Battle of the Alamo Quick Review: Under the leadership of Ben Milam the Texans defeated the Mexicans in the bloody 5-day Battle of Bejar. By the end of January 1836 James Bowie, and William B. Travis had arrived in San Antonio to begin preparing for an attack by
Santa Anna. David Crockett also arrived in San Antonio to start a new adventurous life. He, like many others, thought the war was completely over. Santa Annas plan of attack Route of Santa Anna
Route of General Urrea Sam Houston and the Texas Army in Gonzales Santa Annas plan of attack Santa Anna will
attack from the Southwest and make his way towards Gonzales. Along the way Santa Anna will retake San Antonio.
General Urrea will attack from the South and then make his way to Gonzales. Along the way Urrea will retake
Goliad. San Antonio de Bexar in 1836 Colonel Neill the First Commander Against the orders of Sam Houston, Neill and Bowie decide to not destroy the Alamo, but instead arm the old
mission and defend it. The complex was built as a mission, not a military fort. It was never intended to withstand an attack. Col. Neill Leaves San Antonio In mid- February Colonel Neill left the city to attend to his sick family. He left William B. Travis in charge of the Army. This greatly upset Bowie who thought he should be in charge.
The two did not get along and refused to take orders from one another. They very nearly fought each other, until Hes here. Santa Anna and the Mexican Army numbering 2,000+ strong arrived on February 23, 1836. Four five months before
anyone thought possible. Run to the Alamo! The Anglos of San Antonio de Bexar quickly ran for cover inside the Alamo. After arriving in the city, Santa Anna sent a letter to Travis and Bowie demanding surrender.
Travis answered by firing a shot from the heavy 18-pound cannon at the Mexicans. For the next 13 days the Mexicans lay siege to the compound. The Texans are trapped inside the Alamo! From the steeple of San Fernando Church, Santa Anna had a blood red flag raised. This signified that No surrender would be offered. Every last man inside
the Alamo would be put to the death. El Degello Each night the Mexican band would play, a battle song named El Deguello. In English this means to slit ones throat After the song the Mexicans
would then continually blast their cannons at the Texans inside the Alamo. This is known as a bombardment. It would last all night long. A call for help Travis wrote his famous letter on February 24th,
1836 asking for all freedom loving people of the world to come to the aid of the Alamo defenders. Traviss Letter To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World: Fellow citizens & compatriotsI am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa AnnaI have sustained a continual Bombardment &
cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is takenI have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatchThe enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his countryVictory or Death.
William Barret Travis Lt. Col. comdt Juan Seguin A Tejano who had lived in Texas and fought for the Texas cause. He commanded 25 other Tejanos at the Alamo who were fighting against Santa Anna. He managed to break through the
Mexican lines and deliver Traviss letter to Sam Houston in Gonzales. Houston would not let Seguin return to the Alamo, leaving his 25 men trapped in the mission. Bowie becomes ill The life of drinking and fighting eventually caught up with Bowie. When the
Mexican siege began Bowie became seriously ill. It is believed he caught Typhoid Pneumonia or Tuberculosis. Within a few days, Bowie would be on bed rest hardly able to move. Knowing he wouldnt be much
use, Bowie turned over full command to Travis. Reinforcements? James Fanin had 400 men at Goliad but waited too long and couldnt leave because of Urrea coming up through South Texas. 39 men came from
Gonzales to aid the Texans. This put the total amount of men in the Alamo at just under 200. The Mexicans by this time had 3000+. There was no doubt what would happen. Santa Anna didnt need to attack San Antonio. Some of his Generals tried to talk him out of it. The war would end with the
defeat of Sam Houston. So why attack? Route of Santa Anna Route of General Urrea Sam Houston and the Texas Army in
Gonzales Why stay and fight? Why did 189 men stay and fight 3000+ knowing they were going to lose? The only thing standing between Santa Anna and Houstons army in Gonzales was San Antonio. Houston
needed time to prepare his army. The brave men at the Alamo stayed there KNOWING THEY WOULD DIE so that the Texas army would be ready for Santa Anna. They sacrificed themselves for the greater cause.
Traviss Speech Legend states that William B. Travis gave a short speech and then drew a line in the ground asking who would stay and fight. According to legend every Texan crossed the line deciding to stay, fight, and die. March 6, 1836 After 13 days of laying siege, Santa Anna decided it was time to attack and begin pursuing Houston. Around 10 p.m. on March 5th,
Santa Anna called off the bombardment. As expected the Texans fell asleep. Santa Anna then put his troops in position to attack. Around 5:30 a.m. just before dawn the attack begins After just 90 minutes all 189 Texan fighters inside the Alamo mission were killed including Travis, Bowie, and Crockett. The Mexicans lost an astounding 600 men as well. Santa Anna had the bodies of the Texans put in a huge pile and burned.
Survivors Susanna Dickinson, wife of Almeron Dickinson who was killed in battle. She, her children and Joe (Traviss slave) were freed by Santa Anna. Susanna and Joe went to Gonzales and were the first to tell the people about the slaughter. Santa Anna wanted the people of Texas to fear for their lives.
Motivation Instead of scaring the Texans it angered them. They will use the slaughter at the Alamo as inspiration when they finally fight Santa Anna and the Mexican Army. The battle cry when they fight: Remember the Alamo!
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