The Texas Revolution
The battle of the Alamo.
Between the rebel Texan forces
And the Republic of Mexico.
In San Antonio, Texas
The stage was the Alamo mission.
Santa Anna had one ambition.
During the fight for independence
Knowing their odds were more than grave
The siege lasted for thirteen days.
Survivors were women, children and slaves.
Despite the loss all were heroes
They delayed the Mexican forces.
Time was needed for Sam Houston
And his troops to change courses.
The final assault on March sixth
All one-hundred-and-eighty-nine men.
Fought against sixty-one-hundred
As they attacked again and again.
Santa Anna raised a blood red flag
He fought in the Napoleonic style.
The buglers played El Deguello
The no-mercy call all the while.
The message was perfectly clear
No quarter for the defenders.
A reply from Colonial Travis
“We will never retreat or surrender.”
Around five-thirty that morning
Columns of three to four-hundred men
Reports were under an hour
All defenders were dead within.
The ultimate price they paid.
For freedom and for liberty
American heroes they portrayed.
Some famous names in history
Defenders of the Alamo
William Travis, James “Jim” Bowie and
David Crockett the records show.
AUTHOR NOTES *
Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis now commanded the Texan regular army forces assigned to defend the old mission. In January 1836, he was ordered by the provisional government to go to the Alamo with volunteers to reinforce the 189 already there. Travis arrived in San Antonio on February 3 with 29 reinforcements. Within a short time, he had become the post’s official commander, taking over from Col. James C. Neill who promised to be back in twenty days after leaving to tend to a family illness.
Various other men had also assembled to help in the defensive effort, including a number of unofficial volunteers under the command of Jim Bowie (of Bowie knife fame). Travis and Bowie often quarreled over issues of command and authority, but as Bowie’s health declined, Travis assumed overall command.
Texas was part of the Mexican colony of New Spain. After Mexican independence in 1821, Texas became part of Mexico and in 1824 became the northern section of Coahuila y Tejas. On 3 January 1823, Stephen F. Austin began a colony of 300 American families along the Brazos River in present-day Fort Bend County and Brazoria County, centered primarily in the area of what is now Sugar Land.
In 1835, Mexican President and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Perez de Lebron, abolished the Constitution of 1824 and proclaimed a new constitution that reduced the power of many of the provincial governments and increased the power of the Presidency. Since the end of hostilities with Spain ten years before, the Mexican government, and Santa Anna in particular, had been eager to reassert its control over the entire country and control of Texas was seen as particularly important as Santa Anna rightly perceived the province to be vulnerable to America’s westward expansion.
Mexico’s new interest in Texas was not popular with the colonists however, who felt themselves to be more economically and culturally linked to the United States than to Mexico and who had grown used to the relative autonomy that the old Constitution of 1824 had given them. At the same time, Santa Anna’s increasingly ambitious seizure of dictatorial powers under the new constitution was causing unrest throughout all of Mexico. Hostilities in Texas began with the Battle of Gonzales on October 1, 1835 after which the Texan rebels quickly captured Mexican positions at La Bahia and San Antonio.
On April 21, at the Battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna’s 1,250-strong force was defeated by Sam Houston’s army of about 910 men, who used the now-famous battle cry, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” The Mexican losses for the day were about 650 killed with 600 taken prisoners. Texan losses were about 9 killed and 18 wounded. Santa Anna was captured the following day, dressed in a common soldier’s jacket, having discarded his finer clothing in hopes of escaping. He issued orders that all Mexican troops under the command of Vicente Filisola (1789-1850) and Jose de Urrea (1795-1849) were to pull back into Mexico.