Col. Travis’ Letter from the Alamo

The Alamo

At the Alamo in San Antonio, then called Bejar, 150 Texans led by William Barret Travis made their stand against Santa Anna’s vastly superior Mexican army. On the second day of the siege, February 24, 1836, Travis called for reinforcements with the heroic message below. Little help came. Santa Anna’s troops broke through on March 6. All of the defenders of the Alamo died.

Commandancy of the Alamo— Bejar, Fby. 24th 1836—

To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world— Fellow citizens & compatriots—I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man—The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch—The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death William Barret Travis Lt. Col. comdt

P.S. The Lord is on our side—When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn—We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves— Travis

Tomorrow: Vintage Postcard–Branding Cattle    Rita Bay


Filed under Wednesday's Words

5 responses to “Col. Travis’ Letter from the Alamo

  1. I’d visited the Alamo years ago, but I bet it didn’t change!

  2. Steve

    I love history more and more these days and your blogs I find to be very good history. About this one I can say that I am uncertain as to the interpretation of the following: “ into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves…”

    • Thank you, Steve. Daughter says they are “random.” Next month will be more orderly–words and phrases found in conversation (and stories of where they came from), the orgins of English language and how to easily build vocabulary and comprehension. I’ll also do a few random posts with early and medieval stories and poetry. FUN!! Rita

    • Sorry, second reply. TRavis used Beeves as plural for beef. Maybe better to call them cattle? Rita Bay

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