On This Day

March 6, 1836




“I shall never surrender or retreat… Victory or death!”

Texas Commander William B. Travis
On This Day

Why The Alamo

  • Mexico, newly independent from Spain, encouraged American settlers to move to Texas to populate the territory (Texians).
  • Settlers lived peacefully under Mexico law UNTIL the rise of Mex. dictator, Gen. Santa Anna. Fight for Texas independence begins.
  • Texians overtake San Antonio, a strategic city with an old fort: the Alamo.
On This Day

“The obstinancy of Travis and his soldiers was the cause of the death of the whole of them, for not one would surrender.”

Mexican Gen. Santa Anna in a letter years after the battle of the Alamo where he led thousands of Mexican troops against what he considered a frontier rebellion. Texians wanted representation in the Mexican gov't & if they couldn't get that, they wanted to be independent. Texians had anticipated a battle but didn't know Santa Anna's force would arrive so quickly.
On This Day

“… I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch…If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country.”

Texas Commander William Travis, Feb. 26, 1836, in a letter from the Alamo. The former teacher & lawyer moved to Texas years earlier.
On This Day

3 Things to Know

  • Siege started in late February; final stand March 6, 13 days later.
  • 180+ men w/diverse backgrounds, died defending the Alamo: Black & White. Northern & Southern. European. Mexican. Youngest: 16. Most Well-Known: Davy Crockett.
  • One of the few survivors was Susanna Dickinson whose husband was killed. She was allowed safe exit w/ her daughter.
On This Day

Why It Matters: The loss galvanized Texans against Mexico. Shortly after the battle of the Alamo, Texas defeated Santa Anna's Mexican army near Houston, securing Texas independence, with the battle cry "Remember The Alamo!"

view sources