The Legend of Santa Anna
Who is Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna?
In the United States of America, Santa Anna is a name that is often associated with the revolution and is synonymous with fighting. It is an appropriate name for this famous hero from the Texas Revolution. He is a historical figure, an icon who was known for leading his troops to victory against Spanish troops. It was this hero, Santa Anna, who is commemorated every December on the 25th with a great holiday feast in the state of Texas.
When the war started, young men from many places gathered in Texas to learn to fight. Many had been in the army in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars and were eager to get back home and fight the Spanish.
Many joined the Union Army in their battle for Fort Sam Houston, to the number of several thousand at various positions around the state. In spite of the many soldiers who fought in the First Texas Republic, not all of them were known as heroes.
Santa Anna had won a trial by combat against an unknown prisoner at the Battle of San Jacinto in March of 1836. The prisoner was found to be a member of a Spanish military unit. He was taken to San Jacinto to be tried.
The Death of Santa Anna
The people of Texas considered the trial to be a joke and Santa Anna was sentenced to death. He was hanged at the state prison in Austin on the 25th of December 1836. Not all of the soldiers that fought in the Revolution were happy about his execution. A young man named Austin DeWitt, a former slave, refused to fight against his will and opted to flee from the country.
The records show that Santa Anna actually preferred to die rather than face the gallows. He was relieved when he realized that his execution would be a last order. He had come into the war hoping to change the destiny of the republic, and he was a firm believer in the American way of life.
In a way, the Mexican government of Don Carlos Aquino had sent Santa Anna to the United States in order to force the Texian people to remain loyal to the Republic and their freedom. For many of these men, it was the last chance to take their country back from the Spanish.
At the time, many Texans saw Santa Anna as a hero and they idolized him. The spirit of their hero was an inspiration to them. His memory and persona were an inspiration to the Texian people.
- Santa Anna’s legend is also reflected in many homes today.
- There are many paintings that celebrate the hero, with Santa Anna depicted in an armor-plated pose against the earthy backdrop of a desert landscape.
- He is usually seen with his faithful white horse and carrying an American flag and his sword.
Christmas time brings warm and colorful holiday cards in the form of an oversized portrait of Santa Anna, along with his wife and two children. They are depicted all dressed up for the Yuletide season, with a cheerful song, a happy face, and a smile.
The story was first published in 1854, when it was first printed in the Texan newspaper, the Catholic Saint James. They tried to put it into English, but some words were not understood. Thus, the famous Spanish Hero, Santa Anna, was born.
Nowadays, Santa Anna is a part of Texas history and is a Christmas tradition. You can find many Mexican-themed, New Orleans style, and traditional Christmas cards in local stores. These include the legend of Santa Anna as well as the traditional Santa bags that you may see at Christmas time.