General Sam Houston arrived at Gonzales in the afternoon on March 11, 1836 to take command of the Texas Army. After learning from Mrs. Dickinson that the Alamo had fallen, the Army, and all the civilians of the area began what has been dubbed "The Runaway Scrape." The citizens started their run for the Trinity River and the safety of the United States. The Army began its fall back while it attempted to obtain supplies, more volunteers and training so that it could become an effective fighting force capable of defeating General Santa Anna and the Mexican Army.
This chronology follows the Army from Gonzales to its destiny at the battleground at San Jacinto. The existing historical markers identifying the route and campsites will be noted. The sites identified here are gleamed from Houston's reports. More research is being pursued to refine the specific locations since not all of them have been identified. The Sam Houston Council of the Boy Scouts have identifed the "Sam Houston Trail" in 1967 and annually in March and April scout troops hike segments of the trail. In 1992 Jeffery D. Dunn and Edward W. Turley, Jr. of Houston began an effort to further define the route and to locate historical markers at each campsite. They are still diligently pursuing that project and will publish their results when it is completed and all markers set. Three markers have been set todate in addition to the ones previously placed along the route. Click on the hot link for a description of the marker (use the 'Back' button to return to this page). In the meantime, we will continue to post information on the route and campsites. Also check out the map of the route and campsites
March 13: Broke camp at Gonzales at midnight and travelled all night (10 miles). Historical Marker titled "Route of the San Jacinto Campaign" located in the 1200 block of St. Louis Street (at Smith St.) in Gonzales shows the route out of town. Stopped for breakfast at the McClure's Plantation on Peach Creek the morning of the 14th. Historical Marker is titled "Sam Houston Oak" and is located 10 miles E. of Gonzales on US 90-A. Reference at the Braches Home (built after the Revolution, by McClure's widow and new husband on the site of the old house) indicates Sam Houston/Runaway Speech Oak use to be in its front yard (12 miles SE of Gonzales on US 90-A near Peach Creek Bridge).
March 14: Camp at on the Lavaca River, at Williamson Daniel's. Historical Marker titled "Site of the Camp of the Texas Army" located in Moulton at the intersection of Lavaca and Bubkat St.
March 15: Historical Marker titled "Route of the Texas Army" located on at the crossing of Rocky Creek on Hwy. 77, 9 miles north of Hallettsville. Camp at the Navadad River, at William Thompson's.
March 16: Camp near the Colorado River, approaching Burnham's.
March 17-18: Camp at Burnham's on the Colorado River. Arrived about 4:30 p.m. Historical Marker northeast of Weimer at the intersection of County Roads 204 and 201.
March 19-25: Camp near Beason's on the Colorado River. Two Historical Markers, one titled "Benjamin Beason's Crossing of the Colorado River" and the other, "Beason's (Beeson's) Crossing" are located in Benjamin Beason Park, East River Bridge, Highway 90. Although there were several camps for the Army, this is probably not the actual location of the main camp. Archeological work is being done to try to locate the actual site. Mexican General Ramirez y Sesma's camp site opposite the Texas Army camp is marked just west of Columbus city limits on Highway 90.
March 26:Camp east of Beason's. The Army left the Beason's camps in the afternoon of the 26th.
March 27:Camp near San Felipe. Camped in the Brazos timber, short of San Felipe. Had travelled 20 miles this day.
March 28: Camp near Mill Creek. The Army arrived at the Brazos at or near San Felipe on March 28. Continued through town and camped slightly north of the townsite.
March 29: Camp above Mill Creek. The crossing of Mill Creek was difficult and only a few miles were travelled.
March 30: Camp in the Brazos bottoms. Only travelled three miles due to the weather.
March 31-April 12: Camp West of the Brazos River. Camp on the west side of the Brazos, opposite Groce's Plantation. Historical Marker is titled "Sam Houston's Camp, West of the Brazos" and is located 9 miles NE of Bellville on SH 159, then right on CR 2 miles. The marker is on private property. Archeological work has confirmed this site. There is an older Historical Marker on the east side of the river titled "The Camp Site of the Texas Army" and is located south of Hempstead, 2 miles southwest of SH 159. This marker is improperly located.
April 13: Camp at Groce's. Assumption at present is that Houston camped at Groce's Bernardo Plantation on the east side of the Brazos after completing his crossing of the Brazos on the afternoon of the 13th. He then left for Donoho's the next day.
April 14: Camp at Donoho's Plantation. Historical Marker is titled "Plantation of Charles Donoho" and is located 4 miles southeast of Hempstead on FM 359.
April 15: Camp at McClarely's Home. Historical Marker is titled "Samuel McCarley Homesite, Texas Army Camp-April 15, 1836" and is located at the intersection of FM 2920 (Waller-Tomball Road) and A. J. Foyt Road, in Harris County (Dunn & Turley marker).
April 16: The Army left the next morning and took the right fork in the road at Robert's Place. Historical Marker is titled "Abraham Robers Homesite, Texas Army Route-April 16, 1836" and is located in New Kentucky Park off of FM 2920 (Waller-Tomball Road) just east of its intersection with Robert's Cemetery Road (Dunn & Turley marker). There is also a 1936 Centennial Marker titled "Site of New Kentucky" nearby. The Army continued to their Camp at Matthew Burnett's Place on Cypress Creek. Historical Marker located in Telge Park, just east of Telge Road on Pleasant Grove St. (Dunn & Turley marker).
April 17: Camp at the head of a little bayou. About six miles short of Harrisburg.
April 18: Camp opposite Harriburg. Arrived opposite Harrisburg about noon. Deaf Smith and Wax Karnes crossed and captured a Mexican courier (marker) confirming the location and troop strength of Mexican General Santa Anna. Set up camp opposite Harrisburg, about 800 yards down river.
April 19: The Army crossed Buffalo Bayou between Sims and Vince's Bayou, and there is a 1936 Centennial Marker titled "Texas Army Crossed Buffalo Bayou" noting the event and is located on Lawndale Ave., about 2 miles west of Richey in Pasadena. There is also a marker in Galena Park, on the north side of Buffalo Bayou titled "Near Site of Isaac Batterson Home" which designated the source of the flooring used as a ferry by the Texas Army in crossing Buffalo Bayou.
There is next a DRT Historical Marker titled "Vince's Bridge" which was crossed by the Army on its route, and is located on N. Richey street, about one mile north of S.H. 225 (La Porte Freeway). The army continued on towards Lynchburg, only resting briefly late at night at a small ravine on the open prairie.
April 20: Camp at San Jacinto. The Army arrived at Lynch's in the morning and back tracked abut a half mile to a high wooded ridge where they set up camp. Mexican General Santa Anna arrived shortly afterwards and a brief skirmish ensued before the Mexican set up their camp on the east side of the prairie at San Jacinto. Numerous Historical Markers at San Jacinto Battlegrounds Park.
Check out the map of the route and campsites. Alexander Horton was an aid-de-camp to General Sam Houston on the San Jacinto Campaign and factually accurate, but fictiously written "dispatches" are provided for your enjoyment. I have expanded Horton's Dispatches for the Harris County Historical Commission to include the activities of the Mexican Army, the Interim Government and the movement of the Twin Sisters along with daily maps showing how the two armies moved on their way to the collision at San Jacinto.
Come Celebrate with us this April 20, 2002