In 1833 Houston moved on through Arkansas to Texas. He had little to do with the preliminaries of the Texas Revolution, although he watched the struggle closely. He was a member of the convention that set up a provisional government in Texas and of the convention (1836) that declared Texas independent. He was made commander in chief of the revolutionary troops. After the surrender of the Alamo (Mar., 1836), Houston's army persistently retreated before the numerically superior forces of Santa Anna, and there was panic among Texas settlers and much criticism of Houston. He brilliantly redeemed himself at the battle of San Jacinto (Apr. 21, 1836), when by a surprise attack he decisively defeated the Mexicans and captured Santa Anna himself.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.