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The Second Occasional LoneStarCon Science Fiction Convention and Chili Cook-off, Variously known as the 55th World Science Fiction Convention and LoneStarCon 2, To be held from August 28th through September 1st, in the year 1997, in San Antonio, Texas.

Progress Report #1--Remember The Alamo!
by Randy Shepherd

One of our slogans during the bidding process was "Remember the Alamo, Vote San Antonio in '97".
Questions were often asked about what the Alamo was and what happened there. I overheard several people give their own unique spins on the Alamo story. I've been given this opportunity as a Texan and student of history to give a brief account of this epic event.
The Alamo is one of several Spanish missions in the San Antonio area. Originally known as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, it was founded in the early 1700's to shelter Indians who had been converted to Christianity from the more violent tribes in the region. The mission became known as the Alamo following its conversion to a base for the Spanish military in 1793. It grew over the years covering about three acres at the time of the famous battle. Victorious Mexican troops destroyed most of the buildings, and today you can basically only visit the chapel where some of the last defenders fell.
The Alamo is remembered as a loss for the Texans (or Texians as they were called at the time ), but they were defending the Alamo because they had captured it from the Mexican army. Mexican forces four times the size of the attacking Texian army surrendered after days of fierce house to house fighting in San Antonio in early December 1835. The losing Mexican forces were allowed to return home after swearing to bear no arms against Texas and to uphold the constitution of 1824. This fair treatment was in stark contrast to the surrender terms offered Texian forces later in the war.
Texas was part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas in 1835 when President and GeneralAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna abolished the constitution of 1824. He assumed dictatorial powers and personally took control of the army. Santa Anna's army savagely crushed a revolt in the rebellious state of Zacatecas before marching north to Texas.
The Texians did not expect Santa Anna to invade until after winter. This belief caused some to discount the reports in February 1836 that the enemy was drawing increasingly closer. On February 22 there was a wild - party for the second night in a row - which contributed to the Texian troops being surprised by the arrival of the Mexican army on the morning of the 23rd. The defenders, numbering around 150, quickly retreated grabbing what provisions they could.
The Texians were under the command of colonels William Barrett Travis and James Bowie. However, Bowie became seriously ill the second day of the siege, so overall command fell upon Travis.
During the 13-day siege there were several parleys at which Santa Anna demanded unconditional surrender. This was unacceptable to the Texians who preferred a fight to the death over such terms. The diehard defenders slipped over a dozen messengers through enemy lines requesting aid. However, the only positive response received was the night of March 1 when 32 valiant men from Gonzales made it into the Alamo.
The defenders suffered a near continuous bombardment throughout the siege. The cannons fell silent just before dawn on March 6, 1836, and the final assault was launched. Although it is often reported that 6,000 Mexicans surrounded and attacked the Alamo, this number is closer to that of all Mexican forces in Texas at the time. A more reliable figure for the besiegers present is the no less daunting total of 2,500. These were Santa Anna's best troops and somewhere between 1,600 and 1,800 soldiers took part in the last assault.
The first two attacks of the morning were repulsed by the fierce Texian defense, but the Alamo was not a fortress and her defenders were too few to stop the third push from breaching the walls. They retreated into the barracks and the chapel as the defense broke up. The Mexicans resorted to firing cannons into some of the buildings as the Texians put up a spirited room by room resistance. After a couple of hours of fighting, the last defender lay dead. The only survivors were women, children and a couple of slaves. The final count of Alamo defenders was somewhere from 182 to 189. The Mexican Army dead numbered from 300 to 600 of Santa Anna's finest soldiers making the victory a costly one.
The courageous defenders earned an immortal place in the hearts of all Texians for their extreme bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. Their deaths taught Texians how cruel the war would be, and inspired them to victory over Santa Anna on April 21 1836 at the battle of San Jacinto.
If anyone has questions about the Alamo or Texas history, please contact me care of the LoneStarCon2 P.O. Box and I will answer or recommend a book on the topic. I encourage everyone to see the Alamo sometime during your visit to the Worldcon in 97, and I look forward to seeing ya'll.

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[Earl Cooley III]
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