View a map of conceded territory.
The fighting for freedom was over and the building of a new nation was just beginning. Although a prisoner-of-war and officially with no authority, Mexican General Santa Anna instructed second in command General Filisola to withdraw the 2,500 troops stationed on the Brazos River. Filisola did not have to honor the orders, but because of Santa Anna’s forceful reputation, he acquiesced. As was noted at the time, God smiled on Texas and caused such a rain that the retreating Mexican Army got stuck in the mud along the San Bernard River. By the time they dug their way out and crossed the Colorado River, they had lost the will to continue to fight.
For those that would like to read more about the events, see Stephen Moore’s 18 Minutes and then Gregg Dimmick’s Sea of Mud.
Congress woman Barbara Jordan was elegant in describing what is the meaning of San Jacinto. In the Principal Speech at the San Jacinto Commemorative Ceremony for the Texas Sesquicentennial on April 21, 1986 she said, "Freedom. That was what it was all about. Freedom. … The Battle of San Jacinto was not a battle against the Mexican people. Three signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence were Mexican Texans. The Texan Army was made up of many native-born Mexicans, some of whom were killed at the Alamo. Three Mexican states joined Texas in the revolt against the dictatorship of Santa Anna. And freedom . . . that was what it was all about. … We are revolutionaries, we Texans . . . we Americans, born of revolution. Born of a desire for the God-given right of the individual . . . be he brown, white, yellow . . . to live his own life as he chooses. Or, as she chooses. Here at San Jacinto, we won that right for Texas and eventually for Mexico by defeating a dictator. On this 150th Anniversary of that battle, let us publicly state our respect for the dignity of Mary and Maria . . . Juan and John . . . Richard and Ricardo . . . and for their inherent right to choose their own destiny . . . and to enjoy freedom . . . for that was what San Jacinto was all about . . . freedom!"
The consequences of that freedom changed world history. Because of the small 18 minute battle, eventually approximately a million square miles of land changed hands from Mexico to the United States. The results elevated that event, located in Harris County, just a few miles from here, and enshrined the Battle of San Jacinto as one of the most important battles in world history. The United States completed its westward expansion and became a bi-coastal nation. From that position it was able to build itself into a world power. That’s a Texas fact, not a Texas myth.
Over the course of the balance of this year we will address some of the stories, and mysteries, associated with the battle. What became of the Twin Sisters? Who was Emily Morgan, the so called "Yellow Rose of Texas?" Who was Wash Cottle and why was Jimmy Curtis so mad? How many times did the Texians almost lose the war? What was the first San Jacinto monument? How did the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park come to be? What is the second battle for the battlefield? Did U. S. President Andrew Jackson try to steal Texas from Mexico? Did the U. S. Army infiltrate the Texian Army? What music was played at the battle? Who were the youngest and why were they there? And the list of possibilities goes on….