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Story Archives: Texans charge Mexican Army in Battle of San Jacinto, 1836
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|Texans charge Mexican Army in Battle of San Jacinto, 1836|
(19th in a series)
In late April 1836, John Quitman, the former governor of Mississippi and a lawyer in Natchez, was racing to catch up with the Texas army under the command of Gen. Sam Houston.
For days, heavy thunderstorms had dumped so much rain on central and east Texas that the rivers were out of their banks and dangerous to ford by barge or steamboat. The narrow Trinity was now almost three miles wide.
Quitman and his band of 30 Mississippians, like both the Texas army and the Mexican army, were exhausted, tired, wet and muddy. Texans were fighting for their independence from Mexico and the country's dictator, Santa Anna, was in the field leading the effort to put down the rebels.
Quitman's group was surviving on cornbread and pork and when moving from Nacogdoches westward, they shot cattle and roasted it on a stick. The Mexican soldiers, who greatly outnumbered their Texan counterparts, were less fortunate, and their morale was low.
When traveling through central and east Texas, the Mexicans were amazed at the beautiful, rolling countryside. One Mexican officer -- Col. Jose Enrique de La Pena -- would later write about seeing an "inexhaustible paradise" of woodlands and meadows rich with flowers. Because the Texas army had been in retreat, many Texans had fled to the east side of Sabine River in Louisiana and the safety of the United States.
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