On This Day: We remember the Alamo

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KTRK) -- It has been 185 years since the Alamo fell to Mexican forces.

On February 23, 1836, a Mexican force of 1,500 men commanded by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna began a siege of the fort.

The Alamo had 18 cannons and around 189 members of the Texian Army at the beginning of the siege. Santa Anna's terms were surrender at discretion, which meant he would decide the fate of the Texans, according to thealamo.org.

Commander William B. Travis answered Santa Anna's offer with a cannon shot.

The Alamo held out for 13 days, but on the morning of March 6, the Mexican forces broke through the outer wall of the courtyard and overpowered them. Fighting lasted roughly 90 minutes. By 8 a.m., every Alamo defender was dead, according to the Handbook of Texas. While 189 were officially listed, research suggests the final death toll could have been as high as 257.

As many as 600 Mexican soldiers were killed or wounded during the siege.

After the battle, Santa Anna and his troops moved deeper into what would become Texas, continuing to cause the widespread panic in the region known as the Runaway Scrape. Residents along the Gulf Coast fled their homes to get away. The towns of Gonzales and San Felipe de Austin were burned to cut off supply opportunities.

What was left of the Texian Army elsewhere included two groups of men. Nearly 450 in one group, led by Col. James Fannin, were executed in the Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836.

On April 21, 1836, Sam Houston along with about 800 other Texans defeated Santa Anna's men at San Jacinto shouting "Remember the Alamo!" as they attacked. It confirmed the success of Texan independence.

More than 2.5 million people come from all over the world each year to visit the 4.2-acre site in San Antonio.
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