The siege of the recently fortified old church grounds at San Antonio began on February 23rd in 1836 about a week before representatives from across Texas declared their independence from Mexico in convention well to the east at Washington on the Brazos River.
The regular forces at San Antonio’s Alamo were commanded by Colonel William Barrett Travis and the volunteers by the hard drinking, hard living, outsized character Jim Bowie. Both understood that the Alamo could not hold without additional forces, a lot of additional forces.
Bowie fell ill on the 24th and Travis assumed full command. It was that day he sent his famous appeal for help noting that Santa Anna had arrived the day before with a large force that was rightly expected to grow to thousands within days. On March 1st, Lt. George Kimbell’s Gonzales ranging company fought their way through Mexican lines to join Travis in his stand at Alamo.
No other help came and these men who volunteered to stay and attempt to hold off the Mexican army, all 189 to 257 of them depending upon sources, stood to face a force of thousands.
On March 5th, the Mexican dictator and general Santa Anna, announced he would storm the makeshift fort the following day. At about five in the morning on Sunday, March 6th, 1836, assault troops of about 1,800 moved upon those brave defenders of Liberty and ideals greater than themselves.
After about an hour and a half, Travis, Bowie and so many other heroes lay lifeless.
The handful not killed in battle were ordered executed by Santa Anna.
These men died for our Liberty, our future, and our prosperity. Their lives were not in vain.
We honor them today.