The Burnt Oak is located near the east bank of the Salado Creek at a point midway between two of the most important early roads in Texas. These are the old Goliad Road and the famous Gonzales Road. This ancient live oak saw a lot of history during the Texas Revolution. We know it was witness to many of the events that took place during that difficult time.
Shortly after the first battle of the Texas Revolution ended at Gonzales on October 2, 1835, the newly-formed Texas army, led by Stephen F. Austin, left Gonzales and headed for San Antonio to drive General Prefecto de Cos and his Mexican troops out of Texas. Austin and his force of about 600 men camped on Salado Creek, which is just a few miles east of San Antonio. They were there on October 20th, waiting for reinforcements.
The Texas Army camp is believed to have been close to the Burnt Oak, which is less than a mile from the Old Gonzales Road. This is the route Austin and his men were most likely to have followed. While encamped at the Burnt Oak, the Texas Army had multiple skirmishes with Mexican patrols.
Beneath the spreading limbs of this tree, which towers over fifty feet and has a girth of twenty-two feet, one can almost smell the cooking fires and the sweat of the men and horses as they rushed to meet their foes in Texas’ struggle for Independence.
This tree bore witness to many things that we can only imagine. We learn about some of them in our history classes in this great state. If only the Burnt Oak could talk, what could it tell us of this fascinating period in Texas’ history? You can visit the Burnt Oak today. It’s located on the site of the former Pecan Valley Golf Course, near the thirteenth hole.
For more of Texas’ famous trees, stay tuned to our blog. We often update and educate you about them. If you have questions about your tree, please call us at 512-341-8888. We care about all trees at Austin Tree Service, Inc.