List of Alamo defenders

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a crucial conflict of the Texas Revolution. In 1835, colonists from the United States joined with Tejanos (Mexicans born in Texas) in putting up armed resistance to the centralization of the Mexican government. President Antonio López de Santa Anna and the government in Mexico City believed the United States had instigated the insurrection with a goal of annexing Texas.

In an effort to tamp down on the unrest, martial law was declared and military governor General Martín Perfecto de Cos established headquarters in San Antonio de Béxar, stationing his troops at the Alamo. When the Texian volunteer soldiers gained control of the fortress at the Siege of Béxar, compelling Cos to surrender on December 9, many saw his expulsion to the other side of the Rio Grande as the end of Mexican forces in Texas. Most Texian soldiers in Béxar left to join a planned invasion of Matamoros, Mexico.

Garrison commander James C. Neill went home on family matters February 11, 1836, leaving James Bowie and William B. Travis as co-commanders over the predominantly volunteer force. When the Mexican Army of Operations under the command of Santa Anna arrived in Béxar with 1,500 troops on February 23, the remaining Alamo garrison numbered 150. Over the course of the next several days, new volunteers arrived inside the fortress while others were sent out as couriers, to forage for food, or to buy supplies.

A fierce defense was launched from within the walls, even as Bowie and Travis made unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the Mexican army. Travis repeatedly dispatched couriers with pleas for reinforcements. Although Santa Anna refused to consider a proposed conditional surrender, he extended an offer of amnesty for all Tejanos inside the fortress to walk away unharmed. Most Tejanos evacuated from the fortress about February 25, either as part of the amnesty, or as a part of Juan Seguín's company of courier scouts on their last run.

In response to pleas from Travis, James Fannin started from Goliad with 320 men, supplies and armaments, yet had to abort a day later due to a wagon breakdown. Final reinforcements were able to enter the Alamo during March 1–4, most of them from Gonzales which had become a recruitment camp. Others who had left intending to return were unable to re-enter. At 5:30 a.m. on March 6, the Mexican army began the final siege. An hour later, all combatants inside the Alamo were dead. The bodies, with the exception of Gregorio Esparza's, were cremated on pyres and abandoned. Esparza's brother Francisco was a soldier in the Mexican army and received permission from Santa Anna for a Christian burial.

Juan Seguín oversaw the 1837 recovery of the abandoned ashes and officiated at the February 25 funeral. The March 28 issue of the ''Telegraph and Texas Register'' only gave the burial location as where "the principal heap of ashes" had been found. In the following decades, the public wanted to know the location of the burial site, but Seguín gave conflicting statements, perceived as due to age-related memory problems. Remains thought to be those of the Alamo defenders were discovered at the Cathedral of San Fernando during the Texas 1936 centennial, and re-interred in a marble sarcophagus. Purported to hold the ashes of Travis, Bowie and Crockett, some have doubted it can be proven whose remains are entombed there. Provided by Wikipedia

by McCafferty, Edward
Published 2010
Springer New York