The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
When the Mexicans had once gained the walls, they began
coming into the large area of the fort in great numbers-Joe
said, "they poured over like sheep." But the Texans met them
with rifle and sword, and many of them were killed as they
leaped from the walls to the ground within. But their over-
whelming numbers prevailed. Within the walls the battle be-
came a mnlel. Every man fought for himself as best he could
with any weapon he could lay hands on. When rifles and
pistols could no longer be fired they were used as clubs, and lack-
ing even those, men fought with their bare hands."" After a
short period of hand to hand fighting near the walls of the
western barracks, the Texans took to cover in the long barracks
and in the church. On the western front of the long barracks
the hottest fighting is said to have taken place. Here the enemy
fell in heaps; but finally when the Texans had been greatly re-
duced, the Mexicans swarmed within that stronghold and the
battle was hand to. hand within the rooms of the long barracks
until not a defender there remained alive.
The church was the last point taken. Here, as has been said,
the women and children had been placed. Here, too, was the
in which he said: "The brave and gallant Travis, to prevent his fall-
ing into the hands of the enemy, shot him-self." This account was copied
by the Arkansas Gazette, April 12, 1836.
But William F. Gray in his diary, From Virginia to Texas, p. 137,
gives another account of Travis's death. He says that after the fall
of the Alamo, Travis's negro slave boy, Joe, was called before the Con-
vention at Washington and encouraged to tell what he knew of the bat-
tle. Gray was at the meeting of the Convention, saw the negro and
heard him tell his story. He says that "Joe related the affair with
much modesty, apparent truth, and remarkably distinct for one of his
class." In a few hours after hearing Joe tell his story, Gray wrote it
down in his diary; this is the substance of it: Joe said that when his
master was shot he fell within the walls on sloping ground and sat up,
and that about that time a Mexican officer (Colonel Mora) came along
and attempted to bayonet Travis, who, making a supreme effort, ran
the Mexican through with his sword, and that both died together. But
Joe also stated that he did not understand much that went on after
that, fbr when he saw his master die, he ran and hid in one of the
rooms of the long barracks, from where he said that he fired several
I am inclined to think that Joe's story is too circumstantial and that
Ruiz's statement is more nearly accurate. The fact that Travis's only
wound was a pistol shot through the forehead, together with all the
attending circumstances, makes the reports carried by Borgarra and
Perez seem very plausible.
"El Mosquito Mexicano, April 5, 1836; Morphis, History of Texas,
176-177; Bounty Files, Bastrop 263, General Land Office.
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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/m1/50/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.