On this day in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo started. I remember visiting it when I was a kid. But I have no idea where. They seem to move the damned thing around all the time. But what’s amazing about it is that it’s this big deal in the mythology of America. But there are a few problems with it. First, it was part of the Texas Revolution. It wasn’t part of the United States. And the people of Texas were even worse than than they are now. The other thing that is remarkable about it is that the Texans lost the battle.
Now, I understood that when I was a kid. But I had this idea that the Texans were totally outnumbered. Really, I remember it being presented as a couple hundred Texans against a hundred thousand Mexicans. Hooray! Ain’t the white man great! But that wasn’t the case at all. The Texans were a couple hundred strong, and they were inside the Alamo. They had the advantage. They were under siege by less than two thousand Mexicans. In the end, the Mexicans had about double the casualties as the Texans. Given the circumstances, I would say that the Mexicans did pretty well. If I were a Texan, I’d try to brush this historical event under the carpet.
But no. Everything is bigger in Texas, and nowhere is that as true as in its egos. Oh, but they fought to the death! That’s one of the great lies of manliness. There is nothing noble about fighting to the death unless you are doing it to protect others. If you are suicidal, then just get on with it. But don’t expect the rest of us to hold you up as some kind of a hero. Regardless, I’ve come to see pretty much all armed conflicts as a battle between two powerful groups over who will be the most powerful. The rest of us just want to be left out of it.
But I am pleased that Sam Houston survived and was able to keep all his slaves.