San Jacinto Archeological Discoveries

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San Jacinto Archeological Discoveries

Postby Cole_blooded on Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:45 pm

Interesting piece here on the San Jacinto battle!

TED COLE....aka....Cole_blooded 8-)

Texas Revolution ended here, archaeologists say

Moore Archaeological Consulting
Bayonets and other artifacts were recovered from the grounds of a power plant along the San Jacinto River. The artifacts had
been hidden on land overgrown by trees and shrubs.

The site where Mexican forces surrendered to Sam Houston in 1836 had previously been mismarked.

By Thomas H. Maugh II
April 17, 2009

Image

On the heavily wooded grounds of a Texas power plant, archaeologists have found the spot where Mexican troops under the
command of Col. Juan Almonte surrendered to Sam Houston's force of Texas irregulars along the San Jacinto River, ending
Texas' war of secession.

The 1836 surrender "resulted in the loss of all Mexican territory west to California," said archaeologist Roger Moore of Moore
Archaeological Consulting in Houston, who led the team that found the site.

"The whole continental expansion of the U.S. to the West Coast hinged on this battle," he said. The discovery was announced
Thursday.

In the early 1800s, Texas was a Mexican territory, but many Americans had moved into it and they grew tired of the oppressive
Mexican rule, eventually fomenting rebellion.

The Battle of San Jacinto occurred six weeks after the battle of the Alamo, in which Mexican forces led by Gen. Antonio Lopez
de Santa Anna besieged the fortress and eventually killed all 350 secessionists inside, including Davy Crockett and James Bowie.
Santa Anna then went after Houston's troops with an overwhelming force, but, confident in his chances, he made the fatal
mistake of splitting his troops.

The force led by Almonte that encountered Houston was only 1,100 to 1,200 men strong, about the same size as Houston's group.
But the Texans had been enraged by the slaughter at the Alamo. Houston, moreover, was able to take advantage of deep swales
in the landscape to march his soldiers close to Almonte's force and, in effect, ambush them.

In a battle that lasted only 18 minutes, Houston's forces routed the Mexicans, who threw down their guns and ran. Almonte was able
to slow them down in another gully and organize them into a cohesive mass that surrendered without further casualties. "It probably
saved their lives," Moore said, because the enraged Texans would probably have slaughtered the Mexicans if they had been running
away individually.

Santa Anna was later captured nearby and was persuaded to order all his troops out of Texas.

Most of the locations of the battle are well known, but not the site of the surrender, which had been mismarked by veterans of the
battle in 1890.

Some historians suspected that the actual location was in the middle of a 50-acre triangular plot of land on the grounds of a natural
gas plant owned by NRG Energy Inc.

The problem was that the site was so overgrown with imported Chinese tallow trees and local shrubs that it was virtually impassable
-- a fact that probably protected the artifacts from treasure hunters, Moore said.

With permission from NRG and $50,000 in grants, Moore was hired to check out the area. The conventional way to look for battlefield
artifacts is with metal detectors, but the brush prevented this. So the team went in with a device called a Woodgator, which has a
huge drum on the front that spins and grinds up trees and shrubs, reducing them to mulch.

After making several passes across the site, the team found two deposits of musket balls and other items. The team
eventually uncovered an area about 130 yards by 20 yards that was littered with piles of 10 to 20 unfired musket balls, uniform
buttons and other metal artifacts -- a total of several hundred in the small space.

Many of the musket balls were in piles indicating that they were still inside soldiers' pouches when thrown down, a sign of surrender.

"The balls are the equivalent of lithic flakes and potsherds, and are the ubiquitous material in a battle site of this period, linking
together rarer artifacts," Moore said. "They show where people were standing, kneeling -- or lying dead."


All of the artifacts have been taken to Texas A&M University for cleaning and preservation and will be given to the Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department for display.

Moore and others will present the new findings Saturday at the annual Battle of San Jacinto Symposium at the University of Houston.

thomas.maugh@latimes.com
Last edited by Cole_blooded on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, archeologists say

Postby Davy on Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:07 pm

Cool .. neat stuff .. I love to hear of new findings! :D

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, archeologists say

Postby quincey morris on Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:25 pm

This is a very nice find...thanks for sharing the article.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, archeologists say

Postby garyzaboly on Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:03 pm

Ted,

Great to see that digs are still going on in and around that battlefield, long off-limits to many such digs. Just the tip of the iceberg, I bet, these bayonets etc.!

My friend Bobby McKinney occasionaly kicked the earth there with his heel and found some choice items, too.

Thanks for posting 'em!

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, archeologists say

Postby marklemon on Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:30 pm

Ted,
Thanks for posting this...very informative.
My buddies Gary Wiggins, Bobby McKinney, and Rick Range, have tirelessly researched this very subject (the "correct" spot of the battle, and surrender) and much of Rick's findings will be included in his upcoming book "Victory at the Alamo: How the Texians Could Have Won."
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, archeologists say

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:25 am

Wow! Something new every day, huh Ted? Thanks for the article... and the heads up on it.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:27 pm

Great finds....don't know if anyone has discussed this before but the slide show at San Jac......Texas Forever......I still love watching that! The combination of modern theater,..the great soundtrack with it's haunting rendition of 'Come to the Bower'...and yes,...the voice of God himself!!!!...Heston was awesome narrating it!!!...Understand artistic differences led to him asking not to be included in the credits.....your thoughts forum??
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Fred on Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:54 pm

Way Cool!!!
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:01 pm

The ending gives me chills---much like the presentation at the VC at Fort McHenry.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Cole_blooded on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:14 pm

A new update here on the archaeological find at the San Jacinto battle field area! Imagine what could be left :?:

TED COLE....aka....Cole_blooded 8-)

Artifacts shed light on San Jacinto battle

By ALLAN TURNER HOUSTON CHRONICLE
April 20, 2009, 11:14PM

Image
Nick de la Torre Houston Chronicle
Archaeologist Roger Moore shows off a Mexican
bayonet found near the battleground
.

Time has taken its toll on the Mexican bayonets, but their rust-pocked remains still hint at a lust for blood.
The balls Santa Anna’s men loaded into their muskets fared better. Still round, they glisten like sinister
grapes. A grenadier’s badge gleams as proudly as it did when, 173 years ago today, Texans struck the
winning blow for freedom at San Jacinto.

Today, these and more than 400 other artifacts — fruits of a recently completed archaeological project
near the famed battlefield — are helping fill the gaps in the oft-told story of Sam Houston’s routing of
the Mexican military.
Archaeologist Roger Moore believes the trove of artifacts gleaned from the recent dig are the
armaments discarded by 200-400 Mexican soldiers before they surrendered to a handful of victorious
Texans.

Funded through grants administered by Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground, Moore led a brigade of
20 professional and amateur archaeologists in scrutinizing a 50-acre site about 1.5 miles south of the
battlefield.
“There had been folklore, word that had filtered around from illegal collectors that artifacts had been
found on that property,” Moore said. “That’s what piqued our interest.”

Land choked by trees

The site, located on land owned by NRG Energy, was an archaeologist’s nightmare. Though open prairie
at the time Santa Anna’s troops beat a hasty retreat, the land Moore faced was choked with an almost
impenetrable tangle of Chinese tallow, an invasive tree species.

That’s when Moore called in the heavy archaeological artillery — a massive Woodgator whose spinning
toothed drum mowed down trash trees as easily as cutting a lawn. After a few test clearings, in came a
volunteer expert in the use of metal detectors.
“With 50 acres,” said Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground president Jan DeVault, “the possibility of
pinpointing anything was pretty dicey. The first day out, we hit the jackpot.”

With the first find, more test clearings were made. Moore and his colleagues soon discerned a pattern.
The artifacts seemed concentrated in a swath of land roughly 130 yards long and 20 yards wide.

“I’m an archaeologist,” Moore said. “I’m not a historian.”

Still, he believes the pattern of his findings suggests the site may be the point at which soldiers under
the command of Santa Anna stalwart Juan Almonte gave up.

As Moore re-creates the scene, Almonte’s men — surprised like other Mexican troops by Houston’s
midafternoon raid — retreated through boggy ground and prairie until they reached a gully shielded by
trees. In that brief respite, the Mexican commander organized his troops into formation, then ordered
them to discard their weapons before marching forward under a white flag.
The action was an almost anticlimactic ending to an afternoon — the battle lasted less than 20 minutes —
that reversed Texan disasters at San Antonio and Goliad. When the battle smoke cleared, 630 Mexicans
were dead and 730 captured. On the Texan side, nine were dead and 30 wounded.
Moore said artifacts retrieved from the site eventually will be exhibited through the Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department.

New interest

DeVault said the project points the way to more exploration.
“It just blows you away,” she said. “I think people became very lax. They just assumed that the
battlefield was picked over by souvenir hunters. Now we have tools that are very sophisticated —
magnetometers, ground-penetrating radar, a generation of metal detectors that can penetrate far
below the surface.

“The first systematic archaeological survey of San Jacinto began in 2002 and 2003,” DeVault
said. “We believe we have just scratched the surface.”


Image

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:48 am

Imagine if those grounds could only talk! :o

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Seguin on Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:03 am

That´s really great news! When the excavations are done, we´ll probably learn some more about how the battle took place.
Thanks, Ted!
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Fred on Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:34 pm

Those very bayonets were used to kill the Texan defenders at the Alamo. Wow... Very profound!
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:06 pm

Fred wrote:Those very bayonets were used to kill the Texan defenders at the Alamo. Wow... Very profound!

That is entirely possible unless they were carried by members of the Guerrero or Guadalajara Battalions...

Regardless-a very significant find...
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:12 pm

Fred wrote:Those very bayonets were used to kill the Texan defenders at the Alamo. Wow... Very profound!

Good point, Fred!

You know, it sort of makes you wonder what sort of mind-set the Texians had after the battle of San Jacinto. After the capture of Bejar back in December, 1835, many of the Texians felt that the war was over and so went home. Did the Texians at San Jacinto feel the same way? Had they won but a battle in a war that would continue until all of the Mexican armies were driven out of Texas, or did they, like those foolish Bejar capturers, think this was the end of hostilities? Why else would they leave so many spoils of war just laying about the battlefield? Many of these guys were in sore need of bayonets, for one.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:05 pm

Ned-
the army did remain in place, and was reinforced by new volunteers from the states who were still coming to avenge the Alamo and Goliad...an amount of Mexican weapons went into the Texas stores and eventually ended up at Post West Bernard. The Texians understood very much that there was still very much a large Mexican force in the field that could do signifcant damage...
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:10 pm

quincey morris wrote:Ned-
the army did remain in place, and was reinforced by new volunteers from the states who were still coming to avenge the Alamo and Goliad...an amount of Mexican weapons went into the Texas stores and eventually ended up at Post West Bernard. The Texians understood very much that there was still very much a large Mexican force in the field that could do signifcant damage...


Quite right QM.....a number wanted to continue the fight,...some even past the Rio Grande! Maybe the 'Matamoros Fever' wasn't completely gone?
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:21 pm

So all of these recently excavated weapons just got lost in the mud, or what?
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:53 pm

I was just discussing this today with Jack Edmondson ... the grass there had to be some bit taller than shorter to the ground in those days of the battle .. easy enuff to lose something when you hear " drop those weapons you greasers ... and reach for the sky!" :o And I am betting there was no second chance for them to do so neether! :twisted:

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:34 pm

Nefarious wrote:So all of these recently excavated weapons just got lost in the mud, or what?


Well, as Wayne Cox used to say, "There is a story here-somewhere."

From what the newspaper reports are saying it looks like the found a lot of musket balls, some buttons, at least one cross strap plate, and of course the bayonets. What may be significant is they did not find (apparently) musket parts. This is theroy on my part, but what it looks like is a spot where a large number of Mexican soldiers droped their cartridge boxes and bayonets, and probably laid down their weapons, before marching out to surrender. The lack of reported musket parts (locks, butt caps, thimbles and even barrels) would indicate that the long arms were picked up afterwards. That some bayonets were missed is possible, so unless a significant number of bayonets are found, these may be the odds ones that were missed later. It would also be interesting to see if any metal elements of either bayonet scabbards or cartridge boxes were found, although from the newspaper report it would suggest that what the musket balls were all that was left of a wholesale drop of cartridges. It is interesting that the balls were not collected by the Texans for the lead. I think Smithwick mentions that the Texans broke open Mexican cartridges for the balls, spilled the lead, and later caused a minor uproar when some of the groups of loose or still cartridged power was touched off during the night. Of course, do we still trust Smithwick?

Houston mentiones in his report of the battle, About six hundred muskets, three hundred sabres and two hundred pistols have been collected since the action

Now, if there is a large number of musket parts that start showing up in this same area, then a different story may emerge

I don't think this looks like a case where the Texans overtook a large group of Mexicans, but does tend to suggest that it were Almonte organizaed a large group to surrender, got them disarmed while the battle played out, and then surrendered them to Tom Rusk.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:19 am

quincey morris wrote:I don't think this looks like a case where the Texans overtook a large group of Mexicans, but does tend to suggest that it were Almonte organizaed a large group to surrender, got them disarmed while the battle played out, and then surrendered them to Tom Rusk.


It makes it sound as if many Mex soldiers had it in their minds to surrender and were set to do so when a opportunity came ... Did they have second doubts about what they were doing in Northern Mexico perhaps. El Grande SA was certainly not the leader he led them to believe earlier in the command. Especially after comments like "his mens lives were as worth as little as chickins". So maybe it came to bite him in the rear of his column later! :roll: Thus a bigger planned Mex capitulation in the face of a more serious Texican aggression ...

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:36 am

New exhibit features artifacts from Battle of San Jacinto

By Matthew Jackson
Staff Reporter....The Huntsville Item

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum introduced a new exhibit this week featuring never-before-seen artifacts recovered from the site of the Battle of San Jacinto.

A pivotal moment in Texas history, the Battle of San Jacinto, fought on the morning of April 21, 1836, served as the final defeat of Gen. Santa Anna at the hands of Gen. Sam Houston and his Texian forces.

Now, 173 years later, archeologists from Moore Archeological Consulting Inc. under the supervision of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission are conducting an extensive survey of the original battlefield in an attempt to restore it to its original condition.

The ongoing survey began in 2004, and netted hundreds of items, many of them original artifacts belonging to Mexican soldiers.

Today, the survey continues, extending into areas south of the battlefield itself currently owned by energy companies.

In 2008, a large portion of land owned by NRG Energy was cleared of forest land and undergrowth, leading to the discovery of hundreds of more artifacts. The strong concentration of artifacts in the area, combined with evidence from historical accounts, have led researches to believe that this was likely the site of the Mexican army’s final surrender to Houston.

The five items on display in the current exhibit are from the original 2004 survey. Sandy Rogers, Collections Registrar for the museum and archeological steward with the Texas Historical Commission, helped to excavate many of the artifacts, now on loan to the museum from Texas Parks and Wildlife. They include a Mexican bayonet, a Mexican coin dated 1834, a canister shot fragment believed to be from one of the famous Texian “Twin Sisters” cannons, a brass horn worn on the hat of a Mexican soldier, and a cross belt piece adorned with the letters “BG,” signifying “Battalion Guerrero,” a Mexican battalion present at the Battle of the Alamo.

“These are the most exciting pieces, especially that cross belt piece,” Rogers said. “We know that the Battalion Guerrero was at the Alamo, and they came directly from the Alamo to San Jacinto.”

The exhibit also includes a dress sword belonging to Houston and a map of the battlefield surveyed by Houston and Henderson Yoakum circa 1850. The map was included in Yoakum’s history of Texas, the first book of its kind.

The exhibit will remain in the museum until April of 2010, and Rogers noted that new pieces could be added in the coming months.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum, located at the corner of 19th Street and Sam Houston Avenue in Huntsville, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4:30 p.m.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:42 am

Davy wrote:
quincey morris wrote:I don't think this looks like a case where the Texans overtook a large group of Mexicans, but does tend to suggest that it were Almonte organizaed a large group to surrender, got them disarmed while the battle played out, and then surrendered them to Tom Rusk.


It makes it sound as if many Mex soldiers had it in their minds to surrender and were set to do so when a opportunity came ... Did they have second doubts about what they were doing in Northern Mexico perhaps. El Grande SA was certainly not the leader he led them to believe earlier in the command. Especially after comments like "his mens lives were as worth as little as chickins". So maybe it came to bite him in the rear of his column later! :roll: Thus a bigger planned Mex capitulation in the face of a more serious Texican aggression ...

Davy


There is a comment about the Mexican Army being a good one when properly led. So, I don't think this was a case of a pre determind "if they attack we surrender deal." Remember that the Mexicans were winning the war to date, and had no real thought that the Texians were going to make a big fight.

I think (and again just talking out load) that what happened is that when many of the line officers (and Castrillion) were killed at the barricades, and other elements of the officer corps made a run for it, the men just broke. In the case of the large surrender I think it has to do with a rather practical aspect of Almonte's view: There was no where to go, if you ran you were getting killed. but if you gather what you could, wait just a little, you might be able to get you and some of the men out of this mess. There is a second possibility. There is a reference (and I am trying to remember where) that these troops were part of the Guerrero Battalion. They may have already been regrouping on their own under their own officers, when Almonte showed up, and as senior officer, took control and figured the best thing to do was surrender. And just a big thought on my part -if they were the Guerrero Battalion, Almonte may have thought their survival possible since they had not taken part in either the Alamo or Goliad (in fact none of the Mexican troops at San Jacinto had been involved in the Goliad affair). I have always thought that when some of the soldadoes fell on their knees calling out "Me no Alamo! Me no Goliad!" they really weren't lying as they belonged to battalions not involved at either battle.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:44 am

“These are the most exciting pieces, especially that cross belt piece,” Rogers said. “We know that the Battalion Guerrero was at the Alamo, and they came directly from the Alamo to San Jacinto.”


But the Guerrero Battalion was not at the Alamo, unless he means they went through San Antonio on their way to East Texas.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:19 am

quincey morris wrote: And just a big thought on my part -if they were the Guerrero Battalion, Almonte may have thought their survival possible since they had not taken part in either the Alamo or Goliad (in fact none of the Mexican troops at San Jacinto had been involved in the Goliad affair). I have always thought that when some of the soldadoes fell on their knees calling out "Me no Alamo! Me no Goliad!" they really weren't lying as they belonged to battalions not involved at either battle.


Well regardless of intentions .. the old saying "lay down with skunks and you smell like a skunk" had application here at San Jacinto that day .. they (the Mex troops) were all of the same stripe to the Texicans that day! Getting even was the name of the game that day! It would NOT have been a good day to be associated with the Mex Army at all on that day & in that place. :cry:

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:42 am

As, apparently it was for a Mexican soldadera who was possibly killed by John Forbes...yes, they certainly did remember well that day...
The information on the Almonte surrender comes from Jackson/Wheat Almonte's Texas page 407. Rusk in a report to Burnet mentions that Almonte keep the part of the battalion intact, retreated in good order, disarmed and then marched them in an organized body to surrender.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:32 am

quincey morris wrote:As, apparently it was for a Mexican soldadera who was possibly killed by John Forbes...yes, they certainly did remember well that day...
The information on the Almonte surrender comes from Jackson/Wheat Almonte's Texas page 407. Rusk in a report to Burnet mentions that Almonte keep the part of the battalion intact, retreated in good order, disarmed and then marched them in an organized body to surrender.


Its well that they did ... I for one would not have wanted to be in the Mex ranks that day! For the battle to last only 18 minutes .. there had to be some foreplanning in surrendering on the Mex part I should think. At least it seems likely anyway! Other wise it seems would have lasted longer with any real resisitance on the Mex Army's part. Also the outcome may have been in some doubt as well otherwise. The quick colapse hwever it came about actually may have saved some Mex lives ... as it certainly saved some Texican lives with little or no prolonged resistance on the part of the Mex Army.

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:21 am

I think it may have been a matter of the fact that the Mexicans did not expect a battle: keep in mind, the reinforcements that had come in that morning were allowed to stack arms and get out their gear: the cavalry had been allowed to un saddle and were walking their mounts to and from water (Peggy's Lake). The rest of the camp was very relaxed.

Then it is how I read how the battle commences from the primary sources: the Texas mounted troops hit one side of the line, and while everyone in the Mexican camp is trying to get it together and responded their response is directed to that side of the line: then Sherman's guys hit the other flank (coming out of the wooded area. Suddenly, a response is being directed to the other side of the line: so you have all sort of confusion going on: then, from up out of the slight rise to the front, the main part of Houston's line appears (and all of this happening in a quick run of minutes); one volley and a rush forward and all hell breaks loose: the end result is you have so much confusion on the Mexican lines (if you want to call them that at this point); officers are down, others are leaving the field, and the chain of command breaks down....all of this reason enough for the battle to last eighteen minutes.

I do not know about the possibility of a majority of the soldiers of one Permanente Battalion having a pre-planned surrender in case of attack. I tend to think the Mexican lines collasped because of all of the factors I mentioned with the added factor of the pure terror of seeing the Texans coming down on them in the mannor they did.

.

Just my thoughts...
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:50 am

The Battle Of San Jacinto

This one of the best accounts written from the Mexican army perspective. It was written by a colonel on Santa Anna's staff, Pedro Delgado in 1837

On the 14th of April, 1836, His Excellency the President [Santa Anna] ordered his Staff to prepare to march, with only one skiff, and leaving his own and the officers' baggage with General Ramirez y Sesma, who was instructed to remain at the crossing of the Brazos, . . . started for Harrisburg, with the force above mentioned....

On the 15th. . . . at about noon, we reached a plantation abundantly supplied with corn, meal, sheep and hogs; it had a good garden and a fine cotton gin. We halted to refresh men and beasts.

At 3 o'clock P. M., after having set fire to the dwelling and gin houses, we resumed our march. Here, His Excellency starts ahead with his Staff and escort, leaving General Castrillon in command of the infantry. We travelled, at a brisk trot, at least ten leagues, without halting, until we reached the vicinity of Harrisburg, at about 11 o'clock at night. His Excellency, with an Adjutant and fifteen dragoons, . . . succeeded in capturing two Americans,, who stated that Zavala and other members of the so called Government of Texas, had left the morning before for Galveston. . . .

On the 16th, we remained at Harrisburg, to await our broken down stragglers, who kept dropping in till 2 or 3 o'clock P. M.

On the opposite side of the bayou, we found two or three houses well supplied with wearing apparel, mainly for women's use, fine furniture, an excellent piano, jars of preserves, chocolate, fruit, &c., all of which were appropriated for the benefit of His Excellency and his attendants. I and others obtained only what they could not use. After the houses had been sacked and burnt down, a party of Americans fired upon our men from the woods; it is wonderful that some of us . . . were not killed…

On the 17th, at about 3 o'clock P. M., His Excellency, after having instructed me to burn the town, started for New Washington with the troops. It was nearly dark when we had finished crossing the bayou. . . .

At noon [the 18th] we reached New Washington, where we found flour, soap, tobacco, and other articles, which were issued to the men. His Excellency instructed me to mount one of his horses, and, with a small party of dragoons, to gather beeves for the use of the troops. In a short time I drove in more than one hundred head of cattle, so abundant are they in that country. . . .

On the 19th, His Excellency ordered Captain Barragan to start with a detachment of dragoons to reconnoiter Houston's movements. We halted at that place, all being quiet.

On the 20th, [we] … had burnt a fine warehouse on the wharf, and all the houses in the town, when Captain Barragan rushed in, at full speed, reporting that Houston was close on our rear, and that his troops had captured some of our stragglers, and had disarmed and dispatched them. . . .

It was two o'clock P. M. when we descried Houston's pickets at the edge of a large wood, in which he concealed his main force. Our skirmishers commenced firing; they were answered by the enemy, who fell back in the woods. His Excellency reached the ground with our main body, with the intention, as I understood, of attacking at once; but they kept hidden, which prevented him from ascertaining their position. He, therefore, changed his dispositions, and ordered the company of Toluca to deploy as skirmishers in the direction of the woods. . . .

Then His Excellency went to look for a camping ground, and established his whole force along the shore of San Jacinto Bay, at least one mile from the place where I had been left. About one hour later, I received orders, through Colonel Bringas, to come into camp immediately with the ordnance stores and the piece of artillery. . . .

At length, at 5 o'clock P. M., my duty was performed, and, as I entered the camp with the last load, I was closely followed by the enemy's cavalry. His Excellency, noticing it. . . . commanded our cavalry, to face the enemy, without gaining ground. This movement checked the enemy for a few moments; but, soon after, they dashed upon our dragoons, and were close enough to engage them with the sword without, however, any material result. Then, His Excellency, deploying several companies as skirmishers, forced the enemy back to his camp, on which he retired sluggishly and in disorder.

This last engagement took place after sun-down.

At daybreak on the 21st, His Excellency ordered a breastwork to be erected for the cannon. it was constructed with pack‑saddles, sacks of hard bread, baggage, etc. A trifling barricade of branches ran along its front and right. . . .

At 9 o'clock a. m. General Cos came in with a reinforcement of about 500 men. His arrival was greeted with the roll of drums and with joyful shouts. As it was represented to His Excellency that these men had not slept the night before, he instructed them to stack their arms, to remove their accoutrements, and to go to sleep quietly in the adjoining grove.

No important incident took place until 4:30 p. m. At this fatal moment, the bugler on our right signaled the advance of the enemy upon that wing. His Excellency and staff were asleep; the greater number of the men were also sleeping; of the rest, some were eating, others were scattered in the woods in search of boughs to prepare shelter. Our line was composed of musket stacks. Our cavalry were riding, bareback I to and from water.

I stepped upon some ammunition boxes, the better to observe the movements of the enemy I saw that their formation was a mere line in one rank, and very extended. In the center was the Texas flag; on both wings, they had two light cannons, well manned. Their cavalry was opposite our front, overlapping our left.

In this disposition, yelling furiously, with a brisk fire of grape, muskets, and rifles, they advanced resolutely upon our camp. There the utmost confusion prevailed. General Castrillon shouted on one side; on another, Colonel Almonte was giving orders; some cried out to commence firing; others, to lie down to avoid grape shots. Among the latter was His Excellency.

Then, already, I saw our men flying in small groups, terrified, and sheltering themselves behind large trees. I endeavored to force some of them to fight, but all efforts were in vain - the evil was beyond remedy; they were a bewildered and panic stricken herd. . . .

Then I saw His Excellency running about in the utmost excitement, wringing his hands, and unable to give an order. General Castrillon was stretched on the ground, wounded in the leg. Colonel Trevino was killed, and Colonel Marcial Aguirre was severely injured. I saw also the enemy reaching the ordnance train, and killing a corporal and two gunners who had been detailed to repair cartridges which had been damaged on the previous evening.

Everything being lost, I went - leading my horse, which I could not mount, because the firing had rendered him restless and fractious - to join our men, still hoping that we might be able to defend ourselves, or to retire under the shelter of night. This, however, could not be done. It is a known fact that Mexican soldiers, once demoralized, can not be controlled, unless they are thoroughly inured to war.

On the left, and about a musket-shot distance from our camp, was a small grove on the bay shore. Our disbanded herd rushed for it, to obtain shelter from the horrid slaughter carried on all over the prairie by the blood-thirsty usurpers. Unfortunately, we met on our way an obstacle difficult to overcome. It was a bayou, not very wide, but rather deep. The men, on reaching it, would helplessly crowd together, and were shot down by the enemy, who was close enough not to miss his aim. It was there that the greatest carnage took place.

Upon reaching that spot, I saw Colonel Almonte swimming across the bayou with his left hand, and holding up his right, which grasped his sword.

I stated before that I was leading my horse, but, in this critical situation, I vaulted on him, and, with two leaps, he landed me on the opposite bank of the bayou. To my sorrow I had to leave the noble animal, mired, at that place, and to part with him, probably forever. As I dismounted, I sank in the mire waist deep, and I had the greatest trouble to get out of it, by taking hold of the grass. Both my shoes remained in the bayou. I made an effort to recover them, but I soon came to the conclusion that, did I tarry there, a rifle shot would certainly make an outlet for my soul, as had happened to many a poor fellow around me. Thus I made for the grove, barefooted.

There I met a number of other officers, with whom I wandered at random, buried in gloomy thoughts upon our tragic disaster. We stiff entertained a hope of rallying some of our men, but it was impossible.

The enemy's cavalry surrounded the grove, while his infantry penetrated it, pursuing us with fierce and bloodthirsty feelings. . . .

Thence they marched us to their camp. I was barefooted; the prairie had recently been burnt up, and the blades of grass, hardened by fire, penetrated like needles the soles of my feet, so that I could hardly walk. . . .

After having kept us sitting in camp about an hour and a half, they marched us into the woods, where we saw an immense fire. . . . I and several of my companions were silly enough to believe that we were about to be burnt alive, in retaliation for those who had been burnt in the Alamo. We should have considered it an act of mercy to be shot first. Oh! the bitter and cruel moment! However, we felt considerably relieved when they placed us around the fire to warm ourselves and to dry our wet clothes. We were surrounded by twenty-five or thirty sentinels. You should have seen those men, or, rather, phantoms, converted into moving armories. Some wore two, three, and even four brace of pistols; a cloth bag of very respectable size filled with bullets, a powder horn, a sabre or a bowie knife, besides a rifle, musket, or carbine. Everyone of them had in his hand a burning candle. . . . Was this display intended to prevent us from attempting to escape? The fools! Where could we go in that vast country, unknown to us, intersected by large rivers and forests, where wild beasts and hunger, and where they themselves would destroy us? . . .

At 2 o'clock P. M. [the 22d] His Excellency the General-in-Chief, Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, arrived, under the charge of a mounted soldier. He wore linen trousers, a blue cotton jacket, a cap, and red worsted slippers. His leader did not know him, but, noticing a motion of curiosity amongst us as he approached, he became satisfied that he was conducting no common officer, and reported at once with him to General Houston. The latter sent two of his Adjutants to inquire of us whether Santa Anna had lost any teeth; some answered that they did not know, but others, with more candor, or, perhaps, less discretion, said: "Yes, gentlemen; and you may, further say to your General, that the person just brought before him is President Santa Anna himself." The news spread over the whole camp, and the inquisitive fellows who surrounded us ran to strike up an acquaintance with His Excellency. Some of them proposed to fire salutes, and to make other demonstrations to celebrate the capture of so lofty a person. But Houston courteously forbade it. From this time we were left alone, His Excellency having become the centre of attraction.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:54 am

Nice post Ned,....a good contemporary source,.....depending on the level of training of a particular unit,...assemblying troops in such a situation would not have been too difficult,...as QM points out, once senior officers were seen being killed or breaking and running,...the rank and file would naturally follow suit....Almonte was a known senior officer,.....as far as the artifacts.....as already pointed out,...probably dropped by Mexican soldiers either running or in the process of surrendering....having any weapons or ammmunition on you could've invited swift reprisals from the Texians at the time until their own officers had them under control.....I think more exploration of the area may bring other finds....
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:16 pm

Delgado's report is a good view of how the battle laided out from the other side of the barricade, and as you can tell, it is the one that sticks in my mind when replaying the events at San Jacinto from the Mexican army perspective...and Zapadore is right-the more stuff found will help either answer questions, confirm existing accounts, or create more questions, but will help expand our understanding.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:16 pm

True dat,.. QM!......as you know, its all part of the study of history!......
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Davy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:47 pm

zapadore wrote:True dat,.. QM!......as you know, its all part of the study of history!......


Image

Questions? We don need no more questions senor! :o :twisted:

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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:36 pm

??????.............ok................
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Cole_blooded on Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:53 pm

This is a piece left from yesterday`s article I posted.

TED COLE....aka....Cole_blooded 8-)

Image
Sandy Rogers, Collections Registrar at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, holds an engraved Mexican cross belt piece recently recovered
from the site of the Battle of San Jacinto. The piece is part of a new exhibit at the museum featuring five items recovered from that site
during a 2004 survey.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Fred on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:38 pm

quincey morris wrote:I think it may have been a matter of the fact that the Mexicans did not expect a battle: keep in mind, the reinforcements that had come in that morning were allowed to stack arms and get out their gear: the cavalry had been allowed to un saddle and were walking their mounts to and from water (Peggy's Lake). The rest of the camp was very relaxed.

Then it is how I read how the battle commences from the primary sources: the Texas mounted troops hit one side of the line, and while everyone in the Mexican camp is trying to get it together and responded their response is directed to that side of the line: then Sherman's guys hit the other flank (coming out of the wooded area. Suddenly, a response is being directed to the other side of the line: so you have all sort of confusion going on: then, from up out of the slight rise to the front, the main part of Houston's line appears (and all of this happening in a quick run of minutes); one volley and a rush forward and all hell breaks loose: the end result is you have so much confusion on the Mexican lines (if you want to call them that at this point); officers are down, others are leaving the field, and the chain of command breaks down....all of this reason enough for the battle to last eighteen minutes.

I do not know about the possibility of a majority of the soldiers of one Permanente Battalion having a pre-planned surrender in case of attack. I tend to think the Mexican lines collasped because of all of the factors I mentioned with the added factor of the pure terror of seeing the Texans coming down on them in the mannor they did.

.

Just my thoughts...

Yes, the Mexicans were evidently caught with their guard down. Their bayonets weren't mounted on their Brown Bess's and they probably had taken their cartridge boxes off which were lying on the ground next to their packs and other gear within their tents. Maybe, most of the muskets were stacked and the surprised troops had little opportunity to retrieve them and organize into their groups. This may very well have been why the Texan's found little resistance within the first few moments. The surprised Mexicans, without their arms and equipment, would've instinctivly fled away from the attacking Texan army, whose numbers would've seemed much larger in the panic.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby zapadore on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:52 pm

Great post Fred!.....you're right, but let's not forget while some troops were wildly scrambling to get out harm's way...surely some were trying to get to their weapons and fall in,...remember,..officers running around shouting orders,...gun fire,...screams and shouting everywhere....Texians swarming into the camp,...chaos everywhere....a soldados bayonet and frog which carried it were kept on their individual cross belts...some could've been drapped over musket stacks or could've been next to the individual soldado.....regardless,...great finds and I do hope we hear more on this topic!.....Thanks to Cole Blooded too!
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:56 pm

zapadore wrote:Great post Fred!.....you're right, but let's not forget while some troops were wildly scrambling to get out harm's way...surely some were trying to get to their weapons and fall in,...remember,..officers running around shouting orders,...gun fire,...screams and shouting everywhere....Texians swarming into the camp,...chaos everywhere....a soldados bayonet and frog which carried it were kept on their individual cross belts...some could've been drapped over musket stacks or could've been next to the individual soldado.....regardless,...great finds and I do hope we hear more on this topic!.....Thanks to Cole Blooded too!


Good points all--but begs a question: Did the Mexicans stack arms with bayonets fixed?
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby Fred on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:20 pm

Interesting question...and it made me remember something...I don't believe that a musket, being without a Stacking Swivel, could've been stacked withouot it's bayonet, which was used to facilitate just that.
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Re: Texas Revolution ended here, San Jacinto find

Postby quincey morris on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:34 pm

Fred wrote:Interesting question...and it made me remember something...I don't believe that a musket, being without a Stacking Swivel, could've been stacked withouot it's bayonet, which was used to facilitate just that.


That is why I brought this up (I just spent the weekend going over some 1840-1860 drill, a two systems of stacking arms, all of which involve bayonets). I would feel that the Mexican muskets in stacks at San Jac would be with fixed bayonets.

By the way Fred-your rifle is a very, very nice period piece. It is quite a find.
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