As the Lone Star State commemorates 175 years of freedom from Mexico, Americans across the country are “Remembering the Alamo.” But in truth, the most symbolic battle of the revolution wasn’t over until days later. Has history been wrong all along?
Not really. The epic Battle of the Alamo may be the one thing you can recall about the Texas Revolution from your middle school history class, but it was only a portion of the war that led to the independence of America’s biggest state.
The first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired at the Battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835. Over the next few months, the Texans were successful in driving Mexican troops out of the province. But of course, Mexico wasn’t going to give up the great state of Texas that easily.
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Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna led his troops across the land, arriving at the Alamo on February 23. After a 13-day battle, the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836, resulting in the deaths of such historic figures as James Bowie and William B. Travis.
Fighting between Mexican and Texan troops continued for more than a month, ending finally on April 21, when Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto.
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So why do we celebrate the revolution on March 2? Just like most Americans, the Texans were incredibly optimistic about their chances for freedom, and adopted their formal Declaration of Independence on March 2.
So let’s tip our cowboy hats to Texas as it celebrates 175 years. After all, the great state is home to excellent football (at all levels), real cowboys, rodeos and the Bush family. Everything really is bigger in Texas.