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The Battle of the Alamo: The Siege

Santa Anna's army arrives in San Antonio. At this point there were approximately 154 effective Texian soldiers in the Alamo, with another 14 in the hospital. The garrison was completely unprepared for the arrival of the Mexican army and had no food in the mission. 

The men quickly herded cattle into the Alamo and scrounged for food in some of the recently abandoned houses. A few members of the garrison brought their families into the Alamo for safety. Among these were Alamaron Dickinson, who fetched his wife Susanna and their daughter Angelina, and Bowie, who brought his deceased wife's cousins, Gertrudis Navarro and Juana Navarro Alsbury and Alsbury's young son into the fort.

Here is the The Battle of the Alamo: The Siege quiz.


1. What is the blood-red flag?

2. What surrender terms did William Travis and James Bowie request?

3. Each night what inched closer to the Alamo?

4. Who defeated Colonel Frank W. Johnson at the Battle of San Patricio on February 27?

5. When did the siege have its first causality?

6. What natural event happened during the siege?

7. Who became ill on February 24?

8. On the morning of February 26, who led 320 men, 4 cannon, and several supply wagons began the 90 miles march from Goliad to the Alamo?

9. Who was the last courier to leave?

10. What stops at 10 pm, March 5, 1836?



1. By late afternoon San Antonio was occupied by about 1,500 Mexican troops, who quickly raised a blood-red flag signifying no quarter. Travis responded with a blast from the Alamo's largest cannon.

2. The emissaries met with Colonel Juan Almonte and Jose Bartres. According to Almonte, the Texians asked for an honorable surrender but were informed that any surrender must be unconditional. On learning this, Bowie and Travis mutually agreed to fire the cannon again.

3. In the first few days of the siege, Mexican soldiers established artillery batteries, initially about 1,000 feet from the south and east walls of the Alamo. A third battery, at the old Powderhouse, was southeast of the fort. Each night the cordon drew tighter as the batteries inched closer to the Alamo walls.

4. On March 3, The Texians watched from the walls as approximately 1,000 Mexican troops, attired in dress uniform, marched into San Antonio military plaza to reinforce Santa Anna. The Mexican army celebrated loudly throughout the afternoon, both in honor of their reinforcements and at the news that troops under General Jose de Urrea had soundly defeated Texian Colonel Frank W. Johnson at the Battle of San Patricio on February 27.

5. The first fatality of the siege occurred on February 24, when Texians killed a Mexican soldier as he and other scouts crossed a footbridge over the San Antonio River; the other scouts quickly retreated.

6. A blue norther blew in that evening and dropped the temperature to 39 �F. Neither army was prepared for the cold temperatures. Several Texians ventured out to gather firewood but returned empty-handed after encountering Mexican troops.

7. At some point on Wednesday, February 24, Bowie collapsed from illness, leaving Travis in sole command of the garrison.

8. On the morning of February 26, James Fannin led 320 men, 4 cannon, and several supply wagons began the 90 miles march from Goliad to the Alamo. By the end of the day, they had traveled less than 1 mile. The following day the group returned to Presidio La Bahia in Goliad.

9. On the evening March 5, 1863, James Allen became the last courier to leave the Alamo. He carried personal messages from Travis and several of the other men.

10. At 10 pm, the Mexican artillery ceased their bombardment. As Santa Anna had planned, the exhausted Texians soon fell into the first uninterrupted sleep many had gotten since the siege began.

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