Why Was the Battle of San Jacinto so Important?

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The Battle of San Jacinto was important because it secured Texas' freedom from Mexico. The battle, which occurred on March 13, 1836, ended the Texas Revolution and put Texas on the path to statehood. San Jacinto is considered the cradle of Texas freedom and is home to a monument that marks the site of the famous battle.

Texas history says that the Texas forces at San Jacinto went into the fight shouting, "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" The recent siege of the Alamo and the massacre of Texas troops at Goliad had been terrible defeats for the Texans, but now the memories of these events were their rallying cry.

Texans sought freedom from Mexico after the country banned emigration from the United States to Texas six years before the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas statesmen signed a declaration of independence from Mexico on March 2, 1936, just days before the siege of the Alamo started. Mexican forces defeated forces there, taking the city of San Antonio. Just days after the Alamo fell, the Mexican general, Santa Anna, ordered the execution of more than 300 Texan soldiers captured in skirmishes during the winter and spring who were being held at Goliad.

The Battle of San Jacinto only lasted 18 minutes. More than 900 Texas soldiers attacked Mexican forces. Besides their personal weapons, the Texas army only had two small cannon. By the time the fighting ended, only nine Texans were dead and 30 injured. They had killed 630 Mexican soldiers, wounded 208, and taken 730 prisoner.

Santa Anna disappeared during the Battle of San Jacinto, but was captured the next day. After a two-hour conversation with Texan General Sam Houston, Santa Anna was allowed to live in exchange for writing an order commanding all Mexican troops to leave Texas. Although treaties were signed in later months, Santa Anna's order ended the Texas Revolution.