Monday, 20 January 2014

The Alamo

The Alamo, former Franciscan mission in San Antonio, Texas, erected about 1722, later used as a fort, and now preserved as a state monument. 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 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 chief aides, 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!”

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