Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 167
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The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
when I threw open the door there stood revealed
a gigantic shrouded form, which moved not nor
spoke. Oh! Isabella, I cannot convey an idea of
the paralyzing, crushing influence that form pos-
sessed over me. I tried to retreat, but when I did
so, it followed me. I strove to speak, but could
not; but at length, after almost superhuman ef-
fort, I whispered 'Merciful Heaven! who are
you?' The form threw open its arms, the shroud
which enveloped it fell off, revealing a hideous
skeleton, and in thundering tones which seemed
to vibrate to the vaulted sky, it cried, 'death!'
and clasped me in a tightening and unrelenting
grasp. It was then that I found power to scream
and awake, but ah! I fear it was not merely a
dream, it has more the reality of a vision, and I
believe it has been sent as a precursor of some
awful evil. Oh! Bowie, best bravest of men; you
who have seemed to me so far above those fa-
talities which afflict other men; can it be that
death also had dominion over you? Terrible, mer-
ciless death! I have felt your power this night,
but I would cheerfully yield myself to your em-
brace once more, did I know that he I loved had
been clasped within your dreadful arms."
Soon after this the terrible tidings of the
fall of the Alamo came upon us, and couriers
were hastening through the country urging the
people to instant flight. I was forced from my
friend's side, (I will not stop to speak of her
now-it was too unutterably sad) by my father
who had hastily procured a small truckle, into
which we put some bedding and articles of wear-
ing apparel, and it seemed to me life, as we urged
our one horse in the direction of Houston's army.
The road for many miles was literally thronged
with fugitives flying from the advancing enemy.
A universal feeling of consternation impelled their
flight from the wrath behind them, for too well
they knew the merciless foe into whose hands
they feared to fall, and now commenced that
"runaway scrape," as it is called in Texas, which
ceased not until many had crossed the Sabine,
and others had heard of the fortune of our arms
at San Jacinto.
At length, worn out in body and dispir-
ited in mind, we reached Houston's camp. Deaf
Smith had just come in from reconnoitering, bring-
ing in two Mexican prisoners whom he had cap-
tured. They had been among those engaged in
the fearful butchery of the Alamo, and upon their
persons were discovered the well known pistols
of Bowie, and with his name engraved upon
them. I cannot tell you how forcibly the realiza-
tion of his untimely fate presented itself to me,
as I gazed upon those relics of my brave and
noble friend, and among those who gathered
around to view them there was not a dry eye;
while some even were heard to sob aloud, as
they swore to revenge him. I afterwards met
Mrs. Dickinson, who was an eye witness of the
bloody scenes perpetrated at the Alamo, and who
recounted to me the horrible details of Bowie's
dcath and the mutilation of his noble body after
life was extinct. Pistalio was one of the braves
where all were heroes. She saw him at the last
moment, after he had been repeatedly wounded,
upon his knees by the bedside of his friend, fight-
ing with all the desperation of despair, until struck
to the floor beneath the last and fatal blow!
Yes! Travis and his companions had
shouted their last battle cry for Texas, and then
slept the sleep of the brave. But they will not
sleep unknown to fame, for wherever freedom
reigns, wherever a love of noble deeds shall in-
spire the human heart, their names will be sung
in the song and a story as the more than suc-
cessful rival of Leonidas and his Spartan Band.
It was not for many weeks afterwards
that I could learn anything of Clara Lisle; but
after the battle of San Jacinto had been fought, I
one day saw a feeble and sad looking young man
approaching me, and it was not until he made
himself known that I recognized him as Howard
Lisle, the brother of Clara. I dreaded to inquire
of her whom I so tenderly loved, but at length I
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/39/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.