Since I was a child I remember hearing 'Remember the Alamo'. But I was a terrible student of history and I really didn't have a clue of the history surrounding it. Now that we are RV'ing, many of the historical sites across this great country have become very interesting to me. We knew that the Alamo would be a must see while in Texas. We decided to first go to the Imax theater right across the street and watch the 40 minute movie entitled 'The Alamo' before going to the property. I'm glad we did, it helped put things into perspective. I understand in the summer it can be quite crowded but today there were only 8 folks there! And I had a coupon for two bags of free popcorn, can't beat that! Anyway, this is what we learned in case you aren't really up on your history either!
The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas). All but two of the Texian defenders were killed. Santa Anna's perceived cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.
Several months prior, Texians had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. Approximately 100 Texians were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexican troops marched into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to re-take Texas. For the next 12 days the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies, but fewer than 100 reinforcements arrived.
In the early morning hours of March 6, the Mexican Army advanced on the Alamo. After repulsing two attacks, Texians were unable to fend off a third attack. As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian soldiers withdrew into interior buildings. Defenders unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texians dead, while most historians of the Alamo agree that 400–600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat. The news sparked a panic, known as "The Runaway Scrape", in which the Texian army, most settlers, and the new Republic of Texas government fled from the advancing Mexican Army.
Within Mexico, the battle has often been overshadowed by events from the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. In 19th-century Texas, the Alamo complex gradually became known as a battle site rather than a former mission. The Texas Legislature purchased the land and buildings in the early part of the 20th century and designated the Alamo chapel as an official Texas State Shrine. The Alamo is now "the most popular tourist site in Texas". The Alamo has been the subject of numerous non-fiction works beginning in 1843. Most Americans, however, are more familiar with the myths spread by many of the movie and television adaptations, including the 1950s Disney miniseries Davy Crockett and John Wayne's 1960 film The Alamo. The 2004 movie, The Alamo presented a more balanced view of the events surrounding the siege and subsequent battle.
So what impact did the Alamo have on the revolution? During the siege, newly elected delegates from across Texas met at the Convention of 1836. On March 2, the delegates declared independence, forming the Republic of Texas. Four days later, the delegates at the convention received a dispatch Travis had written March 3 warning of his dire situation. Unaware that the Alamo had fallen, Robert Potter called for the convention to adjourn and march immediately to relieve the Alamo. Sam Houston convinced the delegates to remain in Washington-on-the-Brazos to develop a constitution. After being appointed sole commander of all Texian troops, Houston journeyed to Gonzales to take command of the 400 volunteers who were still waiting for Fannin to lead them to the Alamo.
Within hours of Houston's arrival on March 11, Andres Barcenas and Anselmo Bergaras arrived with news that the Alamo had fallen and all Texians were slain. Hoping to halt a panic, Houston arrested the men as enemy spies. They were released hours later when Susannah Dickinson and Joe reached Gonzales and confirmed the report. Realizing that the Mexican army would soon advance toward the Texian settlements, Houston advised all civilians in the area to evacuate and ordered his new army to retreat. This sparked a mass exodus, known as the Runaway Scrape, and most Texians, including members of the new government, fled east.
Despite their losses at the Alamo, the Mexican army in Texas outnumbered the Texian army by almost six to one. Santa Anna assumed that knowledge of the disparity in troop numbers and the fate of the Texian soldiers at the Alamo would quell the resistance, and that Texian soldiers would quickly leave the territory. News of the Alamo's fall had the opposite effect, and men flocked to Houston's army. The New York Post editorialized that "had [Santa Anna] treated the vanquished with moderation and generosity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to awaken that general sympathy for the people of Texas which now impels so many adventurous and ardent spirits to throng to the aid of their brethren".
On the afternoon of April 21 the Texian army attacked Santa Anna's camp near Lynchburg Ferry. The Mexican army was taken by surprise, and the Battle of San Jacinto was essentially over after 18 minutes. During the fighting, many of the Texian soldiers repeatedly cried "Remember the Alamo!" Santa Anna was captured the following day, and reportedly told Houston: "That man may consider himself born to no common destiny who has conquered the Napoleon of the West. And now it remains for him to be generous to the vanquished." Houston replied, "You should have remembered that at the Alamo". Santa Anna was forced to order his troops out of Texas, ending Mexican control of the province and giving some legitimacy to the new republic.
So, now you know the rest of the story, lol!