Battle of the Alamo

Fights broke out as Texas tried to declare its independence from Mexico. One of the most famous was the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The Alamo was a mission built by the Spanish Catholic missionaries so that they could attract the Native Indians and convert them to Christianity.

It was used by 187 Texan men to fight off the over 5,000 Mexican troops that had attacked the mission. The battle was fierce, and all of the 187 men were killed. The rest of the United States was so angry that the cry “Remember the Alamo” became popular in supporting the Mexican-American War.

The old Spanish Mission was originally named San Antonio de Valero Mission and was built in 1744. It was eventually turned into a Spanish fort for the soldiers, and they renamed it “Alamo.” Located just outside of San Antonio, Texas, the area became popular as American settlers started showing up.

The fort was on three acres of land, and since it had been changed to house the soldiers, it included barracks, a chapel, a courtyard, a corral for the horses, a hospital room, and the walls building top had a cannon.

Mexico had fought and become independent of Spain in 1821, and part of their territory included what is now Texas. Since the Mexican government was similar to that of the U.S., a lot of settlers relocated to Texas, and they adopted the local ways even to the point of becoming Mexican citizens.

All seemed to go well until 1832 when General Santa Ana took control of Mexico. Those living in Texas were called “Texians,” and they were against the new ruler. When Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, Santa Ana took 1,800 Mexican troops to head to Texas to get it back.

Those that were leading the Texans included James Bowie and Lieutenant Colonel William Travis. There were only around 200 Texans to defend the Alamo, including Davy Crockett, who was a famous folk hero.

Sam Houston had recommended that they abandon the fort and remove the cannon, but James Bowie wanted to stay to defend the fort, and all of the other soldiers remained with him.

Santa Ana and his troops arrived at the Alamo fort and fought the members of the Republic of Texas from February 23, 1836, to March 6, 1836.

Given how outnumbered the Texans were, you would think that it would have been a quick fight, but the Texans were a fierce force, and they diligently fought to the end, when all of the Texan soldiers inside the fort were killed. The battle lasted for 13 days.

The results of The Battle of the Alamo didn’t play out as Santa Ana wanted. Instead, people all over Texas began to rally against Mexico in revenge against Santa Ana for what he and his troops had done.

It was only a few months later that Sam Houston took Texas troops to attack Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto, and they were heard to yell “Remember the Alamo” as they fought.

An important thing to note is that there were other people inside the fort other than the fighting Texans. Many were women, children, slaves, and servants, and most of these survived the attack.

What did you Learn?

What was the original mission name of the Alamo?

San Antonio de Valero Mission

What was the name of the Mexican leader that attacked the Alamo?

General Santa Ana

What was the battle cry used by Texans as they fought against Mexicans to maintain their independence?

Remember the Alamo

Who survived the Battle of the Alamo inside the fort?

Women, children, servants, and slaves

What secondary battle was led by Sam Houston that allowed victory over General Santa Ana?

Battle of San Jacinto

How many Mexican troops did General Santa Ana bring to the Battle of the Alamo?