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The victor in this clash was definitely the Texans who suffered far less physical damage and reported only casualty and one severe wounding after the clash. The Mexicans, however, were not so lucky and reported heavy losses in both their artillery and soldiers. The day ended with no more exciting events (Williams; Barker).
Santa Anna Reinforced
Under the command of General Cos, a large force was advancing from the direction of Vince's bridge toward the enemy's camp around nine o'clock that morning. Texans believed it to be reinforcement to Santa Anna. Although, the commander-in-chief's spies got him information of coming of the reinforcement, not thoughtful enough that it should be at that time known (Williams; Barker), recommended that it was a trick of the Mexicans; that they had marched round from their left wing, to give an impression by returning that they have been reinforced (Williams; Barker).
The commander-in-chief was suggested by some of the officers for a council of war. He agreed and gave his consent to the plan and suggestions, and held it informally without delay. The council comprised of Colonels Burleson and Sherman, Lieutenant-Colonels Millard, Somerville, and Bennett, and Major Wells (Williams; Barker). The question that was put forward, "Whether they should attack the enemy in his position, or await an attack from him in theirs." Here the consensus was different as the two last-named officers were in favor of an attack on the enemy in his position while the others were in favor of awaiting an attack from the other side (Williams; Barker).
According to the final remarks/opinions, the reasons given were that the Texan camp was commendably situated for defense and that the Mexicans were prepared in their military camps, which was defended by veterans and well disciplined (Williams; Barker). Also, an attack upon them through open grassland, with undisciplined militia, armed generally with rifles, was extraordinary. However, the council was later dissolved (Williams; Barker).
As per Houston Order's the Bridge of Vince Bridge was destroyed, cutting off Santa Anna's Route to flee. The orders from commander-in-chief was given to deaf Smith and one of his companion in the morning to secretly move out, with the axes, in order to cut down Vince's bridge, and later burn it (Williams; Barker).
The Vince's bridge is situated 5 miles farther down toward the bay after crossing Bray's bayou that runs into Buffalo bayou at Harrisburg, on the right bank. It was intersected by both armies on their descending march, and was the only walking way by land, particularly at that season of the year (Williams; Barker).
Following to the main body of the Mexican support under General Cos had crossed Bray's bayou, and while few other rear-guard was crossing over, the Waggoners along with few other Texan camp-guard near Harrisburg, heard the noise, and forcefully marched under the command of Wagon-master Rhorer, to the bayou (Williams; Barker). This was a kind of signal that upset them, and made them turned and fled toward the Brazos. They all were scattered and left behind their baggage on the road. The wagoners thus gathered reasonable supply for themselves (Williams; Barker).
Soon after the exit of Smith and Reeves to demolish the bridge, it was then Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett sent through the camp to determine the state of feeling among the army men which he reported to be all in good spirits and wholehearted (Williams; Barker).
The Battle of San Jacinto Begins
After the approval from secretary of war, Houston finally had the plan of battle and later ordered his troops to march towards the battle ground, which they did with enthusiasm and with great courage & strength. The area of the Texan camp had plenty opportunity to form in order of battle without being noticed by the enemy (Williams; Barker).
Further the regiment of Burleson was placed in the centre; while Sherman's on the left wing; the artillery, on the right of Burleson under Hockley; under Millard, on the right of the artillery was the infantry; and the cavalry, on the extreme right under Lamar (Pohl). While the enemy's cavalry was on his left wing; and his centre that was carrying weapons, was composed of his infantry, including artillery in an opening in the centre of the breastwork. He further had extended his extreme right to the river, in order to use a skirt of timber projecting out from it (Pohl).
The first dispatch of the cavalry of Texan was at the front of the enemy's horse, in order to gain their attention; while the rest of the army, which had advanced in column to the bunch of timber 300 to 400 yards in front, was positioned in line. The progression was performed quickly, and the complete force took frontline rapidly and that too in good order. The general-in-chief requested the secretary of war to take command of the left wing (Pohl).
As the Texans moved forward, Deaf Smith went in speed with his horse to the front, and informed Houston about the Vince's bridge being destroyed completely. The general announced the same to the line and thus the "Twin-Sisters" then further moved ahead within 200 yards of the Mexican breast-work, and opened fire with grape and canister (Pohl). The Sherman's troop instigated the action after Texan left and all in line, exclaiming, "Remember the Alamo;" "Remember Goliad" while moving ahead in double quick time, and, while they reached the enemy's works, they received his fire, but at the same time they had withdrawn their own until they were surrounded by pistol-shot (Pohl).
Even though the effect of this fire on the enemy was dreadful, but the Texans made no stop but instead move onward. They made a way into the woodland on their left; while the Mexicans ran off. On the other hand, the Texan, on the right, charged cavalry that of the enemy; and the remaining ones fled (Pohl). Moreover, in the centre, the Texan artillery proceeded to within 70 yards of that of the Mexicans, but they concluded and ended the fire, as both Burleson's troop and Millard's infantry had outburst the breastwork, and took the artillery of the enemy, and were successful in making them go back.
After they took charge it took Mexicans 15 minutes to give way at all points, and the search was general. Few flee to the river, while others swamp in their rear, some toward Vince's bridge. However, the largest part possibly to a clump of trees that wasn't far to the rear, where they surrendered themselves (Pohl). All this was an awful scene to watch as it was all chaos in the rear and right of the enemy's camp, where so many of the fugitives fled. While dead and dying both men and horses, made a bridge for the enraged followers (Pohl).
The Texans didn't have time to load their guns, so they used them as clubs instead. With their pistols; they then had option to use their bowie-knives, and finally to the weapons of the fallen enemy. It was said that after announcement made by Deaf Smith, to Houston about the destruction of the bridge, he bravely among the enemy fight, and, broke his own sword in combat, and later took another one from the one he had killed, and continued to fight till his death. Thus, the hunt of the enemy's cavalry continued to the site of Vince's bridge.
The prisoners taken were led to the Texan camp, under the supervision of a guard, with ample supply of provisions. Also, the wounded of both armies were given all the provisions as the conditions permitted (Pohl). Houston as well got his limb wounded in the battle and due to his boots, his limb had swollen; later boots were cut off, in a way that the wound could be procured to ease the pain (Pohl).
The cumulative force of the Texan army in the battle was approximately around seven hundred and eighty-three; and their enemy was possibly twice this number. The defeated party- Mexicans lost six hundred and thirty killed, while the numbers wounded were two hundred and eight, and seven hundred and thirty prisoners (Pohl). In addition, a large quantity of arms and significant numbers of mules and horses were taken, along with their camp-equipage, and the military chest that included twelve thousand dollars. On the other hand, the Texan had lost their eight men only and twenty-five wounded (Pohl).
Thus, on 22nd April they were finally free in Texas. Though before that people had declared their independence, but it was after their struggle and fight they won the independence (Pohl). In other words, they got complete victory both physically and morally. The battle was at the right time, when you look back at the events of the battle, once can clearly witness that it couldn't have been better time then this and reaching success in the end (Pohl).
Destiny appeared to be…[continue]
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