“Holding Down the Fort”-13 Days of Defending the Alamo

“Holding Down the Fort”-13 Days of Defending the Alamo

 “When a Man sets out to do Poetry…he already has to figure that it will be taken into some kind of odd consideration to begin with. Oh Well, Who Cares! ” MPM
One of many great pieces of Art with an "Alamo" theme.
One of many great pieces of Art with an “Alamo” theme.

Holding Down the Fort: A Legend was Born in Texas…

Actually…it was made. It was made the hard way. It came at the heftiest price that any one of us can imagine. It came at the price of Approx. 185 Alamo Defenders (On up to Alamo Defender’s Numbering in the low: 200’s… but that is just one of many debates revolving around the Alamo.). How can you describe the brave actions of men who realize that there will be no reinforcements…no back-up…no support…as they watch 5000 soldiers from a uniformed opposing enemy force move in to surround them?

That is a serious defensive position. Did they panic? Did they turn tail…and high-tail it out of there? No, they did the complete opposite. They formed a united front…by standing together…and crossing a line in the sand. In the dirt…lay one long symbol of their defiance. A simple symbol of a line with two sides. One side = give up and leave. The other side = Stand and fight! That simple symbol of that line…was a testament to their enduring will. The will to push back at the opposition!

They did not back down. They did not run away. In fact, out of the options that were available to them (though few) …it was “leaving” that lost the vote…hands down…unanimously. They had a job to do…and they were determined to carry it out…despite the odds…despite the fact that it didn’t look like it was going to go their way. What courage does that take? Do we see this kind of spirit in modern times? I’m pretty sure this kind of spirit happens every day…out in the battlefield. However, how many of us people who do not have to make this kind of decision…with this great of magnitude…and finality in our daily life’s…know what this kind of dedication to your beliefs…must take?

The Defenders of the Alamo…were a breed of Men that knew how to draw from their strengths and weaknesses…and make a stand. Even if it was to be their final one…they knew exactly what they were doing…and what the cost would be. How triumphant a moment is it to take on such a group of men…with such an imbalanced amount of force…when it is all over? Is it a real big “Victory” for your side? What would the outcome have been if it was a balanced fight…against…let’s say: 5000 Alamo Defenders?

But that was not the case…and the History to this Battle…this Siege…has already been played out in days of a long-ago era, place, and time.

The Alamo Defenders stood and fought. They fought back for a long while…against impossible odds. This has to be what endears us to them…their memories…their spirit…and their legend. These Alamo Defenders were held-up in a fort surrounded for 13 days. Now…what they did…and were able to do…lives on…in the thousands and thousands of days since…and the millions and trillions to come. Perhaps…these same men guide us quietly today…by our memories of them and their brave actions?

I believe for everyone that sees and respects what they did…that it does. I truly do.

From the movie: "The Alamo"; 1960
From the movie: “The Alamo”; 1960



Holding Down the Fort: When the gun smoke had all cleared…

And the Texas Fighting Defenders had all died…as everyone feared.

For Freedom…that each man wanted very much…in his heart and mind…down deep…

Came the Men of Alamo to defend a fortress…and for 13 days…were they able to keep.

Those Alamo Defenders…Who dared to show how Men’s Hearts can truly be…

Stood and Fought there…like Men…who were willing to give their all to be free.

During the 13 day Siege…when they realized that there would be no reinforcements in time…

That’s when…Col. William B. Travis…Drew out his sword…and in the sand there…He drew a line.

All Men inside the Alamo crossed that line to remain and fight until the bugle call for the final battle…

All Defenders of that Mission there…who watched as they had been surrounded…like a Texas herd of cattle.


Holding Down the Fort: Be it known…for Tales of Daring…that there is no one bolder…

Then those Alamo Defenders who stood…Shoulder to Shoulder.

Their names have since been etched in Stone in our History…

From when they fortified a Mission…and used it to engage an enemy.

When asked by Santa Anna…if they were ready to come out…

Travis answered with a cannon volley…to show what this Siege was all about.

Defenders: “Muskets at the ready…Prepare to fire on my Command,”

Cannons started blazin’…from the fortress…and could be heard…far across the land.


Holding Down the Fort: Defended it well…with only a few men…those Defenders of the “Alamo”…

And their Spirit still resonates…even with us now…though they perished long ago.

For 13 days…Stone and Mortar Walls…were the only thing between the two sworn enemies…

The Mexican Army had arrived to storm the Alamo…As has been handed down by “age-old” stories.

The determined Defenders…were willing to make a stand right there…if that was the last resort…

The Men of the Alamo…let their guns do the talking…and rallied together to stand and give report.

For Texas…they made a stand…and for a decision not to stay under a tyrant’s rule…

If Santa Anna wanted to take the Alamo…then each Defender was ready to take him to school.

Approx. 185 Men volunteered to defend the Alamo…which William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett…led…

185 Men…who after the final battle of the Alamo…would all be found…dead.


Holding Down the Fort: What can I say of you Defenders…your actions speak louder than words…

You defied the odds down to the last man…who stood swinging his rifle stock…against enemy swords.

When hopelessly out-numbered…and no reinforcements…on their way…

Did these Men turn and high-tail it out…No…They stood their ground…and decided to stay.

A line in the sand had been drawn right there…Where Brave Men Stepped Across it to Show…

That even if they’re surrounded by an Army…It will take more then that to capture the Alamo.

From deep within every man who walked the confines of that Fort…of an old Spanish Mission…

Came the fortitude to stand and fight…Every man down to the last man…had made that decision.

And if you’re on the other side…during that time and place…on the opposite side of the Wall…

It was going to take everything you have and more…to take the Alamo…and make it fall.


Alamo Defenders…What made you give the Alamo Defense…everything that you got?

A Century of time and more…has passed…since what your courageous actions have taught.

Your names have long been recorded…and celebrated along with high praise…

Passed down through generation to generation…passed on forever and always.

Though…It wasn’t for any kind of fame that you took your final stand…

You put your life on the line for something that you held dear…that has become a part of this land.

Wanting that each man be his own man…out here…in the Texas territory…

Without being controlled by a ruler…from the Alamo on…have we been able to this story.

That Men…can hold up…and make a lasting statement…that is embedded in our land forever…

You may take out the Alamo Defenders in Battle…But you will not be able to take their Spirit…Not ever!

The determination that each of these brave fighting men have handed down for each of us to see…and know.

Makes known to us to always stand for our beliefs…Like those Defenders who held down the Fort…Called “Alamo”.

An early photo: I wanted a picture for this Poem that shows the Alamo...more as a fortress...not a museum with a manicured lawn. Though, the Alamo is unquestionably a landmark in the Heart of San Antonio, it was primarily a mission turned into a fort

An early photo of the Alamo: I wanted a picture for this Poem that shows the Alamo…more as a fortress…than a museum with a maintained landscape. Though, the Alamo is unquestionably a landmark in the Heart of San Antonio, it was primarily a Mission that was turned into a Fort.

“A Big Howdy to Y’all…Just want to say that I hope you can Come Visit the “Alamo” and the “San Antonio Riverwalk”…the next time you come to visit Texas. I know you will enjoy seeing all the sights!” MPM

(Some Photos taken on a recent trip to San Antonio:)

If you have never heard about how the rest of the Story goes after Texas lost her Mighty “Alamo Defenders” and then still went on to become a “Republic”…even after another tragic loss at Goliad…and then a famous retreat by Sam Houston and the Texian Army. Then you might want to read this “Manly” Poem which tells about the “Victory Won” at San Jacinto Battleground.

Here’s the link: “Battle of San Jacinto” Poem – LetterPile       A Poem by MANLYPOETRYMAN


For more great works like this one…keep an eye on Steve Walters’ author page to see what’s next  for The Creative Exiles:


You can also find works by Steve Walters who uses the pen name of  ManlyPoetryMan on HubPages.


Or at Home | Manly Poetry Man

© Originally Posted: 2012 ManlyPoetryMan (Updated on September 21, 2021)

Thanks for reading this Manly Poetry Man Poem…About the Brave Men of the Alamo.

Steve Walters
Latest posts by Steve Walters (see all)

2 thoughts on ““Holding Down the Fort”-13 Days of Defending the Alamo

  • July 24, 2023 at 2:26 PM

    Wonderful poem and post Steve. I have always been fascinated by the history of the Alamo. Also I spent a fair amount of time in San Antonio when I served in the Army back in the early 90’s and have many memories of visiting the Museum and hanging out at the boardwalk. Thank you for sharing. Jamie

    • July 26, 2023 at 3:13 PM

      Jamie: Thank you for reading and commenting on this one. Really just trying very hard to capture as much of the Spirit and Emotion of what was done at the “Alamo” by this mere Poet. Surely, it is only a very humble attempt at mentioning all that the “Alamo Defenders” have done. It is good to learn of your fascination of the History at the “Alamo.” And of your time spent in San Antonio. “The Alamo”: A great and mighty Mission Defense which helped Texas in becoming a “Republic”…as you know…famously…at the cost of all their lives. I believe…though it happened a long time ago…the Spirit of the “Alamo Defenders” lives on in those who would want to fight to be ‘free.”

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