Academic journal article Military Review

The Alamo: An Illustrated History

Academic journal article Military Review

The Alamo: An Illustrated History

Article excerpt

THE ALAMO: An illustrated History by Edwin P. Hoyt, Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1999, 208 pages, $28.95.

It was a small and unimportant battle a military blunder. It decided nothing. Yet, it decided everything. When the last shot was fired on 6 March 1836, all 183 defenders of the fortified Spanish mission-the Alamo-at San Antonio de Bexar lay dead. The victor, Mexican General Antonio de Lopez de Santa Anna, had crushed one more rebellious obstacle to his absolute rule.

"Remember the Alamo!" became a rallying cry, a call to arms and eventually, a battle cry for hundreds of Texans (persons born in Texas), Texians (Texas colonists), Tejanos (persons born in Mexico who lived in Texas) and Americans who wanted to avenge the deaths of the Alamos heroic defenders. In the end, at the Battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna lost the war, and the Republic of Texas became an independent nation.

Edwin P. Hoyt describes how and why the crumbling, indefensible mission came to be defended rather than destroyed and abandoned as ordained. Within days of arriving at the mission and seeing that some improvements had been made, Colonel James Bowie decided it could be defended. His decision contradicted General Sam Houston's Fabian stategy of harrying the much larger and better equipped Mexican Army while avoiding pitched battles or being "shut up in forts" and wiped out. …

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