Re-enactors stage historic battle

SAN BENITO — It was apparently worth the wait.

A week after reenactments of Texas history were postponed because of weather, spectators watched Saturday as Mexican soldiers and Alamo defenders faced off.

Of course it was obviously a show, with actors in Mexican army uniforms delivering a live presentation as they advanced on the Alamo. More actors wearing buckskin defended the Alamo until they were overrun.

The re-enactment of the Battle of the Alamo was held at the San Benito Fairgrounds. It had been scheduled for March 11 but rains had turned the field into mud. Not only was the Alamo battle rescheduled for Saturday, so were the Battle of San Jacinto and the Battle of Gonzales. They went off without a hitch this weekend.

The re-enactments were part of the 10th Annual Texas Independence Day Celebration and Symposium presented by Texas Heritage Independence Celebration, Inc.

The Alamo re-enactment commemorates the historic battle on March 6, 1836, in what is now San Antonio. During the early morning raid, Mexican army troops attacked and quickly overwhelmed the defenders. Those defenders included Jim Bowie, William Barrett Travis and David Crockett.

The troops under the command of Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana had laid siege to the mission/fortress for 13 days. Most of the defenders were executed. Women and children were released, as was Col. William Barrett Travis’s slave. It is believed the Mexican officers felt Travis’s slave should be spared because he was not there of his own accord.

Each year, organizers reveal new information about the Battle of the Alamo. Last year, the reenactment depicted Alamo defender Gregorio Esparza lying died on the ground. More energy was created as his brother in the Mexican lines rushed forward calling his name.

This year Jack Ayoub, narrator, revealed more information about the attack. History portrays Santa Ana as a vengeful man.

“He was cruel,” said Ayoub. “His Mexican soldiers would be given a Christian burial. But he ordered that the bodies of the defenders be burned. The belief at that time was that the body had to be intact in order for you to enter heaven.”

The implication was that Santa Ana wished to condemn the soldiers to the fires of perdition while inflicting deep emotional pain on their loved ones.