San Jacinto Battlefield, about 20 miles from where we live, on the outskirts of the city, is the site where Texans won their independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836.
Any time someone found out I was into history, they recommended coming to the site.
The highlight of the battlefield is a large monument, larger than Washington monument in D.C. I guess everything really is BIGGER in Texas.
Driving up to the battlefield, we could see the monument from a few miles away. Derek commented that it was awful that there was so much built up right around it (it is right on the bustling ship channel) but that’s really no different than what you would see at Gettyburg. Once we were on the battlefield inside the park, the ship channel seemed further away.
The battle was a surprise attack and lasted 18 minutes. The General of the Mexican Army, Santa Anna, was captured. In exchange for his freedom, he signed a treaty recognizing Texas’ independence.
There is a small museum in the base of the monument. Admission is free, but you can pay for extra exhibits and a 20 minute film. We paid to go to the observation level.
Afterwards, we took one of the few trails through the battlefields and found some monuments. The walk would have lasted longer, but being near the ship channel, the mosquitoes were out and we got bitten a lot! After that we stuck to driving around in the car.
It was a good day trip and we learned some more Texas history. It was great that it was so close to the city. After the battlefield we headed on over to the USS Texas, which was right across from the monument. Stay tuned for a post about that.
This iron spike, found in the ground where Santa Anna camped, may have been used to secure his tent.
Personal items belonging to Stephen Austin (whom the capitol of Austin, Texas is named after.)
Personal items belonging to Sam Houston. Houston fought in the battle, and later became the president of the Republic of Texas. When Texas became a state, he served as governor.
View from the observation floor.