Sunday, March 6, 2011

Remember the Alamo

175 years ago today, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Barret Travis, and 179 of their compadres died at the Alamo.

Col. Travis died in the first hour of the final assault, defending the north wall. Emptying his pistol into the invaders, he perished from a single gunshot to the head.

Col. Bowie had been ill for days, and mostly bedridden, suffering either from typhoid or viral pneumonia. He died on his cot, back against the wall, spent pistols at his side, enemy troops on the floor.

Col. Crockett died in the final assault with the rest of his volunteers, defending the low wall front of the church. Eyewitnesses have said there were a total of 16 Mexican troops dead on the ground around him.

Just as he would so inadviseably order at Goliad several weeks later, no quarter was given. Just as at Goliad, the bodies of the Texas dead were piled together and set on fire, left for the critters. Santa Anna believed this would scare them away from engaging his army again, just as others, in subsequent years, thought shock and awe to be enough. Instead, he intensified the Texas resolve, and volunteers began pouring in to defeat him. Had he shown a little mercy, who knows?—he may have won, and history may have been quite different .

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