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The Battle of the Alamo: The Final Assault - The Walls

Just after midnight on March 6 the Mexican army began preparing for the final assault. The troops were divided into four columns, commanded by Cos, Colonel Francisco Duque, Colonel Jose Marie Romero, and Colonel Juan Morales. 

Four hundred reserves remained in camp under the authority of Santa Anna, while the Mexican cavalry were positioned around the Alamo to prevent escape of either Texians or Mexican soldiers. Despite the bitter cold, the soldiers were ordered not to wear overcoats, which could impede their movements. 

Clouds concealed the moon, and thus the movements of the soldiers.

Here is the The Battle of the Alamo: The Final Assault - The Walls quiz.

True and False?

1. At 5:30 am, March 6, 1836, Santa Anna gave the order to advance.

2. The Texians had posted three sentinels outside the walls and quickly sounded the attack alarm.

3. Santa Anna's army played El Deg�ello.

4. In the initial moments of the assault Mexican troops were at a great advantage.

5. Alamo commander, William Travis was struck in the head with a musket ball.

6. As the Mexican troops tried to climb the Alamo's walls, the Texians found it easy to reload their rifles.

7. One of the first to scale the 12 feet wall was Mexican General Juan Amador.

8. As the Texian defenders abandoned the north wall and the northern end of the west wall, Texian gunners turn their guns against the advancing Mexican army.

9. Within minutes they had climbed the walls and killed the gunners, gaining control of the Alamo's 18 lb cannon.


 

Answers

1. True. At 5:30 am, March 6, 1836, Santa Anna gave the order to advance. They silently moved forward, with veterans positioned on the outside of the columns to better control the new recruits in the middle.

2. False. The Texians had posted three sentinels outside the walls, the men had fallen asleep and were killed before they could give an alert.

3. True. Santa Anna's army played El Deg�ello, which signified that no quarter would be offered the defenders.

4. False. In the initial moments of the assault Mexican troops were at a disadvantage. Their column formation allowed only the front rows of soldiers to safely fire. The untrained recruits in the ranks did not realize this, and "blindly fir[ed] their guns", injuring or killing the troops in front of them.

5. True. Travis was struck in the head with a musket ball as he discharged both barrels of his shotgun into the soldiers below and became one of the first defenders to die.

6. False. Few of the Mexican ladders reached the walls; those that arrived were poorly made. The few soldiers who were able to climb the ladders were quickly killed or beaten back. As the Texians discharged their previously loaded rifles, they found it increasingly difficult to reload while attempting to keep Mexican soldiers from scaling the walls.

7. True. The Mexican soldiers closest to the north wall realized that the makeshift wall contained many gaps and toeholds. One of the first to scale the 12 feet wall was General Juan Amador; at his challenge, his men began swarming up the wall. Amador opened the postern in the north wall, allowing Mexican soldiers to pour into the complex.

8. True. As the Texian defenders abandoned the north wall and the northern end of the west wall, Texian gunners at the south end of the mission turned their cannon toward the north and began firing into the incoming Mexican soldiers.

9. True. The Texicans leave the south end of the mission unprotected, and Morales's men left the huts where they had taken refuge and raced to the mission. Within minutes they had climbed the walls and killed the gunners, gaining control of the Alamo's 18 lb cannon. By this time Romero's men had taken the east wall of the compound and were pouring in through the cattle pen.

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