The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
g. A Calendar of the Siege
Travis's letter of March 3, contains the last information from
official Texan sources concerning the progress of the siege. For
the rest of the drama, therefore, we must look to Mexican sources,
supplemented or modified by what little the women"9 and negro
servants of the fort could tell. But before turning to the last
tragic scene it will be profitable to recapitulate and supplement
W. Smith was the last messenger. Now, it is hardly probable that he
could have been on the outskirts of San Antonio at eleven o'clock, on
the morning of March 3, admonishing Bonham not to commit suicide
by entering the fort, and then be within the Alamo himself by night-
fall, ready to make his way out. Brown must have confused either
facts or men. Dr. Sutherland, Dallas News, February 5, 1911, as well
as in his account to be found in Ford's Journal, University of Texas
Archives, states that as he and John W. Smith were leaving Bexar on
February 23, they met Bonham returning to the town. According to
Travis's letter of March 3, to the Convention, we learn that he had
sent Bonham to Fannin, as early as February 16, with a request for
aid. So on February 23, Bonham was returning from this mission and
met Sutherland and John W. Smith on the outskirts of Bexar. Further-
more, Sutherland says that Bonham's horse was "all in a foam" from
rapid riding, because when Bonham had heard the first cannon shot,
he had surmised the cause of it and had hurried to join his countrymen
and friends. A brief explanation from Sutherland and Smith only
served to increase his anxiety, and with a farewell salute, he put spur
to his horse, dashed ahead and entered the Alamo.
Cyrus T. Brady, Conquest of the Southwest, 102, says that Fannin
urged Bonham not to return to the Alamo, saying that the Mexican
investment of the fort was so close that it would mean death to attempt
to enter; but Bonham replied that he would report to Travis or die in
the attempt. No doubt many urged Bonham not to attempt to return
to the Alamo. So the incident of his reply to this advice occurred, I
think, if it occurred at all, on his second trip to Fannin. A. J. Sowell,
Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Texas, 9, states that Travis sent
Ben Highsmith to Goliad with a message to Fannin, and that on his
return, "on or about March 3," he found the Alamo closely invested.
The Mexican cavalry on the lookout for Texan couriers, chased him and
his companion, and they returned to Gonzales. But in his letter of
March 3, Travis says, "Bonham got in this morning at eleven o'clock
without molestation," and Dr. Sutherland says, "Bonham rode into the
Alamo in broad daylight on the morning of the third and the Mexi-
cans paid no attention to him, they evidently wanted as many as would
to go in to be trapped."
From these several accounts it seems evident that Bonham made his
dash into the Alamo on the first day of the siege, and that the com-
panion who urged him not to enter on March 3, was Benjamin High-
smith, not John W. Smith.
"The reports made by the women are at best fragmentary. Since they
were secluded in the old chapel during the siege and final assault, they
saw little of the actual fighting. They heard the guns and the shouts
and cries of the men, but until the last few minutes they saw almost
nothing of the battle.
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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/m1/34/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.