The Alamo was a mission built by Spanish settlers for use by missionaries in the city of San Antonio de Bexar. It is most commonly known for being the location of the battle between a large Mexican military force and Texan rebel forces attempting to achieve independence during the Texas Revolution.
The Alamo was fortified by Texan forces who rebelled against their orders to destroy the building in December of 1835. They were led by Jim Bowie, who had lived in the town of San Antonio prior to it being taken over by Texan forces. He decided it would be more strategically sound to fortify the area than abandon it, directly defying his commander's orders in an attempt to hold the town.
The Texan forces numbered about 200 and were armed with rifles and cannons. Tensions among the defenders rose after they were reinforced by William Travis, who did not get along well with Jim Bowie. The arrival of former Congressman and frontiersman Davy Crockett and several volunteers raised the morale of the Texan forces. A Mexican general named Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo on March 6, 1836. His forces defeated all the Texan forces in the Alamo, although his army suffered high casualties.