||(December 5-9, 1835)
First of four major engagements of the War for Texas Independence, this sanguinary battle ended a siege of six weeks. The assault began at dawn, Dec. 5. 300 volunteers (Texans, Mexicans,and Americans) under Cols. Frank W. Johnson and Benjamin R. Milam attacked 1,200 Mexican troops commanded by Gen. Martin P. de Cos defending San Antonio, then known as Bexar.
Two columns advanced into the strongly fortified town along Acequia (now Main) and Soledad streets guided by townsmen John W. Smith (first mayor of San Antonio), Hendrick Arnold (famous scout and free Negro), "Deaf" Smith (who helped destroy Vince's Bridge at Battle of San Jacinto), and Samuel A. Maverick (a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence).
The Texans gained the "priest's house" Dec. 8 after bitter house-to-house fighting. This Mexican strong point dominated Main Plaza. Covered by a fusillade of musketry, the Mexicans retired to the Alamo and sent a white flag to the Plaza the following day. An honorable truce with a brave enemy was signed on Dec. 10 in the "Cos House" in historic La Villita. Later engagements--fall of the Alamo and massacre at Goliad--were followed by final victory and Texas Independence at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. (1971)