Vinee's /rid: QcestioM fark
of the Say fJacito Campaig
GEORGE L. CHARLTON
O N THE BANK OF VINCE'S BAYOU IS A GRANITE MONUMENT
marking the currently accepted site of the bridge which
was destroyed by order of General Sam Houston on the
morning of April 21, 1836, just before the battle of San Jacinto.
But standing at that point one wonders how the destruction of a
bridge there could have affected in any way the outcome of a
battle to be fought eight or ten miles distant. Presently at that
granite marker the stream is not over twenty feet in width, and
a scant one-half mile farther upstream it is hardly half that wide.1
Also, one must remember that much more water currently passes
down Vince's Bayou than was the case in 1836. The bayou pres-
ently accommodates the same area of rainfall drainage as it did
then, but in addition, it has been dredged to carry away the waste
water of the city of Pasadena with its 75,000 population.
It is difficult to imagine how the Texans would have gained
any advantage by destroying a bridge over the stream at that point.
Eugene C. Barker stated: "The whole episode of Vince's Bridge
has received emphasis from the historians which is probably far
beyond its importance. The bayou does not exceed three miles
in length and could have been headed by either reinforcements
or fugitives with the loss of but a few hours at most."2 When
Barker visited the historical marker site of Vince's Bridge, he
1The writer first became acquainted with Vince's Bayou when he was twelve
years of age. At that time, in the early 18go's, a good jumper could have leaped
across the bayou where the bridge monument is presently located and could have
stepped across a half mile above that point. A contradiction first became apparent
when in grade school Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker's A New History of Texas for
Schools (Tyler, 1888) told of the hundreds of Mexicans who drowned in Vince's
Bayou during the battle of San Jacinto because Deaf Smith had destroyed the
bridge that crossed it.
2Eugene C. Barker, "The San Jacinto Campaign," Quarterly of the Texas State
Historical Association, IV, 258.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed April 1, 2015.