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From the Alamo—The First Volley

February 23, 1836—Tuesday

Santa Anna’s army marched into San Antonio this morning. Travis and Crockett didn’t think Santa Anna would get here until mid-March. The lookout in the bell tower of San Fernando Church went to hollering that a large force was approaching.

Santa Anna’s first action was to raise the red flag—no quarter given—over San Fernando Church. Their white-flagged rider came close and asked for our surrender and Travis said he would answer soon. And we did—we shot a cannon into their camp. They responded in kind, sending volley after volley of cannon fire at the walls of the Alamo.

The worst news of the day was the arrival of Bonham, with a reply to Travis’s request for reinforcements. Fannin said he had his own problems with Cos marching his way and he couldn’t send any men at present.

Travis immediately penned another letter that was short and to the point.

The enemy in large force is in sight. We want men and provisions. Send them to us. We have 150 men and are determined to defend the Alamo to the last.

We suffered no wounded from today’s bombardment, but we gave some. The spirits of the men are high, but we have no doubts—Santa Anna means to tear down the Alamo and us with it.

A.J. Williams

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