Timeline of the Texas Revolution

Texas state of United States flag waving in the sunset

Oleksii Liskonih / Getty Images

The first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired in Gonzales in 1835, and Texas was annexed to the U.S. in 1845. This is chronology covers all of the important dates in between!

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October 2, 1835: The Battle of Gonzales

A daguerrotype or early photograph of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, ca. 1853

Meade Brothers / Wikimedia Commons

Although tensions had been simmering between rebellious Texans and the Mexican authorities for years, the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired in the town of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. The Mexican army had orders to go to Gonzales and retrieve a cannon there. Instead, they were met by Texan rebels and a tense stand-off ensued before a handful of Texans opened fire on the Mexicans, who swiftly withdrew. It was mere skirmish and only one Mexican soldier was killed, but it nevertheless marks the beginning of the War for Texas Independence.

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October-December, 1835: The Siege of San Antonio de Bexar

A mural depicting the Siege of San Antonio, with Hendrick Arnold in the foreground

Joseph Musso

After the Battle of Gonzales, the rebellious Texans moved quickly to secure their gains before a large Mexican army could arrive. Their prime objective was San Antonio (then usually referred to as Bexar), the largest town in the territory. The Texans, under the command of Stephen F. Austin, arrived at San Antonio in mid-October and laid siege to the town. In early December, they attacked, gaining control of the city on the ninth. The Mexican General, Martin Perfecto de Cos, surrendered and by December 12 all Mexican forces had left the town.

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October 28, 1835: The Battle of Concepcion

James Bowie

George Peter Alexander Healy

On October 27, 1835, a division of rebellious Texans, led by Jim Bowie and James Fannin, dug in on the grounds of the Concepcion mission outside of San Antonio, then under siege. The Mexicans, seeing this isolated force, attacked them at dawn on the 28th. The Texans laid low, avoiding the Mexican cannon fire, and returned fire with their deadly long rifles. The Mexicans were forced to retreat into San Antonio, giving the ​rebels their first major victory.​

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March 2, 1836: The Texas Declaration of Independence

A black and white portrait of Sam Houston

Matthew Brady / Wikimedia Commons / National Archives and Records Administration

On March 1, 1836, delegates from all over Texas met at Washington-on-the-Brazos for a Congress. That night, a handful of them hastily wrote a Declaration of Independence, which was unanimously approved the following day. Among the signatories were Sam Houston and Thomas Rusk. In addition, three Tejano (Texas-born Mexicans) delegates signed the document.

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March 6, 1836: The Battle of the Alamo

Remember the Alamo by Frederick Coffay Yohn

SuperStock/Getty Images

After successfully capturing San Antonio in December, rebel Texans fortified the Alamo, a fortress-like old mission in the center of town. Ignoring orders from General ​Sam Houston, the defenders remained in the Alamo as Santa Anna's massive Mexican army approached and laid siege in February of 1836. On March 6 they attacked. In less than two hours the Alamo was overrun. All of the defenders were killed, including Davy Crockett, William Travis, and Jim Bowie. After the battle, "Remember the Alamo!" became a rallying cry for the Texans.

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March 27, 1836: The Goliad Massacre

James W. Fannin painted while a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy during the 1820s

Dallas Historical Society / Republic of Texas Press

After the bloody Battle of the Alamo, Mexican President/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's army continued its inexorable march across Texas. On March 19, some 350 Texans under the command of James Fannin were captured outside of Goliad. On March 27, nearly all of the prisoners (some surgeons were spared) were taken out and shot. Fannin was also executed, as were the wounded who could not walk. The Goliad Massacre, following so closely on the heels of the Battle of the Alamo, seemed to turn the tide in favor of the Mexicans.

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April 21, 1836: The Battle of San Jacinto

An 1895 picture of the Battle at San Jacinto

Henry Arthur McArdle

In early April, Santa Anna made a fatal mistake: he divided his army in three. He left one part to guard his supply lines, sent another to try and catch the Texas Congress and set off in the third to try and mop up the last pockets of resistance, most notably Sam Houston's army of some 900 men. Houston caught up to Santa Anna at the San Jacinto River and for two days the armies skirmished. Then, on the afternoon of April 21, Houston attacked suddenly and ferociously. The Mexicans were routed. Santa Anna was captured alive and signed several papers recognizing Texas independence and ordering his generals out of the territory. Although Mexico would try to re-take Texas in the future, San Jacinto essentially sealed Texas' independence.

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Minster, Christopher. "Timeline of the Texas Revolution." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/important-dates-in-texas-independence-2136254. Minster, Christopher. (2020, August 28). Timeline of the Texas Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/important-dates-in-texas-independence-2136254 Minster, Christopher. "Timeline of the Texas Revolution." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/important-dates-in-texas-independence-2136254 (accessed March 28, 2023).