Skip to main content


Sketch of the Alamo from Confederate Veterans Magazine

Sketch of the Alamo

The story of the Alamo is the most awful on record, concerning the sacrifice of American soldiers. On the morning of March 6th, 1836, Santa Anna overpowered the garrison and put to death the occupants. It is briefly as follows:

"During this time Santa Anna had been extending his conquests all over Mexico, until Texas alone held out against his power, and in favor of a Republic. Texas he now determined to conquer, and at the head of his victorious army, he rapidly marched to San Antonio. A detachment of his troops reached the heights of the Alamo overlooking the city on February 22d, 1836, when Colonel W. B. Travis, with one hundred and forty-five effective men, retired to the Alamo.

Santa Anna's army arrived February 22d, and he appeared next day bearing the red flag, which he displayed from the tower of the Cathedral in plain sight of the Alamo. He then sent a summons to the Texans to surrender, but was answered by a cannon shot. Colonel Travis secured eighty bushels of corn and twenty or thirty beeves that day.

The second day was of a harmless bombardment Colonel Travis sent out couriers for reinforcements, saying, " I shall never surrender or retreat.''

On the third day Santa Anna moved his headquarters across the river, and made a personal reconnaissance. The Texans killed two of his party and wounded six others.

On the fourth day the Mexicans made an unsuccessful attempt to divert the water from the ditches which supplied the Alamo. That night the Texans burned some wooden bridges north of the garrison.

On the fifth, sixth, and seventh days the bombardment was continued without effect.

Eighth day—Thirty-two citizen soldiers from Gonzales reinforced them.

For eleven days the Mexicans continued the bombardment, but. the Texans, being short of ammunition, seldom fired. When Colonel Travis, in despair, proposed to surrender to Santa Anna, pleading only for the pledge of mercy, his answer was: "You must surrender at discretion, without any guarantee, even of life, which traitors do not deserve." Santa Anna's excuse for this course was that it accorded with the will of the Mexican Congress.

Colonel Travis then announced to his companions their desperate situation, and, after declaring his determination to sell his life as dearly as possible, drew a line with his sword, and asked all who would do likewise to form on the line. With one exception they all fell into ranks, even Colonel Bowie, who was dying, had his cot carried to the line. The man who declined made his escape to the Mexicans.

Sunday morning the Mexican bugles sounded the fatal peal. With a rush like tigers the enemy dashed forward, but the heroic Texans, roused to their last duty, did so well that twice the brutal hosts of Santa Anna were hurled back defeated, only to be again forced forward by the sabres of the Mexican cavalry. This time Santa Anna himself urged forward his troops. General Castil lion's division, after half an hour's desperate righting, and after repeated repulses and unheard of losses, effected an entrance in the upper part of the Alamo, in a sort of outwork, but the fighting had only begun. The doors and windows of the Alamo church were barricaded and guarded by bags of sand heaped up as high as a man's shoulders, and even on the roof were rows of sandbags, behind which the Texans fought as never man fought before—muzzle to muzzle, hand to hand. Each Texan rifle shot exhausted its force in successive bodies of Mexicans packed together like a wall of flesh. Muskets and rifles were clubbed, and bayonets and bowie knives never before wrought such fearful carnage.

The picture was indescribable in its sublime terrors. Each room in the building was the scene of a desperate struggle, the men driven to desperation, conscious that escape was impossible. They fought even when stricken down, and when dying still struggled to slay Mexicans. Colonel Bowie, whose name tells of his fearful knife and deeds, lay stark and stiff on a cot. One account of the death of Colonel Travis is that he was shot in the head with a rifle ball, just as he impaled on his sword a Mexican officer, who was attempting to mutilate him.

Generals Cos and Castillion united in asking Santa Anna to spare Travis' life, but the brutal Santa Anna was terribly enraged at the disobeying of his orders saying: "I want no prisoners." and turning to a file of soldiers, ordered them to shoot the heroes. Colonel Travis was first shot. He folded his arms stiffly across his breast, and stood erect until a bullet pierced his neck, when he fell headlong among the dead. David Crockett fell at the first fire, his body completely riddled with bullets. And soon all were killed.

S. A. Cunningham, Confederate Veterans, Volume 3, No. 1 (Nashville, Tenn.: January, 1895), 10-11.


Popular posts from this blog

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag

[The facts concerning the origin of the battle flag contained in this article are derived from a speech by General Beauregard before a special meeting of Louisiana Division, Army of Northern Virginia Association, December 6, 1878.—EDITOR.]
This banner, the witness and inspiration of many victories, which was proudly borne on every field from enemy. General Beauregard was momentarily expecting help from the right, and the uncertainty and anxiety of this hour amounted to anguish.
Still the column pressed on. Calling a staff officer, General Beauregard instructed him to go at once to General Johnston, at the Lewis house, and say that the enemy were receiving heavy re-enforcements, that the troops on the plateau were very much scattered, and that he would be compelled to retire to the Lewis house and there reform hoping that the troops ordered up from the right would arrive in time to enable him to establish and hold the new line.
Meanwhile, the unknown t…

Some Truths of History (I) by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby

SOME TRUTHS OF HISTORY:  A Vindication of the South Against the Encyclopedia Britannica and Other Maligners by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby
Since the Evolution days the few thinkers of America born south of Mason and Dixon's line — out-numbered by those belonging to the single State of Massachusetts — have commonly migrated to New York or Boston in search of a university training. In the world of letters, at least, the Southern States have shone by reflected light; nor is it too much to say that mainly by their connection with the North the Carolinas have been saved from sinking to the level of Mexico or the Antilles. Like the Spartan marshaling his helots, the planter lounging among his slaves was made dead to art. It has only flourished freely in a free soil, and for almost all its vitality and aspirations we must turn to New England." — Encyclopedia Britannica {ninth edition), Volume 1, p. 719. 
If the sons and daughters of the South do not themselves uphold the truth of histor…

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery
“They do not tell that General Grant, a slaveholder, was put as leader of the Northern Army and General Lee, who had freed his slaves, as the leader of the Southern Army, but they do say that the war was fought to hold the slaves yet do not tell that only 200,000 slaveholders were in the Southern Army, while 315,000 slaveholders were in the Northern Army.” Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Truths of History: A Fair, Unbiased, Impartial, Unprejudiced and Conscientious Study of History. Object: To Secure a Peaceful Settlement of the Many Perplexing Questions Now Causing Contention Between the North and the South (Athens, Georgia, 1920), iv.

By Fannie Eoline Selph: “The War between the States was not caused by the question of the emancipation of the slaves, nor did it begin with the firing on Fort Sumter. The cause and its declaration centered in the order issued by Abraham Lincoln for 2,400 men and 265 guns for the de…