DEGÜELLO. The degüello, music played by the Mexican army bands on the morning of March 6, 1836, was the signal for Antonio López de Santa Anna's attack on the Alamo. The word degüello signifies the act of beheading or throat-cutting and in Spanish history became associated with the battle music, which, in different versions, meant complete destruction of the enemy without mercy.
Amelia W. Williams, A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1931; rpt., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36–37 [April 1933-April 1934]).
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Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on September 13, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.