All about an extraordinary road trip from New Jersey to San Antonio, and back again.

Alamo

Victory or Death

Commandancy of the Alamo,
Bexar, Fby. 24th 1836

To the People of Texas and All Americans In The World

Fellow citizens & compatriots –

I am beseiged, 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


In Texas, early in 1836, Mexican General Santa Anna and an army of 600 men were marching North toward San Antonio. Texas was part of Mexico then, and Santa Anna had seized power and installed himself as a dictator. The people of Texas refused to submit to his rule, and were determined to fight for their freedom. The Alamo Mission in San Antonio would be where the Texans, scrambling to arm themselves, would make their stand.

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Col. William Barret Travis
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Col. David Crockett

The Alamo forces were under the co-command of Colonel William Barret Travis and Colonel David Crockett. David Bowie, who had recently fallen ill, turned his command of the Texas Volunteers over to them as well.

Travis relays the events leading up to the March 6th battle through his letters calling for reinforcements:

   To Andrew Ponton, Judge and Citizens of Gonzales,
   February 23, 1836

   From W.B. Travis and James Bowie To James W.
   Fannin (at Goliad), February 23, 1836

   To The People of Texas and All Americans In The
   World, February 24, 1836 (Text shown above)

   To Major-General Sam Houston, February 25, 1836

   To the President of the Convention, March 3, 1836

   To Jesse Grimes, March 3, 1836

   To David Ayers, March 3, 1836