from "The National Banner and Nashville Whig"
Apr 8, 1836
[Transcribed by K. Torp]
The Alamo - 1917
The most painful excitement was occasioned in this place on Wednesday by a rumor that
the fort at St. Antonio, in possession of the Texans, had been stormed by the Mexican army and the garrison put
to the sword. Yesterday the news, even in its most
revolting features, was fully confirmed. They were all slaughtered! Our late fellow-citizen, Col David Crockett, it will be seen, was among the slain. Subjoined are all the particulars that have come to hand of this melancholy affair.
From the New Orleans True American, March 29.
HIGHLY IMPORTANT FROM TEXAS
We learn by the passengers of the schr. Cumanche eight days from Texas that the War has assumed a serious character—on the 25th Feb. the Texan Garrison in Bexar of 150 men, commanded by Lt. Col. B. Travis was attacked by the advance division of Gen. Santa Anna's army consisting of 2000 men who were repulsed with the loss of many killed, (between 500 to 800 men,) without the loss of one man of the Texans—about the same time Col. Johnson with a party of 70 men while reconnoitering the westward of San Patricio was surrounded in the night by a large body of Mexican Troops—in the morning the demand of a surrender was made by the Mexican Commander unconditionally, which was refused; but an offer of surrender was made as prisoners of war, which was acceded to by the Mexicans— But no sooner had the Texans marched out of their quarters and stacked their arms, that a general fire was opened upon them by the whole Mexican force—the Texans attempted to escape but only three of them succeeded; one of whom was Col. Johnson.
Between the 25th of February and 2d March the Mexicans were employed in forming entrenchments around the Alamo and bombarding the place; on the 2d March, Col. Travis wrote that 200 shells had been thrown into the Alamo without injuring a man - on the 1st March the Garrison of Alamo received a reinforcement of 32 Texans from Gonzales, having forced their way through the enemy's lines, making the number in the Alamo consist of 8B2 men. On the 6th March about midnight the Alamo was assaulted by the whole force of the Mexican army commanded by Santa Anna in person, the battle was desperate until day light when only 7 men belonging to the Texan Garrison were found alive who cried for quarters, but were told that there was no mercy for them—they then continued fighting until the whole were butchered. One woman, Mrs., Dickson, and a negro of Col. Travis were the only persons whose lives were spared. We regret to say that Col. David Crockett and companion, Mr.Berton and Col. Bonhan, of SC, were among the number slain— Gen. Bowie was murdered in his bed sick and helpless. Gen. Cos on entering the Fort ordered the servant of Col. Travis, to point out the body of his master; he did so, when Cos drew his sword and mangled the face and limbs with the malignant feeling of a Cumanche savage. The bodies of the slain were thrown into a mass in the centre of the Alamo and burned—the loss of the Mexicans in storming the place was not less than 1000 killed and mortally wounded, and as many wounded, making with their loss in the first assault between 2 and 3000 men.
The flag used by the Mexicans was a blood-red one, in place of the constitutional one. Immediately after the capture, Gen. Santa Anna sent Mrs. Dickson and the servant to General Houston's camp, accompanied by a Mexican with a flag, who was bearer of a note from St. Anna, offering the Texans peace and general amnesty, if they would lay down their arms and submit to his government. Gen. Houston's reply was, ''true sir, you have succeeded in killing some of our brave men, but the Texans are not yet cornered." The effect of the fall of Bexar throughout Texas was electrical. Every man who could use the rifle and was in a condition to lake field, marched forthwith to the seat of war. It is believed that not less than 4000 riflemen were on their way to the army when the Cumanche sailed, determined to wreak their revenge on the Mexicans
Gen. Houston had burnt Gonzales, and fallen back on the Colorado with about 1000 men. Col. Fanning was in the Fort at Goliad, a very strong position, well supplied with ammunitions and provision, with 4 or 500 men.
The general determination of the people of Texas is to abandon all their occupations and pursuits of peace, and continue in arms until every Mexican east of the Rio del Norte shall be exterminated.
From the Nashville Republican Extra
FROM GENERAL HOUSTON
H.Q. GONZALES, MARCH 11, 1836
To J.W. Fanning, commanding at Goliad
Upon my arrival hero this afternoon the following intelligence was received through a Mexican, supposed to be friendly, which however has been contradicted in some of its parts by another who arrived with him. It is therefore given to you as rumor; though I fear a melancholy portion of it is too true. Aslma Bigard states that he left the Alamo on Sunday the 6th inst. and is now 3 days from Arn?ches Ranco —that the Alamo was attacked on Sunday at dawn of day by about 2300 men, and was carried a short time before sunrise, with a loss of 520(?) Mexicans killed and as many wounded. Col. Travis had only 150 effective men out of his whole force of 187. After the fort was carried seven men surrendered and called for Gen. Santa Anna and for quarters. They were murdered by his orders! Col. Bowie was sick in bed and also murdered. The enemy expects reinforcements of 1500 men under Gen. Condilli, and 1500 reserve to follow them. He also states that Ugartechee had arrived, with two millions of dollars for the payment of the troops, &c. The bodies of the Americans were burned after the massacre; an alternate layer of wood and bodies was laid and let on fire. Lt. Dickinson, who had a wife and child in the fort, after having fought with desperate courage, tied his child to his back and leaped from the top of a two-story building-both were killed in the fall. I have little doubt but the Alamo has fallen. Whether the above particulars are true is questionable, You are therefore referred to the enclosed order.
I am, sir your ob't servant
P. S. The wife of Lt. Dickinson is in possession of one of the officers of Gen. Santa Anna. The men, as you perceive, fought gallantly. And in corroboration of the truth of the fall of the Alamo, I have ascertained that Col. Travis intended firing signal guns at three different periods each day until succor should arrive. No signal guns have been heard since Sunday, and & scouting party have just returned who approached within 12 miles of the fort and remained 48 hours.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.
Friends and Brothers:
The intelligence conveyed to us by the above letter confirms all that we have heretofore alleged of the barbarism of the arch fiend, who after subverting the liberties of his own countrymen, has arrayed all his forces to reduce us, the free-born colonists of Texas, to the yoke of military and ecclesiastical despotism — We have exercised the right, inherent in all considerable societies of men, of choosing the government most consonant to our feelings and most likely to secure our happiness. It is the same right which impelled your fathers and our fathers, to throw the gauntlet of defiance at the power of Britain, and to claim and gloriously to achieve a name among the nations of the earth. Their enemy was comparatively christian and magnanimous - ours is semi-civilized, infuriate and merciless. They appealed to the sympathies of the monarch and of strangers, and they appealed not in vain. Aid, prompt, powerful and efficient was rendered them. The descendants of Pericles lifted up their voices, to supplicate the aid of strangers, in their struggle for liberty—and you, Americans, responded to the call by a zealous, active and efficient succor. The gallant Poles also richly participated in your generous sympathy for the oppressed.
Friends and Brothers—We, the citizens of Texas, threatened with an indiscriminate slaughter by the minions of a complicated and cruel despotism, have, in this hour of our trial, turned our thoughts and our hearts, with an unwavering confidence to the land of our common nativity, and we ask you for assistance. Our numbers are few, but our hearts are firm and our minds are strung to the high resolve of "liberty or death!" Will you, brothers and friends, refuse to do for us, as in the hour of your calamities was nobly done for you? And will you calmly witness the destruction of our kindred and the triumph of tyranny, and make no effort to save the one and arrest the other? It cannot, it will not be. The sainted spirit of Washington would rebuke your apathy, and could pain invade the beatitudes of Heaven, would mourn over the recollection of '76.
On motion of Mr. Parmer, this appeal was adopted and ordered to be communicated to the people of the United States of America, accompanying communication of Maj. Gen. Sam Houston to James Collinsworth, Esq., chairman of the military committee on the 6th day of March 1836, at Washington
RICHARD ELLIS, Pres't of the Conv'n
H. S. Kimble, Sec'y.
Alamo Monument - 1917