Every kid who has gone through elementary school in or around Houston has been to the San Jacinto Monument on a field trip (and skinned a knee going down the stairs of the Battleship Texas, the WWI and II era ship which some kids mistakenly thought helped Sam Houston win the battle of San Jacinto). This book, the 3rd book in TSHA’s (Texas State Historical Association) Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series (list of the series here), provides a concise description of the events leading to “one of the most decisive battles of the world” and the battle itself.
The book starts with colonists from America settling in Texas, content to be Mexican citizens. Changes in the Mexican government, brought about by Santa Anna as he came into power, swayed many of these settlers against Mexico, including the influential Stephen F, Austin; Austin was imprisoned under false pretenses for two years in Mexico, and upon his release, he used his influence for revolution and against Mexico.
Early victories heartened the revolutionaries, but the massacre at Goliad and defeat at the Alamo by Santa Anna’s massive army put general Sam Houston and his smaller, undisciplined force retreating towards East Texas. (more…)