Alamo-at-sunrise-1280x854.jpg

Alamo Day

The Alamo (initially called the Mission San Antonio de Valero) was constructed in present-day San Antonio by Spanish immigrants in 1718. Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna led an assault on the Alamo Mission on February 23, 1836, after it had been seized by insurgent Texan troops in December. Around 1,000 Mexican troops stormed the improvised fort and began mounting artillery.

The two forces exchanged gunfire over the following two weeks, although there were minimal losses. Even though they were significantly outnumbered, co-commanders William Travis and James Bowie insisted on staying put. Doctors and farmers were among the volunteers guarding the Alamo, including Davy Crockett who was a member of the Tennessee militia. On March 6, just before daybreak, the last onslaught occurred. The north wall was broken, and Mexican forces surged into the enclosure, rousing many of the Texans within. The fight spanned 90 minutes, with considerable hand-to-hand action involved.

Bowie, Travis, and Crockett were all killed, however, accounts dispute as to how and when they were killed. Some Texans are said to have surrendered, but Santa Anna ordered the execution of all detainees. Only a few people, primarily women, and children made it out alive.Some hundred Mexicans are said to have died, according to historians.

From March through May, Mexican soldiers controlled the fort, however on April 21, Sam Houston and his men overcame Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto. They screamed “Remember the Alamo” as they stormed, and Houston’s triumph ensured Texas independence. Texas was annexed by the United States almost a decade after in 1845.

The U.S. Army stationed troops and supplies in the fort for many years after that. The state of Texas purchased the Alamo in 1883 and eventually acquired the property rights to the surrounding lands, which totaled about four acres. The Alamo attracts roughly 2.5 million visitors each year and remains a national symbol of perseverance and resistance.