William Barret Travis’ Letter from the Alamo, February 24, 1836

The Travis Letter

Commandancy of the The Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

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 Barrett 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.


The Travis “Victory or Death” Letter

Located in the Texas State Library and Archives, Austin, Texas

First Page

Second Page

Note:  The world famous “Victory or Death” letter written by William
Barrett Travis will be available for public viewing at the Alamo between
February 23 and March 7, 2013.


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