The Alamo: A Symbol Of Texan Independence

1533 words - 7 pages

“Remember the Alamo” is a phrase that is etched in the American psyche. The Alamo became such a powerful symbol of the struggles of freedom vs. tyranny for several reasons including who died at the battle and the immediate effect it had on the fledgling Texan independence movement. Although the Battle of the Alamo was a military failure, it immediately became a symbol of Texas.
The Alamo didn’t become a symbol of Texan independence because it was a good idea on the Texan’s part. It became a symbol of Texan independence because a lot of brave men made a very, very rash decision. They decided to defend a point they knew they couldn’t defend to the last man. These brave Texan’s willingly laid down their lives to “fight the good fight.” Three of the most memorable heroes were William Barret Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crocket.
William Barret Travis was born in Edgefield Co. S.C. He trained to become a lawyer and practiced in Claiborne, Alabama. He came to Texas both to make his fortune and because he supported the revolt against Texas (William Barret Travis). Santa Anna, the Mexican general, and dictator, who led the Mexican army against the Alamo, had already sent another general to do the job. This first general, Santa Anna’s brother-in-law, General Cos, had “ordered the arrest of several troublemakers, including William Barret Travis (Sorrels 31).” William Barret became the main reason the Alamo has so gripped people’s imaginations, both during the Texan independence and in the years that followed. As the battle continued he sent a string of captivating letters.
Jim Bowie was originally the commander of the garrison of the Alamo but he was bedridden following a fall he sustained while fortifying the Alamo (Sorrels 59). Bowie was sent to the Alamo by Sam Houston to inspect the Alamo and decide weather or not to blow it up (Sorrels 34). Jim Bowie was a skilled outdoorsman who made his fortune trading slaves and smuggling goods. He and Travis shared the command of the Alamo until he became bedridden (Landauro). Jim Bowie inspired both the men fighting their desperate last stand, and the Texans who would remember him as among the heroes of the Alamo.
Today, Davy Crocket is the most famous of the heroes of the Alamo. His coonskin cap is an emblem that is etched in the minds of many people. Davy Crocket was a powerful statesman, having served as a three-time Tennessean congressional representative, but he had little book learning. His tall tales, in which he described himself as “half-horse, half-alligator,” and his fiddle, along with his expert marksmanship made him an invaluable asset (Landauro; Sorrels 45). His arrival boosted moral greatly and ensured that the Alamo would go down in history.
As the Mexican army, led by General Santa Anna began to advance on the Alamo, he ordered a blood red flag flown from a nearby church steeple. Santa Anna was the much-despised dictator of Mexico. This flag, which would be visible for miles, said that no...

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