“The Alamo
stands out in high
relief as our noblest
exemplification of
sacrifice, heroic and
pure…Without the
inspiration of the cry –
'Remember the Alamo'
– the great southwest
might never have
become a part of
the nation.”

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President

 

 

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After the Battle

    Santa AnnaShortly after the fall of the Alamo in March of 1836, Santa Anna departed San Antonio de Bexar to continue his eastward drive it pursuit of Sam Houston and his rag-tag army of volunteers. Before marching off, he would leave behind one thousand soldados with orders to refortify the Alamo so the Mexican Army could use it as a base of operations while quelling the Texas rebellion. In late April, General Santa Anna’s army closed-in on Houston’s haggard group of anxious rebels, spoiling for a fight. He soon got one. Houston launched a surprise attack in the late afternoon of 21 April, 1836. In a lop-sided victory, the larger Mexican Army was thoroughly beaten in the battle of San Jacinto and Santa Anna was forced to surrender, securing Texas’ independence. While negotiating for his life, the Mexican President sent new orders to San Antonio – withdraw from the town and demolish all the fortifications in the Alamo so that it could never again be used as a fort. By the time the Mexican Army left Bexar in May, the Alamo was a total ruin…much of the Plaza was destroyed. The departing army tore down all the outer walls and adobe structures, leaving only the strong stone buildings intact. Although the old mission would never again hear cannon boom from its walls or see blood spilled in darkened rooms, its battles and struggle for survival had just begun.    Edward Blake drawing

    In the few years that followed, the Alamo would see occupational forces from both Texas and Mexico occasionally utilize the old “Long Barrack,” but never for long. With the exception of looters, the homeless, transients, and vandals, the Alamo would remain a quiet, almost forgotten ruin. Some of the local Tejanos would rebuild a couple of the destroyed structures (Charli House and Trevino House) and live in them for a period of time, and Texas hero Samuel Maverick would build a homestead on what use to be the northwest corner of the Plaza. But it wouldn’t be until after the United States annexed Texas in 1845 – nine years after the famous battle – that the Alamo would be “pressed into service” for military duty again….this time by the U.S. Army.Alamo 1845

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