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10

Battle of the Alamo

A Mexican on a horse rode up to the Alamo and raised a bugle horn to his lips.

“Surrender or be killed by sword!”

In response, the cannons along the Alamo fired at the Mexicans with an empowering boom.  The cannonfire punched a hole into the Mexican army. The Mexican quickly ran back to his army and then the Mexicans began firing back on the men in the Alamo.  The men at the Alamo ducked and took cover.

Travis walked past Rose with a grimace on his face and a look of sadness. “The war has begun.”

 

February 24, 1836 - Day 2 of the Siege

Cannonfire was all Rose heard.  The constant pounding on the walls prevented him from the escape that sleep offered him.  He still felt awake and energized, but he was sure that it was just the war jitters.  The group of men surviving in the Alamo were all called to the SandPit - the name given to the gathering area full of thin layer of sand.  

Everyone looked careworn, battered, and smothered in filth, but they all made it to the SandPit quickly. Travis was in the middle of the SandPit standing on a box of supplies, and looked as if bad news had reached him.

“I am not trying to wake snakes,” started Travis. He paused and took in a deep breath.  “but Co-Commander Bowie has fallen ill.”

There was a quick commotion throughout the boodle of men in the SandPit, but Travis silenced them quickly.  “Do not worry for commander Bowie.  He is okay now, and if we win the war, he will get the medical attention he needs.  Whether it is fortunate or not, I am the full commanding officer in the Alamo.  However, don’t win this war for me, win it for Bowie.”

With that, he stepped down from the box of supplies.  The despair dangled down over the doomed men, delicately delaying their movements, but the men decided to push back and push on.

 

February 25, 1836 - Day 3 of the Siege

Rose woke up later than usual.  He could already hear the bustling of all the men in the Alamo at this early hour.  As he got out of his cot he listened a little closer.  Everything had stopped.  It was silent.  Then he heard Davy Crockett bark an order for everyone to get back to work.  The hustling and bustling regained its usual demeanor.  

Rose hustled out of his room and looked out at the Alamo. Rose looked around for Travis to ask him what was happening, but he seemed to be nowhere in sight.  However, he saw Crockett in a coonskin cap calmly collecting his thoughts next to a few men shining the powerful, wooden muskets and asked the senator what the big deal was.

“Travis is meeting with Santa Anna outside the Alamo,” replied Crockett.

Rose rushed over to one of the military-made windows and stole a peek.  He saw Travis talking to some other man.  Rose assumed that it was Santa Anna.  He was a smaller man that had a large forehead and taste in clothing, and wore the white double sashes across his authentic military uniform proudly.  He seemed to be calm, but Travis looked very stern when talking to Santa Anna. Travis pointed at the jacales, the little huts outside the Alamo, at the Mexican army, and then pointed to the Alamo.  He concluded by getting up close in Santa Anna’s face and then spitting some threat at him.  He then rode back to the Alamo.  
Upon his arrival, all of the men in the Alamo gathered near to listen. Travis silenced them.

“I just had a confrontation with the Mexican general, Santa Anna.”

Some people booed and made faces in the crowd.

“He told me that if we touch those jacales that we will pay with our lives.”  Travis paused.  “I figure that we are already paying with our lives, so we might as well make the most out of our deal.  We are going to burn those jacales tonight!”  

The crowd roared in approval.

Later that night, seven smiling men returned while holding torches in their hands.  The jacales were up in flames.

 

February 28, 1836 - Day 6 of the Siege

This was a contest of strength.  It was a contest of power, of skill, and of the brain.  It was Davy Crockett on the fiddle versus John McGregor on the bagpipes.  The men at the Alamo were supporting their favorite musician with applause, but it seemed as if Crockett had the popular vote as usual.

The group was clapping to the beat of each musician and Rose heard that Crockett instigated the battle by challenging McGregor.  Rose looked around and everyone seemed very happy.  They had a reason to be happy.  The cannonfire had slowed to nearly a stop.  Last night had been the first night that the men had gotten a good night’s rest since the entire siege began, and they all felt rested up and renewed with energy.  This battle of wits certainly proved it.

Rose watched Crockett dance around while playing the fiddle and smiled to himself one more time.  Morale was high in the Alamo for the first time in a week.  These men now truly believed that they could win.  They had never lost faith, but winning just seemed like something that they were stretching for.  Now, it finally felt within their grasp.

 

March 1, 1836 - Day 8 of the Siege

Reinforcements were almost here.  Rose could see them coming through the back window.  Close to thirty men were within 200 yards of the compound with some much needed water and supplies.

Travis walked over to the door as the men were let in.  They were greeted with hugs and handshake, and hoots and hollers.  There didn’t seem to be a big bug among this group based off appearance, but Rose knew better.  To acknowledge the corn, he didn’t really care.  

About two hours later, the men in the Alamo had gotten the new men situated and had gotten the supplies in a safe location.  Travis, looking confident, walked out into the SandPit.

“Does anyone want to leave the Alamo?”  He paused and caringly waited for someone to leave or step up.  When no one did, he continued.

“Then we will give them hell at full chisel.”

Travis signaled to a few of the men manning the cannons. Two shots were fired.  The boodle rushed over to the windows.  One shot had landed among the Mexican army and had done quite a lot of damage.  The second shot however, was much worse for the Mexicans.  The second shot sat on the headquarters of Santa Anna’s base. It brought down part of the roof and let the freezing cold air seep into the comfort of the safe haven.

The men in the Alamo roared their approval.

 

March 3, 1836 - Day 10 of the Siege

A messenger named James Butler Bonham came into the compound and he brought good and bad news.  Bonham stood in the middle of the SandPit and addressed the crowd.  It was a letter from Gonzales to Travis.

“If you men can hold out for a little longer, say a week or so’s time, they I can send you 600 men in reinforcements.  Enough to secure the Alamo from the Mexicans for a year.  I have already sent 60 men to your aid as your cause is as noble as any in this war effort.  Good luck and whip your weight in wild cats.”

Suddenly Davy Crockett starting firing his pistols into the air like a varment at a frolic.  But before Rose could say anything, other defenders joined in.  The men were wasting their bullets! Was it worth celebrating with supplies?  Rose looked at all of the defenders.  He saw how happy they were and how renewed with energy they were.  Rose realized that they all needed this in order to push forward.  Rose pulled his pistol from his holster and fired one shot up into the air.  Reinforcements were coming! They may finally win!

Even the sounds of the church bells going off in San Antonio couldn’t drown their spirits.

James Butler Bonham waited until everyone was done shooting, and he waited for the bells to stop ringing in San Antonio.

“The bad news is that the Mexicans have taken over San Patricio.  Reinforcements are coming for the Mexicans within a half-week.  The battle for the Alamo will happen in less than a week’s time.”

 

March 5, 1836 - Day 12 of the Siege

Travis knew that as soon as Santa Anna’s reinforcements arrived, the Mexicans would attack.  Travis knew that the group had to be ready starting tonight.  At any given moment from this point out, the Mexicans could attack.  Travis walked into the SandPit and everyone stopped what they were doing with reverence.  Travis didn’t bother standing on a crate of supplies, he just jumped into his speech addressing the old defenders and the sixty new ones that had arrived earlier today.

“Fellow defenders of the Alamo.  The time has come.  Santa Anna will attack soon, and we will need to be ready.  The Texas Revolution could be won if we hold down this fort, and that makes it a top priority.  Some of the bigwigs will be able to send us more soldiers if we can hold out for at least a week.  I know that it will not be easy, and I know that the Mexicans are strong, there is no denying that, but I believe that we are stronger.  

“Each one of us has more willpower, honor, and bravery than 100 of theirs.  We have held down this fort for 12 consecutive days while being under siege, and that is not easy.  Especially when there are 5000 Mexican soldiers and less than 200 of us.  I know the odds are slim, but I also know that if every man contributes everything he has to the cause of defending the Alamo we can defend it long enough for 600 men in reinforcements to arrive.”

Travis walked across the SandPit, grabbed a stick, and walked back to the center of the SandPit.  He dragged the stick across the ground for five feet in a straight line, just enough for one man to cross, and dropped the stick.

“I ask any man brave enough to defend the Alamo with his life to cross this line and join me.”  Travis then symbolically stepped over the line and looked back at his fellow comrades.  

Davy Crockett stepped forward and crossed the line.  He was followed by John McGregor, and a few more men.  Then John the slave stepped forward and everyone on the other side greeted him with a hug.  The boodle of people slowly stepped forward one at a time and crossed the line.  Rose watched as the group slid over the line with dignity and honor.  Before he knew it, Rose was the last one on this side of the line, the side that wouldn’t defend the Alamo at the risk of death.

Everyone looked at Rose expectantly, he was the popular Moses Rose at the compound, but Rose couldn’t bring himself to cross the line.  Unlike his namesake, he couldn’t cross the line, and go across seas because he didn’t think that he was being led to the promise land, he thought he was being led to a slaughterhouse.  He just waited and then looked away.

To Rose’s surprise, the entire group of nearly 200 men walked over to him, and talked to him.  They weren’t mad, and they began to help Rose get ready for departure.  

Rose said too many goodbyes and he was afraid that he was saying goodbye for the last time to all of them.

Travis walked over and talked to him. “Don’t worry Moses, we’ll be fine.” He gave Rose a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder. “We aren’t afraid to die anymore Moses, this may be the only way to win the war.  I don’t know how, but I feel like if we win, we could win the war, but even if we lose, we’ll be an inspiration to the other Texans and Tejanos fighting for Texas.”  He shooed Rose. “Go, someone needs to tell the story of the Alamo with truth.”

Rose could only nod.  He was so full of emotion that he didn’t trust himself to speak.  As he got onto his horse with enough supplies to make it to a nearby town, he wondered if he made the right choice.

 

March 6, 1836 - Day 13 of the Siege - The Final Battle Begins

It began with a bang.  Actually two, which was surprisingly the number of guards on duty on the roof.  

“Viva la Republica! Viva Santa Anna!”  

The cries rang through the entire Alamo.  The bewildered men rushed to their positions.  

John walked up to Travis. “Sir, I will fight for you one until the end.”

Travis shook his head.  “Not for me, but with me.”

Then Travis ran towards the artillery.

“Fire the cannons!” Travis yelled to the men at their stations.  

Shots were fired, and the Mexicans backed off and waited in the dirt without showing any fear.  The defenders didn’t bother to waste the ammo while the Mexicans were all the way back there.

Travis knew that he had to take control of the situation.  “We will not let these boat-licking asswipes beat us.  We are not just Texan rebels anymore.  We are not just a story anymore.  We are a legend! We are the defenders of the Alamo, and we will not fall!”  He could tell that his men were jo-fired, so he decided that he should use their energy.  Travis raised his rifle in the air and climbed the wall of the Alamo.  

He stood on the wall like a sniper ready to pick off any Mexicans coming his way.  A few more men joined him and the rest stood stations on the ground, but with energy flowing like a river.  

The Mexicans charged again, but this time was different, and Travis could tell.  The Mexicans weren’t slowing down once they reached the wall of the Alamo.  They weren’t going back.  They were going to climb the walls.  

Travis and Crockett led the fire from the Alamo and they ripped up the Mexicans.  All they had to do was to aim in the crowd and they were bound to hit someone.  

The other men were shooting just as hard, but few had as good as a shot as Crockett.  Crockett dropped a soldier with every shot he fired.  Not too bad for a senator.

McGregor went down, and John the slave went over to him.  Travis was shooting up a frenzy from the top of the wall and his bullets were flying faster than greased lightning.  He was shooting down the Mexicans who were climbing up a ladder that they had set up to climb the wall.

Then the unthinkable happened. Travis lurched backward and slowly fell off the wall.  He slammed onto the dirt in the SandPit.  The defenders began to back up and they slowly retreated.  The Mexicans hunted them down like cats and mice.  The defenders were slowly being finished off.  A few of them ran to rooms and hid, but there was no escape.  

******

“Just come out! There doesn’t need to be anymore bloodshed.”

Davy Crockett stepped out of a room followed by John and the rest of the survivors of the Alamo.  There were at least twenty Mexican soldiers standing out of the door with guns.

“Just give us your guns, and you can live.”

Slowly the men gave the Mexicans their guns, and as expected, Crockett went last.  Just then, Santa Anna walked by and barked off orders to the twenty men surrounding the defenders.  The man who said that there didn’t have to be any more death argued with his superior.  Santa Anna ordered him to leave, and then barked another order to the Mexicans.  It was a kill order.  The Mexicans jumped onto the defenseless defenders with knives and guns and ripped into them.

******

Two Mexican soldiers found a man lying on a cot in a room hidden near the back.  The man looked like he was a step away from death.  He rolled over and the soldiers saw that his body was blue, and his legs looked like they could no longer support his weight.  While paying attention to the man’s legs, a shot was fired and one of the Mexican soldiers fell to the ground.  His companion looked around to see who fired the shot.  It was the man on the cot.  He had a pistol in his hand and another lying next to him.

The Mexican soldier, filled with anger, called for some help and then wrapped the man in his cot like a cocoon and dragged him outside.

******

The man in the cot was dragged outside towards the other Mexican soldiers.  All of the men had been killed, it had been a success.  Bugle horns were going off all around the compound and Mexicans were celebrating and shooting their guns.  There was a fire blazing that was burning some bodies and some of the supplies in the Alamo.

The Mexican soldier raised the cot of the doomed man, spit on him, and then dropped him in the fire.  The body slowly turned black in the blazing heat.  The man surely could feel the pain, but didn’t have the strength to scream.  The body had been burned alive.

Louis Moses Rose was the only man to survive twelve days at the Alamo.

******

About a month later, Mexicans charged the Texan camp at San Jacinto.  The Texans loaded their muskets and pistols, unsheathed their swords, and charged. They responded by yelling “Remember the Alamo!”
The final battle for the Texans had begun.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48103