Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Travis, William Barrett

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TRAVIS, William Barrett, soldier, b. in Conecuh county, Ala., in 1811; d. near San Antonio, Tex., 6 March, 1836. He was admitted to the bar about 1830. and practised in Claiborne, Ala., but became financially embarrassed, and, leaving that place about 1832, went to Texas, where he afterward took up arms in the struggle for the independence of that country. At the head of 140 men he was besieged in the old mission station of San Antonio de Valerio, which had been named Fort Alamo (see illustration), by Gen. Santa-Anna, with 4,000 Mexicans, on 23 Feb., 1836. The fort was defended for ten days, frequent assaults being repelled with great slaughter, while not a man in the fort was injured. Many appeals for re-enforcements were sent out, but only thirty-two men could get through the Mexican lines. Finally, on 6 March, three assaults were made, and in the hand-to-hand fight that followed the last, the Texans were overpowered. They fought desperately, with clubbed muskets, till only six were left, including Travis, David Crockett, and James Bowie. These surrendered under promise of protection; but when they were brought before Santa-Anna he ordered them to be cut to pieces. In the bloody defeat of the Mexicans at San Jacinto shortly afterward, the Texan battle-cry was “Remember the Alamo.” In person Travis was of fine stature, with regular features, blue eyes, and auburn hair.


Appletons' Travis William Barrett Fort Alamo.jpg