In the larger historical picture, the Alamo clearly illustrates the power of publicity. San Antonio de Bexar sat smack across what was probably the most prime real estate in that part of Texas. Rich grazing, easy terrain and, most importantly, lots of water. Unless you’ve travelled the rest of Texas, you have no concept of just how important access to water is. Which is why the Mexican republic garrisoned San Antonio early on. And which is why the Tejanos/Texicans (long story there for another history lesson) seized and fortified the town in December 1835.
And which is why Santa Ana, in his 1000-mile march to quell the rebellion, could not leave a fortified town in his rear. There HAD to be a battle (in fact, the famous one was the second one).
Having won the battle (again, another history lesson, another time), he gallantly allowed the women and children in the mission to be escorted to safety. One, Mrs. Dickinson (wife of the second in command and the only English-speaking adult survivor) Santa Ana instructed to spread the word that he was coming. She did.
This was a major mistake. Once word of the “massacre” reached the press in New Orleans (and from there, the rest of the United States), the outrage spread and spelled the eventual end of the Mexican occupation of most of the US north of the Rio Grande (yes, it took another 10 years, but this was where the furor began).
There is, of course, a lot more to the story – considering that Texas was a province of Mexico in rebellion, and NOT a part of the United States. Although that didn’t seem to matter much to most folks. Anyway, it’s a fabulous place to visit and contemplate, and the FOOD in San Antonio (especially on the Riverwalk) is well worth the trip.