LETTER: Matamoros Battalion of 1836

Texas history and Mexican history has long forgotten the Matamoros Battalion that attacked the Alamo in the early morning hours on March 6,1836. These battle hardened veterans of the Zacatecas military campaign were considered one of only two elite battalions, including the Toluca Battalion, in General Santa Ana’s Army.

This company of 325 soldados were the first infantry to march into city of San Antonio behind the Mexican cavalry on Feb. 23, 1836. When Santa Ana decided to test the defenses of the defenders of the Alamo, soldados of the Matamoros Battalion answered the call and suffered the  first fatalities of the battle.

The south east attack on the Alamo by the Matamoros Battalion has long been considered a diversionary attack at the palisades defended by Davy Crockett and his Tennesseans because there were only 125 soldados in the attack as compared to the 300 – 400 soldados in the three battalions that attacked from the north west, the north east, and from the east side of the Alamo.

After being repulsed back by Davy Crockett and his Tennesseans sharp shooters, the Matamoros Battalion re-organized at the south west corner of the Alamo and went over the wall to capture the 18-pounder prized cannon of the Alamo that the Texas defenders failed to spike.

These elite soldados turned the cannon around and fired upon the long barracks, the second line of defense for the Texans and Tejanos.

This military action during the battle can only mean that the three main Mexican battalions had not reached the long barracks and would have to fight the Texans in hand to hand fighting from room to room. Davy Crockett and his Tennesseans were now directly across the courtyard from the Matamoros Battalion, whose supreme commander had earlier given orders not to take prisoners, no quarter, and no mercy, which they carried out.

Davy Crockett and his Tennesseans went down fighting to the end and never gave up at the Alamo, just like the Matamoros Battalion did at the Battle of San Jacinto, to the last man. Texas history and Mexican history should remember that the blood of these brave soldiers on both sides rests on the hands of Mexican General Santa Ana.

Viva Davy Crockett y viva Tejas.

Jack Ayoub, Harlingen