The Texas Revolution was a strange one. It was relatively short, less than a year-long, and the revolution was won more by accident than by plan. One of the more unusual “battles” of the Texas Revolution was the Runaway Scrape. We recreated the Runaway Scrape as part of our Texas history lessons, and years later my kids still talk about this history lesson.
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What is the Runaway Scrape?
The Texas Revolution didn’t start off well, and after news of the fall of the Alamo, the Massacre at Goliad, and the burning of San Felipe reached Sam Houston and the rebel army they knew they needed to get the civilians out of there.
This is where things get a little muddy.
One version of the tale has everyone hearing the news and loading up to head out before Santanna’s army reached them.
The more salacious version of these events had Sam Houston telling the people to get out and burning the town behind them so Santanna couldn’t use their homes.
The reality is as news of the Santanna’s army and the events of the revolution trickled out, some news was true and some were wild rumors, people evacuated. Some left their homes quickly but under a planned evacuation. Others left in a panic leaving behind meals sitting on the table.
The whole event took place from January-April of 1836.
Either way, they left not knowing what they would come home to. Would their home still be standing, would it be burned down, or would they find someone new in their homes?
That’s what we looked at with our Runaway Scrape lesson
Online Resources for the Runaway Scrape lesson
Most YouTube videos for the Runaway Scrape are reenactors, which makes me smile.
- The Runaway Scrape on Texas Proud
- Runaway Scrape on the Texas Historical Association
- Texas Monthly and the Runaway Scrape
- Sons of DeWitt: Runaway Scrape
Supplies for the Runaway Scrape lesson
What you have in your house and if you have it a wagon (you know to simulate the wagon they’ll load up their home into)
Runaway Scrape lesson
After talking through what happened I announced, “Santanna is on his way here with the army. His soldiers will be here and you have five minutes to pack and leave.”
This led to a frantic scramble as they ran through the house packing all they thought they needed. This means I have lots of pictures looking like this of my kids frantically running through the house.
As their time was running out they loaded their supplies in the wagon and started out on their exodus.
And it was cold and wet, rather like it is as I’m typing up this event from five years ago, only it’s a heck ton colder now. It’s in the 20s.
Texas, are you drunk?
So we headed out for a walk in the rain to escape Santanna’s army. After a very short time the kids were sure their life was ending. We did this activity five years ago and Princess retold the story of the Runaway Scrape and how it was so traumatizing.
After we completed our walk and were thoroughly chilled we got home and I got them all snacks and some hot cider, because hot cider always makes something better and we discussed what they’d packed.
All in all a successful Texas history lesson
Some more Texas (and United States) history
Okay, I ended up only picking more Texas history lessons.
- 7th-grade curriculum choices
- San Jacinto Monument
- Pecos Bill and Tall Tales preschool lesson
- Texas Geography Unit
- Battle of the Alamo lesson
- Ultimate Guide to Texas History