The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 32
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Eleventh Day, March 4. Beginning with the eleventh day we
must turn exclusively to the Mexican sources and to the reports
of the non-combatant survivors of the massacre. The Mexicans
began firing early and kept up a heavy bombardment all day, but
few shots were returned from the Alamo. Santa Anna called a
meeting of his generals and colonels. After a long conference
Cos, Castrillon, and others were of the opinion that the Alamo
should not be assaulted before the arrival of the two 12-pounders
which were expected on the 7th. Santa Anna, Sesma, and Almonte
thought it unnecessary to wait for the guns. No public decision
was announced. Filisola says that on this day, late in the evening,
Travis sent Santa Anna, by a woman messenger, a proposal to
surrender the fort with all the munitions and arms, making only
one condition-that his own life and the lives of his men be
spared. Santa Anna's answer was that the only surrender that
he would accept would be one at discretion, without guaranty
even of life, which traitors did not deserve. Granting that such
a reply was made, the Texans could only sell their lives as dearly
Twelfth Day, March 5. The bombardment was desultory, but
Travis probably realized that it was but the lull before the final
assault. During the afternoon a few shots from the enemy's
guns fell within the fort. By ten o'clock in the evening all firing
had ceased, the besieging forces were withdrawn; the batteries
were all hushed. All was quiet. And this Mexican ruse had its
intended effect. In a little while the Texans were fast asleep.
For more than eleven days and nights they had been constantly
at their posts. They had not even left their posts of duty to eat,
for a few had cooked the beef and cornbread for their comrades,
sion of the speech that Travis is supposed to have made to his soldiers,
written by Sidney Lanier.
cVicente Filisola, Guerra de T'ejas (1849), IT, 9-14. Here Filisola
does not record Travis's proposal to surrender as an official report, but
rather as a rumor. Mrs. Dickinson, Morphis, History of Texas, 175,
says "that on the night of the fourth of March a Mexican woman de-
serted us, and going over to the enemy informed them of our inferior
numbers." Mrs. Susan Sterling, the granddaughter of Mrs. Dickinson,
told me that her grandmother always said that this Mexican "woman
traitor" was Mrs. Horace Alsbury, and that Mrs. Dickinson would never
remain in the same house with Mrs. Alsbury-"not even for an hour"-
in post-revolutionary days. Mrs. Sterling lived in Austin, Texas, until
August, 1929, when she died at the age of 83. My findings concerning
Mrs. Alsbury will be given at another place in the narrative.
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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/m1/40/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.