Battle of Alamo

HIST 1301

The myth and legend of the Alamo is the creation story of Texas, central to the Texas legend itself, and it is a legend which continues growing, capturing the imagination of people around the world. San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. The siege and final battle of the Alamo in 1836 constitute the most celebrated military engagement in Texas history. After losing San Antonio to the Texans, Mexican General Santa Anna determined to retake this key location and at the same time impress upon the Texans the futility of further resistance to Mexican rule. With these goals, the vanguard of Santa Anna's army arrived in San Antonio. About 187 Texans in the area took refuge in the fortified grounds of Alamo, under the joint command of William Travis. The battle was conspicuous for the large number of illustrious personalities among its combatants. As the defenders saw it, the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to General Santa Anna. Among the Alamo's heroes were Jim Bowie, and David Crockett. Only 187 rebels fought off a large number of Mexican soldiers. During the battle, all the Alamo defenders died to the last man. Several non-combatants were spared, including Susanna Dickenson, the wife of one of the defenders, partly to reinforce his goal of terrorizing colonists in Texas; Santa Anna released this small party to inform Texans of the fate of the defenders.