Colonel William Travis


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Travis, WILLIAM BARRETT, Military Officer, Commander at the Alamo, Hero; born in Conecuh county, Ala., in 1811 ; admitted to the bar in 1830 and began practice in Claiborne, Ala.; went to Texas about 1832 and later joined the Texas army and fought for the independence of that territory. With 140 men he defended Fort Alamo (the old mission station of San Antonio de Valero) against 4,000 Mexicans, Feb. 23, 1836. The place was stoutly defended for ten days ; numerous appeals were made for aid, but only thirty-two men succeeded in passing the Mexican lines. After frequent attacks had been repulsed with great slaughter a hand-to-hand fight occurred on March 6, in which the Texans were not overcome until only six of their number were left alive, including Travis, David Crockett, and James Bowie. These then fell also. Shortly afterwards, during the battle at San Jacinto, where the Mexicans met a bloody defeat, the battle cry was " Remember the Alamo." See BATTLE OF THE ALAMO.

Travis is often remembered for the stirring and brave message he sent out while he was under siege at the Alamo:


FELLOW-CITIZENS AND COMPATRIOTS : I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continued bombardment for twenty-four hours, and have not lost a man. The enemy have demanded a surrender at discretion ; otherwise the garrison is to be put to the sword, if the place is taken. I have answered the summons with a cannon-shot, and 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, and of everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid with all despatch. The enemy are receiving reinforcements daily, and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. Though this call may be neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible, and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country. Victory or death!

"W. BARRET TRAVIS, Lieutenant-Colonel commanding.

" 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, eighty or ninety bushels, and got into the walls twenty or thirty head of beeves. "T"





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