A Critical A alsis of the
Sa# Jacinto Catpaig
H. M. HENDERSON
HE EVENTS leading to the battle of San Jacinto can be said
to have begun with the arrival of Major General Sam
Houston, and a few members of his staff, at Gonzales on
March 11, 1836.1
The campaign lasted forty-two days, and is a highlight of the
history of Texas. It is one of the finest examples in history where
one man pitted his will against that of the mob, and, although
the loser on several occasions, finally won out. This fact alone
should make Sam Houston a Texan immortal.
When General Houston arrived at Gonzales at 4:oo P. M. on
March 1 , he found 374 unorganized, unequipped, and untrained
individuals, many without rifles, others without powder. There
were not sufficient rations at Gonzales for a force of this size
for a two-day period. Colonel J. C. Neill was in command. Cloth-
ing, shoes, equipment, and arms were almost non-existent.
Shortly after the arrival of Houston, a Mexican brought word
of the fall of the Alamo. Houston believed the report, but for
morale purposes did not want the men to hear about it, so he
confined the Mexican for bringing false news. A party of scouts
under Deaf Smith and Captain Henry Watt Karnes was sent off
in the direction of Bexar to ascertain the truth about the Alamo.
After proceeding about twenty miles the party of scouts met Mrs.
Almaron Dickenson, who, with her baby, was escorted by two
slaves, one of whom had belonged to Colonel William Barret
Travis. Mrs. Dickenson confirmed the fall of the Alamo.
The commander-in-chief then proceeded to organize the 374
men into a regiment, the Ist Regiment Volunteer Army of Texas.
An election for officers was held and Edward Burleson was made
colonel, Sidney Sherman,2 lieutenant colonel, and Alexander
'Henderson Yoakum, History of Texas (2 vols.; New York, 1856), II, 1o4; Homer
S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas (New York, 1885), 256.
2Sherman had brought a company of Kentucky volunteers to Gonzales; they
were incorporated into the Ist Regiment.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed February 1, 2015.