Every Texan – let me repeat that – EVERY Texan must remember the Alamo! After all, the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio are the holy shrine of Texas liberty.
On February 23, 1836, a group of Texians and Tejanos stood together to defend a Spanish mission from the army of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Alamo was the symbolic key to the defense of Texas. For the next 13 days, these men would hold out the Mexican army, willing to greet death at every step. The defenders embodied self-sacrifice.
The commander of the Alamo, William B. Travis, sent couriers with pleas for help to surrounding communities. The eight known pleas have been named by historians as The Travis Letters. The first six described the siege and requested aid without delay. The last two letters were sent to personal friends of Travis in which he confronted his coming death.
On February 24, 1836, the commander would pen the famous “Victory or Death” letter addressing the renowned struggle against tyranny. The letter began with the line “To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World.” These famous words continue on to state although thousands of Mexicans surrounded the garrison, the flag still waved proudly from the walls. Travis would never surrender or retreat. His words spoke the rhetoric of liberty and patriotism. While he presented his dire need for aid, he would also state if aid was neglected he would die a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country.
For nearly two weeks, skirmishes and encounters would continue among the walls of the garrison. The Alamo would resist ongoing cannonade from Santa Anna, Fannin would depart for Goliad in efforts to bring reinforcements, and the spirit of the vastly outnumbered defenders would continue on.
By March 1, 1836, a band of 32 volunteers arrived from Gonzales, ready to defend liberty. The next day the Texas government located at Washington-on-the-Brazos declared independence from Mexico.
As the siege continued, Travis stated he was ready to perish in defense of this place. Three days later, on March 6, 1836, the Mexican army would regroup and breach the walls to rush the compound. The last stand of the defenders would center around the church, and after a brutal 90-minute battle the Alamo would fall.
The revolution continued and on April 21, General Sam Houston would find General Santa Anna and his army backed into Buffalo Bayou participating in a siesta. Houston, who had quietly been creeping toward the camp, seized the opportunity and attacked. The surprised army was unable to formulate a defense and within 18 minutes the grounds, and Santa Anna, were captured. The victorious Texians chanted “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
The Siege of the Alamo paved the course for the Republic of Texas. Globally, the Texas Revolution embodied Enlightenment ideals and left a lasting impact upon the world.
The heroes of the Alamo, consisting of lawyers and farmers alike (plus a frontiersman named Davy Crockett and a knife fighter named David Bowie), chose to fight against all odds and personified the meaning of making the ultimate sacrifice for freedom – an idea still found with reverence to this day. Worldwide people have heard of the fight and perseverance of the Alamo defenders. The Alamo will forever remain hallowed grounds in the great state of Texas.
Supplemental information from thealamo.org