The Runaway Scrape is the period in early 1836 generally beginning with the Siege and Fall of the Alamo and ending with the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21. It was a period of terror and panic among the settlements of Texas, as Santa Anna and the Mexican armies swept eastward from San Antonio, virtually unopposed.
During the runaway, the colonists gathered a few personal possessions, abandoned their homes, and headed eastward under the most difficult conditions. Rain and cold weather during the period slowed the settlers’ eastward progress along the muddy roads and trails. Many died of widespread hunger and sickness. News of Santa Anna’s atrocities (some true, but some distorted by rumor) added to the frenzy.
The news of the Texas victory at San Jacinto was received amid great rejoicing by the participants of the Runaway Scrape. The settlers immediately began the return to their settlements. For most, however, it meant the beginning of a rebuilding, for many of the homes and settlements were either burned by the Texans to prevent supplies from falling into the hands of the Mexicans or by the Mexican army as it moved eastward.
The recovery seemed speedy, however. Within a short time, the settlements were restored and the material evidence of the invasion disappeared.