The Alamo was the name given to the San Antonio de Valero Mission in San Antonio, Texas which was constructed in 1724 and became the scene of a famous battle between the Army of Mexican and Anglo-SaxonTexan rebel colonial forces during the Texas Revolution.
The Anglo-Saxons who fortified the Alamo in anticipation of the battle were volunteer soldiers of the "Provisional Government of Texas" which lacked international recognition. In an effort to stiffen their resolve they signed an oath of allegiance to protect that government and obey the orders of that government's officers. On February 23, 1836 General Antonio López de Santa Anna led an army of between four and five thousand Mexican troops against the Alamo. After a 13-day siege the Mexican army defeated the defenders on March 6 and took the Alamo.
Before the battle General Santa Anna ordered that a flag be raised indicating to the defenders that no quarter would be given. Accordingly all of the 189 defenders who had not been killed in battle were captured and executed. Among its defenders were James Bowie, David Crockett and William Barret Travis. About two dozen women and children and a African-American slave, a person "owned" by one of the Anglo-Saxon "freedom fighters" at the Alamo were released. Safeguarding the "right" to own slaves was one of the grievances motivating the rebellion by the Anglo-Saxon settlers. Mexico had abolished slavery in 1821. The United States would have to fight a bloody Civil War to accomplish that same advance in human rights.
When the Mexican Army led by General Santa Anna's army was defeated a smaller Texan force in the Battle of San Jacinto, Texan soldiers used the rallying cry, "Remember the Alamo" for their counterattack. Like "Remember the Maine," "Remember Pearl Harbor," and, more recently, "Remember 9/11," "The Alamo" serves as a reference to American patriotic renewal through redemptive, purifying violence.
See also, movies named The Alamo.
- Emily S. Rosenberg. 2003. A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory. Duke University Press. ISBN 082233206X.
- Website, The Alamo, accessed April 2008.