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The Battle Of The Alamo

             Alamo is the Spanish word for "cottonwood" and was originally named mision San Antonio de Valero and has been a part of Texas history since 1724. During the early 1800's a Spanish military cavalry referred to the old mission as the Alamo in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parrass, Coahuila. The Alamo served as a home to missionaries and Indians but most of its inhabitants have been soldiers. The Alamo was home for Revolutionaries and Royalists during the ten-year struggle for Mexican independence. The Alamo was even occupied by Spanish, rebel, and Mexican forces until the Texas Revolution. .
             December 1835, Ben Milam and a group of Texan and Tejano volunteers were involved in a nasty skirmish with Mexican troops quartered in the city of San Antonio. Finally after five days of fighting, General Martin Perfecto de Cos and his soldiers were forced to surrender. The volunteers than occupied the Alamo and strengthened its already fortified defenses. All was good until February 23, 1836. After losing San Antonio to the Texans during the Siege of Bexar, Mexican General Santa Anna determined to retake this key location and at the same time impress upon the Texans the futility of further resistance to Mexican rule. The arrival of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his army nearly caught the volunteers by surprise. Nonetheless, the Texans and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together and they did for thirteen long days against Santa Anna's army. .
             The commander of the Alamo was Colonel William B. Travis. He sent out couriers to communities in Texas pleading for help. On the eighth day of the siege, a small gathering of thirty-two volunteers arrived from Gonzales, bringing the total number to nearly two hundred. These freedom fighters knew that the Alamo was essential to the defense of Texas and they were ready to die rather than surrender to the Mexican army. As legend goes, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over - all except one did.

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