Dec 9th – Siege of Bexar Day (Dec 9, 1835)


The siege of Bexar (San Antonio) became the first major campaign of the Texas Revolution. From October until early December 1835 an army of Texan volunteers laid siege to a Mexican army in San Antonio de Béxar. 

James C. Neill distracted the Mexican forces with artillery fire on the Alamo before dawn on December 5, while Benjamin R. Milam and Francis W. Johnson led two divisions in a surprise attack that seized the Veramendi and Garza houses north of the plaza in San Antonio. Mexican cannon and musket fire kept the Texans from advancing farther during the day and silenced one of their cannons.  That night and the next day the Texans destroyed some buildings close to them and dug trenches to connect the houses they occupied. On December seventh the Texans captured another nearby house, but Milam died from a sharpshooter's bullet. Johnson then directed another night attack that seized the Navarro house.  Burleson sent 100 men into town to join the Texan force that captured the buildings of Zambrano Row in hand-to-hand fighting. Cos ordered his cavalry to threaten the Texan camp, but they found it well defended. That night Cooke with two companies seized the priest's house on the main plaza, but they seemed cut off from the Texas army.

When the Mexican General Cos sought to concentrate his troops at the Alamo, four companies of his cavalry rode away rather than continue the struggle. General Cos then asked for surrender terms on the morning of December 9. Burleson accepted the surrender of most Mexican equipment and weapons, but allowed General Cos and his men to retire southward because neither army had supplies to sustain a large group of prisoners.

Texas casualties numbered thirty to thirty-five, while Mexican losses, primarily in the Morelos Infantry Battalion, which defended San Antonio, totaled about 150; the difference reflected the greater accuracy of the Texans' rifles. Most of the Texas volunteers went home after the battle, but Texas troops remained in town, which, with General Cos’s withdrawal, left San Antonio and all of Texas under the Texans’ control.