Monday, July 1, 2013

Victory or death -- William Barrett Travis

In one of the more heroic and dramatic series of communiques from men besieged on all sides, William Barrett Travis wrote several letters, secreted by couriers on horseback from the Alamo.

Here's one:

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 and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

Victory or death, indeed.  Victory or death.

Read more and see the original letters here.

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