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The Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836—and the world changed again

San Jacinto Battle Flag 1836 by James Henry BeardThis banner is thought to be the only Texas battle flag carried at the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. Identified as the Sherman Flag, and more popularly called the San Jacinto Battle Flag, this flag is believed to have been painted by artist James Henry Beard in late 1835 as a gift for the Newport Rifles, a 52-man company of Kentucky volunteers led by Captain Sidney Sherman.

The rifle company was formed to help Texans battle the Mexican Army. The tattered silk flag was given to the State of Texas by Sherman descendants in 1896. The State Preservation Board details restoration information about the battle flag here.

After a skirmish on the 20th, it seemed as though April 21 would pass quietly for the column of Mexican troops (about one-third of the whole army), which needed rest after their hard march to the east. But Sam Houston chose to deploy his troops around mid-afternoon. Santa Anna and his men had every advantage over the Texian army except one: surprise.

With cries of “Remember the Alamo” and “Remember Goliad,” the Texian army charged into the Mexican camp. The fierce attack was so sudden that the battle was over in less than 20 minutes. The Mexican army suffered 630 dead, 208 wounded, and 730 soldiers (ed.—1568 men) captured according to Sam Houston’s after-battle report. Santa Anna escaped during the battle and was captured the next day dressed as a common soldier.

San Jacinto 2007 032Surrounding the base of the San Jacinto Monument, there are eight, enormous inscribed panels that outline the story of the Texas Revolution.

The last one reads, “Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”

2 thoughts on “The Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836—and the world changed again

  1. hello my name is Irene Johnson my great grandfather came from Tennesse with two of his sons to fight at the battle of San jacinto. He passed away while traveling through Alexandrea Louisianna but his two sons are on the monument. Gen Irving and Rev. Irving. just toght I would share my story I have a two hundred year old Bible that belonged to my great grandfather Rev.Irving and it has list of our ancestors since then. God bless America!
    Irene R. Johnson

    1. Thank you Irene, for writing. How splendid to have your family’s genealogy written in a Bible. I hope you have been to San Jacinto, to see your family’s names. The battleground is a wonderful place to visit now—serene and peaceful. It’s one of my favorite places. Best Wishes, Deborah Hendrick

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