Sam Houston’s Texas Army has on the move for almost two weeks, but their progress has been slow due to heavy rains that had swollen each creek that must be crossed and reduced the roads to mud. (Remember 1836 was an unusually cold year!)
On March 27 they will arrive at San Felipe de Austin–the colony granted to Moses Austin and set up by his son, Stephen F. Austin.
Until very recently, San Felipe de Austin was the social and political center of Texas life . . . but on March 27 the Texans burned the city to keep it out of the hands of the Mexican troops who were hot on their heels.
If you visit the site today, you will see replicas of two of the buildings that were burned–Stephen F. Austin’s log cabin and the original Town Hall.
From here, General Houston’s army moved north.
- Why do you think the Texas Army would burn their own town? To keep it away from the Mexican troops, yes, but what benefit would Santa Anna’s army find there that Houston’s army didn’t want them to have?
- If you had been a resident of San Felipe de Austin, how might you have felt about having your town destroyed? Would you already have left during the Runaway Scrape?
- What would you take with you if you had to flee on short notice?