It’s traditional in these parts to read this aloud today, the 2nd of March, which is Texas Independence Day. Even big-Lefty Gov. Ann Richards did it when she was in office.
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bexar, 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.
Much more detail at this classic site. And a contemporary view via the Alamo cam. And the best history, in my opinion. After 178 years you can still “hear” some of the old Alamo in this Deguello bugle call of No Quarter. The dictator’s troops played it before their final, successful dawn assault on March 6, 1836.