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Museums Battling Over General Santa Ana’s Fake Leg


There is a war of words between two state museums over the fate of a prosthetic leg that once belonged to Mexican general and Alamo massacring massacre guy General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. For decades the Illinois State Military Museum has kept the general’s false limb as the centerpiece of its display. Legend has it that a group of Illinois soldiers found the leg in an abandoned stagecoach after the battle of Cerro Gordo. How Santa Anna managed to run away with only one leg is unknown. But the San Jacinto Battleground Museum outside of Houston thinks that it should house the relic. It was on that hallowed battlefield that Santa Anna’s troops were defeated by the Texians under the command of Sam Houston. The museum has started a petition to get the leg. The museum has said that,

“We feel the trophy belongs at the site of Santa Anna’s surrender to the forces under Gen. Sam Houston at San Jacinto.”

Umm, the “trophy” is not the antlers of a 16 point deer, it’s the wooden leg of a long dead Mexican general. Legally, the Texas museum hasn’t got a leg to stand on, (zing!). The Illinois museum has had the leg for a long time and it was stolen fair and square as war plunder. It’s sort of an act of betrayal on my part to say that. I grew up about 10 miles from the San Jacinto battleground. Isn’t it enough to know in our hearts that we kicked his ass and took a huge chunk of Mexico’s territory to make the great state of Texas? Do we really need his leg?

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