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The West Texas San Jacinto

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    [♪ sentimental music ♪]
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    -[Burnet] General Houston, sir,
    the enemy are laughing you to scorn.
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    You must fight them.
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    You must retreat no further.
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    The country
    expects you to fight.
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    The salvation of the country
    depends on your doing so.
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    -David Burnet,
    President of Texas
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    -[Yarborough]
    After the Alamo fell,
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    and Santa Anna ordered
    all prisoners shot,
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    he had said he was
    going to kill everybody
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    that's opposing the
    Mexican government.
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    There's a terrific panic
    over the country,
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    and uh, every family that could
    got their belongings together
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    in a buggy or a wagon or
    whatever they had-- horseback--
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    some didn't have
    any vehicle.
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    Walk and carry what you could,
    drag it, put it on a mule,
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    and then the families
    just abandoned their homes.
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    And that was called
    the Runaway Scrape,
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    and they were trying to
    get across the Sabine River
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    to get into New Orleans
    before they got killed.
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    -[narrator] The fledgling
    government of Texas
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    retreated to the
    little town of Harrisburg.
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    There, they demanded that
    Sam Houston stand and fight,
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    but Houston kept
    his own counsel,
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    poring over Caesar's
    commentaries on war,
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    gnawing on the raw ears of corn
    with which he filled his saddlebags.
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    -[Houston] Had I consulted
    the wishes of all,
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    I should have been like the ass
    between two stacks of hay.
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    I consulted no one.
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    I held no counsels of war.
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    If I err, the blame is mine.
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    [military drumming]
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    -[narrator] Houston
    and his small army
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    were in full retreat,
    zig-zagging across Texas,
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    keeping just out of range
    of the advancing Mexicans.
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    Rumors spread that alcohol
    had undercut his courage.
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    Settlers jeered him
    from the roadside.
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    -[Yarborough] The men under him
    said he was a coward,
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    and Sidney Sherman, the colonel,
    tried to replace him.
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    Sam Houston said, "Anybody that tries
    to remove me from this command,
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    "I'll execute him
    on the spot."
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    [drumming]
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    -[narrator]
    For more than a month,
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    Santa Anna pursued
    Houston's elusive army.
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    Then the Mexican general
    made a mistake.
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    He divided his troops
    and veered off
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    in hopes of capturing
    the provisional government.
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    Houston slipped up
    behind him
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    in a bend in a river
    called the San Jacinto.
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    -[man] April 21, 1836.
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    We are in preparation
    to meet Santa Anna.
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    It's the only chance
    of saving Texas.
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    We go to conquer.
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    It is wisdom growing out of necessity
    to meet the enemy now.
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    -[narrator] Santa Anna's army was
    surrounded by water on three sides.
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    Houston's 800 men moved
    into position on the fourth.
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    -[Yarborough]
    There were trees there.
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    Houston had men up in
    those trees watching him,
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    and calling down
    to him what to do,
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    and he says the cavalry over there
    have taken their saddles off;
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    they're taking their
    horses to drink.
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    This is siesta time.
    It's about 3:30,
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    and most of the Mexicans
    is having their siesta.
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    Houston immediately
    ordered them to line up.
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    [horse neighing]
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    [military drumming]
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    -[narrator] "Trust in God and fear not,"
    he told his men.
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    "Remember Goliad.
    Remember the Alamo."
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    [cannonfire]
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    -[narrator] Houston led the charge
    himself, swinging his saber.
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    His horse fell,
    hit five times.
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    Houston climbed onto
    another horse.
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    It too was killed,
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    and this time Houston's right leg
    was splintered by a musketball.
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    [gunfire,
    horse neighing]
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    But Santa Anna's army
    was on the run.
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    The Texans and the company
    of Tejanos under Juan Seguín
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    were right behind them.
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    The fighting lasted
    just 18 minutes,
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    [horse neighs,
    gunfire]
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    but the slaughter went on
    for another hour.
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    [♪ sentimental music ♪]
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    When it was all over,
    600 Mexican soldiers lay dead.
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    Nearly 700 more
    had surrendered.
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    The surprise had been so complete,
    the blow so sudden,
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    that only six Texans died
    during the Battle of San Jacinto.
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    Santa Anna himself
    was made Sam Houston's prisoner,
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    and forced to sign a piece of paper
    ceding Texan independence.
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    Now there were three independent
    republics in North America:
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    Mexico,
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    the United States,
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    and, under President Sam Houston,
    the new Republic of Texas.
Pavadinimas:
The West Texas San Jacinto
Video Language:
English
Duration:
05:29

English subtitles

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