Limb of History: The Fight for Santa Anna’s ‘Peg Leg’

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Battling for Santa Anna's LegSomething unusual is afoot in San Jacinto, Texas. The city’s museum of history is on a mission – to retrieve an important limb of Texas history.

That’s right — the museum wants Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s leg.

Interesting footnote, Santa Anna – who lost the Battle of San Jacinto – had a “peg leg.’ It was amputated, after the general took a hit from cannon fire in 1838, during a fight with the French. His leg was buried with full military honors.

Years later, in 1847 at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Santa Anna’s artificial leg was captured during the U.S.-Mexican War. Soldiers with the 4th Illinois Infantry reportedly surprised the general as he enjoyed a siesta, sans his leg. The leg was taken as a battle trophy of sorts.

That’s why Santa Anna’s leg eventually became the property of the Illinois State Military Museum.

Now, the San Jacinto Museum has started an online petition to secure the stem.

Just one problem — the Illinois Museum says San Jacinto doesn’t have a leg to stand on, adding the dubious souvenir is now part of its main exhibit, and doesn’t go on loan.

Looks like San Jacinto will just have to walk away, and admit defeat.


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