Photographer's Note

San Jacinto Monument viewed from between the guns of Battleship Texas.
Photograph Title has been suggested by Murat Tanyel.


After overrunning Alamo 2 weeks earlier, Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna — Napoleon of the West — moved his forces toward San Jacinto, 200 miles from the Alamo for a final clean up of American forces under General Samuel Houston and to take the Texas coast and seaports. He crossed the Brazos River, burned Harrisburg town and prompted the Texas government to fled to Galveston.

On April 21, 1836, Houston held a council of war. Two of the officers suggested attacking the enemy in his position; the others favored waiting Santa Anna's attack. Houston disposed his forces in battle order about 3:30 in the afternoon while all was quiet on the Mexican side during the afternoon siesta. The battle line was formed. Texans sprang forward on the run with the cry, "Remember the Alamo!" "Remember Goliad!" The battle lasted but eighteen minutes. The casualties were 630 Mexicans killed and 730 taken prisoner. Against this, only nine of the 910 Texans were killed or mortally wounded and thirty were wounded less seriously. Houston's ankle was shattered by a rifle ball. But Santa Anna disappeared during the battle. Next morning, Houston’s men discovered Santa Anna hiding in the grass. He was dirty and wet and was dressed as a common soldier. They did not recognize him until he was addressed as "el presidente" by other Mexican prisoners.

Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty after Houston decided to not kill Santa Ana, and let him go home.


100 years after the battle, Texans started to build the San Jacinto Monument — dedicated "to Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.". The building incorporates a number of innovative engineering features not common during the 1936 - 1939 period of its construction. The shaft itself is octagonal, 48 feet at its base, 30 feet at the observation level and 19 square feet at the base of its crowning jewel — a 220-ton star made from stone, steel and concrete symbolizing the Lone Star Republic. Despite the scale, danger and novelty of the project, not a single life was lost during its construction.

In 1992, this technology was recognized with the prestigious designation of State and National Historic Structure by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's tallest stone column memorial.


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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