The month of March. I can hear my mother’s voice in my ear, as she tells me of the Texans burning their homes and fleeing from Santa Ana and the Mexican army, after the Fall of the Alamo.
Texans didn’t have much time to enjoy new grass and bluebonnets, early springtime in 1836. Citizens of the new Republic were headed toward Louisiana as fast as the could go. Swollen streams from spring rains weren’t helping a bit. That race away from Santa Ana’s army has been called the “runaway scrape.” And runaway it was. Right in the middle of those runners was the Texas Army, too.
Santa Ana was on the move; nobody knew exactly the Mexicans were but clearly they intended to attack. Texans burned the towns as they ran for safety. The President of the Republic, David Burnet, called on Houston to stand and fight. The General promised they’d stand at the next river crossing. And the next. But the army kept retreating.
March, 1836 found the Texans at the Rio Brazos, disgusted with Houston’s continued retreat. President Burnet and his cabinet abandoned their capitol, Washington-On-The-Brazos, and scooted north. The village of San Felipe, Steven Austin’s own town was abandoned. That was too much!
Texan morale hit rock bottom. Soldiers questioned Houston’s continued retreats. Captain Moseley Baker insisted on keeping his company on the Brazos to protect the San Felipe crossing. And Wiley Martin started his company down the river to defend the Fort Bend crossing. When it became clear that those men were determined, General Houston ordered them to do what they were gonna do anyway. No fool, he.
Houston was left with some 500 men. He began the trek northward to Groce’s Plantation, promising to fight the Mexican army there. The Texans had heard such promises before. But they went with General Houston.
April would turn out to be a happier month for the Texans.
March 21, 2017
“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” – Henry Ward Beecher.