Burnt Oak

Historical Period: Texas Revolution (1835-1836)
Historical Topic: Stephen F. Austin, Texas Independence
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Bexar
Public Access: No

Near the east bank of Salado Creek at a point midway between two of the most important early roads in Texas (the old Goliad Road and the famed Gonzales Road) stands an ancient live oak whose branches may well have felt the brush of Mexican and Spanish leather and the sting of rifle balls and canister during Texas' struggle for independence. It was certainly a witness to many of the events which took place.

Shortly after the first battle of the Texas Revolution ended at Gonzales on October 2, 1835, the newly-formed Texas Army, under the command of Stephen F. Austin, left Gonzales and headed for San Antonio to drive General Martin Prefecto de Cos and his Mexican troops out of Texas. Austin and his force of about 600 men camped on Salado Creek, a few miles east of San Antonio, on October 20 to await reinforcements. The Texan camp is believed to have been somewhere quite near the Burnt Oak, which is less than a mile from the Old Gonzales Road, the route Austin probably followed. While encamped, the Texans had occasional skirmishes with Mexican patrols.

Beneath the spreading limbs of this tree, which towers over fifty feet and has a girth of 22 feet, one can almost smell the cooking fires and the sweat of men and horses as they rushed to meet their foes in Texas' struggle for independence.

The Burnt Oak is located on the site of the former Pecan Valley Golf Course, near the tee for the 13th hole.