Remember the Alamo!

Remember the Alamo!

The Battle of the Alamo, which gave birth to the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!” took place in 1836. But battles have taken place at historic sites all over our country.  Why remember the Alamo?

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Here’s the timeline of events from 1836:

February 23 – Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and his army arrived at San Antonio to put down the frontier rebellion. The rebels withdrew across the San Antonio River into the safety of the old fortified mission known as the Alamo.

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March 2 – the provisional Texas government declares independence from Mexico.  Because this was the early nineteenth century, however, news did not travel fast. The 200 rebels at the Alamo (including Davy Crockett and James Bowie) stayed in place, waiting for help. Also inside the Alamo were several women and children. The youngest was 15 months old.

March 6 – In the hours before dawn, Mexican troops rushed the Alamo, breaching the north wall and flooding into the compound. The defenders made a last stand in the old church, so the battle centered on that building. It lasted 90 minutes. Only one adult male survived the bloody battle.

April 21 – Texian General Sam Houston noticed that the Mexican general had split his forces and backed himself into a corner. Houston seized the opportunity and attacked, surprising the larger Mexican force. In a bloody, 18 minute battle, Texian forces defeated the Mexican troops, captured Santa Anna and achieved independence to the cries of “Remember the Alamo!”

May 14 – The Treaty of Velasco was signed and the revolution was over. The Republic of Texas began in earnest.

After two sieges and a bloody battle, many buildings in the Alamo mission compound were damaged, burnt or pockmarked by heavy cannonade. The Mexican Army maintained control of San Antonio until May 1836. The soldiers of the Mexican garrison received orders to demolish the Alamo before they withdrew. They knocked down some of the outer walls of the compound, including the log wall known as Crockett’s Palisade, so it could not be easily refortified by the Texians.

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When we visited the Alamo, we were – dare I say it? – not very impressed. It’s an interesting site, but I think its historical significance might be more meaningful to someone who has a connection with Texas. There was something about the savage war with Mexico and the struggle for statehood that just didn’t resound with us, perhaps because we hail from one of the original 13 colonies. Your mileage may very.

The Alamo is located at 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas  78205.  Telephone 210-225-1391.  It is open for visitors daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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