The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

rte Burial Place of thte 4Alamo teres
MARILYN McADAMS SIBLEY
LETTER IN THE PAPERS OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL ALBERT
SSidney Johnston introduces new evidence to an old con-
troversy in Texas history, the question of where the re-
mains of the Alamo heroes are buried. The letter, written by John
(or Juan) N. Seguin to Johnston on March 13, 1837,1 describes
the funeral service which Seguin conducted for the Alamo de-
fenders on February 25, 1837. The description contradicts that
given by Seguin in a letter to Hamilton P. Bee on March 28, 1889,
by which Seguin launched the great controversy over the burial
place.2
Until Seguin wrote the 1889 letter, there was apparently no
question but that the remains of the defenders lay in an unmarked
grave in the vicinity of the Alamo. The Telegraph and Texas
Register of March 24, 1836, the last issue published at San Felipe
before the editor took flight from the advancing Mexican army,
reported that "Our dead were denied the right of Christian burial;
being stripped and thrown into a pile, and burned. Would that
we could gather up their ashes and place them in urns!"
In the rush of events in the months immediately following,
nothing was done to gather up the ashes until about the first of
1837 when Felix Huston, then in command of the Texas army,
directed Seguin to collect the ashes and give them the honors of
war. On March 28, 1837, the Telegraph and Texas Register carried
over Seguin's name a report of the memorial services.
In conformity with an order from the general commanding the
army at headquarters, Col. Seguin, with his command stationed
at Bexar, paid the honors of war to the remains of the heroes of
the Alamo; the ashes were found in three places, the two smallest
heaps were carefully collected, placed in a coffin neatly covered
with black, and having the names of Travis, Bowie and Crockett,
'The letter is in the Mrs. Mason Barret Collection (Tulane University Library,
New Orleans).
2This letter is in the Seguin Papers (Archives, Texas State Library).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed January 26, 2015.