Notes and Documents
The "Sabine Chute":
The U.S. Army and the Texas Revolution
By Bill and Marjorie K. Walraven*
IN REVIEWING THE HEROES OF SAN JACINTO, BY SAM HOUSTON DIXON AND
Louis Wiltz Kemp, Texas historian Eugene C. Barker said in 1932 that
sheds light on an antiquarian historical problem of some importance. It used to
be asserted, and probably was believed by some historians, that two hundred sol-
diers from the United States army fought at San Jacinto.
If one knew when each of the San Jacinto veterans entered Texas, when enlist-
ed, and how long he served, and how long he remained in Texas after the battle,
one would be in a position to deny or verify this ancient assertion with a fair de-
gree of certainty. The book does not give all the information necessary for a de-
termination of the question, but that which is given tends apparently to disprove
Although Dr. Barker believed otherwise, evidence seems to substantiate
the ancient claim. As Gen. Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna advanced across
Texas in the winter of 1836, the route of terror of those fleeing across the
Sabine River to the United States was called the "Sabine chute." That
name could also have applied to the stream of volunteers and soldiers
coming the other way.
We became interested in this question while working on the book The
Magnificent Barbarians. In our research we came across the incredible
* Bill and Marjorie Walraven are both graduates of Texas A&I University at Kingsville. He was
the daily columnist for the Corpus Chnstz Caller, and she was a high school history andjournalism
teacher. Their books include Corpus Chnstz: History of a Texas Seaport; El Rncon: A Hstory of Corpus
Christi Beach; Gaft of the Wind: A Hstory of the Corpus Chnstz Bayfront; The Magnificent Barbanans. Lzt-
tle-told Tales of the Texas Revolutzon; and Empresanos' Chzldren: The Welders of Texas.
1 Eugene C. Barker, review of The Heroes of San Jacinto, by Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp,
Southwestern Historcal Quarterly, 36 (Jan., 1933), 244-245.
VOL. CVII, NO. 4 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY APRIL 2004
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed January 26, 2015.