About 1722, Spain, in her command of Texas (named from a confederation of Indians, who called themselves Tejas), established the Franciscan mission of San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo). Around this mission was built the pueblo (village) and presidio (barracks), which formed the nucleus of the present city of San Antonio. In 1824 Texas withdrew from Mexico and formed a separate republic, and the Mexican general Santa Anna, the self-styled Napoleon of the West, was sent to force her back into allegiance. At San Antonio in 1836 Col William B. Travis was in command of the fort. With him was Col. William Bowie, David Crockett, Lieut. Dickenson and a small force. He received word that Santa Anna, at the head of a Mexican army of several thousand, was advancing to take the city. Travis dispatched a message to Gen. Sam Houston for aid, sending Lieut. Dickenson and taking his force of 140 men and women of the city, among whom was Dickenson's wife, Lucy; he retired to the Alamo. On February 23,... Written by
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