The true story of the death of
Davy Crockett at the Alamo

How did Davy Crockett really die?

March 6, 1836. The battle for the Alamo is almost over.

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.

This is a portrait of Davy Crockett

This is a portrait of Davy Crockett.

Castrillon tried to save the life... of Davy Crockett.

Castrillon implored the defenders to surrender.
He said that the fighting was over; it was not necessary to die.

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 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'.
(Crockett had been given a rifle that he called 'Pretty Betsy'.
He did not take that rifle to Texas. He took his old rifle, also called 'Betsy'.
It was probably the Walt Disney people who coined it 'Old Betsy'.).

Later, John Wayne showed Crockett dying, by blowing up the powder keg room.
No one blew up the powder keg room, even though one man did try.

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 factly, 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 that was led by Santa Anna.
(Many of the Mexican soldiers, under other generals, were elsewhere in Texas).

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.

Santa Anna rose to power two more times.
But, forty years after the fall of the Alamo, he died, penniless, in Mexico city.

However, 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 chicle, a natural gum coming from certain trees.

Adams later experimented with adding flavors to the chicle... and chewing gum was invented!

It needs to be mentioned...

I created this webpage a number of years ago.
It is a fact that in 1991, the Curator's office at the Alamo believed that
Davy was indeed captured after the immediate battle and then executed.

And of course, the History Channel also believed it.

However, I have recently begun some new research on the battle.
I have found that the De La Pena memoir papers are no longer accepted as fact.
The serious possibility exists that everyone was previously wrong in their thinking that
Davy Crockett was one of the men that were captured and then executed.

As far as other sources that reported that Crockett was captured,
they also have question marks.

I apologize for possibly having an incorrect webpage.
I will be updating at a later time.

The Blood of Heroes
The best book I have read about the Battle for the Alamo.
From Amazon.

cover of my book, 'Hollywood Murder Mystery'.

Hollywood Murder Mystery: The night Superman died

From Amazon. One of the most famous
murder mysteries in Hollywood history!

His aviation successes, Vegas casinos,
his power, his downfall... and his women.

Howard Hughes
and the Stars of Hollywood

Return to Mysteries of History!
Home Page