Part of the Texas Revolution between 1835 and 1836, the Battle of the Alamo is an event which most people have heard about at some point in their lives. However, how many people do you know who could tell you something interesting about this battle? Probably not very many!
If you don’t have anything conversation-worthy about the Alamo, it might be time you read up on some interesting facts.
- The Mexican War of Independence took place over 11 years (1810-1821), and afterwards, Texas officially became part of Mexico. Not many people were living there, which meant that many American immigrants decided to move into Texas. When the number of immigrants began to outweigh the Mexicans, conflict began. When a centralist system put in place by the Mexican Government, the authorities blamed the immigrants and thus the battle began.
- The Alamo Mission was a mission founded in 1718 in the San Antonio area of Texas and designed to educate the Native Americans. The name “alamo” is the Spanish word for “cottonwood,” as there was an area full of cottonwood trees near to the Alamo Mission. As a result, the battle which took place here was aptly named “The Battle of the Alamo.”
- The battle also resulted in more people knowing about the area as the site of the battle, rather than the mission which had been founded over 100 years prior. This site is now among the most popular tourist sites in the United States, and the number one tourist site within Texas. Since 1843, there has been much non-fiction literature written about the Battle of the Alamo; although with the turn of the 20th century, more fictional works became available, including Disney’s Davy Crockett and the 1960 movie The Alamo, starring famous country western actor John Wayne.
- The battle’s official commander was a man named James Neill, but after family problems arose, he left Colonel William Travis in his place. Since almost 50% of the men fighting the battle were volunteers who could leave at any moment, they didn’t listen to Travis but instead chose to take orders from Jim Bowie, who wasn’t the commander. This situation caused many issues, but when the Mexican army and Davy Crockett became involved, all parties were forced to improve the tense situation and concentrate on the battle.
- Many people have heard of Davy Crockett from stories of legends or fables, but he was a frontiersman who showed up with a few volunteers from Tennessee and his own stories and tales from his past life as a hunter and a scout. Since then, he had been a Congressman, and was a charismatic person to whom many people warmed up to easily. During the battle, he would play his fiddle for the soldiers and volunteers.
- General Santa Anna of the Mexican Army arrived in San Antonio on February 23rd, 1835. He was leading a huge army, but decided not to attack the American immigrants living in Texas straight away. Upon hearing the news of Santa Anna’s arrival, the people living in the area found refuge in the Alamo. It’s interesting to note that at this point they could easily have escape from the Mexican army entirely, since General Santa Anna had not closed off all the exits. However, they believed the battle could be won and the land made free from the Mexicans.
- Colonel William Travis, who had been left in charge, decided one night to draw a line in the sand and see which of his men were willing to stay and fight to their death in the Battle of the Alamo. Only one man refused – a man named Moses Rose who has become famous for leaving the Alamo that night. Even Jim Bowie, who was part of the tense situation between himself and Travis, asked to be carried over the line since he had been taken ill and could not walk without assistance.
As they rushed into battle, not knowing whether or not they would come out alive (but being very much aware of the dangers), their battle cry was “Remember the Alamo!.” Judging by the number of movies, books and tales which have come from this historical event, it has clearly been remembered for many years.