Western Experience Paper

I am a soldier at the Alamo this would be a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. This would follow a 13-day siege, Me and my fellow Mexican troops under President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Bexar which is now modern-day San Antonio, Texas, USA. All of the Texans defenders were killed. Santa Anna’s perceived cruelty during the battle inspired many Texan’s both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States to join the Texan Army.
By a desire for revenge the Texans defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, which ending the revolution. Several months previously, Texans had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. Approximately 100 Texans were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texan force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexican troops marched into San Antonio de Bexar as the first step in a campaign to re-take Texas. For the next 12 days the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties.
Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies, but only fewer than 100 reinforcements would arrive. In the early morning hours of March 6 we would be given orders to advance on the Alamo. After repulsing two attacks, Texans were unable to fend off a third attack. As a Mexican soldier I scaled the walls, most of the Texan soldiers withdrew into interior buildings. Defenders unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape.

Between five and seven Texans may have surrendered if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitnesses and myself could remember that between 182 and 257 Texans died, while most historians of the Alamo agree that between 400–600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texan defeat. The news sparked a panic, known as “The Runaway Scrape”, in which the Texan army, most settlers, and the new Republic of Texas government fled from the advancing Mexican Army. The last of the Texans to die were the 11 men manning the two 12-pounder cannon in the chapel.
A shot from the 18-pounder cannon destroyed the barricades at the front of the church, and we entered the building after firing an initial musket volley. Almaron Dickinson’s crew fired their cannon from the apse into some of my fellow soldiers at the door, luckily for me I was not at the door at that time but was there some minutes later. With no time to reload, the Texans, including Dickinson, Gregorio Esparza and James Bonham, grabbed rifles and fired before being bayoneted to death, with me bayoneting Bonham. Texan Robert Evans, the master of ordnance, had been tasked with keeping the gunpowder from falling into Mexican hands.
After being wounded, he crawled toward the powder magazine but was killed by a musket ball with his torch only inches from the powder. Had he succeeded, the blast would have destroyed the church and killed the women and children that were hiding in the sacristy. As soldiers approached the sacristy, one of the young sons of defender Anthony Wolf stood to pull a blanket over his shoulders. In the dark, I and other soldiers mistook him for an adult and killed him, this would be the first time I would kill a child not even certain if my shot would be the fatal shot.
Possibly the last Texan to die in battle was Jacob Walker, who attempted to hide behind Susannah Dickinson and was bayoneted in front of the women. Another Texan, Brigido Guerrero, also sought refuge in the sacristy. Guerrero, who had deserted from the Mexican Army in December 1835, was spared after convincing the soldiers he was being held as a Texan prisoner. By 6:30 a. m. the battle for the Alamo was over. We inspected each corpse, bayoneting any body that moved. Even with all of the Texans dead, Mexican soldiers continued to shoot, some killing each other in the confusion.
Mexican generals were unable to stop the bloodlust and appealed to Santa Anna for help. Although the general showed up, the violence continued and the buglers were finally ordered to sound a retreat. For 15 minutes after that, soldiers continued to fire into dead bodies. Following the battle, Santa Anna was alternately viewed as a national hero. Mexican perceptions of the battle often mirrored the prevailing viewpoint. Santa Anna had been disgraced following his capture at the Battle of San Jacinto, and many Mexican accounts of the battle were written by men who had been, or had become, his outspoken critics
Within Mexico, the battle has often been overshadowed by events from the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. In 19th-century Texas, the Alamo complex gradually became known as a battle site rather than a former mission. The Texas Legislature purchased the land and buildings in the early part of the 20th century and designated the Alamo chapel as an official Texas State Shrine. The Alamo is now “the most popular tourist site in Texas”. After the Mexican-American war I would retire and soon die some six years later, and my story would be told to by my kids to my grandchildren and generations to come.

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