Chances are every American has heard the phrase, "Remember the Alamo!" at least once in their lives. However, the little mission in San Antonio holds a special place in the heart of Texans as it represents their ferocity, bravery, and willingness to defend their beliefs to the end.
So how much do you know about it, really? Besides James Bowie, David Crockett, and William B. Travis, can you quote many facts? Here are 10 facts about the Battle of the Alamo that every Texan should know.
10. The Alamo was the first mission in the San Antonio region, and its original name? Mission San Antonio de Valero. Sound familiar?
9. General Sam Houston (who would later become the first president of the Republic of Texas after the Texas revolution) thought that holding San Antonio the city was a grand ol' waste of time, and he actually sent James Bowie to destroy the Alamo. However, Bowie and Travis ignored his orders and hunkered behind the fort's defenses.
8. The numbers for the Alamo are skewed. Estimates for Mexican forces range from 1,800 to as many as 6,000 Mexican troops. Basically this means that there is little concrete factual information behind all army estimates, from casualties to defenders.
7. A few months following the devastating loss at the Alamo, Houston and his 800 Texans defeated Santa Anna's Mexican army near San Jacinto, leading directly to their independence.
6. According to the Texas State Historical Association, the famous "Come and Take it" cannon from the Battle of Gonzales was brought to San Antonio by Colonel James C. Neill on orders from Stephen F. Austin to fortify the Alamo. It was seized by Mexican officers following their victory.
5. The defenders of the Alamo had no idea that Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. The assault on the Alamo began on Feb. 23, 1836, and the fort finally fell on March 6, 1836.
4. No one can truly say what happened to Tennessee native Davy Crockett. Some eyewitness claim he died during the battle, while some claimed he was executed at the hands of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna himself, commander of the Mexican soldiers. These mixed accounts have made for some good urban legends.
3. The saying, "Remember the Alamo!" became the battle cry of the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, about 10 years following the Alamo's original destruction as a rally call to incite deep-seeded emotions.
2. President Jackson didn't take Santa Anna's declaration of no prisoners of war seriously. Following the siege of Béxar, Santa Anna sent a letter to President Jackson stating that there would no prisoners of war during the conflict. Word was not circulated to Texans, and on March 6, Santa Anna again ordered his men to take no prisoners. It's a miracle, then, to consider that a handful of Texans were spared.
1. Musician Phil Collins was named an Honorary Texan in 2015 after he donated $100 million in rare Alamo artifices to the Alamo mission in San Antonio, prompting the museum to create an official exhibit to house his items.
This article was originally published on March 6, 2017.