William Barret Travis
Letter from the commandancy of the Alamo (1836)
Commandancy of the Alamo
Feby. 24th, 1836
To the People of Texas & all Americans in the World--
Fellow Citizens and 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 despatch--
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 Lt. Col. comdt.
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 walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves--
Send this to San Felipe by Express night & day--