The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 20
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
e. Reinforcements Come from Gonzales
In 'reply to Travis's note of the 23rd to Andrew Ponton, thirty-
two men rode from Gonzales, passed through the enemy's lines,
and entered the Alamo.60 According to Travis's request Andrew
Ponton sent on to San Felipe the call for help, and on February
27, Governor Smith published it as a handbill, urging all Texans
to arouse themselves and send reinforcements."5 But this appeal
came too late. Troops could hardly have been mustered in time
to save the Alamo, even if the apathy of the people had been less.
The only real hope for assistance lay in the chance of union of the
troops at Goliad with those at Bexar.
Nor did Travis neglect to request help from Goliad. At the
same time that he sent his message to Andrew Ponton, he also
sent a courier52 to Fannin, asking for help. At this time Fannin
"See Chapter IV for a detailed account of these Gonzales men.
"This handbill is to be found in the Governor and Council Papers,
Texas State Library; also see John Henry Brown, I, 550-551. It reads
as follows: "Fellow Citizens and Countrymen: The following com-
munication from Colonel Travis, now in command at Bexar, needs no
comment. The garrison composed of only 150 Americans, engaged in a
deadly conflict with 1,000 of the mercenary troops of the Dictator, who
are daily receiving receiving reinforcements, should be a sufficient call
upon you without saying more. However secure, however fortunate, our
garrison may be, they have not the provisions, nor the ammunition to
stand more than a thirty days' siege at the farthest.
"I call upon you as an officer, I implore you as a man, to fly to the
aid of your besieged countrymen, and not permit them to be massacred
by the mercenary foe. I slight none! The call is to ALL who are able
to bear arms, to rally without a moment's delay, or in fifteen days the
heart of Texas will be the seat of war. This is not imaginary. The
enemy from 6,000 to 8,000 strong are on our border and rapidly mov-
ing by forced marches for the colonies. The campaign has commenced.
We must promptly meet the enemy or all will be lost. Do you possess
patriotism? Evince it by your bold, prompt and manly action! If you
possess even humanity you will rally without a moment's delay to the
aid of your besieged countrymen!"
"James T. DeShields (ed), "John Sutherland's Account of the Fall
of the Alamo," Dallas News, February 12, 1911. Dr. Sutherland says
that this courier who was sent to Goliad -on February 23, was not James
Butler Bonham, as many accounts state, but a young man by the name
of Johnson. Bonham, so Sutherland says, returned to Bexar on Feb-
ruary 23, alter the siege had begun. He was sent out again, later,
about the 26 or 27, it seems, although the date cannot be ascertained
with absolute certainty. He probably first went to Fannin and then
returned by way of Gonzales. A. J. Sowell, Tecas Indian Fighters, 9,
says that Travis also sent Benjamin Highsmith to Fannin with orders
to blow up the fort at Goliad and come to Bexar with his full force;
Travis's letter of March 3, says he had repeatedly sent to Fannin for
help; Herman Ehrenberg, Fahrten and Schicksale Bines Deutschen in
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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/m1/28/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.