The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 84
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the cavalry.' Consequently, on December 24, 1835, Governor
Smith gave him a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry."
In January, 1836, as we have seen (see chapter I, 272), Governor
Smith ordered Travis to reinforce Neill at Bexar. He went re-
luctantly; he pleaded with his friend and superior officer, Smith,
to relieve him of the necessity of carrying out the order. He
could see no need of his going to Bexar; moreover, he was eager
for cavalry activity on the border. It is very probable that he
hoped to be made the chief leader of the Matamoras expedition.17
It is certain that he had little confidence in the success of a volun-
teer army under the stress and strain of a long siege; and the
troops at Bexar, by a large majority, were volunteers.18 Smith,
however, did not rescind the order, so there was nothing that a
good soldier could do but obey. Travis was pre-eminently the good
soldier, for while it is probable that no man in Texas did more
than he did to initiate the revolution, certainly none fought more
bravely, served more faithfully, or died more heroically.
At the time of his death Travis was in his twenty-seventh year.
In person, he was about six feet tall and weighed around 175
pounds, being inclined to be sinewy and raw-boned. His com-
plexion was fair and ruddy; hair auburn, crisp-almost curly; eyes
blue-grey; beard reddish; chin, broad and dimpled; forehead,
high and white. With intimates the young man was genial, often
jolly, but he was given to reverie, and toward mere acquaintances
he often appeared stern. His temper was quick and only fairly
well controlled, and when aroused, his eyes flashed defiance, his
form seemed to grow taller and more commanding, but his
courteous, courtly manner was never laid aside, and this fact, even
in moments of anger, saved the man from abruptness." Travis
"Governor and Council Papers, State Library; see, also, a photograph
of this commission to be found among the University of Texas Tran-
scripts from the Mexican Archives of the Department of War and Navy.
"Travis to J. W. Robinson, December 17, 1835, Lamar Papers, I, 264;
Travis to Captain J. L. Vaughan, February 19, 1836, University of Texas
"Travis to the Governor and the General Council, December 3, 1835,
Army Papers, Archives of the Texas State Library. This is a long let-
ter in Travis's own handwriting, setting forth in detail his ideas con-
cerning the proper organization of the Texan army.
"Homer S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas, 627-628; Frank Tem-
pleton, The Fall of the Alamo, 230; Materials collected by Judge D. W.
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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/m1/98/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.