March 6, 1836—Sunday
Santa Anna ordered a quiet approach to surprise the Texians, and caught the outside sentries asleep. As they approached the walls, several enthusiastic troopers yelled, "Viva Santa Anna!" and "Viva la Republica!" wakening the sleeping Texians.
Santa Anna’s troops were divided into four columns, which attacked from different directions. The Texians repulsed the first wave, and wiped out a large number of troops with cannon fire. The Texians turned back the second attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the Mexican army. Santa Anna’s third wave broke through the repaired north wall, flooding the compound with enemy soldiers.
Still causing heavy losses to the Mexican army, the Texians fell back from the north wall to the long barracks, while Crockett’s riflemen headed for the chapel.
The Mexicans turned the overrun cannon upon the barracks and the Texians, losing their defensive position, were put to bayonets. Hand-to-hand combat inside the long barracks was brutal, and the Mexican soldiers took no prisoners.
In three hours, it was over. The Alamo defenders—182 men—were killed, but at an enormous loss of life to the Mexican army.
In his last letter from the Alamo, Travis stated, "… the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse for him than defeat." Travis was right. The loss to Santa Anna’s troops at the Alamo is credited as an assist at the Battle of San Jacinto just over a month later, April 21, 1836.
The cry of Remember the Alamo and Remember Goliad carried the Texians as they rallied to surprise and defeat Santa Anna and his army, on a drowsy spring afternoon in the marshy woods beside Buffalo Bayou, southeast of modern day Houston.
For those readers interested, here is the link to the official Alamo website.