Although they had gained control of Texas by December 1835 and attracted hundreds of volunteers from the United States, the rebels did not formally declare independence until the following March. However, the dictator Santa Anna had already arrived in February, and his army quickly won several victories. Since Santa Anna had ordered all rebels to be executed, the Texians (English-speaking Texans) retreated until Sam Houston captured Anna at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, forcing the dictator to give Texas its freedom in exchange for his life.
Here is Part II of my podcast on the Texan Revolution, it is 31 minutes long.
Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence-H.W. Brands
Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic-William C. Davis
Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barrett Travis-William C. Davis
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and US Fight for the Alamo-Jeff Long
David Crockett: The Lion of the West-Michael Wallis
Santa Anna of Mexico-Will Fowler
Sam Houston-James L. Haley
Sam Houston: The Life and Times of the Liberator of Texas-An Authentic American Hero-John Hoyt Williams
Mexico, Biography of Power: A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996-Enrique Krauze, translated by Hank Heifetz