My wife and I recently had a chance to escape for a few days to San Antonio, where, of course, we visited the remains of the Alamo. Originally an entire compound that was built in the 18th century as a Franciscan mission of the Roman Catholic Church, the Alamo’s most recognizable structures are the walls of the church that survived the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 between General Santa Anna’s Mexican soldiers and a group of mostly non-Hispanic residents of Mexican Texas. These “Texians” at the Alamo included William Travis, James Bowie, and the legendary Davy Crockett, who had just arrived in Texas the previous month from Tennessee.
General Santa Anna’s army suffered tremendous losses to win that battle. Less than two months later, however, his army would be defeated by Texian soldiers under the command of General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto in present-day Harris County, Texas. That victory, which was fueled by the memory of the Alamo, secured independence from Mexico for the newly-established Republic of Texas.