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Analysis: Texas wouldn’t be Texas without support from other states


(The Center Square) – As 25 Republican governors rally behind Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, vowing “to stand with Texas” as a battle continues with the federal government over states’ constitutional right to self-defense, Texas finds itself at the center of American and world history again.

Expressing alarm over the federal government’s border policies creating what they say is a national security threat and concerned for the lives of their citizens, the leaders of more than 50 Texas counties have declared an invasion. Abbott invoked the self-defense clause of the U.S. Constitution and he and the legislature designated cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations as more than 1.9 million illegal foreign nationals entered Texas in fiscal 2023 alone. Texas law enforcement officers through Abbott’s border security initiative, Operation Lone Star, have seized more than 454 million lethal doses of illicit fentanyl brought in from the border and linked to cartels, enough to kill everyone in the U.S. and Canada.

Nearly 190 years ago, early Texas settlers who were Mexican colonists faced a different battle: a fight for independence. They won with the help of men who came to fight alongside them from what are now 26 states and 13 countries. Among them, those who fell at the Alamo were from what are now 22 states and five countries.

Leading Texas to victory was Gen. Sam Houston, a Tennessee native. The greatest number known to have died at the Alamo and who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto were born in or from Tennessee, according to state data and data compiled by the San Jacinto Museum and Battlefield Association.

Texas’ independence would not have been possible without gifts from Ohio, and those who brought them – the “Twin Sisters” cannons. Veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, Greece’s war of independence from Turkey and of Napoleon’s Russian campaign in 1812 all helped Houston win the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

By mid-April 1836, after devastating defeats at the Alamo and Goliad, Houston and his troops continued to retreat east. They could keep going or stay and fight in marshland along the San Jacinto River. Houston chose the latter.

After crossing the Buffalo Bayou into an area that is now near the Houston ship channel, Houston said, “The army will cross and we will meet the enemy. Some of us may be killed and must be killed; but soldiers remember the Alamo! the Alamo! the Alamo!”

They won the battle in 18 minutes. Six hundred Mexicans were killed; Houston lost six men. Texas independence was made possible by men coming to fight from multiple states and countries, forever changing the United States, North America and world affairs.

Winning the Battle of San Jacinto led to “over a quarter of what is now the United States of America chang[ing] ownership. It is one of the most decisive and consequential battles in the history of the United States and indeed, the Western world,” the San Jacinto Museum and Battlefield Association explains. “Sam Houston’s great victory opened nine territories in the West, and made possible the notion of ‘Manifest Destiny.’”

Texas’ independence ultimately enabled the United States to gain nearly one million square miles of territory, more than one-third of the land of contiguous U.S. states. Today, Republican governors supporting Texas hail from former territories that became states benefiting from Texas independence: Oklahoma, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

After winning independence, Texas became its own republic. Texas would continue to fight over its border with Mexico even after it became a state on Dec. 29, 1845. The U.S. Army resolved the issue by defeating the Mexican Army in the Mexican American War in 1848.

After annexing Texas, the United States would later gain nine territories that would become the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. It would also win the Spanish-American War of 1898, ending Spain’s rule in North America and over its colonies of Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

There were many who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto whose birth origin or previous residence is unknown. Of those whose are known, the majority were not Texans.

Of the 638 whose birthplace is known, the majority were born in Tennessee (123), Kentucky (64), Virginia (53), Georgia (45), North Carolina (37), South Carolina (32), Alabama (28), and New York (27), according to the museum and association’s data.

The next largest number of soldiers who fought at San Jacinto were born in what are now the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Maryland, Arkansas, Maine, Vermont, Indiana, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, and Colorado.

Of the 359 whose previous residence is known, the majority came from Louisiana (90), Tennessee (51), Alabama (43), and Kentucky (40), as well as what are now the states of Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Rhode Island and Oklahoma.

Today, those coming to Texas’s aid are from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

At a recent event, more than 21,500 Texans who gave their lives in armed conflict were commemorated on San Jacinto battlefield grounds, which today represent “both liberty and the price required to maintain it.”

FIELDS OF HONOR: A LUMINOUS TRIBUTE at @SJMBA_1836 commemorates the sacrifice of over 21,500 Texans who gave their lives in armed conflict. “The San Jacinto Battlefield represents both liberty and the price required to maintain it.” @TxHistComm— Bethany Blankley (@BethanyBlankley) December 3, 2023