Published: February 24, 2022 Noon EST
(2 minute read)
On February 23, 1836, forces under the Mexican general Santa Anna attacked a Texan fort; the Alamo. The following day, the commander of the Americans sent a letter requesting reinforcements. Below is the correspondence of William Barret Travis, the commander of the Alamo.
Commonly known as the “Travis Letter,” it expresses the sincerely held ethics of the men who laid the foundation for our country. Virtues of courage and righteousness, and a willingness to pay the wages of sin. The bravery and heroism displayed by the men at the Alamo is worth commemorating.
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 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 & that of his country – Victory or Death.
William Barret Travis.
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 wall 20 or 30 head of Beeves.