Myth # 62: Everyone was killed at the Alamo.

    

    

     “Remember the Alamo!” became a famous battle cry.

     We may remember the Alamo, but we don’t remember who died there. The battle of 1836 was a victory for the Mexican army under General Santa Anna, whose soldiers killed all the Texans who fought against them. But many other men, women, and children in the fort were spared. Historians argue about the exact number—was So-and-so still there or had he left before the final battle?—but it seems that two or three African-American male slaves were spared as were many wives and children of the defenders.  

      The official Alamo website tries to correct this persistent myth: “It is true that nearly all of the Texans under arms inside the fort were killed in the March 6, 1836, attack. However, nearly twenty women and children, who experienced the twelve days of siege leading to the final assault, were spared and allowed to return to their homes. The survivors also included Joe, the slave of William B. Travis. The best-known Alamo survivor, Susanna Dickinson, was sent to Gonzales by Santa Anna with a warning to the Texans that the same fate awaited them if they continued their revolt.” 

Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson

About these ads

27 Responses to Myth # 62: Everyone was killed at the Alamo.

  1. Susan Smyer says:

    Hi Mary, my husband’s great, great…..grandmother was there. Her name was Juana Navarro Alsbury and she had already led an interesting life. She was from a very prominent San Antonio family. Her father was the alcade for San Antonio and she had grown up in her uncle’s home, the Veramendi Palace. Father and uncle were on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Juana’s Hispanic first husband died and she later married an Anglo who fought at the battle of San Jacinto. Juana and her son were at the Alamo because she was nursing the ailing Jim Bowie who was related to her by marriage. One of her Veramendi cousins had married Jim Bowie. His wife and their two children had died leaving Juana to care for him.

  2. john says:

    there were no children in the Alamo just one woman and a slave

    • marymiley says:

      While historians can’t come to a agreement on the number of women and children who survived the battle, they do agree that there were at least 18, probably twenty-something. And the number of black men who survived is thought to be as many as three, at least one of which was a slave. See the official Alamo website for solid information.

  3. Clif says:

    I THINK THE HISTORIC ACCOUNT OF THE ALAMO HAS BEEN PROVEN, AND I ALSO BELIEVE THAT A FAXION OF FOOLS ARE WORKING HARD TO MAKE THE MEXICAN ACCOUNT BELIEVABLE. MY REASON IS EASY TO FOLLOWA:
    1. THE MASSACRE AT GOLIAD IS AVOIDED BY DEBUNKERS.
    2. THE IDENTIFICATION OF CROCKETS BODY BY A SURVIVING WOMAN IS NOT MENTIONED BY THE DEBUNKERS.
    3. THE BATTLE CRY AT SAN JACINTO WAS “REMEMBER THE ALAMO, REMEMBER GOLIAD”.BY HISTORIC ACCOUNTS.
    4. THE INCREASING MEXICAN PRESENCE IN TEXAS IS TRYING TO DEBUNK OUR HEROES.
    5. THE LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS NARRIATION OF JOHN WAYNES
    ALAMO WAS INCORRECT ABOUT THE REASONS FOR WAR:
    A. TEXANS WERE NOT AFTER A WESTERN LAND GRAB, LOOK AT THEIR MAP..
    B. WAR WAS INSTIAGATED BY SANTA ANNA WHEN HE ELIMINATED THE COLONIAL AGREEMENT WITH MEXICO, AND WHEN STEPHEN F. AUSTIN TRAVELED TO MEXICO CITY TO REPRESENT THE COLONISTS HE WAS IMPRISONED AND NEARLY DEAD WHEN RELEASED. HE WARNED THE COLONISTS THAT WAR WAS ENEVITABLE.
    6. I RECENTLY TRAVELED TO GOLIAD AND VISITED THE
    BATTLE GROUND AND FOUND A GREAT HISTORY OF THE BATTLE, INCLUDING THE ORIGINAL CHURCH BUILDING. THE ANGEL OF GOLIAD IS A GREAT STORY SUPPORTING MEXICAN
    INVOLVEMENT DURING THE MASSACRE.
    I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT I THINK YOU GET THE POINT, AND I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT GOOD AMERICANS STOP THIS MOVEMENT TO REWRITE TEXAS HISTORY.
    .

    • marymiley says:

      Thank you for your contribution, Hamtonian. It would have been nicer if you hadn’t typed in all capitals.

      • wendy says:

        there was more then twenty some more like 90 some if u ask me

      • Clif Hampton says:

        I’ve been aware of the Mexican history of this battle of thousands against hundreds. We are all familiar with the reason Americans were in texas; and they were required to renounce their citizenship,
        swear allegance to Mexico, and accept the Catholic religion.
        Please answer the following important questions:
        1. Did Santa Anna renounce the agreemint and recent citizenshhip for the American colonists? Yes
        2. Was Stephen F. Austin imprisoned when he traveled to Mexico City to negotiate with Santa Anna? Yes
        3. Did Austin instruct the American Colonists to prepare for war with Mexico? Yes
        4. Were the defenders of the Alamo killed during and after the battle, and were their bodies burned? Yes
        5. Were the survivors at the Alamo wemen and children, and an African American man, and did they describe the battle? Yes
        6. Any battle has fighting survivors (they are called wounded) and were they slaughtered by the Mexican army? Yes
        7. Did the Mexican army march to Goliad after the Alamo, fight a short battle, and take approximately 350 men captive that had surrendered? Yes
        8. Did the Mexican army hold all of the 350 captives in a small Presidio Church building (150 maximum seating today) for seven days? Yes
        9. Did Santa Anna have the captives marched out of the Church and into open fields (two or three groups) and slaughter the unarmed? yes
        10. Did Santa Anna separate his army into several divisions, in an effort to hunt down the remaining Colonists? Yes
        11. Did Sam Houstons army defeat the division of soldiers including Santa Anna at San Jacinto? Yes
        12. Was Santa Anna given mercy by Sam Houston, and allowed to return to Mexico City? Yes
        13. Did Santa Anna become ruler of Mexico after the battle? Yes
        What part of Mexican hostorical accounts you want to believe about David Crocket, Colonial fighters trying to escape during the siege of the Alamo, why the battle was faught, etc. is an account you will have to feel good about; but you can’t change the above facts.

  4. Armandina Galan Sifuentes says:

    I truly believe that the person who wrote the above remarks lacks the
    the knowledge of Texas History. I take this as a insult for I had a Tejano ancestor who contributed to Goliad before and after the battle. I also have ancestor’s who lived on the Alamo complex before
    and after the Siege/Battle of the Alamo. The mexican government
    invite empressarios to come to Tejas and colonize bringing new
    settlements. This invitation came with the gift of acres to be given
    to married and single men. Six hundred forty acres to married mem and three hundred twenty acres to single men. She apparently needs to look into Texas history after 1836 . Tejanos were here
    before the Anglo population explosion coming to Texas for free land.
    This is exactly what happens when the true Texas History is not
    taught in school and from what I see from the schools and colleges.
    Most students lack knowledge of Texas history and is very limited.
    Thank you for allowing me to response.

    • marymiley says:

      How exciting to know your ancestors in this way! Of course, we all have ancestors who participated in important moments in history, but most of us aren’t aware of their family’s past, as you are. You sound like you paid attention in history class when you were in school!

  5. marymiley says:

    A new book about the Alamo, BLOOD OF HEROES by James Donovan, was just published this year. The appendix lists the names of those who perished, plus some additions and deletions that other historians believe to be true. It makes you realize that there is no definitive, agreed-upon list of those who died there, or of those who survived, for that matter. History isn’t always neat. In fact, it’s rarely neat!

    • Clif Hampton says:

      Mary why are you challenging “Texas History” calling it a myth, and offering to debunk our history? What are you gaining for your effort?
      Our state history is very well documented and supported by eye witness accounts of each battle, and the cause of war is also documented.

      • Logic 101 says:

        This is a good example of someone “reading” what they want to read. She never called “Texas History” a myth. It’s almost as if you’re arguing with a voice in your head.

        Ironically the only eye witness accounts of The Alamo would be that of the Mexican military if you believe everyone was slaughtered. See what I did there? I used logic but then again it’s not really clear you read the blog post considering your rants were irrelevant to what was stated,

      • Mary Miley says:

        You bring up an interesting point I had never considered– I’ve never heard of any eyewitness accounts written by the Mexican soldiers. The officers, at least, would have been literate and surely some of them kept journals. No doubt there are such things, and I am just not aware of them.

      • Clif Hampton says:

        The true logic is that you set the primary that everyone was killed in the Alamo, and then moved to debunk your own statement. Read the history, and my writings to you, and know that there were survivors that witnessed the battle for a historical account. Your push to believe and adopt the Mexican account, while ignoring the Goliad battle, displays your agenda.

  6. F.V. says:

    The Alamo was about slavery. Slavery was illegal in Mexico and a bunch of American immigrants moving in, demanding independence while owning a lot of slaves in total disregard of Mexican law was not something the Mexican state was very happy about. Calling the men who died there heroes is vile.
    Santa Anna may not have been a saint by any stretch of the imagination but I’d say he was closer to being a hero then Crocket or Bowie or any of the rest.

    • Clif Hampton says:

      You need to provide proof to your accusation; give me a source to reasearch.
      The Dictatorship of Mexico is based on civil slavery, and is today!

    • oldud says:

      Less than 5% of the men that died at the Alamo were slave holders. You obviously have a problem with history and especially with research. Before you make such asinine statements, try doing some.

      • coupdemots says:

        Oldud and Clif Hampton need to read “Exodus from the Alamo: The Anatomy of the Last Stand Myth”, by Phillip Thomas Tucker. Published in 2010 by second-tier publishers Casemate.

        The majority of the book, like most accounts of the Alamo, is a recounting of the events that led to the Texas secession from Mexico in 1835-6. The elephant in Texas history’s living room has always been, of course, slavery, and even my 7th grade Texas History textbook 35 years ago mentioned that the Texas founding fathers were slaveholders. Most historians haven’t done that much better a job of facing that elephant since, but Tucker does the best job to date of pointing out how that issue was the key issue that drove Texas secession. Slaves and cotton equalled wealth and status here in the US back then, and obtaining that combination was unquestionably the best and most accessible ladder up that an ambitious white male back then had.

        Texas’ white settlers came here from the first, even before Moses Austin’s efforts, with that goal in mind. The conflict between Anglo and Mexican in Texas was most of all a conflict between Anglo slaveholders and wanna-be slaveholders and a Mexico newly freed from European peonage’s deep desire to eliminate slavery in its borders. American historians have over the years danced around, or at best dealt gingerly at a distance, with this fact. Tucker lays it out, plainly and directly, better than I’ve seen elsewhere.

  7. Jessica says:

    I never knew that the history behind the Alamo was so controversial! Thank you for starting this conversation with your blog post. It has been an educational and extremely informative read!

    • Mary Miley says:

      You know, actual historical facts aren’t usually controversial; it’s what people want to make of them.

      • Clif Hampton says:

        Politics are controversial! If you want to hurt 50% of the people that care for you, take a political stand.
        Based on the subject, debunking history can be just as political.
        In Goliad, TX I visited an antique store asking for directions to the battleground. I purchased a platter with several pictures, old and new; one expecially celebrated a Mexican woman “the Angel of Goliad”. The owner told me that she was considering the removal of all battleground subject matter, because visiting Mexicans were insulting her and threatening her for disagreeing with their history of the battle. To these people, the hatred of 175 year’s is alive and dangerous today; so debunking history can cause problems.
        Thanks for your consideration!

  8. History belongs to those in power. Unfortunately, political correctness and the swinging of nationalities have put the truth on the back burner.

  9. Beth says:

    I was born and raised in Texas and have never heard this myth. I guess not everybody knows about Susanna Dickinson?

    Here are some links that may be of interest:

    The memoirs of an officer serving under Santa Anna that has caused much angst for Crockett fans: http://www.cah.utexas.edu/exhibits/Pena/toc.php

    Other eyewitness accounts:

    http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/matala.html

    Museum of the Dickinson house here in Austin:

    http://austintexas.gov/department/joseph-and-susanna-dickinson-hannig-museum

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,324 other followers

%d bloggers like this: