Presentation on theme: "After the Mexicans arrived on Feb 23 rd, they settled into a siege of the Alamo. They flew a red flag which meant no quarter. (no mercy, no prisoners)"— Presentation transcript:
After the Mexicans arrived on Feb 23 rd, they settled into a siege of the Alamo. They flew a red flag which meant no quarter. (no mercy, no prisoners) The Alamo Siege
During the 13 day siege the Mexican army inched closer and closer to the Alamo walls. They fired cannons at the fort day and night and harassed the defenders by having the Mexican Military band play a song titled “El Degüello” which meant “Slit Throat”.
Travis sent his most famous letter on the second day of the siege: To The People of Texas and All Americans In The World -- February 24, 1836 Fellow citizens & compatriots -- I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna -- I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man -- The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat. I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country -- VICTORY OR DEATH William Barret Travis Lt. Col. Comdt.
By the 24 th James Bowie had become extremely sick and was bedridden for the rest of the siege. Another blow for Travis came on March 1 st, reinforcements came from Gonzales but it was only 32 men. Known as the “Immortal 32” He needed much more…
How many Texian defenders were at the Alamo? – The tradition number of defenders is 189. But some estimates range up to as many as 257. – Almost all were Anglo-American but it is known that at least 9 Tejanos died with them and maybe more. – Some of the Texian had slaves and some of them may have fought and died with their masters. – Travis’ slave Joe even claimed to see a dead female slave.
Did Travis draw a “line in the sand?” – One of the biggest myths of the Alamo has Travis draw a “line in the sand” with his sword, and invited all those who were willing to stay (and, presumably, almost certain to die) to cross over the line. The story is all but certain to be untrue. The story itself did not appear until 1873, or 37 years after the battle.
He grew increasingly bitter that his fellow Texans seemed deaf to his appeals. In a letter to a friend, Travis revealed his frustration: "If my countrymen do not rally to my relief, I am determined to perish in the defense of this place, and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect."
The Assault on the Alamo
On March 5 th, Santa Anna decided to finally assault the Alamo. His generals were surprised. No Texian reinforcements had shown and the bombardment of the Mexican cannons was crumbling the Alamo walls. Why attack now?
At 4 a.m. on March the 6 th the Mexican soldiers lined up outside Alamo. At 5 a.m. 2,000 Mexicans attacked on all 4 sides.
The Texians put up a noble fight but stood no chance. They were out numbered more than 10 to 1 The battle lasted no more than 90 minutes, every Texian defender was killed.
Travis is one of the first Texans to be killed. – According to his slave Joe (who survived the battle) Travis was shot in the head in the first few minutes on the North Wall. Bowie, too sick to fight, is killed in his bed. – Movie accounts show him firing pistols at the on coming Mexicans but there is zero evidence to support this How did Crockett die?
How did David Crockett die? – There are many different opinions on this. Some think that he survived the battle along with a few others and was executed afterwards. Others think he died defending the palisade. Still others think that as many as 60 of the defenders including Crockett jumped the walls to escape during the assault and were killed outside the Alamo. – There are so many different eye witness accounts from Mexican soldiers and survivors of the battle like Susanna Dickinson and Travis’ slave Joe that history will never know.
Susanna Dickinson claimed to see Crockett’s body surrounded by a pile of dead Mexicans. While several Mexican soldiers said in later years that Santa Anna had him executed.
Aftermath Not everyone in the Alamo died. About 20 or so non-combatants: women, children, and slaves were spared by Santa Anna including Susanna Dickinson and Travis’ slave Joe. Santa Anna told them to tell Texas about what had happened and that it would happen to them as well if they did not leave Texas.
How many Mexican soldiers were killed in the battle? – For a hundred years and more after the battle Texans claimed that over a 1,000 Mexicans has been killed. – While the Mexicans claimed they lost about 100. What was the correct number?
– The number of Mexicans killed in the siege and the battle is probably between 200 and 600. – Santa Anna did not bring medical supplies with him and because of this men who suffered bad wounds would die instead of being saved by medical treatment.
The defenders bodies were burned in a huge fire. After the war, Juan Seguin would return to the Alamo and give them a proper burial.