Above Fort Bend the Mexicans spotted a black ferryman on the Texans side of the river. Col Almonte called to him in perfect english and got him to bring the boat over. Santa Anna and his staff sprang from cover and captured the boat. They immediately began to cross troops. Martin, hearing that the Mexicans had troops across the river, was forced to retreat. Baker, with a dead man and a burned town to show for his defense of San Felipe had to fall back as well.
Houston marched his men East from Groce's Plantation. Secretary of War Rusk had a letter in his pocket from Texan President David Burnett authorizing the firing of Houston as Supreme Commander if he didn't make a stand and fight. He kept it in his pocket and retreated with Houston and the Texas army.