Runaway Scrape Oak

Historical Period: Texas Revolution (1835-1836)
Historical Topic: Sam Houston, Texas Independence
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Gonzales
Public Access: Yes

At the foot of this giant live oak, General Sam Houston and a force of less than 400 Texans camped on the first night of their historic retreat from Gonzales, a retreat often referred to as the “Runaway Scrape.” The date was March 13, 1836.

It was a time when the life of the young Republic seemed to be ebbing rapidly. The Alamo had fallen a week before, and Col. William B. Travis and his gallant band of 187 men were dead. The divided forces under Johnson and Grant, which had set out to capture Matamoros, had been almost annihilated, a part at San Patricio, a part at Agua Dulce. Fannin had been ordered to abandon Goliad and retreat to Victoria.

At sunrise on March 14, 1836, Houston mounted his horse under the famous oak and told his men, some of whom were panic-stricken, that those who saw fit to stay behind must suffer the consequences. He and an army of about 374 men continued east to the Brazos and then south to engage Santa Anna in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836—just 46 days after the fall of the Alamo.

The tree is 0.3 miles north of US 90A on County Road 361.  Please respect private property and view from the road.