Monday, March 06, 2006

"I shall never surrender or retreat."

"To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world...I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid with all dispatch. ...VICTORY OR DEATH."

These words were written Feb.24, 1836, by William Barrett Travis, in a famous letter, requesting reinforcements for the besieged Alamo. The reinforcements never arrived and the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836, 170 years ago today. The handful of survivors, except for women, children and Joe, Col. Travis' slave, were put to death at the order of Generalissimo Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón.

The Alamo, has been a symbol of "the American character" that Col. Travis referred to, ever since.

Many liberals like to mock or make fun of Texans. Let them. They will never have, nor understand, the qualities of the Alamo's defenders.

Texas is the only State in the United States to have been it's own nation. It has produced Presidents and heroes. It has "American character." Texans never "surrender or retreat".

I am not a Texan by birth. As the expression goes, I got here as quick as I could.

From the Alamo website:

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio López de Santa Anna's army outside San Antonio nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna's army. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo sent forth couriers carrying pleas for help to communities in Texas. On the eighth day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over — all except one did. As the defenders saw it, the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to General Santa Anna. Among the Alamo's garrison were Jim Bowie, renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett, famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee.

The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, as columns of Mexican soldiers emerged from the predawn darkness and headed for the Alamo's walls. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory.

While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty.

Previous List Random Join Next Grunt's Military Site