What a glorious place!!! Without the battle that took place here on April 21, 1836 this country could be very different.
In 1823 Mexico had only about 2,500 people living in the large area of Texas. Mexico offered cheap land to get Americans to settle the land. In exchange for the cheap land, the new settlers would become Mexican Citizens, obey the Mexican government's laws, and agree to learn Spanish. However, soon there were problems and the new settlers found that they had a problem with the rules created by Mexico's constantly changing government.
In 1835 Texans revolted to claim their own republic. These Texans were led by Sam Houston and wanted to be free of Mexico's laws and Mexico's president General Antonio Lopéz de Santa Anna. Santa Anna brought the Mexican Army into Texas and started his slaughter of Texans. He killed around 200 Texans at the small fort/mission at the Alamo – now known as San Antonio; He then order the murder of about 340 Texans in Goliad who had already surrender. "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad" had become battle cries for the Texans at San Jacinto.
Even though the Texans were greatly outnumbered, the Texans ended up defeating Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texans camp is located in front of the the parking lot for the USS Texas Battleship. Many are confused and believe the park to be to separate parks but the Battleship was docked after the park was established. There are stone/marble markers throughout the grounds in front of the ship to memorialize the camp grounds of the Texans.
Santa Anna made some bad military decisions in moving the Mexican camp for atop the rise to the lower ground closer to the water. In doing so he open the door for the Texan to be able get close to the Mexican camp before they knew, therefore the Mexicans never were able to get their act together to fight.
The Mexican’s camp was to the east side of the monument and it is also marked with stone/grant markers.
In 1836, the defeated Santa Anna signed the Treaty of Velasco giving the Republic of Texas its independence.
The monument stands as a memorial to the men who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. The monument was constructed between 1936 and 1939 with both federal and state funds at a cost of $1.5 million. The monument is 570 feet tall, built of reinforced concrete faced with Texas fossilized buff limestone quarried near Austin.
The Texas Star sits atop the monument and no matter what angle you look at it from you will see the six points of the star. The reflection pond sits in front which makes for a wonderful peaceful sight.
While we were there our workamping experience was again working with kids and with interpretation. We assisted the staff in showing the public items that were replica of the uniforms, gun, and equipment carried by both the Mexican and Texans. Additionally we assisted with programs for the Boy Scouts – what a great time we had.