Battle of the Alamo Begins 186 Years Ago: February 23, 1836

by HB Auld, Jr.

On this day, 186 years ago, February 23, 1836, one of the bloodiest battles of the Texas War for Independence began:  The Battle of the Alamo. At the end of the 13-day battle, more than 187 Texians (as they were called back then) lay slaughtered in and around the San Antonio mission, along with 400 to 600 Mexicans who died or were wounded in the assault on the Mission.   This battle generated the battle cry: “Remember the Alamo,” which resonates with Texans, even today.

At the end of the 13-day siege (February 23 – March 6, 1836) Mexican President and Army commander of more than 1,500 Mexican attackers, General Antonio Lopez de Sana Anna claimed victory over the Alamo’s Texian defenders, all of whom were either killed in the onslaught or executed after the battle.   This bloody massacre was soon followed by the Battle of Goliad and later the Battle of San Jacinto where Santa Anna (as he was called) was defeated in a battle that lasted just 18 minutes by Texas General (and first Republic President) Sam Houston on April 21, 1836.  The rallying cries, “Remember the Alamo” and “Remember Goliad” echoed throughout this final battle for Independence.  The Battle of Goliad was fought at sunrise on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The Mexican Army marched most of the captured Texian army from the Persidio La Bahia near Goliad out in three groups. A short distance later, the Mexican army opened fire on the unarmed Texian defenders and executed 342 of them. Forty of the executed soldiers were too wounded to march.  

Travis became the sole commander of the Alamo on February 24, 1836. 

In February, 1836, the garrison at the Alamo, a Spanish mission near San Antonio, Texians led by 26-year old Colonel William B. Travis, James Bowie (originator of the famed “Bowie Knife”), Tennessean Davy Crockett and others, prepared to defend the mission.  James Bowie had originally been ordered to the Alamo on January 19, 1836.  He arrived with orders to destroy the complex.  Instead, he took command of the garrison as its co-commander, along with Colonel William Barret Travis.  Travis became the sole commander of the Alamo on February 24, 1836. 

Texians, enraged by the slaughter at the Alamo and later Goliad, joined the Texas Revolution cause across the state.  A little more than a month after the fall of the Alamo, Texas General Sam Houston made his stand on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto Bay near the present-day city of Houston, and defeated Mexican General and Commander, Santa Anna in a battle that lasted just 18 minutes.  General Santa Anna was captured while disguised as a mere foot soldier and Private, but was recognized and cheered by his men as he was paraded through the other Prisoners of War.  Santa Anna was presented to General Sam Houston and just three weeks after the battle, was forced to sign a peace treaty which dictated that the Mexican Army would depart the area to south of the Rio Grande River.  The Republic of Texas then became an independent country, General Samuel Houston became a national celebrity, and the rallying cries “Remember the Alamo,” and “Remember Goliad” became legendary in Texas history. 


Remember Goliad!

by HB Auld, Jr.

“Remember Goliad.”

No, it does not have the same ring as “Remember the Alamo,” but it is just as important.

On this day, March 27, 1836, a Palm Sunday, more than 340 “Texians” under the command of Colonel James W. Fannin, were either marched or (in the case of the wounded), carried out behind the Presidio de Goliad mission and executed at point-blank range by the Mexican army. This, after surrendering with the condition that they be treated as Prisoners of War and spared. Colonel Fannin was one of the last to be executed, forced to watch as his men were executed. He had but three requests: Do not shoot him in the face, send his belongings to this family, and give him a Christian burial. He was promised all three and then all three requests were violated. A dark day, indeed, for the fight for Texas Independence from Mexico.

But a brighter day was coming. Just 25 days later, General, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was defeated by Texas General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Remember the Alamo.

Remember Goliad.

God bless Texas.


(Some of the information for this post was provided by Texas historian and writer, Tara Ross, on her daily history post.)

The Battle for the Alamo Ends

Today’s post about the end of the Battle of the Alamo is authored by guest writer and Texas mother, author, and retired lawyer, Tara Ross from her daily historical posts:

By Tara Ross

On this day in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo is fought. Despite a valiant defense by the Texans (then called Texians), the Mexican Army is victorious.

Okay, so I already discussed the long siege and battle a few days ago. But can you ever really say too much about Texas?! Ha.  So, in that spirit, here are some random facts that you may not know about the Alamo.

When Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna arrived at the Alamo, he sent a courier with a demand that the Texians surrender. Do you want to take one wild guess as to how the Texians responded? They responded with a cannonball! The Texas spirit was born early, wasn’t it?

Three famous figures were killed at the Battle of the Alamo: William B. Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett. Travis was defending the north wall of the Alamo when he was killed, early in the battle, by a shot to the head. Bowie probably died in the Low Barrack. He was ill and confined to bed when the battle started. Crockett’s death is more of a mystery. He either died during battle or he was executed by Santa Anna afterwards.

The number of Texians who died defending the Alamo is also a bit of an unknown quantity: Depending on whose figures you believe, that number is as low as 150 or as high as 250. The youngest of these Texians was 16 and the oldest was 56.

Imagine that! No more than 250 Texians, defiantly refusing to give up the Alamo to the much larger Mexican force (as many as 1,800 soldiers) sitting just outside the Alamo’s walls. BRAVE. DETERMINED. And they inflicted heavy casualties on the Mexican force, although historians dispute the actual number of killed and injured among Santa Anna’s men.

Maybe one of the bravest acts at the Alamo? During the course of the siege, 32 men snuck past the Mexican lines and joined their fellow Texians inside the Alamo. They had to know that they were volunteering to go to their death. Yet they joined the Battle anyway.

Those men truly meant the words written by Travis during that 2-week siege: VICTORY OR DEATH!

P.S. The painting is of the death of Jim Bowie. It’s depicted as the artist imagines it, of course, since no one knows for sure how he died that day.

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Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2019 by Tara Ross. I appreciate use of the share feature instead of cutting/pasting.

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom#ShareTheHistory



Alamo Defenders to No Longer Be Called ‘Heroic’

 

 

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This is just such a sad state of affairs that something like this would occur in 2018 in our great state of Texas. If the defenders of the Alamo were not “heroic,” where would you be justified in calling anyone heroic? What is next, Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima, those who fought and died at Gettysburg, the heroic defenders at Valley Forge? This takes offending someone too far. Much, much too far.

By Tara Ross  (Historian, Texan, Wife, Mother, and Retired Lawyer)

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/texas-schoolchildren-taught-alamo-defenders-heroic/

From the article: “The concept of defenders of the Alamo being heroic is engrained in the history of this state—and in the psyche of most Texans. . . . But a committee streamlining the state’s history curriculum standards has removed the word ‘heroic’ from a proposed revision of the curriculum because it is ‘a value-charged word.'”

From me: I write daily history stories in part because I hope to remind people that we have so much to be proud of in this great country of ours. And I am also a proud Texan! Needless to say, this leaves me just speechless.

Many thanks to The History List for the link.

#RememberTheAlamo #GodBlessTexas #DontMessWithTexas