The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 21
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A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo
had under his command at Goliad some 420 men. The first
message from the Alamo reached him on February 25. He set
out for Bexar on the 28th with three hundred men and four guns,
leaving Captain Westover in command at Goliad; but he had gone
only a few hundred yards when one of his wagons broke down, and
being short of draft animals, as well as of provisions for his
soldiers, he decided to hold a council of war to discuss the propriety
-of attempting to go to the relief of Travis. This council of war
voted to return to Goliad.63
f. Travis Sends Out His Last Message
The faithful scout, John W. Smith, bore Travis's last message
through the Mexican lines on the night of March 3.64 The soldiers
,of the Alamo knew that the convention was in session at Washing-
ton, although they had had no news of its proceedings, so it was to
the President of the Convention that Travis addressed his last
.appeal. As we have already seen, Governor Smith had no power,
the council never had a quorum after January 18, and Houston,
the commander-in-chief of the Texas army, was in east Texas on a
Tewas, 159, says: "At the risk of their lives one or two messengers
came daily through the enemy's lines and brought us the pleadings of
that garrison, and especially the private letters of Travis, the com-
mander, and those from Bowie and Crockett--all plead for help."
"'Yoakum, History of Teas, II, 28; General John E. Roller, "Capt.
John Sowers Brooks," Teas Historical Association Quarterly, IX, 157.
Brooks was aide to Fannin. His letter of March 2, gives a detailed
account of the difficulties that confronted his chief.
"'Stephen Gould, Alamo Guide, 18, says that Smith left the Alamo at
midnight of March 3, and crawled stealthily upon hands and knees until
safely beyond the Mexican lines. As he departed Travis said to him:
"Every morning at daybreak, I will fire a cannon as a sign that we
still hold the fort, but when the cannon is heard no more, its silence
will tell that the Alamo has fallen." During the investigation of this
subject, I have had access to a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, col-
lected by the late Mrs. Henry Newton, the daughter of John W. Smith.
Among these clippings there is one-unfortunately undated-from the
San Antonio Empress which gave an interesting account of Smith's
leaving the Alamo on the night of March 3. Tradition at San Antonio
says that he crawled out through a secret tunnel that extended from
-the Alamo eastward. There are many interesting traditions of San
Antonio during its mission period; one of these is that during "the
early days," all the missions near San Antonio were connected by under-
:ground tunnels. Modern builders, however, in making excavations in the
vicinity of the Alamo and of the other missions have not been able to
verify this tradition.
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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/m1/29/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.