History Battle of the Alamo Part 1 Traditional View

About the traditional view of the Battle of the Alamo.


The Battle of the Alamo As Seen by the Mexicans

The Traditional Version: Provisions were scanty, ammunition was scarce, and help was nowhere in sight when 185 Texans, barricaded inside an old mission, fought a 4,000-man Mexican army. During the 12 days of siege prior to the final battle, the gallant Americans reinforced the walls, dug trenches, and mounted their 18 cannon while being harassed around the clock by Mexican rifle and artillery fire and scouting parties.

"I feel confident that the determined valor and desperate courage heretofore evinced by my men will not fail them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost so dear that it will be worse for him than defeat. God and Texas! Victory or death!" So ended the final plea for assistance from the Alamo's commander, Col. William Travis.

After rejecting the Mexican demand for unconditional surrender, Travis assembled his men (including the legendary Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett) and offered them the choice of fighting to certain death or leaving the fort. All chose to stay except one man, who managed to escape through the tightening Mexican encirclement. No other defender would remain alive.

On Mar. 6, 1836, the Mexican army, commanded by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, attacked the fort from three sides. Twice the Texans repulsed them with bullets and cannon, but sheer numbers finally permitted the Mexicans to gain the walls and pour into the fort. The Texans, out of ammunition, used their rifle butts for clubs as they fought hand to hand. Those who survived the assault on the walls retreated slowly, desperately fighting from room to room in the barracks.

Although certain Mexican officers requested clemency for the last surviving Americans, Santa Anna ordered them massacred. Mexican soldiers tossed the Texans' bodies on their bayonets as if they were bales of hay. As a final insult, the Mexicans stripped and burned the corpses.

Although outnumbered 20 to 1, the Alamo defenders indeed made Mexico pay a heavy price. At least 1,500 Mexicans were killed or wounded, and Santa Anna's advance into Texas was delayed for two weeks, which gave Texas enough time to gather the army that defeated Mexico two months later. Thirteen months after the Alamo fell, Texas declared its independence from Mexico's repressive, dictatorial rule, which not only had denied Texas such rights as statehood, trial by jury, public education, and religious freedom but also had proscribed slavery.

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