Everybody in Texas knows the battle cry “Remember the Alamo!” But on this 181st anniversary of Santa Anna's final assault, at least one historian says the legend of the Alamo far overshadows what actually happened.
Just days into the siege, Alamo commander Lt. Col. William B. Travis wrote “VICTORY or DEATH,” but his writings soon turned bitter when Texian reinforcements failed to arrive.
“He says in one letter you know I will probably die here, 'and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect,'” says Dr. Stephen L. Hardin, history professor at McMurry University.
Dr. Hardin says it was a series of follies that led to the Alamo's demise.
“Texans don't like hearing this, but the provisional government that could have and should have organized those relief efforts had simply fallen apart in dissension and discord,” he says.
“Everybody knew that delegates were meeting in Washington on the Brazos on March 1 to form a new government, but in the interim, uninvited guests had arrived and by the time the new government could be organized, the men of the Alamo had fallen through the cracks.”
The loss of life however, became a rallying cry for Gen. Sam Houston's Texian Army which went on to defeat the Santa Ana's Mexicans Army at the Battle of San Jacinto.