The Texas Almanac for 1861 Page: 52
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GEN. BURLESON, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE FEDERAL VOLUNTEER ARMY OF TEXAS:
SIR: I have the honor to acquaint you, that on the morning of the 5th instant
the volunteers for storming the city of Bexar, possessed by the troops of General
Cos, entered the suburbs in two divisions, under the command of Colonel Benjamin
R. Milam. The first division, under his immediate command, aided by Major
R. C. Morris, and the second, under my command, aided by Colonels Grant and
Austin, and Adjutant Brister.
The first division, consisting of the companies of Captains York, Patton, Lle-
wellyn, Crane, English, and Landrum, with two pieces and fifteen artillerymen, com-
manded by Lieutenaht-Colonel Franks, took possession of the house of Don Antonio
de la Garza. The second division, composed of the companies of Captains Cooke,
Swisher, Edwards, Alley, Duncan, Peacock, Breece, and Placido Venavides, took
possession of the house of Berrimendi. The last division was exposed for a short
time to a very heavy fire of grape and musketry from the whole of the enemy's
line of fortification, until the guns of the first division opened their fire, when the
enemy's attention was directed to both divisions. At 7 o'clock, a heavy cannon-
ading from the town was seconded by a well-directed fire from the Alamo, which
for a time prevented the possibility of covering our lines, or effecting a safe com-
munication between the two divisions. In consequence of the twelve-pounder
having been dismounted, and the want of proper cover for the other gun, little
execution was done by our artillery during the day. We were, therefore, reduced
to a close and well-directed fire from our rifles, which, notwithstanding the advan-
tageous position of the enemy, obliged them to slacken their fire, and several times
to abandon their artillery within the range of our shot. Our loss during this day
was one private killed, one Colonel and one First-Lieutenant severely wounded;
one Colonel slightly, three privates dangerously, six severely, and three slightly.
During the whole of the night the two divisions were occupied in strengthening
tneir positions, opening trenches, and effecting a safe communication, although
exposed to a heavy cross-fire from the enemy, which slackened towards morning.
I may remark that the want of proper tools rendered this undertaking doubly
arduous. At daylight of the 6th the enemy were observed to have occupied the
tops of the houses in our front, where, under the cover of breastworks, they opened
through loop-holes a very brisk fire of small-arms on our whole line, followed by
a steady cannonading from the town, in front, and the Alamo on the left flank,
with few interruptions during the day. A detachment of Captain Crane's company,
under Lieutenant W. McDonald, followed by others, gallantly possessed themselves,
under a severe fire, of the house to the right, and in advance of the first division,
which considerably extended our line; while the rest of the army was occupied in
returning the enemy's fire and strengthening our trenches, which enabled our artil-
lery to do some execution, and complete a safe communication from right to left.
Our loss this day amounted to three privates severely wounded, and two slightly.
During the night the fire from the enemy was inconsiderable, and our people were
occupied in making and filling sand-bags, and otherwise strengthening our lines.
At daylight on the 7th it was discovered that the enemy had, during the night
previous, opened a trench on the Alamo side of the river, and on the left flank, as
well as strengthening their battery on the cross-street leading to the Alamo. From
the first they opened a brisk fire of small-arms; from the last a heavy cannonade,
as well as small-arms, which was kept up until eleven o'clock, when they were
silenced by our superior fire. About twelve o'clock Henry Carns, of Captain
York's company, exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy, gallantly advanced to a:
house in front of the first division, and with a crowbar forced an entrance, into
which the whole of the company immediately followed him, and made a secure
lodgment. In the evening the enemy renewed a heavy fire from all the positions
which could bear upon us, and at half-past three o'clock, as our gallant commander,
Colonel Milam, was passing into the yard of my position, he received a rifle-shot
in the head, which caused his instant death; an irreparable loss at so critical a
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The Texas Almanac for 1861, book, 1860; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123767/m1/52/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.