William Barret Travis, Jim Bowie and other brave and adventuresome men defended the Alamo against over whelming odds in 1836 buying General Sam Houstor time to build and train an army to fight Santa Anna's army. Santa Anna with nearly 1,800 Mexican troops far outnumbered the band of 188 men who had retreated into the Alamo. The twelve-day siege ended in a bloody battle on March 6 in which Santa Anna and his army captured the Alamo. All of the defenders were killed; the Mexican army had nearly 600 casualties. The Death of Davy Crockett
"Some seven men survived the general carnage and, under the protection of General Castrillón, they were brought before Santa Anna. Among them was one of great stature, well proportioned, with regular features, in whose face there was the imprint of adversity, but in whom one also noticed a degree of resignation and nobility that did him honor. He was the naturalist David Crockett, well known in North America for his unusual adventures, who had undertaken to explore the country and who, finding himself in Béjar at the very moment of surprise, had taken refuge in the Alamo, fearing that his status as a foreigner might not be respected. Santa Anna answered Castrillón's intervention in Crockett's behalf with a gesture of indignation and, addressing himself to the sappers, the troops closest to him, ordered his execution. The commanders and officers were outraged at this action and did not support the order, hoping that once the fury of the moment had blown over these men would be spared; but several officers who were around the president and who, perhaps, had not been present during the danger, became noteworthy by an infamous deed, surpassing the solders in cruelty.
They thrust themselves forward, in order to flatter their commander, and with swords in hand, fell upon these unfortunate, defenseless men just as a tiger leaps upon his prey. Though tortured before they were killed, these unfortunates died without complaining and without humiliating themselves before their torturers."