Friday, April 21, 2017

Remembering San Jacinto Day

On the eve of the decisive for Texas independence which would occur on April 21, 1836 at San Jacinto, Captain Mosely Baker extolled his troops:
"You are now paraded to go into battle. For the past few weeks, our greatest desire has been to meet our foes in mortal combat, and that desire is about to be gratified. I have confidence to believe that you will do your duty and act like men worthy of freedom, but if there be one who is not fully satisfied that he can face death unfalteringly, he is at liberty to remain at camp, for I do not wish my company disgraced by a single act of cowardice.

 Yonder, within less than a mile is the tyrannt, Santa Anna, with his myrmidons who have overrun our country, destroyed our property, put to flight our families and butchered in cold blood many of our brave men.
Remember, comrades, that we fight this day for all that is dear to us on Earth, our homes, our families and our liberty. He who would not fight for these is not worthy of the name of man.
Remember that is little army of less than 800 men is the last hope of Texas, and with its defeat or dispersion, dies the cause of freedom here and we will be regarded by the world as rash adventurers, but should victory crown our efforts, of which I have but little doubt, we can anticipate a riddance to the country of our oppressors, followed by peace and prosperity, and in the further years when this broad, beautiful and fertile land shall be occupied by millions of intelligent and thrifty people who can appreciate the value of liberty, we will be honored as the founders of a Republic.

 Remember that Travis, Crocket, Bowie and their companions, numbering one hundred and eighty three of the bravest of brave men, stood a siege of ten days their number and fought till the last man was not killed, not one being left to tell the news or tell the tale.
Remember that Fannin and four hundred volunteers were basely murdered after they had capitulated as prisoners of war and sent to the United States.
Remember you fight an enemy that gives no quarter, and regards neither age nor sex. Recollect that your homes are destroyed; imagine your wives and daughters trudging mud and water, and your children crying for bread, and then remember that the author of all this woe is within a short distance of us; that the arch fiend is now within our grasp; and that the time has come at last for us to avenge the blood of our fallen heroes and to teach the haughty dictator that Texans can not be conquered and that they can and will be free.
Then nerve yourselves for the battle, knowing that our cause is just and we are in the hands of the All-Wise-Creator and as you strike the murderous blow let your watchwords be: "Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!" 

The 800 Tejanos routed 12,000 Mexican troops on April 21, 1836 in eighteen minutes.  The battle was so decisive that General Santa Anna escaped the San Jacinto battlefield for a few days dressed as a private.  Despite Cpt. Moseby's firey rhetoric against the ruthless tyrant Santa Anna, the defeated Mexican General was not harmed when he was captured. In attempting to prevent execution, Santa Anna offered to order the sizable remaining Mexican forces to stay away. Thus, the Texas troops followed Sam Houston's exhortation not to harm Santa Anna lest he just be another dead Mexican. 

Three weeks later, General Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco which ended hostilities with the Texans and established the first steps of official recognition of Texas independence from Mexico. 

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