How Texas Lost the Battle of The Alamo
Intro to Historical Research-HIST 3300
July 21, 2008
The Battle of The Alamo is believed to have been lost solely to lack of manpower. It was a significant aspect in defeat for the Texians, but hardly the entire cause. The real loss of the battle is to be blamed on James Bowie, William B. Travis, Frank Johnson, and James C. Neill. These mistakes led to the loss of men, lack of material use, as well as unfinished work. Many doubts existed within the defenders of the Alamo and other Texians. They were very laid back, though sent to the Alamo to defend it and the people of San Antonio de Béxar, they did not think Antonio López de Santa Anna would be coming anytime soon. While several troops, volunteers, workers, and leaders doubted Santa Anna’s winter arrival, many others felt an attack was only weeks away. William Travis and fellow commander James Bowie were left with much work to do by their predecessor Lieutenant Colonel James C. Neill, who believed the Mexicans were coming but felt he had all the time in the world to prepare The Alamo, for the siege to come.
With a perimeter over a third of a mile long and a main plaza covering more than two and a half acres, the Alamo was never intended by its builders to be a fortress. It was a hundred year old Spanish mission that became a cavalry unit’s barracks in 1793 shortly after it was closed. The Mexicans then had a continued presence beginning in 1803. After Santa Anna hears that a Texas revolution could be possible, he sends General Cós in the fall of 1835 to begin fortification of the old mission. After the Texians forced General Cós’s troops out of The Alamo on December 9, 1835 many of the victorious colonists departed for their homes. But the several hundred volunteers remaining had to take on the task to finish fortifying what once was a mission. The work would prove to be more difficult than anyone had imagined. As the weeks dragged on,...