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Texas Revolution

The Texas Revolution was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of a larger one that included other provinces opposed to the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government believed the United States had instigated the Texas insurrection with the goal of annexation; the Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops "will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag." Only the province of Texas succeeded in breaking with Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas, being annexed by the United States. The revolution began in October 1835, after a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the large population of American settlers in Texas; the Mexican government had become centralized and the rights of its citizens had become curtailed regarding immigration from the United States.

Colonists and Tejanos disagreed on whether the ultimate goal was independence or a return to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. While delegates at the Consultation debated the war's motives, Texians and a flood of volunteers from the United States defeated the small garrisons of Mexican soldiers by mid-December 1835; the Consultation declined to declare independence and installed an interim government, whose infighting led to political paralysis and a dearth of effective governance in Texas. An ill-conceived proposal to invade Matamoros siphoned much-needed volunteers and provisions from the fledgling Texian Army. In March 1836, a second political convention declared independence and appointed leadership for the new Republic of Texas. Determined to avenge Mexico's honor, Santa Anna vowed to retake Texas, his Army of Operations entered Texas in mid-February 1836 and found the Texians unprepared. Mexican General José de Urrea led a contingent of troops on the Goliad Campaign up the Texas coast, defeating all Texian troops in his path and executing most of those who surrendered.

Santa Anna led a larger force to San Antonio de Béxar, where his troops defeated the Texian garrison in the Battle of the Alamo, killing all of the defenders. A newly created Texian army under the command of Sam Houston was on the move, while terrified civilians fled with the army, in a melee known as the Runaway Scrape. On March 31, Houston paused his men at Groce's Landing on the Brazos River, for the next two weeks, the Texians received rigorous military training. Becoming complacent and underestimating the strength of his foes, Santa Anna further subdivided his troops. On April 21, Houston's army staged a surprise assault on Santa Anna and his vanguard force at the Battle of San Jacinto; the Mexican troops were routed, vengeful Texians executed many who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was taken hostage. Mexico refused to recognize the Republic of Texas, intermittent conflicts between the two countries continued into the 1840s; the annexation of Texas as the 28th state of the United States, in 1845, led directly to the Mexican–American War.

After a failed attempt by France to colonize Texas in the late 17th century, Spain developed a plan to settle the region. On its southern edge, along the Medina and Nueces Rivers, Spanish Texas was bordered by the province of Coahuila. On the east, Texas bordered Louisiana. Following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the United States claimed the land west of the Sabine River, all the way to the Rio Grande. From 1812 to 1813 anti-Spanish republicans and U. S. filibusters rebelled against the Spanish Empire in what is known today as the Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition during the Mexican War of Independence. They won battles in the beginning and captured many Texas cities from the Spanish that led to a declaration of independence of the state of Texas as part of the Mexican Republic on April 17, 1813; the new Texas government and army met their doom in the Battle of Medina in August 1813, 20 miles south of San Antonio, where 1,300 of the 1,400 rebel army were killed in battle or executed shortly afterwards by royalist soldiers.

It was the deadliest single battle in Texas history. 300 republican government officials in San Antonio were captured and executed by the Spanish royalists shortly after the battle. What is significant is a Spanish royalist lieutenant named Antonio López de Santa Anna fought in this battle and followed his superiors' orders to take no prisoners. Another interesting note is two founding fathers of the Republic of Texas and future signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, José Antonio Navarro and José Francisco Ruiz, took part in the Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition. Although the United States renounced that claim as part of the Transcontinental Treaty with Spain in 1819, many Americans continued to believe that Texas should belong to their nation, over the next decade the United States made several offers to purchase the region. Following the Mexican War of Independence, Texas became part of Mexico. Under the Constitution of 1824, which defined the country as a federal republic, the provinces of Texas and Coahuila were combined to become the state Coahuila y Tejas.

Texas was granted only a single seat in the state legislature, which met in Saltillo, hundreds of miles away. After months of grumbling by Tejanos outraged at the loss of their political autonomy, state officials agreed to make Tex

Stanley G. Benner

Stanley Graves Benner was an officer of the United States Marine Corps during World War II who received the Silver Star. Benner was born on July 1916 in Arlington, Massachusetts, he lived in Boston, Mass. until 1940. Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 21, 1940, he reported for active duty at Quantico, Va. on November 8, that same year. After training at the Marine Corps' recruit depot at Parris Island, S. C. he arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on January 21, 1941. While there, he participated in maneuvers on the Puerto Rican Island of Culebra. Transferred to the Marine Corps Base at Parris Island, S. C. on April 12, he served there—receiving a promotion to private first class on May 26,—until shifting duty station to what would become Camp Lejeune at New River, N. C. on September 28. Benner was promoted to corporal on October 11, 1941 and to Sergeant on April 1, 1942. Ordered to the field on May 8, 1942, Sgt. Benner joined Company "A", 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, after traveling by rail to San Diego, Calif. sailed for the South Pacific in late May.

After arriving at Tutuila, the battalion reinforced other elements of the 7th Marines on garrison duty in the Samoan Islands. It remained there, serving as a reserve amphibious force, during the initial landings on Guadalcanal in early August. While on Samoa, Sgt. Benner accepted appointment as second lieutenant on August 4. Heavy Japanese pressure against American forces on and around Guadalcanal—particularly the naval action that sank four Allied cruisers on the night of 8–August 9,—prompted a call for more reinforcements. Following a Japanese infantry attack along the Tenaru River on August 21, a sign that the enemy was trying to retake Henderson Field, the 7th Marines sailed from Samoa on September 4, for Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. Upon arrival on the 12th, the regiment received orders to move to Guadalcanal as soon as possible. Departing the New Hebrides on the 14th, the transports spent four days at sea dodging enemy naval forces before anchoring off Kukum, Guadalcanal, on September 18.

That same day, the 7th Marines took up a position astride "Bloody Ridge", guarding the perimeter's southern flank from there down to the Lunga River. Over the next few weeks, Lt. Benner's unit took part in the fierce fighting along the Matanikau River, including the desperate amphibious evacuation west of Point Cruz on September 27, the far more successful spoiling attack west of the river between 7 and October 9; the 1st Battalion returned to their original positions on "Bloody Ridge." Meanwhile, in a series of hard fought air and sea battles around Guadalcanal, the Japanese managed to reinforce their position on the island. After several night convoy runs, nicknamed the "Tokyo Express", the Japanese had assembled enough troops to attempt another assault on the defending marines. After swinging inland through the jungle, the Japanese 4th Infantry Regiment closed the perimeter's southern flank on the night of October 24; when the Japanese arrived, only Benner's 1st Battalion remained to face them because the 2d Battalion had been pulled out to reinforce the perimeter's western flank the day before.

The assault, coming under cover of heavy rain and darkness, surged out of the jungle just after midnight on the 25th. The Japanese, throwing grenades and firing rifles and machine guns charged the marine positions but were beaten back by American small arms and artillery fire; the enemy kept the pressure on the ridge throughout the night, at one point forcing a salient into the leathernecks' line, but were driven back with heavy losses. The Japanese resumed the attack the following evening. Artillery, small arms, canister-firing 37-millimeter guns cut down the repeated Japanese assaults, forcing the decimated units to withdraw. Lt. Benner led his platoon in the fierce two days of combat on "Bloody Ridge,"and directed its fire against repeated assaults of enemy forces superior in number. In so doing, contributing to the "rout and virtual annihilation of a Japanese regiment" he was killed in action in the early morning hours of October 26. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" in command of his platoon, Benner was awarded the Silver Star, posthumously.

The destroyer escort USS Benner was named for Second Lieutenant Benner, but her construction was cancelled in 1944 before it could begin. In 1944, the destroyer USS Benner, in commission from 1945 to 1970, was named in his honor; this article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here

Ma Zhi

Ma Zhi, courtesy name Cunzhi, was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Xuānzong. It is not known, it is known that his family was from Fufeng, but nothing else was known about his ancestry other than that his father's name was Ma Xun — with the Old Book of Tang rendering his father's personal name as 曛 and the New Book of Tang rendering it as 勛 — with no connections to the families of the two other Tang chancellors surnamed Ma, Ma Sui and Ma Zhou. Ma Zhi passed the imperial examinations in the Jinshi class in 819, during the reign of Emperor Xianzong, further passed a special imperial examinations for those who were capable in planning, he was thereafter made the deputy military prefect of Shou Prefecture. He thereafter served as Xiaoshu Lang, a copyeditor at the Palace Library, yet served as the prefect of Rao Prefecture. Early in the Kaicheng era of Emperor Xianzong's grandson Emperor Wenzong, Ma Zhi was made the protector general of Annan.

It was said. In 838, he submitted a report in which he claimed that the nominal magistrate of Wulu County — under Tang's system of commissioning local tribal leaders with official titles — was faithful to Tang and was giving good suggestions, requested that Wulu County be upgraded to be a prefecture, it was said that because of Ma's good governance, the tribal chiefs all sent their sons to serve as hostages and offered to pay tributes. Further, a pool at Wulu Prefecture that had produced pearls but were no longer doing so by Ma's time again began to produce pearls, viewed as a sign of divine approval. Ma was thereafter promoted to be the governor of Qianzhong Circuit. During the middle of the Huichang era of Emperor Wenzong's brother Emperor Wuzong, Ma Zhi was recalled to the capital Chang'an to serve as the minister of palace supplies, became Dali Qing, the chief judge at the supreme court. However, neither of these posts carried great power, as Ma, despite a reputation for being capable, was not well regarded by then-leading chancellor Li Deyu.

It was said. In 846, Emperor Wuzong was succeeded by his uncle Emperor Xuānzong; because Emperor Xuānzong despised Li Deyu for his hold on power, Li Deyu was immediately thereafter demoted and sent out of the capital, Bai Minzhong became the leading chancellor. In 847, during a drought, which were viewed as signs of divine displeasure over overly severe punishment, Emperor Xuānzong had the chancellor Lu Shang and the deputy chief imperial censor Feng Ao review the cases of the prisoners held at Chang'an. Lu and Feng advocated for commutation of many death sentences. Ma objected and submitted a petition to Emperor Xuānzong arguing that that leniency would have the opposite effect of drawing further divine displeasure, it was said that because of efforts by Bai, who promoted those people he felt slighted by Li Deyu, Ma's petition was accepted, Lu was subsequently demoted. Ma was made the deputy minister of justice as well the director of the salt and iron monopolies. In 848, Ma was made a chancellor de facto with the designation Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi.

While serving as chancellor, Ma and Emperor Xuānzong's trusted eunuch Ma Yuanzhi, one of the two commanders of the Shence Armies, became close associates, as Ma Zhi endeared himself to Ma Yuanzhi based on their common surname. On one occasion in 850, Emperor Xuānzong gave Ma Yuanzhi a jewel-studded belt as an award, Ma Yuanzhi in turn gave it to Ma Zhi; when Ma Zhi wore it to an imperial meeting, Emperor Xuānzong recognized it and interrogated Ma Zhi about it. Ma Zhi did not dare to lie to the emperor, Emperor Xuānzong, after learning what happened, was displeased about Ma Zhi's close association with Ma Yuanzhi; the next day, Emperor Xuānzong removed Ma Zhi from his chancellor post and made him the military governor of Tianping Circuit. After Ma's demotion, Emperor Xuānzong further had his assistant Dong Mou interrogated; when Dong gave more details about the close association between Ma Zhi and Ma Yuanzhi, Emperor Xuānzong further demoted Ma Zhi to be the prefect of Chang Prefecture. Ma Zhi was made an advisor to the Crown Prince, with his office at the eastern capital Luoyang.

Several years he was made the military governor of Zhongwu Circuit and the prefect of its capital Xu Prefecture. Toward the end of Emperor Xuānzong's Dazhong era, he was made the military governor of Xuanwu Circuit and the prefect of its capital Bian Prefecture, he died while serving there. Old Book of Tang, vol. 176. New Book of Tang, vol. 184. Zizhi Tongjian, vols. 248, 249