South Carolina: Home to Heroes of the Alamo
180 years ago, about 182 men holed up in an old Spanish mission held up an army of 5,000 for 13 days, buying time for Gen. Sam Houston to gather an army that would eventually win independence from Mexico for Texas. The Spanish mission was called the Alamo, and two of the heroes were born in Saluda County, then part of Edgefield District. William Barrett Travis commanded the garrison outside San Antonio, and James Butler Bonham slipped through the Mexican lines to seek help for the besieged makeshift fort.
According to historians Jack Meyer and Bettis Rainsford, the prospect of land and South Carolinians’ natural inclination to fight led the men to Texas, where on March 6, 1836 the Alamo was finally overwhelmed by the Mexican forces. Many South Carolinians would follow the lead of Travis and Bonham and fight in the Mexican War in 1846, which prepared them for an even bigger conflict in 1861. Rainsford believes the fighting spirit that led South Carolinians to set off the Civil War can be traced back to the Alamo.