- Historic Sites
¡Recuerda El Alamo!?
October 1975 | Volume 26, Issue 6
On the 25th at nine thirty His Excellency appeared at the battery and had the column of chasseurs and the battalion from Matamoros march to the other side of the San Antonio River, he himself following. Our soldiers fought within pistol range against the walls of the Alamo, and we lost two dead and six wounded. During the night some construction was undertaken to protect the line that had been established at the small nearby village of La Villita under orders of Colonel Morales. On the 20th, 27th, and a8th nothing unusual happened; the artillery and rifle fire had been brought into play as needed without any misfortune to the division. On the 2gth the siege continued, and about seven thirty at night the enemy killed a first-class private belonging to the first company of the San Luis Battalion, Secundino Alvarez, who on orders of the president had got in close in order to reconnoiter the Alamo.
On the 1st, and, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of March the siege continued without anything of note happening except that on the and a chasseur from San Luis, Trinidad Delgado, drowned and on the 3rd my battalion along with other sapper battalions from Aldama and Toluca arrived.
On the 17th of February Santa Anna had proclaimed to the army: Comrades in arms, our most sacred duties have brought us to these uninhabited lands and demand our engaging in combat against a rabble of wretched adventurers to whom our authorities have unwisely given benefits that even Mexicans did not enjoy, and who have taken possession of this vast and fertile area, convinced that our own unfortunate internal divisions have rendered us incapable of defending our soil. Wretches! Soon will they become aware of their folly! Soldiers, our comrades have been shamefully sacrificed at Anahuac, Goliad, and Béjar, and you are those destined to punish these murderers. My friends: we will march as long as the interests of the nation that we serve demand. The claimants to the acres of Texas land will soon know to their sorrow that their reinforcements from New Orleans, Mobile, Boston, New York, and other points north, whence they should never have come, are insignificant, and that Mexicans, generous by nature, will not leave unpunished affronts resulting in injury or discredit to their country, regardless of who the aggressors mav be.
This address was received enthusiastically, but the army needed no incitement; knowing that it was about to engage in the defense of the country and to avenge less fortunate comrades was enough for its ardor to become as great as the noble and just cause it was about to defend. Several officers from the Aldama and Toluca sappers were filled with joy and congratulated one another when they were ordered to hasten their march, for they knew that they were about to engage in combat. There is no doubt that some would have regretted not being among the first to meet the enemy, for it was considered an honor to be counted among the first. For their part, the enemy leaders had addressed their own men in terms not unlike those of our commander. They said that we were a bunch of mercenaries, blind instruments of tyranny; that without any right we were about to invade their territory; that we would bring desolation and death to their peaceful homes and would seize their possessions; that we were savage men who would rape their women, decapitate their children, destroy everything, and render into ashes the fruits of their industry and their efforts. Unfortunately they did partially foresee what would happen, but they also committed atrocities that we did not commit, and in this rivalry of evil and extermination I do not dare to venture who had the ignominious advantage, they or we.
In spirited and vehement language they called on their compatriots to defend the interests so dear to them and those they so tenderly cherished. They urged mothers to arm their sons and wives not to admit their consorts in their nuptial beds until they had taken up arms and risked their lives in defense of their families. The word “liberty” was constantly repeated in every line of their writings; this magical word was necessary to inflame the hearts of the men, who rendered tribute to this goddess, although not to the degree they pretend.