Map of the Battle of Zacatecas captured at San Jacinto from General Santa AnnaBattle of Zacatecas Presentation Map Captured from Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Manuscript map, 13" x 43". Title at top: "Mapa grl [general] de las Fortificaciones de Zacatecas y de la Accion de Guadalupe dada por El Exmo. General Presidente Santa Anna contra las tropas Zacatecanas 11 de Mayo 1835" ["General Map of the Fortifications of Zacatecas and the Actions at Guadalupe given by his Excellency President General Santa Anna against the Zacatecan troops May 11, 1835"]. The dramatic layout depicts Zacatecas nestled in a valley surrounded by hilly terrain at the top, and Santa Anna's forces at bottom left lying in wait. A legend at the lower right illustrates the symbols for the Zacatecan forces and government forces. The Zacatecan troops are stationed just outside the town of Guadalupe. Lines of advancement for Santa Anna's, colonel Heredia's and general Codallos troops are drawn, as well as a line depicting Santa Anna's scouting trip.
Santa Anna had been elected president of Mexico in 1833 as a liberal, he had recently been a national hero after defeating the Spanish at Tampico in 1829. Ironically, he declared in 1834 that Mexico was not yet ready for democracy and demanded all power be turned over to Centralist forces under his command. Zacatecas was the first town to test his authority. Santa Anna responded by issuing a crushing defeat. Santa Anna next ordered the Mexican army under the command of General Martin Perfecto de Cos to reinforce the garrisons at Refugio and Goliad and exert their presence. Colonists in Texas responded by continuing to fuel unrest, with claims not of independence from Mexico, but adherence to the Constitution of 1824. The Texans would have mixed results in their efforts. The Anahuac Disturbances helped only to create debates within their own ranks about independence, and the failed Tampico Expedition only emboldened Santa Anna to crush any attempt revolt against his rule.
Although the fighting between Mexican and Texas forces would begin in the fall season, and the Battle of Gonzales is recognized as the first battle of the revolution; Zacatecas is important as it marks the first instance of Santa Anna's brutal exertion of power. The fighting ended quickly, and those that surrendered were set free; Santa Anna's men proceeded to pillage and victimize the population, leaving more than 2000 dead - a far greater number than had perished during the battle.
Noted historian and collector Dr. Alex Dienst has written directly beneath the title: "Memorandum made by Dr. Alex Dienst, Temple, Texas, 1915. It is my opinion this excellent map was made for Santa Anna. In this battle Santa Anna was overwhelmingly victorious. Zacatecas & Coahuila & Texas had declared they would stand for the Constitution of 1824. Zacatecas was the first to be visited by Santa Anna. He following this campaign by entering Texas - winning the Alamo at San Antonio marched on to San Jacinto where he met his defeat April 21-1836. This map is unique and exceedingly valuable." This important note signals that this map was from Dienst's personal collection. To the right of Dienst's note is another annotation that was likely made by a dealer at the time, and that Dienst attempted to remove.
It is not possible to know if the map was drawn in preparation for the battle, or if it was made to commemorate Santa Anna's victory. But Dr. Dienst's note provides provenance that the map belonged to Santa Anna and that it was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto.
The map is backed with paper on which is written, "Unique. This map is said to have been in Genl Santa Anna's Camp equipment when he was captured at Battle of San Jacinto April 21-22-1836. It was when he overcame the Zacatecans on May 11-1835 that Santa Anna styled himself 'The Napoleon of the West'." A price of $100.00 was written, and remains visible despite attempts to remove it. It is likely this was done by Dienst as well.
Condition: The map was drawn on 4 sheets of paper that have been joined. It has been backed with more modern paper, likely in the early 1900s, to stabilize the minor tears and chips. There are areas of paper loss at all 4 corners as well as in the margins, but this does not detract from the overall presentation or appearance. Staining from cello tape at edges.
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