As a young Spanish Army cadet, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna participated in the Battle of the Medina, August 18, 1813.
Santa Anna was a Jalapeño, born there as Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón on February 21, 1794.
Santa Anna came of age during the Mexican War for Independence, sparked the Grito de Dolores on September 16, 1810. Santa Anna was 16 when his world turned to war.
The Tampico Campaign, 1829 (age 35)
Spanish troops landed on July 29, but failed to make a significant foothold in Mexico. The invasion force surrendered to Santa Anna on September 11, making the him a national hero.
Plan de Casa Mata (age 29)
On February 1, 1823, Santa Anna joined forces with Guadalupe Victoria and Nicolas Bravo to help oust Augustine Iturbide and create the Republic of Mexico.
Merida, 1824 (age 30)
The new president, Guadalupe Victoria, sent Santa Anna to govern the Yucatan where he could do some good . . . and be out of the way.
The great prize
Rebellion at Perote, September 1828 (age 34)
Santa Anna declares for Vicente Guerrero over President Gomez Pedraza in a federalist rebellion
Agreement of Zavaleta, December 21–23, 1832 (age 38)
President Guerrero, ousted in a coup by Anastasio Bustamante, fell to firing squad, leading to a counter coup in favor of Gomez Pedraza. Santa Anna led these forces against the centralists and, after a series of battles near Puebla, succeeded in getting his man into office.
Manga de Clavo
Santa Anna owned several haciedas, but his favorite, which he used as a personal retreat, was in the mountains near Jalapa
His Excellency, the President of Mexico (age 39)
Elected to the presidency for the first time on April 1, 1833, Santa Anna quickly tired. He left Vice President Gomez Farias, a "Puro Federalist," to handle the mundane chore of government while Santa Anna retreated to Manga de Clavo.