March 5, 1836 Hour by Hour

10:00 a.m., March 5, 1836: Reports confirm that Generalissimo Antonio López de Santa Anna has ordered an assault on the Texian rebels besieged inside the former mission outside town. According to His Excellency, the onslaught will take place at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning.

12:00 a.m., March 5, 1836: San Antonio de Béxar is buzzing. In compliance to orders released this morning, Mexican soldiers are busy making preparations for tomorrow’s assault. Engineers are building ladders, while NCO’s insure their men’s equipment meet exacting standards.” His Excellency was clear on this topic:  “The arms, principally the bayonets, should be in perfect order.” These actions do not bode well for the rebels inside the Alamo.

3:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: Generalissimo Santa Anna and the four column commanders are currently conducting a reconnaissance of the attack positions and approaches. “His Excellency” insists that his commanders inspect the ground during daylight, as they will be unable to see it in the pre-dawn gloom.

4:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: The Mexican artillery fire against the Alamo’s north wall has intensified. Mexican gunners believe that their fire has weakened the obstacle, but still it stands. The rebel defenders have reportedly bolstered it with odd timbers and dirt piled up against the inside.

5:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: The Mexican artillery has suddenly halted. After such a long barrage, the silence seems eerie. The order to halt firing is perhaps in deference to the soldados, who this reporter can see taking to their bedrolls. Officers have instructed them to get plenty of rest; their day will begin early.

7:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: This reporter has learned that many influential senior officers continue to have unspoken misgivings concerning Santa Anna’s orders to take no prisoners. Even so, “His Excellency remains adamant and the red flag of no quarter continues to wave above San Fernando Church.

8:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis and his men are grateful for the lull in what has been an almost constant bombardment. Travis posts a few sentries, but instructs most of the garrison to take advantage of the respite to get some much needed sleep.

10:00 p.m., March 5. 1836: A courier gallops through Mexican lines and into the fort. He reports that the enemy has cut off Texian communications and that the promised reinforcements will not be arriving—at least, not any time soon. Travis received the intelligence and retired to his quarters.

11:00 p.m., March 5, 1836: At this hour, the four column commanders meet with junior officers and NCOs. They once again go over plans for the assault that will occur in a matter of hours. Officers tell the NCO’s to let the enlisted men enjoy their last few minutes of sleep. They will be awakened soon enough.

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