Genealogy Trails

The Alamo


The Alamo
The Alamo - 1917


[from "The National Banner and Nashville Whig" Apr 8, 1836]

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]
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 succe eded; 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]
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.

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.


In the Texas Almanac for the year 1860 was found a list of the Texan Heroes who defended the Alamo when it was besieged by the Mexican Army commanded by General Santa Anna, and who all perished when that famous fortress was captured, March 6, 1836. This list differs from many that are published, but is believed to be accurate, having been compiled from official and other authentic sources.

W. Barrett Travis, Lt.-Col., Comdr.

James Bowie, Lt.-Col., Comdr.

J. Washington, Colonel, Tenn.

J. B. Bonham, Captain, South Carolina.

— Forsyth, Captain, New York.

— Harrison, Captain, Tenn.

W. Blazeby, Captain, Louisiana.

W. C. M. Baker, Captain, Miss.

W. R. Carey, Captain, Texas.

S. B. Evans. Captain, Miss.

S. C. Blair, Captain, Texas.

___ Gilmore, Captain, Tenn.

John Jones, Lieutenant,

Almaron Dickinson, Lieutenant, Louisiana.

I. G. Baugh, Adjutant.

Chas. Despalier, Aide to Travis.

Robert Evans, Master of Ordn'ce, Ireland.

Elial Melton, Lt. Quartermast'r.

___ Anderson, Asst. Quartermast'r.

___ Burnell, Asst. Qr. Master.

___ Williamson, Sergt. Major.

D. Michison, Surgeon.

Amos Pollard, Surgeon.

___ Thompson, Surgeon.

Green B. Jameson, Ensign.

David Crockett, Private, Tennessee.

E. Nelson, Private, South Carolina.

___ Nelson, Private, Texas.

W. H. Smith, Private Texas.

Lewis Johnson, Private, Texas.

E. T. Mitchell, Private, Georgia.

F. Desangue, Private, Pennsylvania.

___ Thruston, Private, Kentucky.

___ Moore, Private.

Christopher Parker Private, Mississippi

C. Huskell, Private.

___ Rose, Private, Texas.

John Blair, Private.

___ Kiddeson, Private.

Wm. Wells, Private, Tennessee.

Wm. Cumming, Private, Pennsylvania.

___ Valentine, Private.

___ Cochran, Private.

R. W. Ballantine, Private.

S. Halloway, Private.

Isaac White, Private.

___ Day, Private.

Robert Muselman, Private, New Orleans.

Robert Crossman, Private.

Richard Starr, Private, England.

I. G. Garrett, Private, New Orleans.

Robert B. Moore, Private.

Richard Dimkin, Private, England.

Wm. Linn, Private, Mass.

___ Hutchinson, Private.

Wm. Johnson, Private, Penn.

E. Nelson, Private.

Geo. Tumlinson, Private.

Wm. Deardoff, Private.

Daniel Bourne, Private, England.

___ Ingram, Private, England.

W. T. Lewis, Private, Wales.

Charles Zanco, Private, Denmark.

Jas. L. Ewing, Private.

Robert Cunningham, Private.

S. Burns, Private, Ireland.

George Neggin, Private, South Carolina.

___ Robinson, Private Scotland.

___ Harris, Private, Kentucky.

John Flanders, Private.

Isaac Ryan, Private, Opelonsas, La.

David Wilson, Private, Texas.

John M. Hays Private, Tenn.

___ Stuart, Private.

W. K. Simpson. Private.

W. D. Sutherland, Private, Texas.

D. W. Howell, Private, New Orleans.

___ Butler, Private, New Orleans.

Chas. Smith, Private.

___ McGregor, Private, Scotland.

___ Rusk, Private.

___ Hawkins. Private, Ireland.

Samuel Holloway, Private.

___ Brown, Private.

T. Jackson, Private, Ireland.

___ John, Clerk to Deangue.

George C. Kimbell, Lieutenant, Gonzales.

James George, Sergeant, Gonzales.

Dolphin Ward, Private, Gonzales.

Thos. Jackson Private, Gonzales.

Geo. W. Cottle, Private, Gonzales.

Andrew Kent, Private Gonzales.

Thos. R. Miller, Private Gonzales.

Isaac Baker, Private, Gonzales.

Wm. King, Private, Gonzales.

Jesse McKoy, Private, Gonzales.

Claiborne Wright, Private, Gonzales.

W. Fishback, Private, Gonzales.

Isaac Milsaps, Private, Gonzales.

Albert Martin, Private, Gonzales.

Galba Fuqua, Private, Gongales.

John Davis, Private, Gonzales.

R. A. M. Thomas, Private, Gonzales.

Wm. Fuhbaigh, Private, Gonzales.

John G. King, Private, Gonzales.

Jacob Durst, Private, Gonzales.

M. L. Sewell, Private, Gonzales.

Robert White, Private, Gonzales.

A. Devault, Private, Gonzales.

John Harris, Private, Gonzales.

David Kent, Private, Gonzales.

W. E. Summers, Private, Gonzales.

M. Autry, Private.

For many years the Alamo was abandoned as a great tomb, a place of horror to many who recalled the story of the frightful sacrifice of the heroes of 1836.


[Source: "History and Legends of the Alamo: And Other Missions in and Around San Antonio" By Adina de Zavala, pub. 1917; transcribed by K.T.]


source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine. / Volume 78, Issue 463, December, 1888
Transcribed by K. Torp

TO Houston at Gonzales town, ride, Ranger, for your life,
Nor stop to say good-by to-day to home or child or wife;
But pass the word from ranch to ranch, to every Texan sword,
That fifty hundred Mexicans have crossed the Nueces ford,
With Castrillon and perjured Cos, Sesma and Almonte,
And Santa Anna ravenous for vengeance and for prey.
They smite the land with fire and sword; the grass shall never grow
Where northward sweeps that locust horde on San Antonio.

Now who will bar the foemans path, to gain a breathing space,
Till Houston and his scattered men shall meet him face to face?
Who holds his life as less than naught when home and honor call,
And counts the guerdon full and fair for liberty to fall?
Oh, who but Barrett Travis, the bravest of them all!
With sevenscore of riflemen to play the ranchers game,
And feed a counter-fire to halt the sweeping prairie flame:
or Bowie of the broken blade is there to cheer them on
With Evans of Concepcion, who conquered Castrillon,
And o'er their heads the Lone Star flag defiant floats on high,
And no man thinks of yielding, and no man fears to die.

But ere the siege has held a week a cry is heard without,
A clash of arms, a rifle peal, the Rangers ringing shout,
And two-and-thirty beardless boys have bravely hewed their way
To die with Travis if they must, to conquer if they may.
Was ever bravery so cheap in Glorys mart before
In all the days of chivalry, in all the deeds of war?

But once again the foemen gaze in wonderment and fear
To see a stranger break their lines and hear the Texans cheer.
God! how they cheered to welcome him, those spent and starving men!
For Davy Crockett by their side was worth an army then.
The wounded ones forgot their wounds; the dying drew a breath
To hail the king of border men, then turned to laugh at death.
For all knew Davy Crockett, blithe and generous as bold,
And strong and rugged as the quartz that hides its heart of gold.
His simple creed for word or deed true as the bullet sped,
And rung the target straight: Be sure you're right, then go ahead!

And were they right who fought the fight for Texas by his side?
They questioned not; they faltered not; they only fought and died.
Who hath an enemy like these, Gods mercy slay him straight!
A thousand Mexicans lay dead outside the Convent gate,
And half a thousand more must die before the fortress falls,
And still the tide of war beats high around the leaguered walls.

At last the bloody breach is won; the weakened lines give way;
The wolves are swarming in the court; the lions stand at bay.
The leader meets them at the breach, and wins the soldiers prize;
A foemans bosom sheathes his sword when gallant Travis dies.
Now let the victor feast at will until his crest be red
We may not know what raptures fill the vulture with the dead.
Let Santa Annas valiant sword right bravely hew and hack
The senseless corse; its hands are cold; they will not strike him back.
Let Bowie die, but 'ware the hand that wields his deadly knife;
Four went to slay, and one comes back, so dear he sells his life.
And last of all let Crockett fall, too proud to sue for grace,
So grand in death the butcher dared not look upon his face.
* * * * * * *
But far on San Jacintos field the Texan toils are set,
And Alamos dread memory the Texan steel shall whet.
And Fame shall tell their deeds who fell till all the years be run.
"Thermopylae left one alive -- the Alamo left none."



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