The Texas Revolution essay part 2
Battle of the Alamo. The most famous battle of the Texas Revolution was the battle for the Alamo where from February 23 to March 6 a group of rebels held selfless defense. Material provision of the Texas garrison was in poor condition lacking soldiers and supplies. Texas government was a mess, no one could provide assistance: even in Texas army there were four different volunteers to command (Tanaka, 47). At the same time, Mexican Army carried out constant shelling; during the first week of the siege more than 200 artillery shells fell on the Alamo area. However, as noted by historian Timothy Todish, bloodless victory could bring only small glory. Therefore, after midnight March 6 the Mexican army began to prepare for the final assault. Texans repulsed two attacks, but failed to repel the third. In a few minutes the Mexican soldiers scaled the walls and killed the gunners seizing control of the 18-pounder cannons of the Alamo (Todish, 63-68). Mexicans continued to shoot even after all Texans were killed thus mistakenly killing each other. Mexican generals could not curb the bloodlust of their soldiers, and even 15 minutes later the soldiers were still firing at the corpses. Santa Anna ordered to cover bodies of Texans with straw and burn them (Edmondson, 82-84).
The initial report by Santa Anna claimed that 600 Texans were killed, and Mexican losses were 70 killed and 300 wounded. Other witnesses believed that 182 to 257 Texans were killed, while most historians estimate Mexican losses at 400-600 wounded and killed, which Todish describes as horrific death toll by any standards. In addition, March 19-20, 1836, General Urrea won another victory over Fannin’s Texans in the battle of Coleto (Mexicans lost 212 people, Texans – 9 killed and 60 wounded) (Todish, 75). The Texans were forced to surrender and were sent to Goliad, where on March 27 they were executed on the order of Santa Anna: overall, in Goliad Massacre 342 captured rebels were executed, which was about half of the killed Texans throughout the war (Huson, 53).
Despite its losses at the Alamo, Mexican army still exceeded the Texas army in the ratio of 6 to 1. Santa Anna decided that all Texan resistance was crushed and Texan soldiers were hurriedly leaving the area, retreating to the east. But in fact, the opposite effect occurred: shocked by the cruelty of the Mexicans, people actively joined the newly-established regular army under the command of Houston. In addition, the two-week siege of the Alamo allowed accumulating forces for a decisive battle that took place April 21, 1836 at San Jacinto.
Battle of San Jacinto. Santa Anna’s column of 1.5 thousand caught up with Houston’s army on April 19 near the crossing at the town of Lynchburg and took up a position at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou River. Meanwhile, Houston camped less than a kilometer away from Santa Anna on the other side of the field. Believing that Houston was trapped in the corner, Santa Anna decided to give rest to his army on April 19 and April 22 to move troops into battle. Morning of April 21 Houston held a council of war where most of his officers were in favor of waiting for Santa Anna’s attack, but Houston himself insisted on the implementation of the attack at noon (Groneman, 49-53). It was risky, because the Mexicans stood on the plain, and approaching Texan army was vulnerable to fire. Therefore, Houston decided to send the cavalry to bypass and stretch the infantry line as thin as possible. No doubt, fatal error of Santa Anna played its part as at the time of the midday siesta he did not set the watch for the posts around the camp and did not send patrol and scouts. Trying to move quickly and quietly, about 800 Texan soldiers came to the camp of the Mexican army and suddenly attacked it shouting “Remember the Alamo!” And “Remember Goliad!” (Maher, 73-74) Santa Anna’s column consisted primarily of professional soldiers accustomed to fight in the rows, firing in the ranks at the enemy. Most of them were not ready to infighting and even unarmed before this sudden attack. General Manuel Fernández Castrillón desperately tried to assemble some kind of organized resistance, but soon fell under the bullets and died. His subordinates panicked, and fled; most of the Mexicans began to surrender. Mexican line of defense quickly collapsed, and soon the remnants of the Mexican army – 400 men under the command of General Juan Almonte – surrendered 9 Moore, 76-77). Santa Anna fled, but was soon found and captured. The overall outcome of the battle that lasted just 18 minutes was the complete rout of the Mexicans who lost 630 men killed, 208 wounded and 730 taken prisoners; while the Texans lost nine dead and 26 wounded. The residue of the Mexican army left without commanders was demoralized and plunged into chaos, despite the fact that there were enough troops to continue the war. Thus, the victory of the Texans was mainly due to an emotional advantage (Tolbert, 65-66).
As a result, May 14, 1836 official representatives of Texas and General Santa Anna signed a peace treaty in Velasco. The treaty implied the cessation of hostilities, redeployment of Mexican troops to the south from Rio Grande, return of the stolen property by Mexico and the exchange of prisoners (Pohl, 62-63). Peace treaties, in which the Mexican army had to leave the area, paved the way for the future independence of the Republic of Texas. Texas independence was considered a fait accompli, although Mexico did not recognize it officially until the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848 (Davis, 78).
In 1835, supporters of the Mexican system based on the principles of federalism began an uprising against the increasing the dictatorship regime of President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Mexican Texas settlers raised an armed rebellion against the Mexican government, not being able to tolerate the oppression of their property and migration rights, growing tax burden, and forced disarmament. Insurgent army, which the Mexican army exceeded 6 times, was emotionally stronger and steadier in their struggle for independence from the military terror and dictate of Mexico, which played a crucial role especially after the defeat in the Battle of the Alamo (Scott, 48). Thus, cruelty of Santa Anna’s army at the Alamo and Goliad was a fatal mistake in his attempt to conquer the people of Texas, whereas if he had proved himself a man of honor, followed the laws of humanity, and acted according to the moral principles of war of the 19th century, he might have won (Nofi, 85). But Santa Anna chose to discard morality, reject humanity, made a bid for violence and terror, and as a result lost where he seemed to be bound to achieve a complete and very quick victory.
In the decade after the war, Texas consolidated its position as an independent republic by establishing diplomatic ties with the UK and the US, and in 1845 became the 28th state. Despite this, the anti-slavery minded Northerners feared that the adoption of another slave state would move the domestic balance in favor of the South. These expectations proved right: the accession of the slave states after the victory in the Mexican-American War gave rise to the origins of the Civil War. The Mexican-American War itself caused by the Texas Revolution was destined to become a great shock to both participating countries. For the States, the conflict that almost entirely passed on foreign territory was the first war with another nation, economic burden, and at the same time a bone of contention for the citizens of the United States itself. For Mexico, the war turned into a string of tragedies: the huge loss of human life, destruction of cities and infrastructure, economic disruption and chaos in the country’s political life.
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