After word got out about what happened to the Alamo, the Texian army continued their eastward retreat. While the Alamo was under siege, the Mexican army had also taken the Goliad mission under siege. The Goliad mission was a much more defensible position, and it held out longer. On March 20th, the garrison at Goliad surrendered. Seven days later, the garrison of 342 Texians were executed on Palm Sunday. With that, the Texian retreat nearly became a rout. #TacticalWithdrawalAtAHighRateOfSpeed
The Texians weren’t in complete disarray. The cavalry rear guard evacuated civilians, torched anything of any use that couldn’t be transported, and any cannons were tossed in the rivers. This strategy continued to hurt Santa Anna’s army, as his already limited supplies were not being helped by the total lack of anything to be scavenged. #ScorchedEarth In typical Texan behavior, volunteers for Houston’s army surged. He knew that it was best not to engage Santa Anna’s force with a force of untrained recruits and continued to withdraw. The troops saw it as cowardice, and Houston had to know that. He continued to refuse engagement and pressed onwards. #TheyAintGonnaLikeIt
It’s really unknown if Houston’s plan from the start was to drag out Santa Anna’s army, stretching his logistical tail to the breaking point before striking. Everything written about it was done after the fact. (That I am aware of) But if Houston was waiting on some kind of sign from above before launching a decisive counter strike, he soon got one. #ItsGonnaBeGood
On the 18th of March, the newly formed Republic of Texas government had moved their capitol to Harrisburg. In an attempt to draw out Houston’s army, Santa Anna sent troops to burn down the capitol, which they did on the 16th of April. When rogue elements of Houston’s army arrived on April 18th, the remains of the town were still smoldering, and Santa Anna’s army had moved on. #BurnTheHertics Santa Anna had decided to split his force, sending a large group ahead to pin Houston in and force a decisive engagement. #UsuallyABadIdea
On that very day, two Texian scouts named Deaf Smith and Henry Karnes caught a Mexican courier. I mention them by name because of all the notable names throughout the entirety of the Texan Revolution, these two were the true heroes that brought about a quick end to the fighting. They captured Santa Anna’s battle plans and troop disbursement. They delivered the intelligence to Houston quickly, and unlike McClellan in less than three decades, he acted on it.
Afraid that the Tejanos in the Texian army would be confused for Mexican soldiers, he tried to order them to remain in the rear and guard the wounded. They weren’t having it. Their compatriots weren’t either. #OneTeamOneFight Houston reneged and had them stuff empty Corona boxes in their hats to mark them as friendly’s.
Houston arrived with 900 men to Lynch’s Ferry, just ahead of Santa Annas force of 700 men. Houston made camp in the tree line 500 yards from the absolute worst possible terrain Santa Anna could setup his camp on in the region. One of Santa Anna’s Colonel’s stated that “Any youngster could have done better.” The two armies squared off and skirmished all day, with no major losses on either side. Santa Annas men worked through the night reinforcing their position. At 9 am on the 21st, Santa Anna was reinforced with an additional 540 men, bringing his troops to 1,200 men against Houston’s 900. Did Houston run? #AbsolutelyNot He sent out orders to blow the bridges that Santa Anna was receiving reinforcements from. #LetsPlayAGame
In the afternoon, rather than waiting for the cover of darkness, Houston and his infantry low crawled across the field separating the two camps. Somehow, they ghosted some cannons in with them. At 4:30 PM, they let the cannon rip, stormed over the Mexican defenses and took them like the monkey took the Millers wife. #NoLube #NoReachAround
The Mexican’s had three choices- die, surrender, or run through the swamp. #JahButThereBeGatorsEse The ones who chose to run through the swamp were used as target practice by the Texians. Reportedly, Houston and his officers tried to stop it, but it comes across as more of a “No. Don’t. Stop. Please don’t. I’ll be under this tree drinking Santa Anna’s liquor when you decide to stop.”
Santa Anna was caught the next day, hiding in the swamp like a little puta. Houston’s men wanted to execute him on the spot, but Houston had other plans. Santa Anna wrote to his commanders, ordering them to return to Mexico, and then signed a peace treaty that was not honored by the Mexican government as they claimed that Santa Anna did not have the authority do so while in captivity. The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and was one of the causes of the Mexican-American War.
Part 6: We want all of your burritos, and you’re gonna like it