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Taxing the tall

Texas Triumphant!

San Jacinto battle monument_Texas independence victory site
The monument to the Texians who won the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas' independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836.

Sure we became the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836, when the fledging government declared independence from Mexico.

Then came the hard part.

None of the new Texas patriots survived the siege of the Alamo four days later.

It was just as grim on March 27, when more than 350 Texas Republic soldiers, who had surrendered at Goliad, were massacred.

That did it. Enough is enough. You just can't do things like that.

And we proved it at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Texas Republic soldiers attacked Santa Anna's troops at this southeast Texas site 171 years ago today and, 18 minutes later, Texas had secured independence from Mexico.

San_jacinto_logo San Jacinto State Historic Site: You can visit the place where Texans celebrated their greatest victory. And in a few years, if all goes as planned, the locale will look much the same as it did on that fateful day.

Part of the reason we won, aside from the fact that we just were supposed to, is that the advance of Gen. Sam Houston and his Texian (as they were then known) troops was screened by trees and the rising ground. That Santa Anna apparently thought so little of the insurgents that the Mexican army posted no lookouts helped, but the terrain was the major component of victory.

But over the almost two centuries since, the landscape of native tall grass prairie, tidal marsh and bottomland forests has changed due to erosion, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, fire, dredging and the hurricane of 1900.

Things, however, are going back to the future. Volunteers recently planted loblolly pines, bald cypress, red maples and several species of oak at the state park, according to this story in the Houston Chronicle.

Eventually, the landscape of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park will again resemble its 1836 glory day.


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