Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On the Second of March, 1836...

Yesterday was Texas Independence Day. March is full of Texas history. To commemorate this, a friend of mine compiled some excerpts from letters and diaries all dated March 2, 1836. The Texas Declaration of Independence is also included. Take a first hand look at what happened on March 2, 1836 to make Texas the state it is today.
Convention Delegates to the People of Texas:
"We, therefore, the delegates, with plenary powers, of the people of
Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world
for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare,
that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever
ended, and that the people of Texas do now constitute a FREE,
SOVEREIGN, and INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC and are fully invested with all
the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent
nation; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we
fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the supreme Arbiter of
the destinies of nations."

From the diary of William Fairfax Gray, attendant of the Convention
of 1836 at Washington on the Brazos:

"... An express was this evening received from Col. Travis, stating
that on the 25th a demonstration was made on the Alamo by a party of
Mexicans of about 300 who, under cover of some old houses approached
to within eighty yards of the fort.... They were beaten off with some
loss, and amidst the engagement some of Texan soldiers set fire to
and destroyed the old houses. Col. Fannin was on the march from
Goliad with 350 men for the aid of Travis. This, with the other
forces known to be on the way, will by this time make the nunumber in
the fort some six or seven hundred. It is believed the Alamo is safe."

From the letter of Capt. John Sowers Brooks, stationed at Goliad, to
his mother:

"We marched at the time appointed, with 420 men, nearly the whole
force at Goliad, leaving only one Company of Regulars to guard the
Fort. Our baggage wagons and artillery were all drawn by oxen ... and
there were but few yokes of them. In attempting to cross the San
Antonio river, three of our wagons broke down and it was with utmost
labor and personal hazard, that our four pieces of cannon were
conveyed across....
"During the night, some of our oxen strayed off and could not be
found the next morning. Our sitution became delicate and embarassing
in the extreme. If we proceed we must incure the risk of starvation,
and leave our luggage and artillery behind.... Every one felt an
anxiety to relieve our friends who we had been informed had retired
to the Alamo, a fortress in Bexar, resolved to hold out, until our
arrival. Yet everyone saw the improperty, if not the impossibility of
our proceeding under the existing circumstances ....
"Intelligence also reached us that the advance of Santa Ana's lower
division had surprised San Patricio about 50 miles from our position
and put the whole garrison under the comand of Col. Jonson to the
sword. Five of them have reached this place. Col. Johnson is one of
them, and they are probably all that have escaped. Capt. Pearson of
the volunteers was killed with several others, after they had
surrendered. The war is to be one of extermination. Each party seems
to understand that no quarters are to be given or asked.
"We held a council of war in the bushes on the bank of the river, and
after a calm review of all the circumstances, it was concluded to
return to Goliad, and place the fort in a defensible condition. We
are hard at work night and day, picketing, ditching, and mounting
cannon ... The Mexican force approaching us is variously estimated
at from 1500 to 3000 men. We will endeavor to make as good a stand as
possible, and if we can not expect quarters and therefore do not
intend to give or ask any, result as it may.
"If the division of the Mexican army advancing against this place has
met any obstructions ... 200 men will be detached for the relief of
Bexar. I will go with them. Our object will be to cut or way through
the Mexican army into the Alamo, and carry with us such provisions as
it will be possible to take on a forced march. Our united force will
probably be sufficient to hold out until we are relieved by a large
force from the colonies.
"We have just received additional intelligence from Bexar. The
Mexicans have made two successive attacks on the Alamo in both of
which the gallant little garrison repulsed them with some loss.
Probably Davy Crockett 'grinned' them off.
"We will probably march tomorrow or the next day... The people in the
settlements are all arming themselves. The sound of clashing steel is
heard on their borders and it is time they should awake now if they
wish to preserve their freedom and the fruits of so many years of
toil and privation. Now is the time for volunteers from the United
States. Let them come with six months' clothing and one hundred
rounds of ammunition, and they may be of essential service to the
cause of Liberty, and no doubt will be amply awarded by the people of
Texas. Now or never ...
"P.S. We are all nearly naked - and there are but a few of us who
have a pair of shoes. We have nothing but fresh beef without salt --
no bread for several days. A spy was taken last night, who will
probably be shot tomorrow. One of our men is under arrest for
sleeping on post. He will be tried by a Court Martial -- the penalty
is death."

Some of the greatest stories of courage and sacrifice can be found in history. A good number of those stories can be found in Texas history! I hope to continue to post stories of Texas heroism throughout the month of March.

1 comment:

~Abby~ said...

You're very proud to be a Texan aren't you?
Can't wait to read more stories!