declared Texans had no more reverence for the* Holy Catholic
Church than wild beasts; that a stalwart Texan had slapped
his jaws in San Felipe because he refused to drink with him,
stating, ^'I never drink with anybody but gentlemen."
3. After two years of arduous labor to reconstruct the
Republic of Mexico under the Constitution of 1824, and wit-
nessing a failure everywhere, he declared in favor of a mili-
tary government, and that the ci^al must be subordinate to
the military, and that the interest of the Catholic Church
and priesthood must be supreme in all things.
Whether Santa Anna did this from necessity or from love
of power will probably never be fully known till the secrets
of all hearts are fully revealed at the judgment day. But
the practical result was, every vestige and guaranty of liberty
was swept away, and military despotism, headed by the once
beloved Santa Anna and the Jesuitical priests, ruled over every
State in Mexico. At Zacatecas, Santa Anna left 2,000 dead
and dying patriots on the battlefield. While Santa Anna
assured Stephen F. Austin that Texas should be an exception,
he sent secretly the infamous Ugartechea with 50 soldiers to
San Antonio and Captain Tenorio to Anahuac. Wm. B.
Travis, whose soul hated tyranny, raised a company of Texans
and captured Tenorio and his soldiers and held them as pris-
oners. Captain Hurd also seized the Mexican warship, Carrio,
and all her crew, in Galveston Bay, and sent them to !N"ew
Orleans as pirates. Santa Anna now ordered TTgartechea to
arrest W. B. Travis, Mosely Baker, A. M. Williamson, J. W.
Johnson, John H. Moore and that noble patriot, Zavalla, and
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 807
other leading Texans, and send them to Mexico and establish
firmly military law in all Texas.
The course now left to the heroic Texans was to live
as down-trodden slaves of a military tyrant and an ignorant,
debauched priesthood, or to gird on their swqrds and bravely
meet their opponents on the field of battle. How gallantly
and heroically they did this at the Alamo, Goliad and San
Jacinto all the world knows.
The era of Ke volution from 1830 to 1836 is the most
tragic and momentous of all Texas history. It would require
the pen of a Homer, a Virgil, a Milton or a Macaulay to do
full justice to the thrilling events and heroic deeds of Texans
from 1830 to 1836. I ask the reader to recall the law-
less outrages committed on the Texans and also theii*
long, patient endurance. And especially that when our
Travis, Jack and McKinstry, and, above all, when our
spotless Stephen F. Austin; bore earnest petitions to the
highest Mexican authorities to respect our constitutional
rights, they were insulted and imprisoned with common
felons. Stephen F. Austin lay two years in a Mexican jail
for no other cause than advocating the rights of Texans.
And when it became self-evident that the military des-
pots who had enslaved Mexico had resolved to exterminate
the Texans, I ask, even our I^orthern historians, what should
Anglo-Saxons do ? Should they bend to the lash, or wait like
fat oxen for the butcher's knife ? What would the heroes of
Lexington and Bunker Hill, in. 1776, have done? Would
they not have done just what the Texan heroes did? Gird
on their swords, and, in the name of God and liberty, march
to battle, crying "Give us liberty or give us death." The bat-
tle of Gonzales has been justly called "The Lexington of our
Texas Revolution." The battles of Velasco, Anahuac,
ISTacogdoches and Angelina, were local efforts to repel
the personal outrages of the Mexican, tyrants, ITgar-
techea, Bradburn, Teran and Tenorio. All the true Tex-
ans hoped the General Government at Mexico would
endure their acts of self-preservation and remove the petty
tyrants. But all these hopes soon vanished. For on the Ist
of September, 1835, General Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-
808 The Life and Writings of
law, arrived with 500 additional troops,, and with positive
orders to abolish all civil offices and establish military despot-
ism, and imprison or execute every patriot who refused to bow
the knee and wear the chain of slavery. General Cos estab-
lished his headquarters at San Antonio, and on the 16th of
September sent General Castenado, with 200 nien, to capture
some cannon and other munitions of war at Gonzales. They
attempted to cross the Guadeloupe River at Gonzales on the
20th of September, 1835, but were repelled by Captain Albert
Martin and his little heroic band of eighteen men. Castenado
withdrew his force of 200 men to a mound, seven miles above
Gonzales, to await re-enforcements from San Antonio. In
the meantime Texas patriots had arrived from Guadeloupe,
La Vaca and Colorado, increasing the Texan army to 168
men. Stephen F. Austin, appointed commander-in-chief by
the general consultation, not having arrived, the volunteers
elected that grand old pioneer, John H. Moore, Colonel, and
J. "W. Wallace ( a brother of our Dr. D. E. Wallace) as
The Texas attacked the Mexicans October 2nd, 1835, at
4 o'clock in the morning, with infantry, cavalry and cannon.
The skill in arranging the forces, as well as the time and mode
of attack, and the courage of executing would have done great
credit to veterans.
They drove the enemy from the field. The Mexicans
fled ingloriously back to San Antonio, leaving many dead and
wounded on the field. The Texans returned in great triumph
to Gonzales, without having a single man killed or wounded.
The victory so inspired the Texans that they resolved to cap-
ture Goliad and San Antonio, strongly fortified with men and
arms, and to drive all military despots from Texas soil.
Captain George Collingsworth, of Matagorda, raised a
company of fifty men for the capture of Goliad. Fortun-
ately, the very night Captain Collingsworth reached Goliad
they fell in with Ben R. Milam, who had escaped from the
guard at Monterey, and was making his way back to Texas.
He was lying on the grass, almost fainting from journeying
over 600 miles on foot, and from hunger. He supposed Col-
lingsworth and his men were Mexicans sent to arrest him, and
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 809
resolved to fight and sell his life as dearly as possible. What
was hs joy to find they were Texans, pressing forward to cap-
ture a Mexican garrison. The Texans were equally rejoiced
to meet so heroic and experienced a commander, and Colhngb-
worth at once tendered him the command; but, like all really
great leaders, he comprehended the difficulties so clearly, he
did not covet leadership, and declined, but took his place in
the ranks. An assault was at once agreed upon. After sev-
eral hours of hard fighting, Lieutenant Colonel Sandoval and
his command of twenty-five soldiers surrendered October 8,
1835, with 300 stands of arms, two brass cannon and $10,000
in silver. Three weeks later Captain Westover captured Lip-
antitlan, on the N'ueces River. But the fathers of Texas, like
all great pathfinders and foundation builders of civilization,
knew that complete organization and preparation were essen-
tial to great success. Hence on the 3d of October, 1835, rep-
resentatives elected from all Texas assembled at San Felipe to
take counsel and provide for the perils of the hour. On the
12th a provisional government was formed, with Henry Smith
as Governor, James W. Robinson, Lieutenant-Governor, and
Sam Houston, Commander of the army, with an Advisory
Council of nine men, and John R. Jones, Postmaster GeneraL
But while the civilians at San Felipe were organizing a civil
government, Austin and his little army at Gonzales, after
being thoroughly reorganized, moved forward to capture San
Antonio, the strongest military fortification in Texas. On
the 20th of October they reached Mission Espado, nine miles
below the city. On the 27th General Austin dispatched Fan-
nin and Bowie to select a more suitable camping place nearer
the city. This advance guard camped the first night in a bend
of the San Antonio River, near the grand old Mission Concep-
tion, one and a half miles from the city. The place was
admirably located for defense by day or night. The river
bank was covered by dense timber, a second bank, considerably
lower than the level prairie, in front, forming a kind of natural
breastwork, and the curve of the river presented a half-moon
shape that prevented all flank movements. General Cos
learned from spies â€” disguised peddlers of tortillas, that there
were ony ninety-two men, and expected to capture them early
810 The Life axd Writings of
next morning. At 8 o'clock, October 28, the Mexicans, under
cover of a dense fog, surrounded the Texans on three sides,
with a large cavalry force, infantry, and one cannon, and
opened on them a fearful dischsirge of musketry and cannon
The whole Mexican line was a continued blaze of fire.
But the deadly aim of the Texas riflemen, secure behind their
natural breastworks, as by magic cleared the cannon and laid
the cannoneers weltering in their blood. This was repeated
three times, and leaden hail of death extended all along the
line, till the Mexicans, terror-stricken, fled precipitately, leav-
ing sixty killed and forty wounded on the ground. The only
Texan killed was a gallant soldier, Richard Andrews, an uncle
of Rev. Dr. Andrews. The bullet that pierced his brave heart
was picked up and long preserved as a relic by that noble old
veteran. Col. J. A. Haynie, of Waco. On the 1st of JSTovem-
ber, 1835, General Austin moved his army of about 1,000
brave volunteers near the powder house, at the mill, one mile
east of the city. But the soldiers were poorly provided with
tents and arms, and without cannon; and San Antonio was
built on the model of all European cities 200 years ago, with
exceedingly narrow streets, so as to be easily barricaded against
an invading army; and the city on all sides was like a solid
It, therefore, seemed madness for 1,000 half -armed men,
without cannon, to assault a city so strongly fortified and
defended by at least 2,000 effective soldiers. The Texan
army, therefore, concluded to besiege the city, cut off all sup-
plies, and starve the enemy into an open fight or a surrender.
Thus nearly one month was consumed in restless inaction.
Great diversity of opinion and dissatisfaction arose. Many
clamoring for an immediate assault, and others declaring such
an assault almost certain ruin. The malcontents criticised
bitterly the caution of General Austin. The brave and im-
petuous Bowie resigned his commission in disgust. The
army dwindled down to about 600.
All the others returned home to their families. The only
two incidents to break the dull monotony of the siege of twen-
ty-eight days was the capture of 300 horses Cos had endeav-
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 811
ored to slip out by night, and send to the Kio Grande, to save
consuming all the provender in the city.
The other incident was the celebrated "Grass Fight," on
the 26th of November. Gen. Cos had sent out a party to
cut hay, and a company with two pieces of artillery as a guard.
The Texans, seeing these hay cutters and escorts returning,
supposing them to be new recruits, about 100 men rushed
forth, under the impetuous Bowie, and routed the Mexicans,
captured their hay and left fifty dead Mexicans along the road.
On November 28, two days after the "Grass Fight," Gen-
eral Austin resigned a position utterly unsuited to his taste or
talents, and accepted another, for which he was pre-eminently
fitted â€” Minister to the United States. The little wasted army
of 600 elected Gen. Ed Burleson, "the great Indian fighter,"
to fill his place. Preparations were immediately made for
attacking the city, though very many declared it utterly sui-
cidal. But the little army was paraded, December 2, by order
of General Burleson, and a stirring address was delivered by
Colonel W. H. Jack, and a call made for volunteers to storm
the city at once. Four hundred and fiifty men immediately
stepped to the front and enrolled their names. Some trivial
mistakes and grave suspicions delayed the attack for two days,
and even threatened to break up the siege. But on the second
day, Sam Maverick, J. W. Smith and Mr. Holmes, who had
been detained by General Cos as prisoners, reached the Texas
camp, and gave a minute account of the situation of the Mex-
ican army, and inspired fresh hope and confidence of success.
General Burleson, as commander-in-chief, authorized Milam
to organize a new storming party. The heroic Milam stepped
out in front of General Burleson's tent, and with his trumpet-
like voice shouted, "Who will follow old Ben Milam into
San Antonio?" The brave Breeding was the first to shout:
"I will. Hurrah for old Ben Milam and San Antonio !" Im-
mediately 400 men fell into line. The plan agreed upon was
admirable in every respect. Gen. Burleson was to make a
feint of an attack on the north at the old mill, and Colonel
Neil was to do the same on the Alamo at 2 o'clock on the
morning of December 5, so as to draw the whole attention of
the startled enemy to the north and east, while Milam and
812 The Life and Writings of
Johnson, with only 300 men, rushed into the city on the
south, and before they were discovered by the astonished
enemy they gained a secure lodgment in the stronghold of the
house of Verimandi. The fearless Texans were now in the
heart of the city, and with two small cannon and death-dealing
muskets, they spread terror and dismay throughout the city.
On December 6, at 3 o'clock, the fearless Milam, enter-
ing the Verimandi House, was shot through the brain by a
musket ball, and fell dead, and was buried in the park, or
ipu^rauo^ o\\j^ -asnoq pai^Bjqapo eq^ o^ paqoB:^;i3 %ii\od
House was celebrated for another very dissimilar event. In
that house the heroic Bowit wooed and married the surpass-
ingly beautiful, queenly daughter of Governor Verimandi.
It was there she died, and unconsolable grief would have
shortened Bowie's life, even if he had not been killed in the
Alamo, prostrated with grief and consumption, on his couch.
The siege, with its reign of terror, especially to women
and children, raged four days, when, on the morning of the
9th, General Cos suspended his firing of cannon and mus-
kets, lowered his black flag and hung out the white flag of
surrender of the city and fourteen hundred soldiers to Gen-
eral Burleson, with less than 600.
Article 9 of surrender said : "All public property, arms
and munitions of war shall be inventoried and delivered to
Article 10. General Cos, with his force, shall, for the
present, occupy the Alamo. General Burleson and his force
shall occupy the city Bexar, and neither General molest the
Article 11. General Cos, with his force, shall retire
within six days, with their side arms, into the interior of Mex-
ico, under parole of honor that they will not in any way oppose
the re-establishment of the Constitution of 1824."
In violating this last pledge they perjured themselves,
and, according to the laws of war, should have been shot when
captured at San Jacinto; but which just sentence the Texans
magnanimously declined to execute, and covered themselves
with glory before the civilized world.
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 813
General Burleson furlonghed his gallant little army to
return home in glory. He left the gallant W. B. Travis and
the volunteers of other States to garrison the Alamo till peace
was fully ratified and Texas independence recognized by
This splendid victory filled all Texas with joy, and was
celebrated with bonfires throughout Texas, and also filled all
Mexico with astonishment and Santa Anna with rage and
He raved, says one of his Generals, "like a madman, and
swore he would invade Texas in person and wipe out this dis-
grace on Mexican arms in blood, confiscation and exile."
But while our little' half -armed, half -fed, half -clothed and
seK-supporting army under General Burleson at San Antonio
was covering the name of Texas with undying fame, the pigmy
politicians at San Felipe were disgracing not only Texas, but
Governor Henry Smith and his Lieutenant Governor,
and council of nine were engaged in a petty scramble who
should be greatest. The committee of nine, like many other
men clothed with a little brief authority, foolishly insisted
they should direct the Generals how and where to fight,
and that the Governor was a mere figurehead, to sign
their decrees. General Houston, who learned war under Gen-
eral Jackson, knew the Governor was the proper person to
issue orders, and refused to obey their orders, and they vir-
tually suspended him and deposed the Governor. It is a
remarkable fact that these Solomons have sunk into such utter
oblivion that not one Texan in 50,000 ever heard of their
names. Oh, that such men, and there are many such now in
Texas, could learn a small modicum of common sense.
But soon these Lilliputians were swept into oblivion by
the stern necessities of the hour.
Santa Anna had subjected several States in Mexico to his
military despotism by thirty-two battles, in the last of which
he left 2,000 dead patriots on the battlefield of Zacatecas.
Flushed ^vith victory and maddened with his success, he
resolved to select 8,000 veteran soldiers and sweep down on
Texas like an enraged lion and retrieve all that Cos and Ugar-
814 The Life and Wkitings of
techea had lost. He selected his bravest Generals, Filisola,
Urrea, Sestrillon, who had stood by hini in thirty-two victo-
ries, and, in his folly, he thought Texas would flee before this
august majesty â€” '^'the Napoleon of the West" â€” Hike deer
before a Mexican lion. But the heroic Texans assembled at
AVashington, on the banks of the Brazos, in a newly erected
storehouse of Rev. IST. T. Byars, and not only hurled defiance
at the "Napoleon of the West," but declared her eternal sepa-
ration from Mexico, and boldly took her stand among the
nations of the earth as The Lone Star Republic of Texas.
Hon . David Burnet was elected President, and Lorenzo
De Zavalla, Vice-President, and Gen. Sam Houston, Com-
mander-in-Chief, untrameled by the silly dictation of a few
clerks and farmers, who never smelled gunpowder nor knew
what war did mean, but was left to exercise his own profes-
sional skill in hurling back the mighty hosts of Santa Anna.
Santa Anna devised an admirable plan for the ruin of
Texas. He intended to sweep over Texas in three columns.
Gen. Urrea, an apostate Tennesseean, with a powerful army,
was to sweep over Middle Texas and conquer Bexar, Gonzales,
Bastrop and Nashville. A third division, under Santa Anna,
was to aid Pilisola in capturing San Antonio and Gonzales,
and then penetrate the heart of the colonies to San Felipe,
and, if need be, as far as Nacogdoches and San Augus-
â€¢ tine. The vain-glorious, self-styled "Napoleon of the West"
firmly believed that he would, as he wrote to Senor
Tornel, the Minister of War, be able in eight weeks "to drive
from Texas all who had taken part in the war, and divide out
their lands and property among his officers and soldiers and
forever blot out the American colonies in Texas."
But alas, alas, for human pride. He did not realize the
truth of what Bums said :
"The best laid schemes o' mice and men aft gang agley."
And, above all, that God said "a haughty spirit goetli
before a fall." How little did he dream that in sixty days
his grand army would be scattered as sheep having no shep-
herd, and he would be fleeing and hiding in the grass like a
scared rabbit, and then caught bare-headed, bare-footed, and.
Dk. Rufus C. Burleson. 815
mounted on a mule behind the boy, Sylvester, would ride into
Houston's camp amid the hisses and curses of an outraged
people. And there to crouch like a whipped spaniel at the
feet of Houston, and implore forgiveness and protection
against those who were shouting "Hang him," "Shoot him,"
"Burn him," "Remember the Alamo," "Remember Goliad."
THE SIEGE AND FALL OF THE ALAMO.
When Santa Anna heard that his brother-in-law, Gen-
eral Cos, had surrendered the strongly fortified city of San
Antonio with 2000 soldiers to Gen. Burleson's army of 600
half-armed Texans he was furious. He swore that he would
sweep dowTi on Texas and humble the Texans in the dust or
drive them from the state. ' And having conquered the last
republican general in Mexico and leaving 2000 dead patriots
on the battlefield at Zaeatecas, he hastened on to Texas. He
brought with him his greatest generals and 8,000 select troops
who had followed him in thirty-two battles.
When General Cos surrendered, as there was no neces-
sity for retaining a strong military force at San Antonio, Gen-
eral Burleson disbanded his Spartan heroes, and turned over
the command to Col. William B. Travis, and his 144 gallant
soldiers to guasd the city.
On February 22, 1836, when Santa Anna reached the
suburbs of San Antonio, Col. Travis with his heroic band,
composed of such men as Crockett, Bowie, Bonham and Dick-
inson, retired to the Alamo. This was the most strongly for-
tified of all the nineteen mission forts of Texas. The main
chapel, still standing, is Y5x62 feet; walls of solid masonry
four feet thick and twenty-two feet high. From the north-
west corner a wall of fifty-two feet extended to the convent,
which was a two-story building 186x18. The prison was one-
story 115x17. These, with several low buildings, included
about three acres, sufficient to accommodate a thousand men;
all being surrounded by a stone wall two and a half feet thick
and eight feet high. Fourteen cannons were mounted on vari-
The Life and "Wkitings of
ous parts of the Alamo fortifications. Fortunately, on the
first day of the siege, Travis secured eighty bushels of corn
and thirty-two beeves. About noon on the 2'3d Santa Anna
arrived in person, and ordered the Texans to surrender or be
put to death. They answered him with a cannon shot. The
siege continued eleven days, during which cannon balls poured
incessantly on the heroic army of Texans. Travis sent out
touching appeals for help, but none came, except thirty-two
from Gonzales, who forced their way through the Mexican
ranks into the Alamo. On the tenth dav, when Travis saw
BOWIE feEING CARRIED OVER THE LINE.
there was no hope for recruits, he assembled his men and ex-
plained the situation. He then drew a line with his swora.
and said, "Xow all who are resolved to die, with me, fighting
for liberty, will cross over this line." AVith a loud heroic
shout they all rushed over the line. The gallant Bowie wa.s
lying helpless on his couch, and he cried, ''Oh, boys, I am
resolved to die fighting, please carry me over the line." And
with a still louder shout they lifted up his couch and carried
him over the line. On Sunday morning, March 6, while the
church bells were calling the worshippers to morning prayers.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 817
Santa Anna with six thousand select troops supplied with
scaling ladders and crowbars, made the last deadly assault.
The little heroic hand met them with a deadly fire, and the
assailants reeled and fell back. But Santa Anna with his
cavalry goaded them to renew the assault. Soon a breach was
made in the walls and the hosts of murderers rushed in. Travis
was shot in the head and fell dying, but had strength to kill
a Mexican that was trying to spear him. Bowie, true to his
vow, died fighting, and killed two or three Mexicans as they
murdered him lying on his couch.
Crockett retreated into the little Confessional room of the
priest, where Mrs. Dickinson says "she found him with many
Mexicans lying dead around him.
Every man died a hero, fighting. And after the deadly
roar of the guns and clash of steel, Mrs. Dickinson, whose
husband had been killed, taking her little babe in her arms
and a pitcher of water, went to each hero to see if any were
still living, but all were dead. That evening the brutal Santa
Anna had the one hundred and eighty-two noble Texans
placed in a pile and burned. Alcalde Ruiz, who was appointed
to bury the dead Mexicans, says he buried sixteen hundred,
while Santa Anna with his usual mendacity, reports sixty
killed and two hundred and fifty-one wounded.
Thus ended the battle that will forever place the Alamo
beside the grandest battles of the world, and will cause her
heroic defenders to shine on with ever increasing splendor,
till sun, moon and stars grow dim.
In 1837 John N. Seguine had the bones of the illustrious
heroes of the Alamo collected and buried with great military
FORT PARKER MASSACRE.