In 1835, tensions turned to outright rebellion against the new Centralist government of Mexico led by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. After events at Gonzales and Goliad led by colonial militia, the Consultation of November 1835 established a provisional government as well as a regular army, militia structure, and naval force. Efforts to fill the ranks of these forces began immediately. By early December Texas forces had forced the surrender of Mexican garrisons which withdrew to the Rio Grande.
Santa Anna massed forces to quell the unrest in Texas though his forces were limited due to unrest in other parts of Mexico. By late February 1836, a two-pronged Mexican force swept across South Texas. By the end of March, the Alamo had fallen with most of its garrison killed in the final assault, Fannin’s force at Goliad was captured and most of them executed, Texas political leaders declared independence and formed an interim government, and General Houston’s army along with most settlers were retreating to the east. The movement of the Army to the east allowed time for training and allowed distance and the efforts of the Texas Navy to stretch Mexican supply lines.
On April 20-21, Houston’s force met Mexican forces under the direct command of Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Inspired by the events at the Alamo and Goliad, Texas forces swept through Mexican forces killing many and taking hundreds of prisoners. Santa Anna was also captured shortly after the battle. After negotiations at Velasco, treaties were signed to end the war though they were never ratified by Mexico and Santa Anna was returned to Mexico via the United States several months later.
During the period of the Republic of Texas, the Army and Navy remained active at varying sizes. The Army guarded against Mexican military incursions which took place periodically and participated in unsuccessful expeditions to Santa Fe, New Mexico which Texas claimed and the Somervell Expedition to the Rio Grande Valley which included the battle of Mier. The Navy guarded the Texas coast and aided forces in the Yucatan also fighting Centralist rule. When Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845, the ships and materiel of Texas forces was transferred to the United States.
Bicentennial of the Texas Revolution and Texas Independence
The Military Sites Program has been tasked to coordinate agency efforts related to the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Texas Revolution. It will work with other divisions and partners to ensure the most robust commemoration possible. It also stands ready to assist efforts of the Texas Legislature to identify the structure and role of a Bicentennial Commission as directed by legislative action.
|Gonzales Memorial Museum
San Jacinto Battleground
|Presidio La Bahía
Star of the Republic Museum
San Felipe de Austin