Created Tuesday, 06 March 2007 23:27
The thirteen day siege of the Alamo ended after a bloody final battle which resulted in the deaths of all the defenders and the capture of the mission. Two hundred men inside the mission had no hope to hold out against the six thousand besiegers. It was the siege at the Alamo that managed to stall the Mexican Army to give General Sam Houston thirteen days to rally his forces and gather his troops for the final battle to come. The fall of the Alamo and the massacre at Goliad became the inspiration for the battle cry for Houston’s Republican Army at the battle of San Jacinto.
Texas declared independence on March 2, right during the siege at the Alamo. The defenders likely had no idea of this event. David G. Burnett was elected Provisional President and Lorenzo G. Zavala as Vice President. Sam Houston was still supreme commander of the Texan military.
On March 6, Houston left the convention and went to oversee the relief of the siege at the Alamo, only arriving ton March 11 to find that it had already fallen. Houston that called for a general retreat eastward, gathering men along the way. On April 20, Houston learned that Santa Anna was ahead of most of his army, leaving the main bulk of his army behind. Houston decided to attack Santa Anna’s camp while he was vulnerable.
On April 21, General Sam Houston faced Santa Anna with half as many men in San Jacinto. Houston had an army of 910 men compared to Santa Anna’s 1250 men. In only eighteen minutes Mexican losses numbered 600, with 650 men captured. The Texans lost about 18 men, with nine men wounded. It was at this battle that the Texans used the battle cry “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
Santa Anna escaped the battlefield, but was caught the next day while dressed as a common soldier. His identity was found out when the other captured Mexicans saluted him as “El Presidente”. He then ordered his troops to retreat into Mexico. With Santa Anna as their captive, the Texans were granted their independence by the Treaty of Velasco in exchange for safe passage into Mexico for Santa Anna. The Mexican government, however, refused to acknowledge any agreement he made with the Texans. Santa Anna was then sent to Washington DC.
The battle of San Jacinto halted the Mexican government’s campaign in Texas, and Texas eventually joined the Union to become the 28th state.
Now, the church of the Alamo mission and its surrounding area is in the middle of downtown San Antonio. Anyone can now visit the place where the besieged defenders of the mission fought and died. The word ” Alamo” is known throughout the world as a place where men fought and died for freedom.
In the words of a defender of the Alamo, Daniel William Cloud of Kentucky, , en route to San Antonio, dated Dec. 26, 1835: “If we succeed, the country is ours. It is immense in extent, and fertile in its soil and will amply reward our toil. If we fail, death in the cause of liberty and humanity is not cause for shuddering. Our rifles are by our side, and choice guns they are, we know what awaits us, and are prepared to meet it.”