The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 192
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192 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
parole if they would join the defenders of the constitution. Capt. Manuel
Savariego, the deposed commandant at Goliad, gave his word on Oc-
tober 23, but once free, he recanted and joined the army at Lipantitlin.
Surprised by such dishonorable action by an officer, the Texans refused
to free Lt. Col. Francisco Sandoval one month later and made plans to
transfer the prisoners to more secure eastern Texas.5
After the successful conclusion of the siege at San Antonio in De-
cember, the small band of Texas volunteers held between 1,loo and
1,300 prisoners and again followed civilized custom. Optimistic that the
war was over, the victors offered generous parole. On December i 1, C6s
and his officers agreed to immediately "retire with their arms and pri-
vate property" to the interior and that "under parole of honor" would
not oppose federalist efforts to re-establish the Constitution of 1824.
The Texans declared that prisoners of both armies were free and that
the sick could remain in San Antonio until well enough to travel. They
invited the troops to remain in Texas promising to return their arms. A
few accepted the offer, a step that the Mexicans regarded as desertion.6
President Santa Anna started north almost immediately to avenge his
brother-in-law and regain national honor by punishing the Texans in
the same manner that he had put down the federalist rebellion in Zaca-
tecas the previous year. There he had allowed his troops to rape and kill
citizens and loot homes at will. Warning that anyone carrying arms
would be considered an enemy of the nation, Santa Anna arrived in San
Antonio at the end of February accompanied by C6s. The red flag sig-
naling no quarter fluttered from the church tower the next day. When
the Texans forted up in the Alamo inquired about terms of surrender,
Santa Anna replied that he would not consider any agreement with "re-
bellious foreigners" except surrender at discretion. Thus those in the
Alamo knew, or should have suspected, that they would all be "put to the
sword" if they lost.7
In spite of the objections of a few officers brave enough to disagree
with the president, Santa Anna carried out the barbaric decree of De-
cember 30 and executed the seven captured survivors of the attack on
5Royall to S. F. Austin, Oct. 18, 21, 28, 1835, ibid., II, 156, 184, 253-254; Manuel Savariego
to C6s, Oct. 28, 1835, Ibid., II, 254; "Military Affairs Committee Report," Dec. 6, 1835, ibid., III,
102-104; "An Ordinance and Decree to Provide for the Outfit and Contingent Expenses .... "
Dec. 6, 1835, ibid., IX, 428.
6C6s Capitulation, Dec. 11, 1835, ibid., III, 156 (quotations), 157; Burleson to Gov. Smith,
Dec. 14, 1835, Ibid., III, 186-188; C6s to Fillsola, Dec. 15, 1835, ibid., III, 199
7Jim Bowie to Santa Anna, Feb. 23, 1836, ibid., IV, 414; Jose Batres to Bowie, Feb. 23, 1836,
ibid., IV, 415 (1st quotation), Travis to the Public, Feb. 24, 1836, ibid, 423 (2nd quotation).
While Bowie says the Mexicans sounded a bugle call for a parley, Jose de la Pena who had not
yet arrived in San Antonio says the Texans raised a white flag. Jose Enrique de la Pena, With
Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative...., trans. Carmen Perry (College Station. Texas
A&M University Press, 1975), 38.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/236/: accessed April 5, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.