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Old 12-14-2013, 08:34 AM
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Default SAM HOUSTON

NOT---I AM Houston as some report his signature to read.
All this talk about movies and books sparked some thoughts this AM.
I am a fan of History and the history is far more interesting than most fictions I have ever read.
Anybody want to discuss Sam Houston ?
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:15 AM
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Here's a delicate subject. One with many shadows and facets, a picture of intrigue and bloodshed, whiskey and politics.

Houston is actually reviled by some as a manipulating politician who wanted Texas to be united with Louisiana to form a single state in the U.S.A.
He never wanted Texas to be a free Republic, but had his heart set always on the U.S. Senate, with Sam Houston as Senator of the powerful new state.

He allegedly dallied while San Antonio de Bexar and Goliad fell, and eliminated his political opposition (Crockett and Bowie who wanted either Reunification with Coahuila as an Independent nation, or Texas Republic standing on its own.)

There were both tactical and strategic reasons for his slow response to Col. Travis' appeal for relief at the Alamo, all advantageous to Sam Houston, all dooming the near 200 men including Bonhams brave volunteers from Gonzalez. (and perhaps Fannin and his 344 Texians at Coleto Creek)


Sam Houston, for some, is neither the Father of Texas nor a great general, but history, like a jury, can get it wrong.

As a native, I know some things will never be settled, and Texas faces a greater threat now than ever it did.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:51 AM
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He was ousted as governor in 1861 for opposing secession from the Union. While he was a slave owner and state's rights proponent, he thought secession a stupid idea and would only bring misery to Texas and the South.

Dying in 1863, he didn't get a chance to say "told you so" about the cold northern avalanche he expected.
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:16 PM
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No, ol Sam came to Texas in 1832. He was the Gov and gave up his seat in 1829 as I recall.
This is all a strange tale.
He married a woman when she was 19---now this is where life gets interesting. Sam had spent a life on the frontier in Tennessee--happy in a tent and/or fighting---He was a mans man, happy in whore houses and boozing---what single guys did back then.
He got married for political reasons---the advice of Ol Hickory and was bound for the presidency. The gal was much younger than Sam and they were married 19 days before she went home to momma. It was a wealthy family and she was not dry behind the ears--either in bed or politics.
Just a few days after the wedding they were at a friends house and it was snowing, he joined the youngsters in a snowball fight. The friends wife said she need to help Sam out---the kids were getting the best of him.
She made the statement and it has been confirmed as truth. I hope they kill him---the friend looked at her and she said "I honestly wish he would die".
Now this is where it gets murky. There are rumors that some believe that she was repulsed at a groin injury that had to be dressed daily. A wound which he got in the Indian wars. The truth is, the groin injury had healed bot the shoulder where a lead ball lodged was a constant companion until the day he died and had to be dressed daily. I discount the wound theory.
Honestly, I believe Sam's experiences in New Orleans, were the source of her hateing him---she was a prude. we can go into a lot of history on this.
Sam then Left and went to Arkansas to live with the Cherokee--not a new thing as he had lived with them a number of years when he was a teenager--they gave him the name the Raven then---not because he was a drunk.
He married a half white woman--Cherokee marriage and Cherokee divorce (splitting the blanket) when he left for Texas in 1832-or 33---debate on this date is ongoing---he may have gone and come back.
While in Arkansas he and his wife started a trading post and ran that---they had no children together that can be verified.
Ol Hickory wanted Texas for the states---He may have been influenced by this.
He knew and it is written in his diaries and correspondence that it was an evitable clash with Mexico that was bound to come to war.
Oddly--he had sent Bowie to the Alamo to destroy it--and Goliad because the Texas Army could not support the battle to save it. He had to get Santa Anna into East Texas--that was the reason for the Running Scrape.
Sam was closed mouthed about his plans because of fear of treason.
Lots going on here folks.
I discount the Texas/Louisiana thing as the US had already purchased Louisiana and it was a state by the time of 1836.
Good discussion.
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:08 PM
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I cannot discount the possibility of the plan to combine La. And Texas. I understand the time line re:La. statehood, but there was nothing to stop "annexation" meaning an extension of the existing and adjoining property (east Texas), and surrendering back to Mexico the land south of the Nueces, in return for a peace treaty with his brother Santa Anna. (Texas and Coahuila had been one state of Mexico)
Houston (I imagine) would have happily supported combining the two states, if he were Senator (or Governor) of that new state. He sure liked New Orleans. He borrowed $1,000,000 from A.de Orvanne of New Orleans in 1842.


I personally feel that the idea of adding two new senators on the slave state side would outweigh the advantages of combining Texas with the new state of Louisiana, and that was very much a matter of interest to Sam Houstons mentor and allies in DC at that time, as abolition was coming to a vote soon.

The Raven was a man of intrigue and action, for sure.
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:57 PM
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I've often wondered what would've happened if he'd had Santa Anna executed. As it was, the captured Mexican dictator was spared and caused added trouble with the new Republic of Texas for years.

I do not understand the post about Houston and Santa Anna being brothers, in any sense of the word, biological or otherwise.

Jim Bowie married into the Mexican aristocracy (his wife and children were later victims of cholera) but I don't think any of the other early Texican leaders were at all related to Santa Anna or any other senior Mexican officials.

I'd be interested if anyone can show otherwise. I'm not adverse to learning new things, if they can be shown to be so.

I saw a movie where Richard Boone played Houston. I thought he was pretty well chosen for the role, although their looks differed. Boone overemoted, but that's common with actors.
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Old 12-14-2013, 03:56 PM
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I have just finished "Lions of the West" by Robert Morgan which has a number of biographies on those involved in the war with Mexico. I would hesitate to judge any by current standards they including Houston were men of unique times. The press then was partisan in ways we would be surprised at. What is noted is how Houston and others were intelligent enough to be able to change their positions to benefit the country. I hope to read more on Houston, Kit Carson and Gen. Kearny soon.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:38 PM
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It has been rumored that Santa Anna was spared because he was a Mason. The best information I have turned up was it was necessary to keep him alive to keep from fighting other generals in the area.
I live within a nice walk of the San Jacinto Battleground---it is today unlike it was in 1836 but one can wander the ground and imagine.
How did they kill 700 Mexican solders in 30 minutes of fighting and loosing less than a dozen. Boys that must have been a hell of a whooping---I can't imagine.
Then there is that Yellow Rose of Texas thing.
Did you ever stop and ask yourownself how Houston got behind the Mexicans ? It was not an accident.
Why were they there to begin with ?
Did you know that the President of the US had a spy in Houston's camp ?
Then there is the still fought war of the Neuces Strip.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlayton View Post
How did they kill 700 Mexican solders in 30 minutes of fighting and loosing less than a dozen. Boys that must have been a hell of a whooping---I can't imagine.
The same way that Andrew Jackson put a whoopin’ on the British at New Orleans in 1812. The British army fresh from whoopin Napoleon was considered the finest fighting force in the world at the time. By choosing the time and the location and the element of surprise. Jackson outnumber 2 or 3 to 1, defeated the British inflicting 2,036 casualties, while sustaining only 71.

The same way George Washington defeated the British in the American Revolution. This nation has had two great generals, Washington and Jackson, and many just good ones. The south perished because Lee was a very good general, but not a great one like Washington and Jackson, and probably Houston belongs in that category.

Almost any good general can win when he has superior strength. Only the great ones manage to inflict devastating losses on a superior enemy.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:37 PM
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Like I say, intrigue....and there is great controversy regarding his generalship, though seldom spoken in other than hushed tones amongst native Texans, and nearly never brought up in polite conversation in east Texas.
My Aunt Thelma was from Hemphill, lived in Beaumont and made quite a point of taking me as a child to the San Jacinto battlefield.
Houston to her was a magnificent General, a perfect gentleman and the "Father of Texas".

But I had a mean old woman Texas history teacher, a Daughter of the Republic, who, on the second day of class (Junior year, Ray High in Corpus) tossed the textbook onto a pile of others, and said "this is ****! I'll tell you how it happened."
She did too, from her point of view, and according to her years of study. She was a passionate Texan, an iconoclast of the first water, and a fine storyteller.
There are answers to most questions asked regarding "how", my vote goes with the willingness of the Texians, in spite of Houston. Faced with mutiny, he acquiesced to his troops, and followed them into battle, rather than led. (They turned south at the whichaway tree, Houston wanted to go north.)
The Generalship of Sam Houston
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
I've often wondered what would've happened if he'd had Santa Anna executed. As it was, the captured Mexican dictator was spared and caused added trouble with the new Republic of Texas for years.

I do not understand the post about Houston and Santa Anna being brothers, in any sense of the word, biological or otherwise.

Jim Bowie married into the Mexican aristocracy (his wife and children were later victims of cholera) but I don't think any of the other early Texican leaders were at all related to Santa Anna or any other senior Mexican officials.

I'd be interested if anyone can show otherwise. I'm not adverse to learning new things, if they can be shown to be so.

I saw a movie where Richard Boone played Houston. I thought he was pretty well chosen for the role, although their looks differed. Boone overemoted, but that's common with actors.
Texas Star: regarding Tejanos and Texians, here are but a few: Juan Seguin, Jose Ruiz, Lorenzo de Zavala.
There weren't many natives (of Texas)in either army, and I've never heard that Col. Bowie was related to Santa Anna....but shoot, who knows...
Here's a link:
Hispanic Tejano Patriots in the Texas War of Independence

Don't bother with genealogy, General Houston and Antonio de Santa Anna were both Freemasons, and there is no argument about that. Whether the sign of distress turned General Houston from revenge, or otherwise is "speculative", as it were.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:26 AM
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TM I am glad I had a nice Tejas history Teacher at Cullen.

Always wanted to know what went wrong with Houston in Tennessee.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:54 AM
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TM I am glad I had a nice Tejas history Teacher at Cullen.

Always wanted to know what went wrong with Houston in Tennessee.
Good teachers there were, down in South Texas. I shouldn't have called her mean. She was tough. Forty five years ago, she was about sixty, raised in that brush country.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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I ain't a Texan. I have very little knowledge of Texas history. But there are a couple of things in this thread that puzzle me.

>No, ol Sam came to Texas in 1832. He was the Gov and gave up his seat in 1829 as I recall. This is all a strange tale.<

Is there a typo there, or am I missing something?

And then the reference to "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Only yellow rose of Texas I'm aware of is a quadroon prostitute in a song. What are you talking about?
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:22 AM
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I agree that there is controversy. The whole of the revolution was a disorganized fiasco that seemed to work out in favor of Texas in spite of all the factions that wanted to do different things.
This road thing is a bluff on the part of those that wish to portray Houston as a coward.
If you look at the road where the tree stood you will understand. Now my position is faught with lack of any intelligence from Houston--I will admit. In the same moment I will stand by Houston's past and say that He was acting in a usual Houston manner---quietness and close to the vest.
My argument from History:
The Texans WERE in disarray. There was no established government. The Mexicans were not chasing Houston---they were chasing the government that was trying to escape to Louisiana. Santa Anna had divided his forces, giving orders to Cos to go along the coast in order to keep the government from escaping by sea.
This is, BTW, a crucial development in the Mexican defeat.
There were spies in Houston's camp from a number of different Texan factions and they were the disorganizing effect in the whole of Houston's attempt.
One of these was a spy for the then President of the US--his name escapes me now--but Houston had him arrested for taking men, desperately needed, and attempting to chase Santa Anna into Harrisburg (now Houston).
Where was this tree ?
I think Houston needed to be in The Mexican rear. His attempt was was to get out of the way and let the Mexicans by-pass his army in order to do this---keep on chasing the Government.
Santa Anna became ingrossed with the government, fixated is a good word and disregarded Houston as being important--feeling the army was nothing to contend with.
Houston camped in what is now Spring, Texas for a week---this where the tree was.
I don't think that there is anything, other than rumor, and I have researched it for a number of papers written by me, for classes I took on Texas History at Sam Houston State when I was a student there (no-it was not a year after the battle--as some suggest ) .
Houston arrived in Harrisburg/Houston AFTER the Mexicans burned the town. The government was in what is now LaPorte then called Morgans point. They obtained a schooner there and sailed across the bay to Anahuac with thoughts of Louisiana.
The lay of the land is of supreme importance in this thought--and Houston was familiar with the lay of the land. You boys might find an atlas handy from this point on.

If you look at Houston and where LaPorte is you will find that it is a dead end gulch, if you want to look at it from a western term.
On the north was a bayou--Now the Houston ship channel---then just a swamp. To the South, from where Cos was trying to converge with Santa Anna, is a series of E to W Bayous which made traversing North to South slow. I must remind you that there were no bridges across most of these.
Santa Anna was bottled up without hope of help. Swamp on the North, Bay on the East, SE and Bayous on the South.
Houston defied all odds of having his command disrupted by factions that just wanted ill-advised attack on the Mexicans until the odds were in their favor.
Now, in my defense, I have not relied on reports from others. These are my studies and my opinions.
Sam (I AM) Houston defied all odds by playing his cards and keepin his plans close to his chest. This is historically, Houston's demeanor and personality.
Still---I wonder at God's hands at San Jacinto. It was more than remarkable---it was providence. Therefore my signature line---"TEXAS, by GOD"
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:38 AM
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This nation has had two great generals, Washington and Jackson, and many just good ones. The south perished because Lee was a very good general, but not a great one like Washington and Jackson, and probably Houston belongs in that category.

Almost any good general can win when he has superior strength. Only the great ones manage to inflict devastating losses on a superior enemy.
Wow, this could lead to a long running discussion. Washington, Jackson, and Houston were great leaders and the right men at the right place and at the right time, but they were not necessarily great generals. At their peak Washington and Jackson lead a few thousand troops. Washington lost more battles than he won, and Jackson's high water event, the Battle of New Orleans, would have been considered not much more than a skirmish by Civil War standards.


Lee commanded a full army with tens of thousands of troops and did inflict devastating losses on a superior enemy in battle after battle for over three years.

Many military historians agree that Lee was the finest American general even if he did fight for the lost cause. No disrespect meant towards Washington, Jackson, and Houston, but they are not even in the same league as Lee.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:11 AM
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BUT---we are not discussing great generals---Houston, and Texas in particular.
No disrespect meant---just keeping the thread on target.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:18 AM
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Alpho
Sorry to not get back to you before this.
I will admit that I communicate very poorly.
Sam Houston resigned two Governorships. Tennessee in 1829 and Texas in 1861. he resigned--was not forced out in either case.
He voted against secession and when the state went this way he said---verbally---once again---you folks can go to hell cause that is the way ya'll are headed.
He said the same thing when he left Teneessee.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:25 AM
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Wow, this could lead to a long running discussion. Washington, Jackson, and Houston were great leaders and the right men at the right place and at the right time, but they were not necessarily great generals. At their peak Washington and Jackson lead a few thousand troops. Washington lost more battles than he won, and Jackson's high water event, the Battle of New Orleans, would have been considered not much more than a skirmish by Civil War standards.


Lee commanded a full army with tens of thousands of troops and did inflict devastating losses on a superior enemy in battle after battle for over three years.

Many military historians agree that Lee was the finest American general even if he did fight for the lost cause. No disrespect meant towards Washington, Jackson, and Houston, but they are not even in the same league as Lee.
I agree with this. Even in my lifetime, I have seen wars declared "lost" by the government when their army was winning.

Perhaps Mark Twain would say the "size of the dog in the fight" is the general, but "the size of the fight in the dog" is the individual soldier.

In the context of this discussion, the Texians were rested and volunteers, the Mexicans were exhausted and conscripts. The Texians were fighting more for "their land" and the Mexican conscript troops had no real interest in being in the godforsaken swamp of east Texas. Santa Anna was by no means a military leader of any consequence. His defeat was much due to lack of security.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:32 AM
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I never cease to be amazed at the information I receive on this site!I have always been a "Texophile" and often wonder what life might have been like if my German ancestors had landed in Galveston rather than Charleston.This thread has aroused my curiosity as I have never heard these controversial points of view.I guess I will be back to the books.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:24 PM
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...So, everything I learned in the seventh-grade reading "Texas History Movies" was not completely accurate?
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:08 PM
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I have to say, devils advocate has been my position in this discussion, and I have benefitted from the outcome of General Sam Houstons leadership, good, bad or indifferent. Therefore I have to say all I say with respect for the man and the State.
No disrespect is meant in these speculations, to anyone living or dead.

Sam Houston stated the following:

"In the course of two days [at Gonzales] I received the lamentable information that Colonel Travis and his noble compatriots had succumbed to overwhelming numbers and had been brutally slaughtered. I immediately sent a courier to Colonel Fannin ordering him to destroy all his artillery that he could not remove and retreat to Victoria . . . Deaf Smith having returned from a scout reported the enemy advancing. I then determined to retreat and get as near to Andrew Jackson and the old flag as I could."
This tends to corroborate the statements of contemporaries who maintained that Gen. Houstons
intentions were to retreat to the protection of the U.S. Army across the Sabine, if indeed, he was speaking the truth at the time of this speech in 1845, in Houston, Texas.

Some might say,"if you retreat far enough, the enemy supply lines will break down." This is true, if one is willing to make sacrifices.
The Mexican forces under Urrea and (I forget the other),returned to Mexico and continued to make war in Texas until the U.S. Marines and Army occupied Mexico City in 1848.

EDIT: the "whichaway tree" is at the crossroads at the now nonexistent settlement New Kentucky, (8 miles west of Tomball)where the road from Washington on the Brazos forked, one road to the east and the Sabine, one to the south, and Harrisburg and San Jacinto.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:22 PM
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I believe that the other general was Cos who was the dictator's brother in law.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:33 PM
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TM
No need for all that. It is discussion. I studied the material and formed my opinion---you did the same.
The Texas government was retreating to Louisiana, if necessary. The conclusion could go either way.
Would Jackson have come to the aid----now that is another piece of History that has much speculation---after all, what about the war with Mexico ?
Now the Yellow Rose of Texas was a mulatto girl from the plantation of the land the fight was on at San Jacinto----she was in Santa Anna's tent when he was ambushed----therefore the saying---"caught with his pants down."
That is where the farm was that Sam was camped at.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:40 PM
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We do know that Santa Anna went to Harrisburg, chasing the government and that is a different road.
That is called to Old Spanish Trail.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:52 PM
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There is no doubt the Texas soldiers were a group of individuals and not a real army. The fact that they followed any one man is a testament to Houston’s ability to command. Just holding that group together was a job in itself.

We can also second guess his strategy of retreat or who actually led the fight at San Jacinto? The bottom line whatever Houston did worked and he took out a professional army with a much smaller group of untrained men, and did so in spectacular fashion.

It is easy to pick and choose quotes from those who opposed him and even a quote or two of his own out of context to make him look like a poor general. The facts are he led a small group against a well trained large group, and won, and won handily.

Was he a good man by today’s standards, meaning a liberalized, civilized, government dependent wimp like most men today? Probably not. All I can say is that I am glad he was in charge when he was in charge and he gets my vote for one of the top military generals. Otherwise we would already be speaking Spanish, rather than just moving in that direction.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:33 PM
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Diaries, letters and written remembrances rather than public speeches, newspaper articles often show a different side than is status quo. The winners write history, dead men tell no tales.

I doubt a conspiracy has gone to the trouble of falsifying 150+ year old letters and diaries to bismirch a hero. (Admittedly, some may have written unkind words about Gen. Houston because they didn't like him).
More likely, the elevation to mythic proportions by enthusiasts may well have brought about investigations and research which tend to bring down (out of the rarified air of Olympus) those who were indeed humans, cursed with weaknesses and also graced by God and good fortune. I for one feel errors deserve to be admitted, and credit for good fortune or the grace of God not be claimed for political advantage. With credit given where due. But that's human nature.

Since I'm due back up in Kemah, Texas this week, I'll have the chance to make the drive up to La Porte and I'll visit the battleground again. Maybe the ghost of the Raven will pay me a visit while I meditate on his victory.

Texas, Our Texas!

The Generalship of Sam Houston
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:08 PM
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There is no doubt the Texas soldiers were a group of individuals and not a real army. The fact that they followed any one man is a testament to Houston’s ability to command. Just holding that group together was a job in itself.

We can also second guess his strategy of retreat or who actually led the fight at San Jacinto? The bottom line whatever Houston did worked and he took out a professional army with a much smaller group of untrained men, and did so in spectacular fashion.

It is easy to pick and choose quotes from those who opposed him and even a quote or two of his own out of context to make him look like a poor general. The facts are he led a small group against a well trained large group, and won, and won handily.

Was he a good man by today’s standards, meaning a liberalized, civilized, government dependent wimp like most men today? Probably not. All I can say is that I am glad he was in charge when he was in charge and he gets my vote for one of the top military generals. Otherwise we would already be speaking Spanish, rather than just moving in that direction.
I have read the several posts about the relative sizes and competence of the armies involved. The Texans were a volunteer militia, more like the South African Boer Commandos than anything else that comes to mind, or maybe the Swiss, although the Swiss are more formal in their organization.

But good generals with fewer troops have beaten larger armies. The Roman who defeated Boadicea's Celtic hordes did so with about 10,000 men, scraped together from what was left of local legions after the intial uprising, in which the angry lady's minions had burned Londinium and devastated large areas of Britain. I think Sir Walter Raleigh's Royal Navy was numerically inferior to the Spanish Armada, but took advantage of weather and other conditions to triumph.

I thought both Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart and G.S. Patton were considered great generals, as was MacArthur after his landing at Inchon. Some say that David Petraeus (sp?) is a great general now. Eisenhower was, given the scope of his vast responsibility.

I was taught in history classes at university in Texas that Houston intentionally adopted an old Roman tactic of running to lengthen his enemy's supply lines. Then, he struck at San Jacinto when the enemy were enjoying an afternoon siesta, having no expectation that the smaller Texas "army" would dare to attack. I don't know if the quadroon (?) whore was deliberately used to occupy Santa Anna at that crucial moment. But it's possible. The song in her honor is still widely sung.

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Old 12-15-2013, 04:01 PM
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This nation has had two great generals, Washington and Jackson, and many just good ones. The south perished because Lee was a very good general, but not a great one like Washington and Jackson, and probably Houston belongs in that category.

Almost any good general can win when he has superior strength. Only the great ones manage to inflict devastating losses on a superior enemy.
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BUT---we are not discussing great generals---Houston, and Texas in particular.
No disrespect meant---just keeping the thread on target.
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Okay, and no disrespect intended, but it's a whopper of a tale even for Texans to suggest Houston is ranked in the top handful of great American generals. He was the leader of little more than a rag tag partisan force who was fighting on their home terf against an army at the end of a long supply line. To the best of my recollection, the Battle of San Jacinto is the only battle he ever won.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:10 PM
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I think Sam Houston's finest moment is when he stood firm in his resolution not to support the Confederacy as he left the office of Governor of Texas when he said;

"Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South"

His prophesy was right on the mark.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:22 PM
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I think Sam Houston's finest moment is when he stood firm in his resolution not to support the Confederacy as he left the office of Governor of Texas when he said;

"Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South"

His prophesy was right on the mark.
Unfortunately, for freedom loving men everywhere he was correct in his assessment. Most southerner's underestimated the north's determination to keep their boot heel on the southern throat.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:28 PM
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If you wish to say Houston followed his troops instead of leading them. I will respond with the fact that he and his troops won. I'll also point out that Houston was elected President of the Republic and Governor of the State of Texas by his contemporaries. A great leader listens to his followers and adjusts plans on the fly to present followers with the best chance of success.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:34 PM
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If you wish to say Houston followed his troops instead of leading them. I will respond with the fact that he and his troops won. I'll also point out that Houston was elected President of the Republic and Governor of the State of Texas by his contemporaries. A great leader listens to his followers and adjusts plans on the fly to present followers with the best chance of success.
I certainly agree that he was elected, like any good politician is.
Election by contemporaries can be thin ice to build a hero on, if recent events are considered. And elections in Texas can be interesting.(I'm not far from Duval County).
The logbooks of captains, the diaries of soldiers, the letters of officers and enlisted men often reveal a different story than the one told during election campaigns.
That's what makes history so much fun!
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:16 PM
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<Snip> And elections in Texas can be interesting.(I'm not far from Duval County).<Snip>
George Parr, the "Duke of Duval", "Box 13", and LBJ

Sorry for the thread drift, but couldn't pass up the memories of the past.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:50 PM
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I certainly agree that he was elected, like any good politician is.
Election by contemporaries can be thin ice to build a hero on, if recent events are considered. And elections in Texas can be interesting.(I'm not far from Duval County).
The logbooks of captains, the diaries of soldiers, the letters of officers and enlisted men often reveal a different story than the one told during election campaigns.
That's what makes history so much fun!
The Runaway Scrape drew a lot of fire, but would turning and fighting have won? I do not know. I'm sure the folks there at the time questioned decisions. The facts are Houston turned and fought in a position where his army won a massive victory. He may have originally intended to draw the Mexican Army into disputed territory in east Texas close to Louisiana where upon the US Army may have pounced. It did not happen that way and he did end up victorious. I('ve) know(n) WW-II Pacific veterans that think we should have island hopped Iwo Jima. It did not happen that way, and we won. There is no question Houston was a politician, a drunk at times, and a guy that liked wilderness life; but all that and other traits combined into a lot of success.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:58 PM
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If you wish to say Houston followed his troops instead of leading them. I will respond with the fact that he and his troops won. I'll also point out that Houston was elected President of the Republic and Governor of the State of Texas by his contemporaries. A great leader listens to his followers and adjusts plans on the fly to present followers with the best chance of success.
"There go my people, I must hurry and catch them, for I am their leader".

Maybe Ghandi learned from him?
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:15 PM
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"There go my people, I must hurry and catch them, for I am their leader".

Maybe Ghandi learned from him?
Ghandi = Sam Houston. That is funny!
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:40 AM
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When one does not answer his critics--Sam did not--and continues HIS course, there will be those who said they lead and were actually followers.
There is no question in my mind that Sam knew when to fight and when to flee.
I will rest my cause with the thought that as Sam protected the rear of the government as it fled, he built and army that stood a chance. He picked up volunteers all along the way.
The Which Way Tree may have been/may still be a question in everyone's mind---I think Sam knew what he was doing.
Been there and done that seems to be irrevelant to the naysayers.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:00 PM
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The outcome has never been in dispute, but rather in the presentation of the events, some insisted in all the credit, while others were content with 1/783rd of the credit. Perhaps a personal shortcoming, but I seldom have seen a politician who was a good general, much less one of historical greatness.
Sam Houston was, indeed a fabulous politician, one that Texas was not to see the equal until Landslide Lyndon.
Without the casualties wrought on Santa Annas numbers at the Alamo, there may have been no victory at San Jac.
That said, had Gen. Houston led the Mexican force into the Big Thicket, Santa Anna's men would have perished under the sights of the Texian marksmen in those dense forests.
So either way, Houston engineered a winning move, lost very few men under his command,kept his own counsel, became Texas' President, Governor and U.S. Senator and perhaps is deserving of the adulation that still holds.

“Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.”
[Sam Houston]
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:12 PM
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Seems I read somewhere and I may be wrong...that Ol' Hickory
had around 3-4 thousand U.S. troops on the Louisiana border waiting
on the word to charge is Sam got in trouble.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:37 PM
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Yeehah! This is a fine thread and discussion. I did not know of many of these questions of Gen. Houston. One thing we can all agree on, is that ole Sam was full of guile and bile, and nobody's fool.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:38 PM
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Did Houston actually fight any battle other than his victorious one at San Jacinto?

I'm asking. I really don't know. I just can't think of any defeats.

Texans had defeats, like at the Alamo and at Goliad, but those troops weren't part of Houston's army.

While thinking of victorious generals, did either Patton or Lord Montgomery ever suffer any defeats, other than at Arnhem, which battle was Monty's idea? If XXX Corps, inc. the Irish Guards, had managed to break through German resistance on schedule, even that disaster might have become a victory.

Last edited by Texas Star; 12-16-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:59 PM
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Did Houston actually fight any battle other than his victorious one at San Jacinto?

I'm asking. I really don't know. I just can't think of any defeats.

Texans had defeats, like at the Alamo and at Goliad, but those troops weren't part of Houston's army.

While thinking of victorious generals, did either Patton or Lord Montgomery ever suffer any defeats, other than at Arnhem, which battle was Monty's idea? If XXX Corps, inc. the Irish Guards, had managed to break through German resistance on schedule, even that disaster might have become a victory.
Houston fought in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson. In Texas his only military battle that I'm aware of was San Jacinto.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:00 PM
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Yes, Houston was a fine General under Jackson in the Indian wars.
Except for the Alamo, the rest were skirmishes and massacres.

Now boys---most all of you don't know that the war was fought for another 100 years in the Nueces Strip---but then, that is where the Rangers were the army.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:02 PM
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Yes, Houston was a fine General under Jackson in the Indian wars.
Except for the Alamo, the rest were skirmishes and massacres.

Now boys---most all of you don't know that the war was fought for another 100 years in the Nueces Strip---but then, that is where the Rangers were the army.
Blessings
I thought the Nueces Strip border question was settled by the Mexican American War. Were there any formal fights between the US and Mexico over it after the war was settled. I know of this bandit raid Raid of 1878 which occurred a few years before my mother's family settled in LaSalle County. There may have been revolutionaries and bandits after that but they did not make it as far in as Cotulla. There still are bandit issues in the Nueces Strip, but we have them in Houston too.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:11 PM
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Yes, Houston was a fine General under Jackson in the Indian wars.
Except for the Alamo, the rest were skirmishes and massacres.
From what I've been able to determine Houston never served as a general under Jackson. The highest rank he attained during the Indian wars was third lieutenant before he was wounded at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:35 PM
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Interesting opinions makes good reading.

I know Skeeter Skelton was once sheriff of Deaf Smith County, Texas. Now I know how the count got it's name.

Did Sam Houston leave Texas after he resigned? Where was he interred?
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:08 AM
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I thought the Nueces Strip border question was settled by the Mexican American War. Were there any formal fights between the US and Mexico over it after the war was settled. I know of this bandit raid Raid of 1878 which occurred a few years before my mother's family settled in LaSalle County. There may have been revolutionaries and bandits after that but they did not make it as far in as Cotulla. There still are bandit issues in the Nueces Strip, but we have them in Houston too.
From here in the Wild Horse Desert,where the Nueces meets the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes I wonder.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:13 AM
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Interesting opinions makes good reading.

I know Skeeter Skelton was once sheriff of Deaf Smith County, Texas. Now I know how the count got it's name.

Did Sam Houston leave Texas after he resigned? Where was he interred?
In case you didn't know, it's pronounced "Deef"

Sam Houston is laid to rest in Huntsville.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:42 AM
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Well, not being very upon the Indian wars----someone should start a thread. I would like to read---I bow to your knowledge of this fact mr Faulkner.
Huntsville is where Sam is buried.
The Nueces Strip may still be going on, seems like it. It actually became a no mans land for both sides. There are lots of tales from the archives of the Border rangers on this subject but as one ranger Captain said at a funeral for a Border Ranger when another said I wish his ol gun could talk---OH NO BOY- OH NO!
We have had blurbs on this from time to time but if you are interested there are many books on this subject and they are well worth the reads.
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