The Blood of Heroes The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo–and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation by James Donovan.
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: “If I were God, I would wish to be more.”
“In this war you know that are no prisoners.”
Oath Davy Crockett and his men signed on February 12, 1836: “I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the provisional government of Texas or any other future republican government that may be hereafter declared, and that I will serve her honestly and faithfully against all her enemies and oppressors whatsoever.”
Crockett inserted the word “republican”, stating that he was only willing to support a republican government, and after signing Crockett and his men became part of the new Texian army and proceeded to the Alamo.
Travis’s message to the alcalde (mayor) of Gonzales, February 23, 1836: “The enemy in large force are in sight. We want men and provisions. Send them to us. We have 150 men and are determined to defend the Alamo to the last. Give us assistance. P.S. Send an express to San Felipe with news night and day.
Colonel Travis to the People of Texas and all Americans in the world, February 24, 1836:
Fellow citizens and 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 and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis
Portion of Travis’s last letter from the Alamo, March 3, 1836:
Col. Fannin is said to be on the march to this place with reinforcements, but I fear it is not true, as I have repeatedly sent to him for aid without receiving any. Colonel Bonham, my special messenger, arrived at La Bahia fourteen days ago, with a request for aide and on the arrival of the enemy in Bexar, ten days ago, I sent an express to Colonel F. which arrived at Goliad on the next day, urging him to send us reinforcements; none have yet arrived. I look to the colonies alone for aid; unless it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms. I will, however, do the best I can under the circumstances; and I feel confident that the determined valor and desperate courage heretofore exhibited by my men will not fail them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse to him than a defeat. I hope your honorable body will hasten on reinforcements ammunition, and provisions to our aid as soon as possible. We have provisions for twenty days for the men we have. Our supply of ammunition is limited. At least five hundred pounds of cannon powder, and two hundred rounds of six., nine, twelve and eighteen pound balls, ten kegs of rifle powder and a supply of lead, should be sent to the place without delay under a sufficient guard. If these things are promptly sent, and large reinforcements are hastened to this frontier, this neighborhood will be the great and decisive ground. The power of Santa Anna is to be met here, or in the colonies; we had better meet them here than to suffer a war of devastation to rage in our settlements. A blood red banner waves from the church of Bexar, and in the camp above us, in token that the war is one of vengeance against rebels; they have declared us as such; demanded, that we should surrender at discretion, or that this garrison should be put to the sword. Their threats have had no influence on me or my men, but to make all fight with desperation, and that high souled courage which characterizes the patriot, who is willing to die in defense of his country’s liberty and his own honor.
Juan Seguin, April 25, 1837: “They preferred to die a thousand times rather than submit to the tyrant’s yoke.”
Cry of the men at the Battle of San Jacinto which won Texas’ independence: