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Promoting Irish Culture and History from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

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The Battle of the Alamo Ends

battle-of-the-alamoThe Battle of the Alamo, a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution, ends on March 6, 1836, near San Antonio de Béxar. Of the 189 men that die in the battle, twelve of the defenders are actually Irish-born, while twenty others including  Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, and Jim Bowie, are of Irish descent.

Several months before the battle, Texians drive all of the Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. About 100 Texians, including a number of Irish, are garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grows slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders Jim Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexicans under the leadership of President General Antonio López de Santa Anna march into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to retake Texas. For the following ten days the two armies engage in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison cannot withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis writes multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies, but fewer than 100 reinforcements arrive.

In the early morning hours of March 6, following a 13-day siege, the Mexican Army advances on the Alamo. After repulsing two attacks, the Texians are unable to fend off a third attack. As Mexican soldiers scale the walls, most of the Texian soldiers withdraw into interior buildings. Defenders who are unable to reach these points are slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempt to escape. All but two of the defenders are killed. Most historians agree that around 600 Mexicans are killed or wounded.

Several noncombatants are sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat. The news of Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle sparks a strong rush of men to join the Texian army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeat the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.

The Irish-born defenders who die at the Alamo are Samuel Burns, Stephen Denison, Andrew Duvalt, Robert Evans, Joseph Mark Hawkins, William Daniel Jackson, James McGee, Robert McKinney, James Nowlin, Jackson J. Rusk, Burke Trammel, and William B. Ward.