Travis will forever be remembered as the unshakable Commander of the Alamo during Texas’ epic struggle for independence.
Circumstances were dire. A benevolent Mexican administration was growing increasingly wary of the rapid arrival of US citizens to Texas. Resulting, in part, from this increased concern, Dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana seized control of the Mexican Government. During his regime, things took a violent turn for the worse for Texans.
Texans had secured relative autonomy and freedom under the Mexican Constitution of 1824. It was under the authority of this document that colonists were invited to immigrate to Texas. Texans, accepting the terms of the document, assumed their rights were protected. In turn, they swore to defend the document and the liberties granted therein.
Texans were betrayed by the Mexican dictator.
With the ascension of General Santa Ana, the Constitution of 1824 was discarded. This left Texans with no choice but to submit or resist. They choose the latter.
Travis was ordered to hold San Antonio by the acting governor and counsel. Upon arrival, he set about making defensive preparations. Travis’ foe, General Santa Ana, arrived in San Antonio on or about February 23. This was a full month before the Texans expected him. General Santa Ana announced his intentions immediately. Defenders of the Alamo were ordered to surrender or die. Travis responded with cannon fire. General Santa Ana countered with a blood red battle flag, the Mexican symbol for no quarter, no surrender, no mercy.
The battle raged for 13 days. Travis and less than 200 Texas patriots face 4,000 battle hardened Mexican regulars. Their situation was hopeless. The Texans couldn’t possibly prevail, but they can and do win.
During these horrific days, Travis pens an inspiring plea that has animated Texans for generations. Click Here. His vow of “Victory or Death” and the fulfillment of that vow provided the necessary time for the Provisional Government of The Republic of Texas to organize and execute an effective defense against the Mexican hordes. The sacrifice of Travis and his command animated the rest of Texas and ignited a righteous wrath that swept the Mexicans from the battlefield at San Jacinto. Further, his heroism inspired all Americans on battlefields across the globe with the exhortation, “Remember The Alamo!!”
Travis’ bravery and grace under fire has inspired Texans and Americans everywhere. For that, we are grateful.