Texas Military Forces Historical Sketch

Heroes Of San Jacinto

As in all other battles of the war, the Texas force was composed of men from various sections of the United States as well as Texas. They were volunteers--average civilians in ordinary life but men willing to don the uniform and shoulder arms when their homes and their independence were threatened.

These men, coming from all parts of the country, were united under one flag--the Lone Star. It may be considered symbolical that the Army of Texas had but one flag, which was made and presented to a volunteer company from Newport, Kentucky, by the ladies of Newport. It was carried by James A. Sylvester, who on the day following the battle of San Jacinto captured General Santa Anna.

Besides the Texans and Major General Sam Houston, who was born in Virginia and was former governor of Tennessee, there were fighting for Texas at the battle of San Jacinto men from Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and other sections. But in the battle, they were truly Texans, fighting for their adopted homeland and throwing off the yoke of tyranny.

There was also born in the fight for independence one of the most respected and effective forces for law and order ever to be known--the Texas Rangers. It was at the consultation at San Felipe in November, 1835, that authority was given for raising a force of 150 Rangers, to be placed in detachments on the frontier. At once, the company of Captain Coleman was organized and had its several detachments placed at various points on the Trinity, Brazos, Colorado and Little Rivers. Thus was born a force that for a hundred years was to maintain the law and order and justice that had been won in the Texas fight for independence.

The War for Independence produced some of the greatest men of Texas history, with the vast majority of them members of the volunteer militia that succeeded in defeating Santa Anna. Such men as Houston, Austin, Travis, Fannin, Lamar, Crockett and Bowie, just to mention a few, set a high example for all members of the Texas volunteer and National Guard forces to follow.

As Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, said of General John B. Hood's famous Texas Brigade, "The troops of other states have their reputation to gain, the sons of the Alamo have theirs to maintain."

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