|Original hospital room|
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Our visit to San Antonio and The Alamo
Davey Crockett and James Bowie. We know who they are, Davey Crockett is probably the most famous frontiersman in the USA and Jim Bowie for the “Bowie Knife” and renowned knife fighter. Here is their story in the last days of their life in the Alamo and told by Siobhan.
Originally the Alamo was home to missionaries and Indian converts. It was built in 1724 and was named The Misio’n San Antonio De Valero. In the 1800’s the Spanish changed it into a home for a cavalry unit, and referred to it as The Alamo. Which is Spanish for “cottonwood”. The Alamo was now home to revolutionaries and royalists, who continued to live there until the Texas revolution.
In December, 1835, Ben Milam led Texans and Tejanos against the Mexican troops. After five days of fighting General Martin Perfecto De Cos announced his surrender, the Alamo was taken and strengthened by the Texans.
Two months later on February 23, 1836 General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna arrived on the scene bringing two thousand men with him. The Texans defended The Alamo for 13 days while William B. Travis (age 25) sent pleas for help to surrounding areas. On the eighth day of the siege, 32 men marched from Gonzales to help save The Alamo. There were now 200 men inside it’s walls. Colonel Travis, wanting only loyalty from his men, drew a line on the ground and said any man willing to fight to the death must step over the line and join him. All but one man did.
These men had a reason for defending The Alamo. They believed that the fort was the key to Texas, and if they held that, they held the State. Among these men was Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie the creator of the Bowie Knife. On March the 6th, 1836 Santa Anna led his troops in a fierce attack against The Alamo. The first attempt was repelled, the second attack they managed to scale the walls, blast open barricaded doors and swarm into the buildings. By sunrise the battle was over. Santa Anna entered the building and surveyed the scene of his victory.
“If we succeed, the country is ours. It is immense in extent, and fertile in it’s soil and amply reward our toil. If we fail, death in the cause of liberty and humanity is not cause for shuddering. Our rifles by our side, and choice guns they are, we know what awaits us, and are prepared to meet it.”
Danial Cloud - Dec 26, 1835.
End of Siobhan’s essay.
Legend has it that at first light Davey Crockett shot a Mexican General from the walls of the Alamo, across a great distance. Santa Anna said “Davey Crockett is here, only he could shoot that far”.
So Davey Crockett & Jim Bowie died side by side, heroes in battle at The Alamo. 200 Texans died, there were surviving women and children sheltering in the centre of the fort. 600 Mexicans were killed. Santa Anna the self-styled dictator was by no means finished, he marched on to Goliad, another Texan settlement. When those Texans saw they were outnumbered, they surrendered to him. Contrary to the rules of fair war, Santa Anna murdered them execution style and burned the bodies. How did Texas become American soil? Read on. Sam Houston rallied support and marched out to engage with Santa Anna. He surprised the Mexicans during t heir siesta, a battle ensued. The Texans battle cry was “remember The Alamo”. The Mexicans were at a disadvantage because Santa Anna had not allowed them sufficient water, food and rest. After a vicious battle Santa Anna’s army fell to Sam Houston’s army. Santa Anna was found in hiding, captured and taken to the wounded Sam Houston. Santa Anna did not want his own medicine and pleaded for his life, offering in exchange the State of Texas. Therefore Texas is rightfully American soil.