March 6, 1836: Victory in Death

Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat-the Alamo had none.
Thomas Jefferson Green


One hundred and eighty-two years ago the Alamo fell.  The defenders had achieved victory in death, giving thirteen precious days in which Texan independence was declared and Sam Houston appointed by the Texas Constitutional Convention as Commander-in-Chief of the Texan Army, which at that time consisted of a few hundred raw recruits.  The Alamo defenders inflicted some 600 killed and wounded on the 1800 man force of Santa Anna.  Word of the Alamo spread throughout Texas, convincing each man that this was a fight to the end, and that the cry “give me liberty or give me death” was precisely what they were facing.


The fallen of the Alamo would never be forgotten, the Texans screaming out the battle cry “Remember the Alamo!”, as they charged and crushed Santa Anna’s army at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, achieving the dream of the defenders of the Alamo, an independent Texas.



Commandancy of the 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 Barrett Travis.

Lt.  Col. comdt.




March 2, 1836: Texas Declaration of Independence


Four days before the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, the people of Texas in Convention assembled proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Texas.  Surely few such proclamations have been issued in more dire straits.  Texas had no military other than some raw militia units.  The Texan garrison at the Alamo was under siege by a large professional Mexican army under Santa Anna.  It seemed as if the Republic of Texas was a still-born State, doomed to be forgotten soon after its birth, its advocates lucky to be alive if they survived the coming military debacle.  However, General Sam Houston, commander of all of the non-existent armies of Texas, had other ideas.  Here is the text of the Declaration:

Continue Reading