The Alamo, TX
The Alamo - March
Only two structures of the original mission at
San Antonio de Bexar still stand: the Church which is most the famous and
photographed building, and the Long Barracks, where many of the 183
defenders retreated to and were killed in when the walls were breached by
the Mexican forces on March 6, 1836. The Alamo got its name from
either the cottonwood trees (Alamo in Spanish) that grow in the area or
from the hometown of a Spanish Army unit that was stationed there in 1718.
It should be noted that the Battle of Bexar was fought in December of
1935 at San Antonio formerly known as Bexar at the time.
The church which is now a shrine. This is early in the morning.
This wall faces west. Where the photo was taken from would have been
the approximate position of a wooden stockade that was defended by Davy
Crockett and his Tennessee Volunteers. There is no agreement as to
how and where Davy Crockett died during the battle. Some say he was
executed afterwards while others indicate his body was found after
the battle and identified by one of the women survivors. We will
never know. There were survivors but they were non-combatant women
and chidren that hid in one room of this building. Also let go was
the slave of Colonel William Travis, the Alamo's commander, as the
Mexicans were against slavery. The tours of the shrine are free.
This the back side of the church.
A more traditional shot in the afternoon facing east. The
distinctive dome shape of the structure was added by the US Army years
later when it took over the mission as a supply post. The top
outside windows were not there during the battle either and the church was
open to the sky as it had no roof. That was also added later in
The Long Barracks looking to the southeast. This was originally a
two story structure and exits today only because it had useful economic
value as a general store after the battle. Back behind my camera
position was the north wall which is where the Mexican Army made its major
attack and breached the defenses. The Mexican soldiers would have
then started to attack the Long Barracks from here along with attacking
any defenders in the open in this area. The north wall no loner
exits and there is a building now where it would have been.
The Long Barracks looking east and north.
This west wall of the Barracks facing us is the only original portion of
the structure still standing from what my research tells me. From my
camera position and others in this area to the west of the Long Barracks,
Santa Ana's men fired the fort's cannons into the doors that are now
covered over and then stormed each of the rooms in the structure one by
one. This is where most of the defenders perished.
This is the east side of the Long Barracks
which now contains a museum on the battle. These are not original
A layout of the fortified mission as would
have appeared on March 6, 1836. We are looking east, so the closest
wall would be the west wall. At the left is the north wall and up in
the upper right is the church. East of the open area in the center
of the mission is the long barracks. When the Texan positions' where
over run during the attack the defenders did not destroy their cannons,
which were then turned towards the Long Barracks by the Mexicans and fired
at the doors to breach them.
The south side of the church.
One of the many displays on the grounds.
Note the roofline and the absence of the dome and the two outer windows
that are there today.
The church has the distinctive columns either
side of the door.
To the right of the door one can detect where cannon balls chipped off
some of the wall during the attack.
This Cenotaph was erected in 1940 to the 183 fallen defenders. Due
to the fact that all of the bodies of the Texans that were killed at The
Alamo were burned after the battle, this monument honors them as a
symbolic marker. It turns out that some recent research has
indicated that there may have been as many as 225 Texans who died here.
Mexicans killed were on the order of 600.
Standing in what would have been the open
compound of the mission and looking west at where the west wall would have
been, located just behind the store fronts. This block of Alamo
Street is now a tourist trap.
The Alamo, TX