Thursday, March 3, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Defenders of the Alamo Know Their Destiny Awaits Them, Day 10

It's now March 3, 1836. Texas had declared her independence from Mexico and the defenders of the Alamo are watching as the Mexican Army under the command of General Santa Anna was steadily growing in numbers. 1000 more men had joined Santa Anna bringing the total number of troops ready to attack the Alamo to about 2400 men. The Texians inside the mission must have demoralized by such a sight. As Colonel Travis wrote in a letter sent to the Constitutional Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, "Travis sent a courier that evening to the Convention with news that the Texians had thus far survived the siege with no losses. He warned, however, that: "I look to the colonies alone for aid; unless it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms. I will, however, do the best I can under the circumstances, and I feel confident that the determined valour and desperate courage, heretofore evinced by my men, will not fail them in the last struggle, and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse for him than a defeat." Travis' words were eerily prophetic. He and his men had to know that they were sitting ducks, but still they displayed heroic resolve and courage in the face of astronomical odds. In three days their legacy would be legendary.

Wikipedia has more, " The reinforcements brought the number of Mexican soldiers in Bexar to almost 2,400.[118]During the day, the Mexican army had erected a battery on the north side of the Alamo, within musket shot of the complex walls.[111] Unlike previous bombardments, each shot from this battery impacted the walls, causing them to begin to crumble. By nightfall, part of the wall had begun to collapse, and Jameson kept the men working all night to shore up the walls with pieces of lumber.[119]Almonte's journal reported that there was an engagement after dark on March 3, but that the Mexican troops had repulsed the assault.[120] Several historians, including Walter Lord, speculated that the Texians were creating a diversion to allow Smith to escape.[121] However, in 1876, Susannah Dickinson said that Travis sent three men out shortly after dark on March 3, probably in response to the arrival of the Mexican reinforcements. The three men, who Dickinson believed included Davy Crockett, were sent to find Fannin.[122] Lindley stated that just before midnight, Crockett and one of the other men found the force of Texians waiting along Cibolo Creek, who had advanced to within 20 miles (32 km) of the Alamo. Just before daylight on March 4, part of the Texian force managed to break through the Mexican lines and enter the Alamo. A second group was driven across the prairie by Mexican soldiers.[123] Lindley based his assumptions on two newspaper reports published within a month of the Alamo's fall that stated that 50 men had reinforced the Alamo a few days before the final assault."

I don't know about you, but I can almost feel what is going on at the Alamo as we go through the history of this battle. It is truly an extraordinary story - heroes facing certain death at the hands of a brutal man in Santa Anna, only to be avenged a few weeks later in a battle that would free Texas of Mexican rule. God bless those brave men. And may God continue to bless Texas.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker