On Feb. 24, 1836, after 24 hours of cannon bombardment, William Travis penned a letter from inside the Alamo addressed to all Texans and Americans. In it he, pledged to "never surrender or retreat." The Alamo fell to Santa Anna’s forces on March 6, with Travis remaining true to his word. We re-print today his letter.
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To The People of Texas and All Americans
Commandancy of the Alamo–
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
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 —
Letter transciption courtesy of the Texas State Library & Archives Commission.