The State of Texas celebrates San Jacinto Day every year on April 21. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, also known as Batalla de San Jacinto, that finally ended the Texas Revolution in La Porte and Pasadena, Texas. Under the command of General Samuel Houston on April 21, 1836, the Texan Army triumphed over the Mexican army led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, who eventually signed a peace treaty that forced Mexican troops to retreat from the state. Consequently, the Republic of Texas became an independent country.
History of Battle of San Jacinto
The Mexican army, led by Antonio López de Santa Anna, was routed to the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, by around 900 soldiers, most of whom were recent immigrants to Texas, under the command of General Samuel Houston. The battle, fought along the San Jacinto River, was crucial to the success of American colonists during the Texas Revolution.
Citizens of the fledgling Republic of Texas were outraged by the demolition of the Alamo, a historic Spanish fortress, and the murders of unarmed Texans captured in Goliad. Volunteers poured in to join the expanding Texas army of General Houston. General Santa Anna charged into battle as the Texan rebels were put down. After his unsuccessful attempts to understand the Texan position, there was a shootout between the two sides, and an estimated 500 Mexican reinforcements arrived. Simultaneously, a Texan war council decided to attack, and General Houston marched to battle with his 900 troops that afternoon.
General Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, and General Martín Perfecto de Cos managed to flee during the conflict but were caught in the succeeding days. After three weeks of imprisonment, Santa Anna was forced to approve a peace agreement requiring the Mexican army to retreat from the region, effectively allowing the Republic of Texas to gain independence. The treaty also required him to advocate for Texas’ independence in Mexico City. These events led to the immortalization of Texan rallying cries, “Remember the Alamo” and “Remember Goliad,” and General Houston’s national recognition.
Battle of San Jacinto timeline
Following the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, Texas is combined with Coahuila.
Texans revolt against Mexican rule in the Battle of Gonzales, kicking off the Texas Revolution.
The Texas militia, led by General Samuel Houston, launches a surprise assault on the forces of Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
Texas becomes a slave state after joining the U.S. following a compromise arranged by President John Tyler.
Battle of San Jacinto FAQs
How many Texans were killed in San Jacinto?
Nine Texans died in the battle, while 30 were wounded.
How long did Mexico own Texas?
Mexico governed Texas for 15 years, from 1821 to 1836.
What was Texas called when it was part of Mexico?
Texas was referred to as ‘Coahuila y Tejas.’
How to Observe Battle of San Jacinto
Reflect on the events that led to the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto. The historic chant is a reminder to be courageous and stand.
Watch the reenactment
Free up some time to visit Texas and watch the annual reenactment on the battle site. This is a great way to understand the day’s events and the sacrifices Texian troops made.
Taste Texan food
Texas is famous for its barbecue and chili, so why not invite your friends for a food crawl through the state’s best restaurants? Don’t forget to pair your meal with a cold glass of sweet tea!
5 Facts About The Texan Army
Samuel Houston was a strong leader
After he was elected Commander-in-Chief, Houston led the Texan army in the war against Mexico.
They were outnumbered
The Texan unit, composed of 900 men, that fought in the Battle of San Jacinto was outnumbered by the Mexican forces.
They fought for 18 minutes
The Battle of San Jacinto lasted only 18 minutes because the Mexican soldiers quickly abandoned their camp.
They were skilled fighters
During the Battle of San Jacinto, the Texan army managed to kill 630 Mexicans.
There’s a documentary about them
The 2010 documentary, “The Re-Enactors of San Jacinto,” shows a reenactment of the battle and the celebrations that occur every San Jacinto Day.
Why Battle of San Jacinto is Important
It promotes patriotism
Everyone who is from the state of Texas draws a certain sense of pride from this day. We recognize and appreciate what the valiant fighters stood for and what they achieved.
It reminds us that resilience pays
When the Texan unit went out to meet the Mexicans, they were greatly outnumbered. It seemed like the battle was already lost, but they did not give up and their resilience won the day.
It promotes freedom
The Texans who went out to fight in the Battle of San Jacinto were willing to lose their lives for the sake of freedom. This day reminds us of the cost of freedom and encourages us to respect everyone’s autonomy and live at peace with each other.
Battle of San Jacinto dates