A special day

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If you think the following is off-topic, think again. If you still think that... tough. This is a special week for Texans, and I think the words that follow have some relevancy today. Here's to you, Greybear, and the other Texans on this forum.

Commandancy of the Alamo Bexar, Feby 24th, 1836

To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World--

Fellow Citizens and Compatriots

I am besieged with a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison is to be put the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly over the wall. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, of everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and 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 and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due his honor and that of his country.


William Barret Travis Lt. Col. Comd't

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), March 02, 1999


So, the Indians stole it from the animals, the Spaniards stole it from the Indians, the Angolos stole it from the Mexicans, and the Mexicans will very likely take it back again in their Reconquista. Might makes right, all right !!

-- djy (don@juan.yaqui), March 02, 1999.

For those history-challenged not versed in Texas lore, what ended up happening?

-- noknow (history@clueless.com), March 02, 1999.

Hey Vic, how come in the movie with John Wayne as Davey Crockett, they made Travis seem like such a stiff? Always thought it was disrespectful and all.

-- Spidey (in@jam.com), March 02, 1999.

Vic, Thanks for posting something worth reading, especially in this age of wimps and compromisers.

What ended up happening? I will work from memory, so someone may want to correct me if I make a mistake. William Barrett Travis and his volunteers remained under seige at the Alamo. A man named James Bonham rode a horse out of the Alamo along a dry creek bed and through the Mexican lines. He carried with him the letter Vic posted above. Travis's pleas brought in a small number of volunteers. David Crockett was among the late volunteers. The Mexican army was indeed reinforced and grew larger as Travis had predicted. The Texans had, I believe 136 men in arms.

On March 2, 1836, 56 Texan delegates met at Washington-on-the-Brazos, about a hundred miles east of the Alamo. They signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. The Republic of Texas was born.

On March 5 or 6, the Mexican General, who was caleed the *Generalissimo de Santa Anna* and *the Napolean of the West* ordered his army to attack the Alamo. After a day of fighting the Alamo fell. All Texans were killed except a slave and a woman with her children.

Later in March, 1836, a Texan Army under Mirabeau Lamar surprised the Mexican army at night. Crying "Remember the Alamo' Remember Goliad" the Texan Army killed and scattered all Mexicans. Santa Anna clothed himself with peasant's garb and escaped into the brush, where he was later found hiding under a bush and made to appear before the late- arriving Sam Houston, former Governor of Tennessee and future Governor of Texas. Santa Anna later signed an agreement saying he would no longer fight against the Texans, and was permitted to return to Mexico. Santa Anna broke this promise during the US-Mexican war of 1845. However the opium-addicted Santa Anna was defeated at the end.

-- Rick (concerned@america.com), March 02, 1999.

I posted this because of the timing and because, as Rick, noted, it was an occasion attended by brave deeds and belief in something important. I wonder how many among us now are willing to die for a cause, and I wonder how many leaders we have with the sort of character these heroes displayed? Just a couple of corrections. Travis arrived at the Alamo on Feb. 2 and Davy Crockett and his Tennesseans arrived Feb. 9. The siege began on Feb. 23 and the Alamo fell 13 days later on March 6. On March 2, between 20 and 30 men from Gonzales arrived at the Alamo in response to Travis' plea for help. When the Alamo fell, there were 189 defenders set again an army of more than 3,000. The final siege began at 4 a.m. on March 6 and the defenders repulsed two attacks before the north wall was breached. More than 1,500 Mexicans died and more than 500 were wounded.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), March 02, 1999.

And all of this because Mexico had abolished slavery and the Gringo Texicans wanted to own slaves.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), March 02, 1999.

Bill, we still have Mexican slaves - lots of 'em. They work for dang cheap. Terrible - but true.

Honestly, Texans couldn't afford to build houses without Mexicans.

-- Lisa (Lisa@work.in_Texas), March 02, 1999.

Proud to be a Texan! :-)

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), March 02, 1999.

-- A country all it's own! (Tex@s.rules), March 02, 1999.

I keep wondering what difference the last-ditch stand at the Alamo made in the history of the United States? If the garrison had surrendered, presumably they would have survived -- if Santa Ana kept his word. But whether they captured the fort (as they did) or acquired it via surrender (as they didn't), Mexico was finished north of the Rio Grande either way.

Obviously the story of the Alamo made (and makes) a difference to Texas -- but the actual fort was irrelevant to the eventual outcome.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), March 02, 1999.

Tom, perhaps it gave the fortitude to defeat Santa Anna later on at San Jacinto?

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), March 02, 1999.

Tom, are you implying, as is seemingly au courant these days given the bent of some for revisionist history, that the events at the Alamo are a STORY? Aside from that, you disappoint me if you think my post had anything to do with an old mission made of wood and stones, a fort, as it were.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), March 02, 1999.


Thank you for this post. It's very relevant and timely when many of us are having to stand up for our convictions in the face of what seems at times, and perhaps might be, overwhelming odds. But it's best to have lived our lives trying rather than just give it up. Giving up is not truly living.

-- Texan (HappyTexasIndependenceDay@ranch.com), March 02, 1999.


If my feeble recollections of Texas history are correct, the defenders of the Alamo delayed the advance of Santa Anna's army for a crucial period of a few weeks and inflicted heavy casualties. This bought time (something everyone in Y2K remediation wishes they could do now, right?) and allowed the forces under Mirabeau Lamar and Sam Houston to get reinforcements (men and armaments). Had Santa Anna not been held up at the Alamo and lost the number of men he did, he would have been able to overtake the Lamar and Houston forces. Would this have ultimately changed history? Who knows?

-- Don (whytocay@hotmail.com), March 02, 1999.

I quized my children when they got home from school today as to what historical significance today held ...only my middle schooler was able to comment...it was never mentioned at the elementary school...I guess they didn't want to hurt anyone's self esteem...GO TEXAS!

-- Texas Terri (DeepInTheHeart@Texas.com), March 02, 1999.

I noticed this thread when it was first posted. I have delayed posting because this subject matter is so intensely personal and sacred to me that I knew not what to say.

Thank you, Lisa, for the call. As one among many Texans who post on this board, it would seem appropriate that I comment on the original post. I can only comment about my personal feelings. It would be an egregious act of hubris on my part to presume that I might have anything of value to add to the original words.

In my opinion there are no finer words spoken or written the English language to describe and embody the sacred precepts of honor and duty to our fellow man. The sentiments expressed by Lt. Col. William Barret Travis have rarely failed to bring tears to my eyes. They do not fail today.

There are those who, despite knowing the historical facts, cannot understand or appreciate what happen at the Alamo. I pity them. I cannot help them to understand, for one either instinctively understands and feels the magnitude of human spirit at the Alamo or one does not. For those that do, today is one of the most sacred days of the year in our civil society.

For those who do not feel the weight of the events that we honor today, I would ask quiet indulgence. For those who will not indulge: I care not in the least for the opinions of the poltroons who mouth obscenities and would distract from the honor we pay these men. The craven acts of the morally impoverished speak best for themselves. I refuse to slander the name of mans-best-friend by calling you dogs. Words fail me when I try to find a description sufficiently vile.

As a reminder to the race baiters among you: As well as some of the original occupants, some who rode into the Alamo after it was surrounded were Mexicans who lived in Texas. How much more agonizing must have been their decision? We honor their memory NO less. They are of us.

- - -

Would that we today had more men of the caliber of those whose heroic acts have left us forever with an icon of human dignity and adherence to the concepts of Liberty, Honor, and Duty. We have at least one among us who I suspect is cut from the same cloth.

By their words and deeds shall you know them. While I have only heard his words, I am confident the Hardliners actions would match his words. I ask you to pray for and listen to these men. They have the only real message worth conveying to this secular world in the coming time of need. They are the only hope for Liberty. All else of value is derivative of their central message.

I select words from one who speaks through time more eleglantly than I:

"...I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, of everything dear to the American character...never forget what is due...honor and...country."


Liberty, Honor, Duty, Country.

These are truly what we recall and honor today.

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 02, 1999.

Amen !

-- Old Texan (OldTex@houston.com), March 02, 1999.

Vic -- No, I'm not implying or suggesting that "The Alamo" is only a story. Or that the men who died there were not brave men. It was a historical event, no question about it. That event is now a story -- a "myth" in the classical sense -- of heroism and dedication to duty. As evidenced by the various posts by Texans here. Our lives are full of such stories -- these are the stories by which we define ourselves and our culture. Compare the Irish --- who in the election of 1922 on the partition took up "Remember the Boyne!" as a campaign slogan. The battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 and marked the defeat of the Irish by the English who then took control of the entire island. Some memories endure.

There's a book that should be required reading in every high school, written by a history teacher. Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen. It's in print. It's not comforting reading, but then an honest history of anywhere seldom is. (I don't recall any mention in it of the Alamo!) Our educational system works very hard to acculturate the children who pass through it. It's generally quite successful. But the children aren't always given all the facts, and in some instances, not even the true facts.

My question was, did the stand at the Alamo change history? I think not. The weight of the oncoming immigration would eventually have prevailed in any case. But (for instance) the Union stand at Gettysburg very likely did change history, whatever one thinks of the issues or the outcome. And very likely that success was due to the 20th Maine, under Joshua Chamberlain, which prevented the taking of Round Top, the flanking of the Union line, and Lee's continuing advance.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), March 03, 1999.

Great post Vic, thanks a lot.

Greybear, You as usual have said everything that I would say if I were as eloquent as you. Thanks for making the way texans feel about this part of our heritage understood to all. The Alamo IS Texas, it is so deeply ingrained into our psyche that it shapes our very thoughts and personalities. I remember the first time I visited there I had a lump in my throat. The pride I feel in being Texan stems chiefly from the men who died in that place.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), March 03, 1999.

Mr. Greybear, I have not put anythinng here before. I only read. I am a life long Texan for 62 years. I wan to thank you for saying what I would like to have said about our brave men at the Alamo. I hope I got this right.

A. R. Jennings

Got Bless Texas

-- (arjenn23@aol.com), March 03, 1999.

I've always thought many Texans were arrogant and over-zealous about being Texans. You haven't dissappointed me.

-- texans can kiss my ass (texas@big.deal), March 03, 1999.

Pssst..... the preceding post was from AKA Mutha Nachu.... see him anywhere on the forum, give 'im hell about the English and THEIR pomposity... black pots & kettles...

-- Lisa (hey!@shut.up!), March 03, 1999.

It is Texanly impossible to be overly zealous about being a Texan. And I' not sure what that other word - arrogant - means. Never heard it before.

-- Greybear, just yer typical, humble Texan

- Got Something to Be Proud OF?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 03, 1999.

this is the worse bunch of crap i've ever seen

i'm proud not to be in texas

-- Not Me (notinTx@any.time), March 04, 1999.

Everyone in Texas is "proud" that you're not there too. . .

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), March 04, 1999.

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