Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Mexican forces under Santa Anna capture key Brazos crossing

April 12th, 1836

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On this day in 1836, Mexican forces under General Santa Anna captured Thompson's Ferry, on the Brazos River between San Felipe and Fort Bend. As Sam Houston's army retreated eastward, a rear-guard under Moseley Baker at San Felipe and Wyly Martin at Fort Bend sought to prevent the Mexicans from crossing the Brazos. At Thompson's Ferry on April 12, Mexican colonel Juan N. Almonte hailed the ferryman, who was on the east bank. Probably thinking that Almonte was a countryman who had been left behind during the retreat, the ferryman poled the ferry across to the west bank. Santa Anna and his staff, who had been hiding in nearby bushes, sprang out and captured the ferry. By this means the Mexican Centralists accomplished a bloodless crossing of the Brazos, which they completed by April 14. The Texan forces at Fort Bend and San Felipe were forced to abandon their defenses and join the rest of Houston's army in retreat. The Texans did not turn on their pursuers until April 21, when they destroyed Santa Anna's army at San Jacinto.

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