Daily Archives: March 6, 2012
In the pre-dawn darkness 176 years ago this morning, the courageous defenders of the Alamo were attacked and eventually overwhelmed by thousands of Mexican troops after a thirteen-day siege.
They knew what was coming but defended their ground. Expecting major reinforcements early on, they all came to realize with each passing day that less than sufficient support would come to San Antonio, yet they realized they still had a direct role to play in the fight for Texas independence.
In what is considered “A Masterpiece of American Patriotism,” Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis penned the following:
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 & everything 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.
A mere fifty-five years after the battle of Yorktown in which American Patriots defeated the British and won the Revolutionary War, the battle of the Alamo is the most celebrated event of the Texas Revolution. It represented a sacrificial fight for liberty in that every defender gave his life fighting against incredible odds. Greatly outnumbered, the men fought courageously and valiantly against the forces of an arrogant little dictator whose hubris later caused him to lose a vast and rich territory to men fighting for liberty, much like those of the earlier Revolutionary War.
The Battle of the Alamo allowed for the gathering of Texian forces to the east under the authority of Sam Houston and bought time for a final victorious battle against Santa Anna on April 21st at San Jacinto, east of Houston, where Texas independence was won and the Republic was born.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Historian Mary Deborah Petite