The Battle of San Jacinto
What is the Battle of San Jacinto?
A Battle of San Jacinto is the first documented event involving Indians and Texans, though they had been living in what is now Oklahoma. The battle lasted from August 16 to September 14, 1836, between the Texas Army and the Pecos Indians, a tribe that lived west of present-day San Antonio, Texas.
The cause of the war was not known at the time, but both sides were trying to gain control of land. Both sides also wanted more land for themselves and their families. At one point, it looked like the Pecos might join the American side, but they changed their minds and supported the American Indians.
When they joined the Americans, they put up a few Native men as guards and allowed them to stay on the reservation where they came from. In the beginning, there were only about 100 Pecos fighting for the American side. They kept their numbers down by fleeing into the mountains and staying away from the main battle, which was near San Antonio.
The Pecos fought with bows and arrows and weapons that have been lost to history. It was rumored that they had big dogs with their warriors. According to legend, they also had spies who would sneak in and tell the Pecos when and where the Americans were coming.
The Pecos were not willing to fight with their weapons, preferring to flee when they saw an American army coming. The battle was well-organized, and the native soldiers made quick work of the Texans. Soon after, the American forces, led by General Zachary Taylor, reached the Pecos reservation and took the best captive.
The next day, the Native warriors met the American army in the open field, and after a short skirmish, the American troops went into the field and killed all the soldiers. Those who could not run were captured. Only a few were actually killed.
The Battle of San Jacinto is called the first war between whites and Indians in Texas.
The battles soon became common, and there were many others. Some fought in this battle, while others fought later.
When Austin was elected president of the Republic of Texas, he encouraged settlers to visit the field where the Battle of San Jacinto took place. He thought that if the settlers saw the land, they would be inspired to help in defending the Pecos and Indians. Austin also wanted to use the battle as a model for future battles between the natives and Americans.
- The original Army of the Republic recruited the native Pecos, who joined in the initial battle, for later battles.
- By the time they were ready for another battle, the Battle of the Alamo,
- the Pecos had become more militarily trained and their numbers were too many to be able to fight.
The Pecos then moved on to Mexico. When they reached Mexico, they joined the Americans in an invasion of Texas, which ended in defeat.
The Battle of San Jacinto became a point of pride among the Texans, as they considered it a victory. For several years, everyone talked about the Battle of San Jacinto and how the Pecos gave their lives for the liberty of Texas.
The battle of San Jacinto remains a point of pride among Texans. When Texas and California were being split, the Battle of San Jacinto was used as a cause to unite the two sides in defeating the Mexican Army.