Alamo Cenotaph

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Cenotaph
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Alamo Cenotaph in 2013
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Alamo Cenotaph
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Alamo Cenotaph
LocationAlamo Plaza at E. Houston St., San Antonio, Texas
Coordinates 29°25′34″N98°29′12″W / 29.4261608°N 98.4866783°W / 29.4261608; -98.4866783 Coordinates: 29°25′34″N98°29′12″W / 29.4261608°N 98.4866783°W / 29.4261608; -98.4866783
Built1936 (1936)
ArchitectAdams & Adams
Sculptor Pompeo Coppini
Architectural style Cenotaph
Part of Alamo Plaza Historic District (ID77001425 [1] )
Designated CPJuly 13, 1977

The Alamo Cenotaph, also known as The Spirit of Sacrifice, is a monument in San Antonio, Texas, United States, commemorating the Battle of the Alamo of the Texas Revolution, which was fought at the adjacent Alamo Mission. The monument was erected in celebration of the centenary of the battle, and bears the names of those known to have fought there on the Texas side. [2]

Contents

History

Although there had been previous plans for Alamo monuments, starting in the late 1800s, the Alamo Cenotaph was the first such erected in San Antonio. (There had been one previous monument in Austin, but it was lost in a Capitol fire.) During the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration, the state of Texas provided $100,000 for the monument, commissioned from local sculptor Pompeo Coppini. San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick held a dedication ceremony on November 11, 1940.

The shaft rises sixty feet from its base which is forty feet long and twelve feet wide. The monument was erected in grey Georgia marble and pink Texas granite. It was entitled The Spirit of Sacrifice and incorporates images of the Alamo garrison leaders and 187 names of known Alamo defenders, derived from the research of historian Amelia Williams. [3] Later research has shown some listed on the cenotaph were not there, and the total of Alamo combatants has risen with newer research. [4]

Inscription

A close up of the inscription on the Alamo Cenotaph AlamoMemorial-5479.jpg
A close up of the inscription on the Alamo Cenotaph

The marker on the cenotaph reads:

Erected in memory of the heroes who sacrificed their lives at the Alamo, March 6, 1836, in the defense of Texas. They chose never to surrender nor retreat; these brave hearts, with flag still proudly waving, perished in the flames of immortality that their high sacrifice might lead to the founding of this Texas. [5]

Battle of the Alamo

After putting down resistance in other regions of Mexico, in the spring of 1836 Santa Anna led a Mexican army back into Texas and marched on San Antonio, intending to avenge the humiliating defeat of Cos and end the Texian rebellion. Texian leader Sam Houston, believing that San Antonio could not be defended against a determined effort by the regular Mexican army, called for the Texian forces to abandon the city.

A volunteer force under the joint command of William Barrett Travis, newly arrived in Texas, and James Bowie, and including Davy Crockett and his company of Tennesseans, and Juan Seguin's company of Hispanic Texan volunteers occupied and fortified the deserted mission and determined to hold San Antonio against all opposition.

The defenders of the Alamo thus included both Anglo and Hispanic Texans who fought side by side under a banner that was the flag of Mexico with the numerals "1824" superimposed. This was meant to indicate that the defenders were fighting for their rights to democratic government under the Mexican constitution of that year. It was only during the siege that the Texas Congress declared an independent Republic of Texas.

The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23 to March 6, 1836. At first the battle was primarily a siege marked by artillery duels and small skirmishes. After twelve days Santa Anna, tired of waiting for his heavy artillery and eager for a glorious victory to enhance his reputation, determined to take the Alamo by storm.

Before dawn on March 6, he launched his troops against the walls of the Alamo in three separate attacks. The third attack overwhelmed the defenses of the weak north wall. The defenders retreated to the now famous Long Barracks and the Chapel and fought to the last man. Most historians agree that a few of the defenders were captured but were executed as rebels on the specific orders of Santa Anna. The deaths of these "Martyrs to Texas Independence" inspired greater resistance to Santa Anna's regime, and the cry "Remember the Alamo" became the rallying point of the Texas Revolution.

Ozzy Osbourne incident

In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne, while wearing his future wife's dress because she had hidden his clothes, drunkenly urinated on the Alamo Cenotaph, which is across the street from the actual building. A police officer arrested him, and Osbourne was subsequently banned from performing in San Antonio for a decade. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Martín Perfecto de Cos General of the Mexican Army

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Battle of the Alamo Major battle of the Texas Revolution

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Susanna Dickinson Alamo survivor

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Immortal 32

The Immortal 32 was a relief force of thirty-two Texian Militia from the Gonzales Ranging Company who reinforced the Texians under siege at the Alamo. They are "immortalized" as the only unit to answer the To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World letter. Along with the other Alamo defenders, they were all killed and burned after the Battle of the Alamo.

Juana Gertrudis Navarro Alsbury was one of the few Texian survivors of the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution in 1836. As Mexican forces entered her hometown, San Antonio de Bexar, on February 23, Alsbury's cousin by marriage, James Bowie, brought her with him to the Alamo Mission so that he could protect her. Bowie, the co-commander of the Texian forces, collapsed from illness on the second day of the siege; Alsbury nursed him throughout the remainder of the siege. On March 4, Texian co-commander William Barret Travis sent her as an emissary to Mexican commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to negotiate an honorable surrender for the Texian forces. She made no headway, and her visit likely increased Santa Anna's impatience to end the siege in a spectacular fashion. Santa Anna launched an early-morning assault on the Alamo on March 6.

Almaron Dickinson was a Texian soldier and defender during the Battle of the Alamo, fought during the Texas Revolution. Dickinson is best known as the artillery officer of the small garrison, and the husband of one of the only three non-Mexican survivors to live through the battle, Susanna Dickinson, as well as the father to their infant daughter Angelina, whose life was also spared. He is a member of the Immortal 32 and Old Eighteen.

Presidio La Bahía United States historic place

The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, known more commonly as Presidio La Bahía, or simply La Bahía is a fort constructed by the Spanish Army that became the nucleus of the modern-day city of Goliad, Texas, United States. The current location dates to 1747.

Siege of the Alamo siege of the Texas Revolution

The Siege of the Alamo describes the first thirteen days of the Battle of the Alamo. On February 23, Mexican troops under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered San Antonio de Bexar, Texas and surrounded the Alamo Mission. The Alamo was defended by a small force of Texians and Tejanos, led by William Barrett Travis and James Bowie, and included Davy Crockett. Before beginning his assault on the Alamo, Santa Anna offered them one last chance to surrender. Travis replied by opening fire on the Mexican forces and, in doing so, effectively sealed their fate. The siege ended when the Mexican Army launched an early-morning assault on March 6. Almost all of the defenders were killed, although several civilians survived.

Legacy of the Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo left a substantial legacy and influence within American culture and is an event that is told from the perspective of the vanquished.

The City of San Antonio is one of the oldest Spanish colonization of the European settlements in Texas and was, for decades, its largest city. Before Spanish colonization, the site was occupied for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic Payaya Indians were likely those who encountered the first Europeans.

Toribio Losoya Alamo defender

José Toribio Losoya, was a former Mexican soldier, a Texian military participant in the Siege of Bexar and Battle of the Alamo defender.

Andrew Jackson Sowell was a lifelong soldier and farmer in the 19th century. He was a participant in the Texas Revolution and a survivor of the siege of the Alamo. He continued his service during the years of the Republic of Texas, in the Mexican–American War, and the Civil War. He was a frontier defender, early Texas Ranger, and a friend and scout with Kit Carson.

References

  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. "Alamo Cenotaph". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association . Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  3. Williams, Amelia (January 1934). "Reviewed Work: A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders: IV. Historical Problems Relating to the Alamo". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Texas State Historical Association. 37 (3): 157–184. JSTOR   30235477.
  4. Roell, Craig H. (July 2004). "Reviewed Work: Alamo Traces: New Evidence and New Conclusions by Thomas Ricks Lindley". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Texas State Historical Association. 108 (1): 105–106. JSTOR   30239499.
  5. The Alamo Cenotaph at TexasEscapes.com. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  6. Frank Thompson (1 November 2001). The Alamo: A Cultural History. Taylor Trade Publishing. pp. 239–. ISBN   978-1-4617-3435-2.

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