History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 49
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HISTORY OP TEXAS. 49~~~~~~~~
of the men had gone home, although others
were arriving daily; still, only about half
the original force remained. There had
been about 1,400 men in the camps at one
time; 600 was the number on the 1st of December,
while Cos had a much larger force in
the city, and was expecting 500 more. These
additional troops arrived in time to take part
in the defense of the city. The defenses had
been put in order and the old fortress of the
Alamo on the east side of the river had been
repaired and fortified with cannon. The
main plaza had been fortified and the streets
barricaded, while the adobe houses in the
narrow streets afforded shelter for the Mexican
soldiers. Many of Burleson's officers, in
consideration of these facts, were in favor of
abandoning the siege. On the 2d of Decenmber
it was decided to make the attack. The
force was paraded and a strong address was
made by Colonel William H. Jack. A call
was then made volunteers, and 450 men, including
the New Orleans Grays, responded,
the latter under the command of Major R. C.
Norris. It was decided to make the attack
next morning, although many considered the
project as a hopeless one. But three citizens
arrived in camp from the city and gave such
encouraging news that the next morning
Colonel Milam suggested to Burleson to make
the attempt while the enthusiasm was at its
height. He agreed, and Milam stepped in
front of Burleson's tent and gave a loud and
ringing huzzah, which, together with his
mnagnetisin, aroused the whole camp. He
said he was going into San Antonio, and
wanted volunteers to follow him. A ready
response was made, and the little band, forming
into two sections and accompanied by two
field pieces, entered the town by different
directions. A description of this famous
battle has so often been given that its details
are almost like household words to all Texans.
The result was sufficient almost to place it in
the category of one of the " decisive battles
of the world," for the result of a battle is
what makes it great. Hundreds of battles
have been fought where thousands on each
side have been slain, and yet the result has
been nil. This siege and capture of the
strongly protected city of San Antonio de
Bexar was all important to Texas. It gave
the Mexicans to understand that not in ntunbers
alone consists the strength of an army.
Here was a force of undisciplined frontiersmen,
poorly armed and equipped, only a few
hundred in number, attacking a well organized
army of regular soldiers, advancing into
their very midst and forcing them to surrender.
The difference in apparent strength
of the two forces and the result would appear
ridiculous were it not so serious a matter.
The spectacle of a general such as Cos seemed
to be, surrendering to a few Texans, was a
scene to l)e remembered by those who took
part in the siege. 13ut it is the old story ot
the Anglo-Saxon against the field. Iie is
rarely ever the under dog in the fight at the
But, during the time the fighting men
were doing such splendid work, the politicians
were quarreling; nor are we lacking
in a more "modern instance " or two, on both
sides of Mason and Dixon's line. Governor
Smith vetoed some matters that the council
had voted, and the council promptly deposed
him and placed Lieutenant-Governor Robinson
in the executive chair. Smith held the
archives and claimed to be governor still, and
there were consequently two governors at
once; but that state of affairs is not uncomnmnon
in these days. Much other legislative
matter of some interest at the time was transacted,
but it is not now of supreme import
JUSTOR Y OP TEXAS.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/51/?rotate=90: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .