"Remember the Alamo" was a rallying cry for Texans in their fight for independence from Mexico in 1836. The movement had begun in the winter of 1835 to 1836, when Texans ended relations with Mexico, which then controlled the Texas territory. It quickly turned to war when the Mexican government sent 4,000 troops, under the command of General Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794–1876), to put down the rebellion. As the Mexican army moved north into the city of San Antonio, 150 Texans retreated to the Alamo, a Spanish mission built in the previous century, where they attempted to defend San Antonio. Although they were joined by 30 more men, they were greatly outmatched by the Mexicans, who kept the Alamo under siege for twelve days—from February 24 to March 6, 1836. The Texans eventually ran low on ammunition and could no longer return fire. On the morning of March 6, they were overpowered by Santa Anna's troops. The fierce frontiersmen in the Alamo, including Davy Crockett (1786–1836), are believed to have fought off the Mexicans by using the butts of their rifles. All 180 men died while fighting for Texan independence.
By April 21, 1836, however, Texas general Samuel Houston (1793–1863) had assembled a much larger force that was prepared to fight Santa Anna. With the rallying cry "Remember the Alamo!" and fresh memories of the martyred heroes, Houston and his men set out to face Santa Anna's troops at San Jacinto, Texas. Catching Santa Anna by surprise, Houston won a quick and decisive victory. The following day Santa Anna was captured, and he signed a treaty that granted independence to Texas.
Further Information: "Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna." People in the West. [Online] Available www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/wpages/wpgs400/w4sntana.htm, October 25, 2000; Bredeson, Carmen. The Battle of the Alamo: The Fight for Texas Territory. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1996; Garland, Sherry. Voices of the Alamo. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000; Santella, Andrew. The Battle of the Alamo. New York: Children's Press, 1997.