The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo was the site of the most heroic episode of the
Texan war of independence against Mexico. On
February 23, 1836, a Mexican force of more than 2000
men commanded by Antonio López de Santa Anna,
general and dictator of Mexico, reached the outskirts of
San Antonio, which had been captured by Texan
insurgents the previous December.
The Alamo is an 18th-century mission church in San Antonio,
Texas. It was originally built to be the church for the
Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was founded in
1718. It was built by Spanish Franciscan friars in order to
convert the local Indians to Christianity. The Alamo itself,
was built about 1722. It was later used as a fort, and is
now preserved as a state monument.
The San Antonio garrison, only 155 men under the
command of Colonel William Barrett Travis, withdrew to
the Alamo. With the men, inside the Alamo, were about
15 civilians, including the wife of one of the defenders, a
black slave, and a few Mexican families who lived there.
Santa Anna deployed his troops around the structure and,
when his artillery arrived, launched an intensive assault.
The Texans, who were reinforced by 32 men on March 1,
withstood the Mexicans until March 6, when the enemy
succeeded in breaching the mission walls.
Travis, his men, including the American frontiersmen
Davy Crockett and James Bowie, and the remainder of
the garrison perished in the savage hand-to-hand struggle
that followed. The 187 Texan defenders were all killed
and only the civilians survived.
However, the Texans had fought hard, and the Mexicans
lost 600 men. At the subsequent Battle of San Jacinto, in
which Santa Anna was defeated, the battle cry of the Texans
was "Remember the Alamo!"
Movies made about the Alamo:
The Alamo (1960), John Wayne, Richard Widmark
Last Night at the Alamo (1983)
Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988)
The Battle of the Alamo (1996) (Television)
The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1997) (Television), James Arness
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