Silver tableware made from Santa Anna's saddle
San Jacinto veteran made souvenirs from spoils of war
by Kathryn Siefker, Associate Curator of Exhibition Content
Remember the Alamo! Such was the battle cry coined by Sidney Sherman, a colonel at the Battle of San Jacinto. What better way to remember the revolutionary events at the Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto than with personalized souvenirs made from silver melted down from one of Santa Anna’s saddles? That’s what Sherman thought when he had these silver tableware pieces made for his family and friends.
Sidney Sherman was a businessman in Newport, Kentucky when he learned of the revolution being fought in Texas. He sold his business and used the money to outfit 52 volunteer soldiers to accompany him to Texas. Sherman and his men arrived in time to join the Texan Army at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. From their position on the San Jacinto River, the Texan Army caught Santa Anna’s forces in a surprise attack. The battle lasted only 18 minutes, ending in victory for the Texans.
After the battle, Sherman was responsible for allocating the Mexican Army's captured arms, supplies, and useful property to Texan soldiers. For himself, Sherman kept one of Santa Anna’s saddles, liberally decorated with silver. He had the silver melted down and remade into keepsakes for his family and close friends.
He gave a napkin ring to his wife, Catherine Isabel Sherman. The ring is engraved with her initials and "San Jacinto." He gave a similarly engraved napkin ring to a family friend, Mrs. Saville Fenwick Harris. The soup ladle was given to an unknown person with the initials L. B. C. The fork is simply engraved "San Jacinto S."
Courtesy San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte
Time Period: 1835 - 1844
This artifact is not on view.