|In 1836, during the Texas Revolution, about 189 Texans defended the Alamo against the Mexican army. Some of the defenders of the Alamo were Mexicans who lived in Texas and supported Texas independence. One of these Tejanos—Texans of Mexican heritage—was Gregorio Esparza. In October 1835, he joined the Texas army. When General Santa Anna and the Mexican army arrived to recapture San Antonio, Esparza and his family fled to the Alamo. General Santa Anna surrounded the Alamo and the Texans chose to fight. Before the Battle of the Alamo began, the Texan commander, William Barret Travis, allowed local citizens taking shelter there to leave. Gregorio decided to stay, and he learned to operate a cannon. By the end of the thirteen-day siege, all the defenders had been killed. Gregorio's brother was a soldier in Santa Anna's army. After the battle, his brother requested permission to take Gregorio's body to a cemetery for burial. Gregorio Esparza was the only defender killed at the Alamo who received a burial. This moving tale of a man who chose his country and chose to die defending it is filled with fascinating details of early 19th century life in Texas and little known nuances of the battle of the Alamo.