly destroyed the bridge on the morning of April 21, at Houston’s orders, and all retreat for either Texan or Mexican army was cut off.
Ward, Thomas WilliamWard joined the New Orleans Greys in 1835 and was at the siege of Bexar. On the day Milam was killed, Ward’s right leg was shot off by cannon fire. He returned to New Orleans and recruited a company of volunteers.
Ward, WilliamWard helped recruit and defray the travel expenses of the Georgia Battalion of volunteers. On December 20, 1835, he reported to 68Henry Smith and was elected major of the battalion when it was mustered into Texas service. Ward was elected lieutenant colonel after James W. Fannin reorganized the battalion at Goliad. He was sent to relieve Amon B. King at Refugio on March 13. Encountering the Mexican army commanded by Urrea, Ward joined King in the mission. After battling Urrea on March 14, Ward and his men escaped on March 15. They were overtaken on March 22, as they retreated toward Dimmitt’s Landing. Returned to Goliad, Ward and his men were executed on March 27.
Washington-on-the-BrazosThe General Council of the Provisional Government and the Convention of 1836 met at Washington-on-the-Brazos. By March 20, the town was evacuated as the interim government retreated to Harrisburg.
Westover, IraWestover led a group of men to join the force assaulting Goliad in October 1835. He remained at Goliad and was its first adjutant. He commanded the successful expedition against Lipantitlan in November. Although praised by Austin and the General Council for this action, Westover was relieved of duty by Philip Dimmitt. He became a member of the General Council’s committee on naval affairs. On December 6, Westover was 69made captain of artillery, resigning on December 17. Recommissioned by the Convention of 1836, he recruited a company from Refugio and San Patricio. It was the only regular army unit under James W. Fannin’s command. Westover and his men were killed in the Goliad Massacre, March 27.
Wharton, William HarrisActive in the independence movement, Wharton was one of the leaders of the war party in Texas. He became judge advocate of the army and served at the siege of Bexar. He was appointed a Commissioner to the United States in November 1835, and served in that capacity throughout the war.
William RobbinsPurchased from McKinney, Williams and Company for $3,500 by the Texas government, this schooner was renamed the Liberty in January 1836. Before its purchase, it had been used by William Hurd as a privateer against the Mexicans.
Williamson, Robert McAlpin (Three-Legged Willie)Crippled by illness in his childhood, Williamson nevertheless took active part in the war. He was a delegate from Mina to the Consultation and was commissioned a major by the provisional government on November 19, 701835. He was ordered to raise a corps of rangers. At the battle of San Jacinto, he served in William H. Smith’s cavalry company.
Woll, AdrianWoll was Quartermaster General in Santa Anna’s army. General Filisola sent him to the San Jacinto battlefield to find out the results of the engagement on April 21. Woll was captured and held prisoner throughout the peace negotiations.
Wyatt, Peyton S.Wyatt brought the Huntsville Volunteers from Alabama in 1835. The unit was mustered into the Texas army on December 25 and sent to relieve Phillip Dimmitt’s company at Goliad. Because Wyatt had been sent to Alabama on a recruiting mission, he escaped death in the Goliad Massacre.
Yellow StoneThe steamboat Yellow Stone, purchased by McKinney and Williams and registered to Toby and Brother Company in New Orleans, 71transported the Mobile Greys to Texas on December 31, 1835. In February, Captain J. E. Ross took the Yellow Stone up the Brazos to San Felipe. It anchored later at Groce’s Landing, and General Houston commandeered the boat to transport his men across the river. The steamboat continued down the Brazos, narrowly escaping capture by the Mexican army at Fort Bend. It transported a load of supplies and muskets to Galveston on April 25, then picked up the government to take it to the San Jacinto battlefield on May 4.
Barker, Eugene C.
Mexico and Texas, 1821-1835
New York: Russell and Russell, 1965
A Mexican Sergeant’s Recollections of the Alamo and San Jacinto
Austin: Jenkins Company, 1980
Binkley, William Campbell
The Texas Revolution
Austin: Texas Historical Association, 1979
Castaneda, Carlos E.
The Mexican Side of the Revolution
Salem NH: Ayer Company Publications, 1976
With Milam and Fannin
Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968
Henson, Margaret S.
Juan Davis Bradburn, a Reappraisal of the Mexican Commander of Anahuac
College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1982
Captain Phillip Dimmitt’s Commandancy of Goliad
Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1974
How Did Davy Die?
College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1978
History of the Revolution in Texas
Salem NH: Ayer Company Publications, 1973
Pena, Jose Enrique de la
With Santa Anna in Texas
Translated by Carmen Perry
College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1975
Pruett, Jakie L. and Everett B. Cole
The Goliad Massacre: A Tragedy of the Texas Revolution
Burnet: Eakin Press, 1985
Santos, Richard G.
Santa Anna’s Campaign Against Texas, 1835-1836
Salisbury NC: Documentary Publications, 1982
The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days
Austin: University of Texas Press (Barker Texas History Center Series #5), 1983
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