Re: Let the Witnesses speak for themselves

from: Historical Stash

It's a common misconception that there were no eyewitness accounts or survivors from the alamo but there were several these are some:

According to Sussanah Dickinson:

She saw the body of Crockett between the chapel and the barrack building.


Enrique Esparza said:

I remember Crockett. He was a tall, slim man, with black whiskers. He was always at the head. The Mexicans called him Don Benito. The Americans said he was Crockett. He would often come to the fire and warm his hands and say a few words to us in the Spanish language. "Don Benito, or Crockett, as the Americans called him, assembled the men on the last day and told them Santa Anna's terms, but none of them believed that any one who surrendered would get out alive, so they all said as they would have to die any how they would fight it out. "On the last night my father was not out, but he and my mother were sleeping together in headquarters. About 2 o'clock in the morning there was a great shooting and firing at the northwest corner of the fort, and I heard my mother say: "Gregorio, the soldiers have jumped the wall. The fight's begun. "He got up and picked up his arms and went into the fight. I never saw him again. My uncle told me afterwards that Santa Anna gave him permission to get my father's body, and that he found it where the thick of the fight had been. "We could hear the Mexican officers shouting to the men to jump over, and the men were fighting so close that we could hear them strike each other. It was so dark that we couldn't see anything, and the families that were in the quarters just huddled up in the corners. My mother's children were near her. Finally they began shooting through the dark into the room where we were. A boy who was wrapped in a blanket in one corer was hit and killed. The Mexicans fired into the room for at least fifteen minutes. It was a miracle, but none of us children were touched. "By daybreak the firing had almost stopped, and through the window we could see shadows of men moving around inside the fort. The Mexicans went from room to room looking for an American to kill. Crockett died immediately outside the doors of the chapel. While it was still dark a man stepped into the room and pointed his bayonet at my mother's breast, demanding: "Where's the money the Americans had?" "If they had any,' said my mother, "you may look for it.' "Then an officer stepped in and said: "What are you doing? The women and children are not to be hurt.


Joe "travis' slave boy" said I went with the Travis to the wall and saw him mount the wall and fire down on the attackers, to be immediately shot and fall back within the wall, where he grappled with and killed an officer coming over the walls. Joe then hid. The defenders retired to the barracks building and fought there to the end. As the dead were being removed a man named Warner was found alive, taken to Santa Anna, and executed. After the fighting, Joe heard a Mexican officer asking in English if there were any negroes around. Joe emerged, and two soldiers tried to kill him. He was only lightly wounded, and was brought before Santa Anna.

Ben (santa Anna's black slave) said: Having seen former congressman Crockett before (evidently while working at a hotel in Washington) Ben was sent into the fort to identify Crockett's body. It was surrounded by about 16 Mexicans, his knife stuck in one.

Francisco Ruiz said: Crockett was found "in the west, in a small fort opposite the city." (Did he mean La Villita? That would place Crockett on the west side of the mission building, where Susanna Dickinson saw him.)

Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna wrote: More than 600 defenders were killed. The bodies of Crockett, Travis and Bowie were among them.

An account of the storming by an anonymous Mexican soldier appeared in El Mosquito Mexicano, a Mexico City newspaper, on April 5, 1836. They attacked at 5:30 a.m., rushing the wall, Cos leading. Canister (cannon fired as shotguns) brought down 40 men. They were under "horrible fire" for three-quarters of an hour, presumably pinned down outside the wall. Then, all four columns and the reserves got over the wall at the same time. There followed a "horrid battle at sword point," and a massacre of the defenders, some of who tried to surrender, flee or hide. Travis died bravely in back of a cannon. Bowie, the "pervert and braggart" died like a woman, almost hidden under a mattress.

Ramon Martinez Caro a mexican officer wrote: Five surviving defenders (whom he does not identify) were brought before Santa Anna, who was annoyed, and turned his back as they were killed.

Jose Enrique De La Pena a mexican officer later wrote: As the Mexican units reformed at the end of the fight, shortly after 6 a.m., seven prisoners were brought before Santa Anna, who had them killed. Santa Anna then spoke to the troops, but their responding vivas were icy. One of the victims was "the naturalist David Crockett" who just happened to be in town when the siege started and took refuge in the Alamo since he did not think his status as a neutral foreigner would be respected (Actually, Crockett had enlisted in the Texan army as soon as he crossed the border. De la Pena does not say how he identified Crockett as one of the seven victims.)






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