Tag Archives: Texian Army

Today in Texas History – December 5

BEXAR, SIEGE OF | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1835, the Texas revolutionary army launched their first major assault on the Mexican Army units encamped at San Antonio de Bexar under the command of Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos.  Cos had gathered his troops at Bexar following the defeat at Gonzales and was cut off from the coast.  By early December, the siege of Bexar had been under way for several weeks with action at the Espada Mission and elsewhere.  Morale was low on the Texian side with winter approaching.  However, reports from a captured Mexican soldier and escaped Texian prisoners alerted Maj. Gen. Edward Burleson of the Texian Volunteer Army that Mexican morale was just as low.  Burleson ordered a two-column attack. One attack was to be carried out by troops under the command of Ben Milam, and the other was to be carried out by those of Colonel Francis W. Johnson. On December 5, Milam and Johnson launched a surprise attack and seized two houses in the Military Plaza (one of the houses seized belonged to the in-laws of Jim Bowie). The Texians were unable to advance any further that day, but they fortified the houses and remained there during the night, digging trenches and destroying nearby buildings.  The Battle for Bexar continued with house-to-house fighting until December 10 when the besieged Mexican troops surrendered.

Map of Siege of Bexar from The Handbook of Texas Online.

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Today in Texas History – June 3

From the Annals of the Horse Marines – In 1836, a Texas mounted ranger company captured a Mexican ship.  Maj. Isaac Watts Burton’s unit was keeping watch over a stretch of the Gulf Coast south of San Antonio Bay. When they heard of a suspicious vessel in Copano Bay, the rangers hid on the shore and sent up distress signals. The ship responded first by hoisting American and Texan signals, which were ignored. Only when the ship raised Mexican signals did the rangers respond. Thus tricked into thinking the supposedly distressed soldiers were Mexican, the captain came ashore and was captured. With him as hostage, sixteen rangers rowed out, boarded the Watchman, and seized its cargo of provisions for the Mexican army.   The mounted rangers were dubbed “Horse Marines.”