The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 12
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Southwestern Iistorical Quarterly
of the 22nd. But before he had received this information from
his scouts, his army had already pitched camp on both sides of
the Medina, the munition wagons being on the west bank. More-
over, a cold norther, accompanied by a heavy rain, had blown up;
the river rose suddenly, and finding it impossible to make a crossing
in the storm, he gave up his plan for the surprise attack. But
during the night of the 22nd, the cavalry, as the vanguard of the
invaders, had been stationed on the heights to the west overlooking
a. Travis and His Men Go Into the, Alamo
In order to ascertain the truth, Travis called for volunteer scouts
to ride out to reconnoiter. Doctor John Sutherland and John W.
Smith, both having horses in town, offered their services. After
agreeing that the sentry should give the alarm if he saw them
returning at a run, they set out on the Laredo road. Upon reach-
ing the crest of a hill about a mile and half out of town, the two
scouts came in full view of the Mexican cavalry, formed in battle
line, the commander riding up and down in front of it, waving his
sword, and apparently giving orders. Halting only long enough
to estimate that the forces before them would number from 1,200
to 1,500, they wheeled their horses and dashed back toward the
city; whereupon the sentry rang the church bell. Travis now
realized that the enemy was indeed upon him, and he ordered the
Texan soldiers, congregated upon Main Plaza, to retire to the
fortress of the Alamo. This movement was carried out in fairly
It had rained on the morning of the 23rd, and the ground was
wet and slippery. Doctor Sutherland's horse was unshod and
when spurred into a run had slipped and fallen, pinning his
rider's leg under his body. Smith helped the horse and its rider
to their feet, but Sutherland's knee was badly lamed. Upon reach-
ing the city, they learned that the soldiers had all withdrawn to
the Alamo, and thither they also went.
Within the fortress all was busy confusion. The men were now
active and eager for orders. Already most of them were engaged
in planting cannons, and in other work for defense. As Suther-
**Santa Anna to the Minister of War, February 27, 1836, University of
Texas Manuscripts, Guerra, Frac. 1, Leg. 3, Op. Mil. 1836, Texas, Exp.
de Febrero; Filisola, Guerra de Tejas, II, 379-380; William Corner, Sa
Antonio de Bexar, 121
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/20/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.