Heritage, 2009, Volume 2 Page: 16
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The Mexicans were
and ferocious with a
for Santa Anna, the
Mexican horses could
not handle the forced
marches that he im-
posed upon his men.
Due to lack of grass
and rest, the Mexican
cavalry was nearly
disabled by the
time they reached
This canister can fragment was one of several dropped cans of shot. These cans would have been fired from
large musket ball would be placed along with three or four smaller lead balls, also called
Each musket was equipped with an iron detachable bayonet, which was carried sepa-
rately in a scabbard. It was often said that the most lethal part of the Brown Bess musket
was its bayonet.
The India Pattern musket was manufactured from 1793 to 1815, so it seems likely these
firearms had some wear by 1836. Prior to leaving Mexico, General Eugenio Tolsa, one
of the division commanders, said that of his 2,000 troops, a full two-thirds of them had
muskets that would not fire.3 There are also several documents that mention the terrible
wear and tear on the muskets due to the heavy dew, the hot sun, and lack of protective
Another problem for the Mexican army was that they had very poor gunpowder. The
Mexican troops were aware of this problem and were known to use a "double load" of
powder for each round. This extra powder would make the musket have such severe recoil
that the soldiers would fire them from the hip, losing any hope of accuracy.
The Mexican army did have a huge advantage over the Texans in the number and qual-
ity of their artillery pieces. Santa Anna brought 21 pieces of artillery with him to Texas.
Included in this number were seven four-pounders (a four-pounder fired a four-pound
ball, a six-pounder fired a six-pound ball, etc.), four six-pounders, four eight-pounders,
two twelve-pounders, and four seven-inch howitzers. The cannons that were taken at the
Alamo and Coleto Creek were also available to the Mexican army. Unfortunately for Santa
Anna, the lack of mobility of the Mexican artillery and the tactics used by Sam Houston
made the Mexican artillery almost a non-factor in the campaign.
HERI TAGE Volume 2 2009
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2009, Volume 2, periodical, 2009; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254213/m1/16/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.