TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2800 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 800 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Texas | Columns

    THE RUNAWAY SCRAPE

    by Archie P. McDonald, PhD
    Archie McDonald, PhD
    Texans love the story of the Alamo. Although it was a battle lost, remembering the courage of its defenders thrills later Texans, even "adopted Texans," yet. Less well recalled is the Runaway Scrape produced by the fall of the Alamo and the massacre at Goliad a couple of weeks later.

    The Runaway Scrape was a mad dash to safety by civilians, even government officials, to escape the Mexican army in the aftermath of these two bloody losses. Previous military clashes between Texans and Mexican military forces resulted in decisive, even one-side victories at Velasco and Nacogdoches in 1832 and Anahuac, Gonzales, and San Antonio in 1835. Given the times, many Texans considered victory over Mexico inevitable. They reckoned without the overwhelming numbers Santa Anna brought to Texas to deal with rebelling subjects. With over 6,000 troops in Texas, about two-thirds of them in San Antonio facing 180-something Alamo defenders and the other third at Goliad to conquer James Walker Fannin's 500 or so men, Santa Anna simply overwhelmed Texan forces.

    When news of the Alamo's fall reached Gonzales, made worse by the loss of some member of every household in the community who had gone to the Alamo's defense after the siege began, grief overwhelmed the nearly 400 men who had gathered there on the way to fight in San Antonio. Some wanted to attack Santa Anna immediately, but Sam Houston knew that rashness and bravery would not overcome Santa Anna's great numbers. He ordered his "army" eastward. Within days, Texans learned of the loss of Fannin's command at Goliad.

    The Runaway Scrape, then, resulted from three items of bad news in close proximity: losses at the Alamo and Goliad and the only remaining Texan military force in retreat. Settlers joined the migration and became refugees. As more and more crowded roads, panic increased. Food, ready to eat, was left on tables. Keepsakes hastily packed in saddlebags, valises, or wagons were cached or simply abandoned along the way when panic forced a quicker pace. Spring rains enlarged streams, which created bottlenecks at crossings. The Runaway Scrape was an unpleasant experience.

    Some traveled all the way to Louisiana, considered beyond the reach of the Mexican Army, especially after President Andrew Jackson stationed US militia commanded by Edmund Gaines there. Some stopped in Nacogdoches or east of Harrisburg to await developments. Word of Houston's victory at San Jacinto brought relief and the opportunity to return to homes sometimes more likely to have been burgled by other, less scrupulous Texans than sacked by Mexican soldiers. No wonder Texans do not like to remember the Runaway Scrape. It does not fit their self-image.


    All Things Historical
    March 3-9, 2002 column
    (Archie P. McDonald is Director of the East Texas Historical Association and author or editor of over 20 books on Texas)
    Related Topics: Texas People | Columns | Texas Towns | Texas |
    Custom Search
    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright 1998-2013. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved