History Today: The Alamo

Texas was once a Mexican state, when a push for independence from within became strong; a desire to be free from the rule of the Mexican government. Colonel William Travis was seen as a vital leader of this uprising.

The Texas revolution began in 1835 and in February of 1836 Travis was appointed as a lieutenant colonel of the San Antonio troops.

It was on February 23, that a surprise arrival of the Mexican army under General Santa Ana sent the Texas troops retreating into the old Spanish mission, the Alamo. It was there that they sought refuge from the 5,000 soldiers of the Mexican army. The Alamo defenders were 186 small.

Knowing they were seriously outnumbered, Travis sent word for help, in more than one message, using couriers. One message became particularly famous addressed to “The People of Texas and All Americans in the World” and signed “Victory or Death.”

On March 6, death came for the defenders, including Travis, who were killed when the Mexican troops stormed the Alamo. The defenders however did not die in vain. The battle cry “Remember the Alamo” led the remaining Texas revolutionaries to eventual victory and by April they had won their independence.

As an added note to my post on the Alamo, my  friend and historian, William Welge, who lived in San Antonio, added these interesting facts:

There were exactly 186 defenders of the Alamo along with several dozen women and children. The women and children were spared by General Santa Ana.  The Alamo was built in 1718 when San Antonio was first founded. The mission grounds were much larger than what one sees today.