In just 90 minutes, the Mexican army, led by General Santa Anna,
had overrun the Alamo and just about all the defenders were dead.
In one of the rooms, a handful of Alamo defenders prepared to fight to the death.
An unexpected hero rose to the occasion. Mexican General Castrillon.
The defenders, five or six, came out of the room and stood there,
with guns and bayonets pointed at them.
They were resigned to their destinies.
General Santa Anna arrived on the scene, outraged that his order to take no prisoners was being disobeyed.
Castrillon argued with the Commanding General.
Crockett, supposedly, argued for his life and his companions.
Santa Anna became more angry. and ordered the execution of the prisoners.
Most of the Mexican officers present, did not want to stoop to a barbaric act of killing helpless prisoners.
However, several of the officers, perhaps wanting to impress
General Santa Anna,
fell upon the prisoners with swords and guns.
Mexican Lieutenant De La Pena was there and later wrote about it.
"Though tortured before they were killed, these unfortunates died without complaining
and without humiliating themselves before their torturers".
General Castrillon, angrily stormed off to his tent.
It had always been reported that Crockett was among a handful of Alamo defenders who had been captured and then executed.
In fact, it was general knowledge up to the 1900's .
However, in the 1950's, Walt Disney showed Crockett going down swinging his rifle, 'Old Betsy' (which did not go to the Alamo with him). Later, John Wayne showed Crockett dying, by blowing up the powder keg, (no one blew up the powder keg).
In the 1970's and 80's, there was a lot of controversy over the writings of De La Pena, as people tried to hold onto a myth that had been created in our century.
In the early 1990's, I had an indepth conversation with the Alamo curator. I mentioned Crockett surrendering and he interrupted, "oh no, no one said anything about him surrendering. He was captured".
But, an interesting thing has happened in the last ten years. The history channel did a documentary about the Alamo, and showed Crockett being captured and executed. It was handled very matter of fact, with no mention of myths and controversies.
Once again, the truth about Crockett's death is accepted.
Six weeks after the fall of the Alamo, Sam Houston and his army destroyed the Mexican army.
If Houston's army had known about
General Castrillon trying to save lives,
they would have treated him as a hero.
Instead, Castrillon was shot down.
And General Santa Anna? He was captured, and was a prisoner for months.
It's too involved to tell the adventures of Santa Anna, as he rose to power two more times.
Forty years after the fall of the Alamo, he died, penniless, in Mexico city.
But, I feel
that I have to mention that he had spent some time on Staten Island,
in New York, in the early 1870's.
His secretary, a man named Adams, had noticed that the General was always chewing something.
It was chickle.
Adams later experimented with adding flavors to the chickle... and chewing gum was invented.
Adventures in the Evil Empire!
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