Q:

Why did the Alamo become a battleground during the Texas revolution?

A:

Quick Answer

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas became the site of a famous battle because the Texians rebelling against Mexico retreated inside when Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna and his troops arrived to quell the revolution. At the end of the 13-day siege, every male defender was killed.

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Full Answer

Santa Anna and his army came to San Antonio on Feb. 23, 1836, to quell the rebellion of Texans, then called Texians, trying to take the territory of Texas away from Mexico and found a new republic. The Texians had taken the town of San Antonio the previous year in the Battle of Béxar.

Santa Anna sent word inside the Alamo demanding surrender. Texian commander Lt. Col. William B. Travis responded by firing a cannonball. The Centralists began bombarding the Alamo's walls with cannon fire to weaken them for an attack. The Texians in the Alamo waited for reinforcements for 12 days, receiving a contingent of just 32 men who made it through on March 4. No further reinforcements arrived. On March 6, Santa Anna sent soldiers to storm the fortified mission, which was well-defended with cannons, and succeeded in taking the fort.

Between 189 and 257 Texians died during the siege, including Tennessee's U.S. Representative Davy Crockett and frontiersman Jim Bowie. The official death tally is 189, but historians say it may be higher. Seven Texians survived the Mexicans' final attack on the fortified mission, but the Mexicans executed them after the battle.

The Mexican army, or the Centralists, suffered 600 wounded and dead during the 13-day battle. Six weeks after the Battle of the Alamo, Texian rebels defeated Mexican forces to conclude the Texas Revolution.

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