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The Fall of the Alamo ~ page 8

On learning that the Mexicans had arrived, Colonel Crockett returned with me. We crossed the river at the ford below and on our way up to the fort we met Captain Dimmitt and Lieutenant Nobles. The former inquired where we going. I told him, when he remarked that "there were not men enough at Bexar to defend the place, that it was bound to fall"; and insisted that I go with him saying he "would see me safely out," when we would go and bring reinforcements to the garrison. I replied that "I should go and report to Colonel Travis, and could not say that I could accompany him, even then." As we rode on he remarked that he would wait for me down the street at his house. It was not until attempting to dismount in front of Travis’ room, that I was sensible of the extent of the injury caused by the fall of my horse. On alighting from the saddle, my knee gave way and I fell to the ground. By the assistance of Colonel Crockett I got up and went to Colonel Travis’ room, where we found him writing a despatch. 4 He had watched our movements and by this time no longer doubted that the enemy were upon him. I informed him of our discoveries, and of the accident which had happened to me and added that "if I could be of any benefit to him, I was at his service." He replied that he wished me to go forthwith to Gonzales, and rally the settlers, if possible, to his relief. Colonel Crockett yet standing by, remarked to him, "Colonel, here am I. Assign me a position, and I and my twelve boys will try to defend it." Travis replied that he wanted him to defend the picket wall extending from the end of the barracks, on the south side, to the corner of the church.

At this time the Texians had well nigh consumed everything they had on hand in the way of provisions. Grant and Johnson had left them but a small supply of coffee, sugar, and salt which had long since disappeared and none of these necessaries were to be found though they might have had ever so much money with which to buy them.

Their meat they obtained by driving the beef from the prairies just as they needed it, and as they never had more at one time than would serve them more than twenty-four hours, it so happened that they were in need just at that time. They were out of corn from which they made their bread and had no money to purchase more. Though Travis afterwards thought that the Lord was on his side upon the promise that "he would provide for the upright," if he had claimed his favor under the circumstances it would have been upon the score that, "He chasteneth whom He loveth." While they were retiring from the city to the Alamo they met twenty or thirty beeves coming down Alamo Street, (now Commerce Street), and gathered around them and drove them into the Alamo. They also got their bread by chance. During the hurry and excitement of the day a number of Mexican "Jacales"5 near the Alamo had been vacated. In them they found some eighty or ninety bushels of corn. These were their supplies during the siege.

As soon as the Texans entered the Alamo they set about preparing for its defense. The beeves were secured in a pen on the northeast side of the fortress, as shown on the diagram. The corn was stored away in some of the small rooms of the barracks. They did not obtain water from the small canal which runs near but dug a well within the walls. There being no portholes in the walls, it was necessary for them to make an arrangement by which they could shoot over it. This was done by throwing up an embankment against it on the inside. This being done they proceeded to make other arrangements that were necessary. Their guns were placed upon the walls as soon as possible. Of these they had some thirty or forty pieces of various calibre, amongst them an eighteen pounder. Most of them they had taken from the enemy in the previous December when Cos had surrendered. Though they had so many, they were not all mounted. I think not more than about twenty were put to use during the siege. They had also obtained from the same source a considerable number of muskets, swords, and bayonets, together with any amount of ammunition, which came in play, for of their own they had but a small supply. All were armed with good rifles, single barrel pistols, and good knives. Their powder they kept in a small room in the southwest corner of the church which was covered over with an arched roof of stone and plastered perfectly tight so as to make it proof against sparks of fire from the enemy’s shells.

So soon as Travis ascertained that the enemy were upon him he sent a despatch to Colonel Fannin, then at Goliad, representing to him his position and requesting assistance as speedily as it could be sent to him. This despatch was borne by a young man by the name of Johnson, and not by J. B. Bonham, as stated in some accounts. On the twenty-third, when Almonte arrived at Bexar, Bonham was absent from the city. He had visited Texas with a view of purchasing land and had not attached himself to the army, though he held himself in readiness to serve the country whenever an emergency occurred. At the time the cavalry arrived he was prospecting the country in the vicinity of San Antonio and on hearing the report of cannon in the city, started on the return. On the way, near the Salado, he met Johnson with the despatch to Fannin, and learned the cause of the cannon fire. He put spurs to his horse and made his way into the walls of the Alamo.

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