William Barrett Travis'
Report and Appeal for Aid
3 March 1836

 On the night of March 3, 1836, William Barrett Travis sent out the last message from the besieged Alamo with courier John W. Smith. He penetrated enemy lines with the message from Travis to the Texas Independence Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. It describes the situation at the Alamo in detail:
In the present confusion of the political authorities of the country, and in the absence of the commander in chief, I beg leave to communicate to you the situation of this garrison. You have doubtless already seen my official report of the action of the twenty fifth ult. made on that day to Gen. Sam Houston, together with the various communications heretofore sent by express. I shall therefore confine myself to what has transpired since that date. From the twenty-fifth to the present date the enemy has kept up a bombardment from two howitzers—one a five and a half inch, and the other an eight inch and a heavy cannonade from two long nine-pounders mounted on a battery on the opposite side of the river at a distance of four hundred yards from our wall. During this period the enemy have been busily employed in encircling us with entrenched encampments on all sides, at the following distance, to wit: In Bexar, four hundred yards west; in Lavileta[sic], three hundred yards south; at the powder house, one thousand yards east of south; at the ditch, eight hundred yards northeast, and at the old mill, eight hundred yards north. Notwithstanding all this, a company of thirty-two men from Gonzales made their way in to us on the morning of the first inst. at three o'clock, and Colonel J. B. Bonham (a courier from Gonzales) got in this morning at eleven o'clock without molestation. I have fortified this place, so that the walls are generally proof against cannon balls and I will continue to entrench on the inside, and strengthen walls by throwing up the dirt. At least two hundred shells have fallen inside our works without having injured a single man; indeed we have been so fortunate as not to lose a man from any cause, and we have killed many of the enemy. The spirits of my men are still high although they have had much to depress them. We have contended for ten days against an enemy whose numbers are variously estimated at from fifteen hundred to six thousand men, with General Ramirez Sesma and Colonel Batres, the aides-de-camp of Santa Anna, at their head. A report was circulated that Santa Anna himself was with the enemy, but I think it was false. A reinforcement of about one thousand men is now entering Bexar, from the west, and I think it more than probable that Santa Anna is now in town, from the rejoicing we hear. Col. Fannin is said to be on the march to this place with reinforcements, but I fear it is not true, as I have repeatedly sent to him for aid without receiving any. Colonel Bonham, my special messenger, arrived at La Bahia fourteen days ago, with a request for aide and on the arrival of the enemy in Bexar, ten days ago, I sent an express to Colonel F. which arrived at Goliad on the next day, urging him to send us reinforcements; none have yet arrived. I look to the colonies alone for aid; unless it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms. I will, however, do the best I can under the circumstances; and I feel confident that the determined valor and desperate courage heretofore exhibited by my men will not fail them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse to him than a defeat. I hope your honorable body will hasten on reinforcements ammunition, and provisions to our aid as soon as possible. We have provisions for twenty days for the men we have. Our supply of ammunition is limited. At least five hundred pounds of cannon powder, and two hundred rounds of six., nine, twelve and eighteen pound balls, ten kegs of rifle powder and a supply of lead, should be sent to the place without delay under a sufficient guard. If these things are promptly sent, and large reinforcements are hastened to this frontier, this neighborhood will be the great and decisive ground. The power of Santa Anna is to be met here, or in the colonies; we had better meet them here than to suffer a war of devastation to rage in our settlements. A blood red banner waves from the church of Bexar, and in the camp above us, in token that the war is one of vengeance against rebels; they have declared us as such; demanded, that we should surrender at discretion, or that this garrison should be put to the sword. Their threats have had no influence on me or my men, but to make all fight with desperation, and that high souled courage which characterizes the patriot, who is willing to die in defense of his country's liberty and his own honor. The citizens of this municipality are all our enemies, except those who have joined us heretofore. We have but three Mexicans now in the fort; those who have not joined us, in this extremity, should be declared public enemies, and their property should aid in paying the expenses of the war. The bearer of this will give your honorable body a statement more in detail, should he escape through the enemy's lines.

God and Texas—Victory or Death. 
[signed] W.B. Travis 

P.S. The enemy's troops are still arriving, and the reinforcements will probably amount to two or three thousand. 

See Also:
February 24, 1836. William Barret Travis - Letter from the Alamo