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In 1996 a pediatrician and “avocational archeologist” living in Wharton, Texas, decided to try to find evidence in Wharton County of the Mexican army of 1836. Following some preliminary research at the Wharton County Junior College Library, he focused his search on the area between the San Bernard and West Bernard rivers. Within two weeks after beginning the search for artifacts, a Mexican army site was discovered, and, with the help of the Houston Archeological Society, excavated. Then began the archival exploration of the history behind the archeology, the contacting of historians with expertise in that period, and even the learning of Spanish so that the original source documents could be studied. The result is an amazing tour de force for a doctor who was “adept at circumcisions, spinal taps, and treating asthma but . . . knew next to nothing about Texas history.”
One of those consulted in the course of this work was noted historian Professor James E. Crisp of North Carolina State University, who calls the author a “natural historian” and describes Dimmick’s findings as “a story which rivals the miracle of San Jacinto in importance . . . a remarkably complete account of what happened to the main force of the Mexican army between April 21 and the second week of May, 1836 . . . a few days [within which] an orderly Mexican withdrawal to a defensive position within Texas turned into an unmitigated disaster which sealed the fate of the Mexican campaign.”
The movements of the Mexican army during the two-week period from April 21 to May 9, 1836, are followed in meticulous detail, based on the full scope of published and unpublished sources, many of which appear here in English, and in their entirety, for the first time. The actions of Mexican generals Vicente Filisola and José de Urrea and the bitter rivalry between them are presented in their own words, from their letters and diaries. And this is only half the story. The author and his “digging buddies” have located many actual artifacts dropped or discarded in the mud by Mexican soldados more than 165 years ago. Thousands of hours excavating in the Sea of Mud (El Mar de Lodo) have produced hundreds of items (many pictured and described in the book) along with the army’s trail—munitions, arms, uniform fragments, and personal items—all serving to paint a more accurate picture than we have heretofore had of Santa Anna’s army and its response to his order to retreat.
All in all, this is a breathtaking accomplishment in historical and archeological investigation and a book that will henceforth be a standard reference for those studying the 1836 campaign in Texas.
General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea's Military Diary: A Forgotten 1838 Publication by an Eyewitness to the Texas Revolution
- Original Price
- Gregg Dimmick
After reading this fascinating account of the Mexican army in Texas, readers may well need to reevaluate their opinions of the Mexican army’s generals. In spite of the fact that the work is obviously biased and at times blatantly unfair, Filisola makes valid points that will make one wonder if Urrea deserves the high respect that has been generally accorded him by Texan scholars.
As the most prominent Tejano military figure during the war, and an important political figure thereafter, Seguín made enemies among the newly arriving Anglo-Americans unaware of the contributions of numerous Tejanos to the Texas cause. His opposition to land-grabbers in the San Antonio area and the machinations of political enemies while serving as mayor of San Antonio forced him to seek safety in Mexico, where he was impressed into military service. Among his controversial actions during his six-year exile were involvement in Gen. Adrián Woll’s occupation of San Antonio in September 1842 and command of a Mexican cavalry company during the Mexican War.
After his return to Texas in 1848, he became involved in San Antonio politics and was a founding member of the Bexar County Democratic Party. He served as an election precinct chairman and as Wilson County judge during Reconstruction before finally retiring in 1870 to Nuevo Laredo, where two of his sons had set up residence. He died in the Mexican border town in 1890.
Jesús F. de la Teja has written the most extensive biographical study yet done on this controversial Tejano, who deserves a place among the more familiar names in the litany of the illustrious patriots of the Texas Revolution. Here is a wealth of information for serious historians but, even more, a readable and informative account for any person interested in early Texas history. This reprint edition of the out-of-print classic contains a new introduction.
Here it is presented in English for the first time, along with more than fifty letters that Almonte wrote during his inspection. This documentation offers crucial new insights on Texas affairs and will change the way historians regard Mexico’s attitudes toward the foreign colonists and their revolution of 18351836.
When Santa Anna marched an army north to crush the Texas rebellion, Almonte was by his side as a special advisor. He kept a journal, lost at the Battle of San Jacinto, which is presented here with full annotation. Almonte’s role in the 1836 campaign is examined, as well as his subsequent activities that relate to Texas. Through Almonte’s Texas we gain an overdue appreciation of this man who played a leading role in the history of Texas and Mexico.
The traditional story of the Texas Revolution remembers the Alamo and Goliad but has forgotten Matamoros, the strategic Mexican port city on the turbulent lower Rio Grande. In this provocative book, Craig Roell restores the centrality of Matamoros by showing the genuine economic, geographic, social, and military value of the city to Mexican and Texas history.
Given that Matamoros served the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Texas, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Durango, the city’s strategic location and considerable trade revenues were crucial. Roell provides a refreshing reinterpretation of the revolutionary conflict in Texas from a Mexican point of view, essentially turning the traditional story on its head. Readers will learn how Matamoros figured in the Mexican government's grand designs not only for national prosperity, but also to preserve Texas from threatened American encroachment. Ironically, Matamoros became closely linked to the United States through trade, and foreign intriguers who sought to detach Texas from Mexico found a home in the city.
Roell’s account culminates in the controversial Texan Matamoros expedition, which was composed mostly of American volunteers and paralyzed the Texas provisional government, divided military leaders, and helped lead to the tragic defeats at the Alamo, San Patricio, Agua Dulce Creek, Refugio, and Coleto (Goliad). Indeed, Sam Houston denounced the expedition as “the author of all our misfortunes.” In stark contrast, the brilliant and triumphant Matamoros campaign of Mexican General José de Urrea united his countrymen, defeated these revolutionaries, and occupied the coastal plain from Matamoros to Brazoria. Urrea's victory ensured that Matamoros would remain a part of Mexico, but Matamorenses also fought to preserve their own freedom from the centralizing policies of Mexican President Santa Anna, showing the streak of independence that characterizes Mexico's northern borderlands to this day.
Part of the inscription on the base of the San Jacinto Monument reads: "Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world." James W. Pohl, a noted military historian, tells the exciting story of the pivotal battle of the Texas Revolution.
Craig Roell's lively new study of Goliad brings to life this most important Texas community.
Though its population has never exceeded two thousand, Goliad has been an important site of Texas history since Spanish colonial days. It is the largest town in the county of the same name, which was one of the original counties of Texas created in 1836 and was named for the vast territory that was governed as the municipality of Goliad under the Republic of Mexico.
Goliad offers one of the most complete examples of early Texas courthouse squares, and has been listed as a historic preservation district on the National Register. But the sites that forever etched this sleepy Texas town into historical consciousness are those made infamous by two of the most controversial episodes of the entire Texas Revolutionthe Fannin Battleground at nearby Coleto Creek, and Nuestra Señora de Loreto (popularly called Presidio La Bahía), site of the Goliad Massacre on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836.
This book tells the sad tale of James Fannin and his men who fought the Mexican forces, surrendered with the understanding that they would be treated as prisoners of war, and then under orders from Santa Anna were massacred. Like the men who died for Texas independence at the Alamo, the nearly 350 men who died at Goliad became a rallying cry. Both tragic stories became part of the air Texans breathe, but the same process that elevated Crockett, Bowie, Travis, and their Alamo comrades to heroic proportions has clouded Fannin in mystery and shadow.
In Remember Goliad!, Craig Roell tells the history of the region and the famous battle there with clarity and precision. This exciting story is handsomely illustrated in a popular edition that will be of interest to scholars, students, and teachers.
The dramatic story of one of the most famous events in Texas history is told by Ben H. Procter. Procter describes in colorful detail the background, character, and motives of the prominent figures at the Alamo—Bowie, Travis, and Crockett—and the course and outcome of the battle itself. This concise and engaging account of a turning point in Texas history will appeal to students, teachers, historians, and general readers alike.