The Alamo, Texas

 

We have two individuals that died at the Alamo;  Green Benito Jemison and  William Rudolph Wells.  We have more information regarding Green B Jemison because he was the third in command at the Alamo.  William Rudolph Wells came to Texas  as a youngster and was very much involved in the Texas independence.

     Green B. Jemison moved to Louisiana, where he met up with Jim Bowie  and when Jim moved to Texas Green was soon to follow.  Green soon became a member of the Texas Army, and ended up working for Col. Travis at the Alamo.  Green was put in charge of the fortifications of the Alamo, setting up the cannons where they  in the best places.  I quote from an article at the Alamo.

Green B Jemison  1809  1936

     “When I left home it was with a determination to see Texas free and independent, sink or swim die or Perish”

Green B Jemison to Gov. Henry Smith,  February 11 1836

     The valiant defense of the Alamo for nearly two weeks was due in part to the skill of Green B Jemison.  Quick to se that the high thick walls of the fortress  and the artillery left by General Cos offered the best defense in the town.  Jamison, a lawyer, assumed the task of engineer for the fortification.  He wrote General Houston on January 18 before either Bowie or Travis arrived, with a proposal for the placement of cannon, palisades and entrenchments for the “Fortress Alamo”.

    Having fought in the battle of Bexar, the 27 year old Kentuckian had already earned the respect of the men in the garrison as a bold, forthright leader.  He planned and supervised the digging of the trenches, the reinforcements of the walls, the building of the staked palisade.  Jamison strategic mounting of the 21 cannons so strengthened the defense of the Alamo that Santa Anna’s own officers feared  the final assault. His ingenuity was reflected in the resourcefulness in the face of danger in spite off inadequate tools and material.

 

Here is a brief story of the battle of the Alamo.

 

      Unsheathing his sword in a lull in the virtually incessant bombardment, Col. Travis drew a line in the sand before his battle weary men.  In voice trembling with emotion he described the hopelessness of their plight and said,  Those prepared to give their lives in freedoms cause, come over to me”.  Without hesitation, every man, save one, crossed the line.  Col. James Bowie, stricken with pneumonia, asked that his cot be carried over.

     For twelve days now, since February 23,  when Travis answered Mexican General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna’s surrender ultimatum with a canon shot, the defenders had withstood the onslaught of  an army which ultimately numbered 4000 men.

     Committed to death inside the Alamo were 189 known patriots who valued freedom more than life itself.  Many, such as the 32  men and boys from Gonzales who made their way through the Mexican lines in answer to Travis plea for reinforcements,  were colonists.  There was a fight against Santa Anna’s intolerable decrees.  Others were such as David Crocket and his “mountain men”, who owned nothing in Texas, and owed nothing to it.  There was a fight against tyranny wherever it might be.  A handful were native Texan’s of Spanish and Mexican decent who suffered under the same injustices as the other colonists.

     Now, with ammunition  and supplied all but exhausted, yet determined  to make a Mexican victory more costly than in defeat,  those who rallied to the Texas cause awaited the inevitable.    

     It came suddenly in the chilly, pre dawn hours of March 6.   With bugles sounding the dreaded “Deguello” (No quarters to the defenders), colums of Mexican soldiers attacked from the North, the East, South and the West.  Twice repulsed by withering musket fire and cannon shot, they concentrated their attack at the battered North wall.  Travis with a single shot through his forehead, fell across his cannon. The Mexicans swarmed through the breach and into the plaza.  At frightful cost they fought their way to the Long barracks , and blasting its massive doors with cannon shots. Its defenders, asking no quarters and receiving none, were put to death with grapeshot, musket fire and bayonets.

     Crockett, using his rifle as a club, fell as the attackers, now joined by reinforcements who stormed the South wall, turned to the Chapel.  The Texan’s inside soon suffered the fate of their comrades.  Bowie , his pistols emptied, his famous knife bloodied, and his body riddled, died on his cot.

     Present in the Alamo were Captain Aleron Dickenson’s wife, Susanna, and their 15 Month old Daughter, Angela.  After the battle, Santa Anna ordered that Mrs. Dickenson, her child, another non combatants  be spared.  Other known survivors were Joe, Travis’s servant, Getrudis Navarro, 15, sister by adoption to James Bowie’s wife, Ursula,  Juan Navarro Alsbury,  Sister of Getrudis, and her 18 Months old son Alijo,  Gregorio Esperanza’s wife Anna and her four children,  another survivor was Louis Trinidad Saucedo and Petra Gonzales.  Another survivor was Louis “Moses” Rose, who by his own choice left the Alamo on the 5th day of March.     Santa Anna,  minimized his losses which numbered nearly six hundred, said,”It was but a small affair”, and ordered the bodies of the heroes burned.  Col. Juan Almonte, noting the great number of casualties, declared, “Another such victory and we are Ruined    

     The Texan’s smoldering desire for freedom, kindled by the funeral pyres of the Alamo, roared into flames three weeks later at Goliad when Santa Anna coldly ordered the massacre  of more than three hundred prisoners taken at the battle of Coleto Creek.

     On April 21, forty six days after the fall of the Alamo, less than eight hundred angered Texan,s and American volunteers led by General Sam Houston launched a furious attack on the Mexican Army of 1500 at San Jacinto, shouting “remember the Alamo”, “Remember Goliad”,  They completely routed  the Mexican Army in a matter of minutes, killing 630, while losing nine.  Santa Anna was captured. Texas was free, a new republic was born.