Houston began with approximately 1200 Texians in his volunteer army, but after the slaughter at the Alamo and the Goliad massacre, approximately 400 deserted him to get their families to safety in the runaway scrape. He might have hoped for a larger force, but this number represents 2%-3% of Texas population of 38,500 in 1836, which is only a little less that the proportion who normally
Most Texans are familiar with the song The Yellow Rose of Texas made popular by Roy Rogers in a 1944 movie of the same name. There is a very good case for believing that Emily West (Morgan) was the storied “Yellow Rose of Texas”, but a fair depiction of that lady is a good example of why I am a stickler for original source documents–first-hand eye-witness accounts of historical
Sometimes we forget that the people we remember as history's heroes were as human as we are. Looking back, we see their choices as wise and heroic, but from their own perspective they were often just scared and trying to stay alive. The early Texians fought Santa Anna because their livelihoods depended on freedom. After the Alamo fell and the Goliad captives were murdered, some headed
Every Spring, God carpets the state of Texas in blue. But it wasn't until March 7, 1901 that the Texas legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the official State Flower of Texas. What interests me, beyond the flat-out stunning beauty of the little wildflower also known as buffalo clover, is that one woman spearheaded the movement to have the humble Texas lupine exalted to this place of
Did you know that there are five varieties of bluebonnet "officially" recognized as the State Flower?
One concept that's difficult to understand is that no hero is all good . . . and no enemy is all bad. In the Bible, we remember Rahab the Harlot who hid two Hebrew spies and helped them escape from the city. At the Battle of Goliad we encounter Francita Alavez--only that may not be her real name. It could be Francisca or Panchita. People assumed that she was the wife of Mexico's
The Goliad Massacre was legal under Mexican law...but only because dictator Santa Anna wrote the decree that armed rebels must be executed as pirates and insisted that the Mexican congress pass it on December 30, 1835--shortly before he left to quell the Texas rebellion. With conflicting orders from two generals, Portilla got little sleep but concluded that he must obey Santa Anna's
I have been remiss! Allow me to amend the record of Texas Road to Revolution. Because we celebrate March 2 as Texas Independence Day, it's easy to overlook a very important event that happened on March 1, 1836--the arrival of the ONLY responders to Col. William B. Travis' urgent letter of appeal, 32 brave souls from the small town of Gonzales, home of the "Come and Take It" flag and the
February 21, 1794 was the birth day of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, dictator of Mexico. As we head into Texas History month--that time when we remember the Texas Revolution from the Siege of the Alamo to victory at San Jacinto--it's important to understand a bit about the man. Elevated to the office of President of Mexico in 1833, Santa Anna was the consummate politician. He was
Life was hard on the Texas frontier, and 1200 miles lay between colonial Texas and Mexico City. Even if a man managed to survive the hardships, disease, and Indian attacks, he could still work himself to death . . . and many did. What would happen to their families if they did not survive?