Meanwhile through the connivance of the American authorities, Santa Anna returned from his Cuban exile, and, as the newly elected Mexican president, disregarding his pledges to aid Polk in bringing about a satisfactory peace, prepared to wage a more effective war against the American invaders.
Wharton and Henry Smith (1794-1851) until 1835, when Santa Anna overthrew the federal constitution of 1824 and established a dictatorship. A consultation of representatives from the various settlements met at San Felipe de Austin, October to November 1835.
The Mexicans under Santa Anna captured the Alamo on the 6th of March 1836 and slaughtered its garrison of 183 men; on the 20th of the same month they captured Fannin and his force of 371 men, and a week later slaughtered all except twenty who escaped.
It was taken by assault on the 23rd of September; Santa Anna was defeated at Buena Vista (near Saltillo) on the 23rd of February 1847, and forced back on San Luis Potosi.
Houston now assumed active command and retreated before Santa Anna until he reached the San Jacinto river, where he dealt the enemy a crushing blow and brought the war to an end; nearly all of Santa Anna's army were killed, wounded or taken prisoners, and even Santa Anna himself was captured the next day, while the Texans lost only two killed and twenty-three wounded.
This movement brought the Americans to the hill of Contreras, which was held by General Valencia with a force of some 7000 and 22 pieces of artillery, while President Santa Anna was in the neighbourhood with reinforcements numbering 12,000 or more.
The Araguaya has a course of 1080 m., considerable stretches of which are navigable for small river steamers, but as the river below Santa Anna Island is interrupted by reefs and rapids in two places - one having a fall of 85 ft.