Letter From Travis

“Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat, but the Alamo had none.”

My post yesterday which featured a You Are There video clip about the Alamo, reminded me about that battle, the American Thermopylae.  I have always been deeply moved by the letter of Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis asking for aid from “all Americans in the world”:

To The People of Texas and
All Americans In The World —
February 24, 1836

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 —


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 —


No aid was forthcoming.  Travis and his men died at the Alamo, fighting to the last and winning victory in death.



Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] force of 6000 men, far outnumbering any conceivable force that the Texans could bring against him.  After taking the Alamo at San Antonio and putting all the defenders to the sword on March 6, his right wing under General Urrea briefly engaged and caused the surrender of approximately 350 […]

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