The Alamo is in Texas. It was first used as a mission. Missionaries and Native Americans who became Christians lived in the mission for almost seventy years. In 1793, the mission land was given to Native Americans that still lived in the area. They farmed the fields. They also helped San Antonio begin to grow into the city it would become.
In the early 1800s, Spanish soldiers used the mission. They started calling it the Alamo. It may have been called this because alamo is the Spanish word for "cottonwood." A grove of cottonwood trees grew nearby. The name may also have come from a group of soldiers stationed at the mission. They were from Alamo de Parras.
In 1835, the town of Gonzales battled Mexican troops. They forced the troops to leave the town. This was the start of the Texas Revolution. Santa Anna, the Mexican president and general of the army, was not happy. He marched north from Mexico with his army.
Volunteers from the Texian army went to the Alamo. They worked to make the defenses even stronger. They knew that Santa Anna would be coming to attack the city. The Texians did not have a lot of equipment. They did not have a lot of ammunition. There was not a lot of food or water in the mission, either. If the Texians were trapped in the mission for a long time, they would run out of food and water.