A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 31
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LIMESTONE, FREESTONE AND LEON COUlNTIES.
the services of 5,000 volunteers and 1,200
regulars. Provision was also made for a
To return now to the army under General
Burleson, encamped before San Antonio:
Many 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 callnon.
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 2.d of December 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 for 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 l1( andl rino in ?.uzztli,
which, together with his magnetismn, 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 numbers 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 be remembered by those who took
part in the siege. But it is the old story
of the Anglo-Saxon against the field. He
is rarely ever the under dog in the fight at
But, during the time the fighting men
were doing such splendid work, the poli
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/33/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.