This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Alamo, a fort in Bexar county, Texas, near San Antonio, on the left bank of the San Antonio river, celebrated in the Texan war for independence. It was an oblong structure, about an acre in extent, surrounded by a wall 8 or 10 feet high and 3 feet thick. Gen. Sam Houston had caused San Antonio to be dismantled, upon which Santa Anna with a large detachment of his army invested Fort Alamo, Feb. 23, 1836. The Texans, consisting only of 140 men, commanded by Col. William Barrett Travis, retired into the fort, while the Mexicans, 4,000 strong, after taking possession of the town, erected batteries on both sides of the river, and bombarded the fort without cessation for 24 hours. During this time over 200 shells were discharged into the fort, yet not a man was injured, while the Texan sharpshooters, standing upon the ramparts, were able to pick off man after man of the enemy. Several assaults were now made, but in every instance the Mexicans were repulsed with loss. Col. Travis repeatedly sent couriers to San Felipe asking for assistance, but only 32 men succeeded in forcing their way through the Mexican army and reaching the garrison. By March 3 scarcity of provisions, combined with constant watching, had undermined the health of the men, without, however, affecting their spirits.
Before daybreak on the 6th a combined attack was made by the whole Mexican force. Twice assaulting, they were twice driven back, with severe loss. The Texans, unable to load in the hand-to-hand fight which now ensued, clubbed their rifles and fought with desperation until but six of their band remained alive. These, including Col. Crockett, surrendered to Castrillon, under promise of protection; but being taken before Santa Anna, they were by his orders instantly cut to pieces. Col. Crockett fell stabbed by a dozen swords. Col. Bowie, ill in bed, was then shot, after having killed several of his assailants. Major • Evans was shot while in the act of firing the powder magazine. The bodies of the slain were collected in the centre of the Alamo, and after being horribly mutilated (in which act, it is said, Santa Anna and his generals joined), they were burned. But three persons, a woman, a child, and a servant, were spared. The Mexican loss was 1,600. The massacre of the Alamo was followed by the battle of San Jacinto, the defeat of the whole Mexican army, and the capture of Santa Anna himself, with his best generals.
At this battle the Texans, with the Avar cry of "Remember the Alamo! " carried all before them.