Friday, March 6, 2015 – The Fall of the Alamo – The Thirteen Days of Glory
In the early morning hours before dawn on March 6, 1836, the bugler and drums of the Mexican Army played El Degüello outside the garrison known as The Alamo. El Degüello was a bugle call, or dirge to signal that the defenders of the garrison would receive no quarter by the attacking Mexican Army under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. No quarter means death. No prisoners. Death.
Click to hear El Degüello .
Colonel William Barrett Travis, age 26, sent a letter on February 24 asking for reinforcements to defend freedoms demanded by the Texians. His letter is considered one of the most important documents in Texas history and in United States history.
Every Texas school child knows the outcome of the Alamo. Santa Anna’s army breeched the walls and no quarter was employed by the Mexican Army. The importance of the battle itself lies in the fact that Sam Houston and others could escape Gonzales. The thirteen day siege allowed Sam Houston to time to create, organize and train a military structure. The Texian Army would set up a camp near a place called San Jacinto. This battle on April 21 between the Mexicans and the Texians is considered one of the most crucial battles that changed the world. Yes, the world, not just Texas. More on that battle as April 21 approaches, but you better know who Emily Morgan was.
Here is Travis’ letter as read by Brian Burns. Burns is a Texas folksinger. This song is from his CD The Eagle and the Snake – Songs of the Texians. Every Texan should own this CD.
Bejar, Fby. 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 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 & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves—
Now, if that don’t bring a tear to your eyes, I don’t know what will.
Victory or Death. Remember the Alamo. God Bless Texas.