“Remember the Alamo!” Although many people do recall that stirring cry, few actually know what the battle of the Alamo was really about. It was not merely a brave stand by a few heroic Texans against thousands of Mexican soldiers; it was a battle that did much to save the fledgling Republic of Texas by stopping the advancing army of Santa Anna long enough for the Texan army to gather. Because the 189 heroes of the Alamo sacrificed their lives to stop the Mexican army, the Texan army succeeded in gathering and defeating Santa Anna only seven weeks later.
When the Mexican army first appeared before the walls of the Alamo, Lt. Colonel Travis, the commander of the fort, sent this inspiring letter declaring his determination to never surrender and asking for assistance.
Commandancy of the Alamo
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 & 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 and 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 –
Thank the Lord for men like William Travis who valued freedom more than life! We owe these brave heroes our liberty.