By Bartee Haile

Hearing his commander-in-chief had decided to stand and fight, an insubordinate captain rejoined the Texas Army on Apr. 14, 1836 in time for the Battle of San Jacinto. When Travis’ final appeal reached the independence convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos on Mar. 5, 1836, Sam Houston quickly excused himself. He headed for Gonzales “to collect all the armed forces that could be found” and to march to the Alamo according to his “Review of the San Jacinto Campaign” written in 1845.

It must have been slow going because Houston did not arrive at Gonzales until Mar. 11. Told the Alamo had fallen on the sixth, he took command of the motley crew calling themselves an army and tried to figure out how to stay one step ahead of Santa Anna. On top of the heap of the problems facing Houston, one of his most bitter enemies had been elected captain of the largest company. During a heated debate over the colonists’ course in late 1835, Moseley Baker had gotten Sam’s dander up. In response to the former speaker of the Alabama house, who had fled to Texas rather than go to prison for forgery, Houston roared, “I had rather be a slave and grovel in the dust all my life than be a convicted felon!”


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