A Brief History: Located at 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio Texas, sits the Alamo. In 1718 the Spanish mission San Antonio de Valero was established and built in 1724 as we know it today called the Alamo. In 1756 the church was built. For many years San Antonio de Valero was used for people to come and practice Christianity, but in 1794 the mission was closed and left abandoned. For many years to come there would be much conflict in the Texas territory that would lead up to the battle of the Alamo.
In 1803 the United States obtains control over the land called the Louisiana Purchase, which is very unclear to both sides of the United States, and the Spanish Territories; which consists of the west coast of the now United States and Florida. In 1810 Father Hidalgo calls for a revolt against Spain and the Spanish Territories. The United States notices that Mexico is trying to gain more territory, so John Quincy Adams makes a treaty with Spain called the Adams-Onis Treaty. The treaty states that Spain will give up Florida and Oregon Country for the United States to back off of Texas. In the meantime many Americans fled to Texas for a new start. One of these people being James “Jim” Bowie. He was a frontiersman who is famous for the Bowie Knife. He had a lot of bad debts from Louisiana and fled to Texas for a new start. Another person is William Travis. He was a schoolteacher at 19 years old and became a lawyer in his early 20s. Over the years he accumulated many debts and fled to Texas leaving his wife and son behind.
In 1821 Mexico declares its Independence from Spain taking control over the remaining Spanish Territories. Stephen Austin looked at this as a business opportunity, so he is granted approval from the Mexican Government to colonize Northern Texas. Over the years the rules for colonization would constantly change and he became a huge part of the fight for the independence of Texas. In 1830 the Mexican government prohibited emigrants coming from the United States, which added to the cause of a revolution in Texas. In 1834 Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna becomes the ruler of Mexico.
David “Davy” Crockett was a frontiersman, adventurer, woodsman, and hunter. Legend says that he killed a bear by grinning at it. He was a popular man of his time, and everyone, everywhere new of him. He was also a congressman for a period of time. When he decided to run for a 2nd term against a layer named Adam Huntsman, Crockett lost the election because President Andrew Jackson, and the governor of Tennessee backed Huntsman. Crockett’s reply to the election was “go to hell, I’m going to Texas”
On October 2, 1835 the Battle of Gonzales occurred. In 1831 the Mexican army gave the town residence of Gonzales a cannon to protect themselves from the Native American Tribe the Comanche. On September 29, 1835 the Mexican army requested that the cannon be returned. The Texans refused to give it back and came up with many excuses why not to, and within a few days over 100 Texans gathered to secure the cannon. No shots were ever fired and the Mexican army withdrew from Gonzales without their cannon.
On October 10, 1835 the Battle of Goliad took place. The Texas settlers seized an attack on the Mexican armies garrison at Presidio La Bahia, which was a Spanish Fort. The Texans took over the fort in just 30 minutes. Once they took over the fort they told the Mexican army to leave Texas.
Early December of 1835 was the Siege of Bexar. After the Battle of Gonzales the men made there way to Bexar. The Texan army grew in numbers to over 300 men, and James Clinton Neill and Stephen Austin became the Commanders of the Texans. The Texans headed to San Antonio where the Mexican army was, numbering over 650 men. As the Texans marched to San Antonio there numbers increased to 400 men, which included Jim Bowie and Juan Seguin. Austin Requested aid from General Sam Houston of the United States Army, which would keep getting postponed until after the battle of the Alamo. The Texan army spread out, and took over San Antonio. On December 9, 1835 the Mexican army surrendered and left San Antonio, leaving the Texans in control of San Antonio. Once the Mexican army left, many of the local Texans who joined the fight would return to their homes in Texas. Stephen Austin would be one of these men. He would later meet up with General Sam Houston. About 250 men stayed and took position at the Alamo, which included James Neill, Jim Bowie and Juan Seguin. On February 3, 1836 William Travis would arrive at the Alamo with 18 men. A few days later Davie Crockett would also arrive at the Alamo with 36 men. All of the men that took post at the Alamo in the winter of 1836 thought that the Mexican army would not march through the winter to the Alamo.
On February 14, 1836 Commander James Neill had to leave the Alamo because he was needed back at home because his family grew ill. Neill would put Travis in charge of the men at the Alamo. This would cause conflict between Travis and Bowie. On February 23, 1836 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna arrives in San Antonio with his troops after a long winter march that no one thought he would make. When they arrived they made it aware that they were there to put an end to the frontier rebellion. The Texans retreated back and took fortification in the Alamo. Travis would use Juan Seguin as a messenger to ride to General Houston and request aid. Travis and Bowie would put their differences aside and Travis would command the regulars and Bowie would command the volunteers. General Santa Anna sent a messenger to the Alamo requesting the Texans to surrender. Travis responds by shooting off a cannon ball. General Santa Anna would order his army to raise a red flag, which would state “death to all traitors”. General Santa Anna would allow any civilians to leave the Alamo within the next day. Some of the civilians took the offer and left the Alamo, as others would stay including woman and children. Travis sends Seguin out with another letter requesting aid from General Sam Houston. While the Alamo was under attack the Texas Government organized a declaration at Washington declaring the Independence of the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836. General Santa Anna would never receive the declaration, and in the early morning of March 6, 1886, Santa Anna would surround the Alamo on the north, south, and west giving the orders to charge and seize the Alamo. In 90 minutes the battle was over and about 200 Texans were killed including Jim Bowie and William Travis. Legend says that 2 men were able to escape but there are no facts on that. Legend has it that one of the last men standing and captured was Davie Crockett. Santa Anna gives the order to execute him. One of his officers tries to plea with Santa Anna requesting to spare his life. Santa Anna refuses and orders the execution of Davie Crockett. Once the battle was over the Mexicans continued their march through Texas.
On April 21, 1836 General Sam Houston realized that General Santa Anna had split up his troops, and Houston took the opportunity to seize and attack Santa Anna’s army. Before General Sam Houston ordered the attack he yelled, “Remember the Alamo”. In 18 minutes the battle was over and General Santa Anna was captured. Santa Anna would agree to give up Texas in return to spare his life. On May 14, 1836 the Treaty of Velasco was signed and Texas gained its independence.
In 1845 the Republic of Texas becomes the 28th State of the United States. In 1859 the U.S. Army repairs the church and the structure of the Alamo. In 1861 Texas exceeds from the Union and joins the Confederate States. The Alamo once again is occupied, this time by the Confederate Army. No battle of the Civil War was ever fought there. In 1865 when the civil war ends, the U.S. Army takes back the Alamo, turning it into an army depot. In 1883 the State of Texas buys the Alamo from the U.S. Army. In 1935 the Alamo is renovated and improved. In 1966 the Alamo becomes a registered historic landmark.
Haunted History: In 1836 after the siege of the Alamo General Santa Anna ordered one of his generals to demolish the church in the Alamo. The general would pass the order down to one of his colonels to take care of the mission. The colonel took a couple of men to go and shoot a cannon at the church and as they were lining up, 6 apparitions that looked like Monks appeared. They replied, “Do not touch the walls of the Alamo”. The colonel and his men ran off frantic. Once they returned and told the general, he himself would go to the Alamo with a few men and destroy it. As he lined up with a cannon the same 6 Monks appeared and replied, “Do not touch the walls of the Alamo”, and threw fireballs at the general. His men would run off franticly, and the general would follow, not ever returning to the Alamo.
Through the years park rangers and tourists have encountered ghostly apparitions of guards guarding the Alamo and then disappear. People have also claimed to feel extreme feelings of sadness, cold spots, and hear cries for help and gunfire and cannon fire. Next time you’re in San Antonio checking out the historic past, and maybe having a personal paranormal experience of your own don’t forget to “Remember the Alamo”.