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    1. [ATEN] SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE, Part II
    2. Colleen Pustola
    3. February 29, 1836 The weather cleared up a little today and it was nice and warm with temperatures up to 55 degrees. The youngers and I even got to go outside for about half-hour to play. It was nice to be outdoors again. The worst part of today was the fact that Santa Anna has moved his army closer to our walls! They have stayed up and we don't have holes in them yet. Papa says though, if the cannons start shooting at us again, that it won't be long before we do have holes. I hope their cannons break! March 1, 1836 Hurray! More men arrived from Gonzales to help reinforce us. Thirty-two men came today! Maybe we will be okay through all of this! March 2, 1836* More heavy bombardment today. My ears are beginning to hurt from all the noise and I want to go home. Even doing my chores sounds good now! [*A convention held in Washington-on-the Brazos this day declared Texas an independent Republic. The men in the Alamo were unaware of this significant Texan event, but they would have been happy about it, had they known.] Thursday, March 3, 1836 Colonel Bonham returned today after trying to get help from Colonel Fannin. Nobody came with him.* In one of the quiet moments from the cannons, I sneaked a peak over one of the walls yesterday, and now I wish I hadn't. All the ground all around us is covered with men, horses and cannons pointed right at us! I don't think I will ever walk out of the Alamo again and I'm scared more than I have ever been in my life. The whole ground outside the walls is covered. There are so many men out there!*(2) [*(1) Colonel Travis' letters actually brought more than 200 volunteers to help the Alamo defenders. They'd gathered at Gonzales in preparation to march to the Alamo's relief when news of its fall reached the town. It was this collection of men that formed the main body of Sam Houston's army that eventually defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto in April, 1836. (2)Santa Anna has amassed an army of 4,000 troops against the 189 defenders of the Alamo.] Colonel Travis said he sent a message today that said if the Convention does not declare independence for Texas, he will lay down his arms and so will his men. But, if they do declare Independence, he and the men here will fight to their deaths. Papa!... Friday, March 4, 1836* The Mexican army moved closer again today. They are now about 200 yards from the north wall now. Our north and west walls are being blasted today. I am sorry, Papa. I cannot write today for I am too frightened of what I am thinking, of what I am seeing. I am afraid for our lives. [*On March 4th, 1836 General Santa Anna held a council of war and laid out his plans for taking the Alamo by storm. Meanwhile, William Travis sent a message to David Ayers saying, "Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country."] Saturday, March 5, 1893 I thought yesterday that I was frightened. Tonight I am terrified again. As the sun began to set this evening, Colonel Travis called all the men into the courtyard of the Alamo and told them there is no hope of more help coming to our aid. He drew a line on the ground with the tip of his sword and offered all the men a final choice. He offered them the chance to escape the Mission before it was too late, with the promise that they would go with his blessing. Just one man took him up on the offer, and Travis was true to his word. With a handshake, Travis bid him safe passage through the enemy lines. Every last man but for the one crossed the line that day, including the ailing Colonel Bowie who asked that his cot be carried across. Then Colonel Travis turned back to the rest of his men." Those of you prepared to give their lives in freedom's cause, come over to me." ~~Unknown to our young writer, at 1:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, March 6, 1893, Santa Anna moved 1,400 of his Mexican troops into forward positions against the Alamo. More were on the ready. ~~ Sunday, March 6, 1893 Help us, someone help us! At 5:00 a.m. the world began crashing down on the Alamo! I heard the Mexican bugler sound 'Deguello'. Papa was on the north wall and yelled to everyone that four columns of the Mexican army were advancing on us. The youngers and I must hide NOW! Mother! Where are you? [*On March 6, when Santa Anna received reinforcements, his batteries smashed open two breaches in the walls. In the cold pre-dawn, 2,500 assault troops with scaling ladders closed in on all four sides of the Alamo. Three sentries outside the walls were bayoneted before they could cry out. Then followed a bugler blast, bands blaring the soul-chlling strains of 'Deguello,' and the roar of cannonading and musketry.] Sunday, March 6, 1893 My whole world has come down on me. Mother sits by the fire, not talking, not looking at me. Her face is full of dirt smudges from crying so much. She looks like she was one of the fighters. I have cried until I don't think I have any more tears left in me. Papa died today. All the men in the Alamo died today. When we left, I saw the Alamo's walls full of holes and areas with no longer any walls. I saw so much blood and so many dead men. I won't ever forget this, but for Papa, I will finish my writings of today: When Papa yelled the warning on the north wall, all the men ran to their fighting positions. They held off the Mexican attacks twice. But the Mexicans finally breeched the north wall after some real bad fighting and a lot of Mexicans being killed or wounded. Once the Mexicans got through the holes in the walls, fighting broke out everywhere in the Mission. They just kept coming and coming. Mother, the youngers and I were hiding in a store room behind bushels of corn. Some Mexican soldiers found us, but they didn't hurt any of us. I was terrified! They left us in the storeroom, but came again later after most of the fighting was over and took all of us out of there. When we were taken from the storeroom, fighting was still going on in the church. In the CHURCH! It was all over by 6:30 a.m. A brand new Sunday had just begun and here we were, in all this terrible battle. I saw Papa. There he was, on the ground under rubble from the smashed wall, dead. Mother started screaming and tried to go to him, but the soldiers wouldn't let her. I saw Colonel Travis dead, too. All the men we knew are dead. All of them. My heart hurts so bad. Mother, the other women, 2 slaves, the youngers and I get to live. A total of sixteen people are the only survivors. Santa Anna wants us to tell everyone what happened. People can read my journal if they want to know. Good bye, Papa. I love you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What our young writer did not know was that all bodies were burned at the order of Santa Anna. Those men that were still alive, were also burned. The bloody siege and battle of the Alamo was over. One-hundred eighty-nine defenders held the old mission against 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days. Except for a handful of men who had arrived with Travis and Bowie, the majority of the Alamo defenders were not professional soldiers. They were San Antonio citizens, both Mexican and American ~ farmers who stayed to defend the land they had worked so hard to call their own. It was a costly victory for Santa Anna, indeed. For in addition to the dreadful number of losses of his soldiers, in his blind determination to take the Alamo, Santa Anna also lost Texas. While Santa Anna dictated an announcement of glorious victory in the Battle of the Alamo, his aide, Colonel Juan Almonte, privately noted: "One more such glorious victory and we are finished." Forty-six days later, with the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!," General Sam Houston and the Texan army defeated the Mexican forces in the Battle of San Jacinto. Texans had revolted and won their independence April 21, 1836, on the battleground near Houston. And, from March 6, 1836 on, the Mission San Antonio de Valero was permanently etched in the annals of history as "The Alamo." The brave men who died there, did not die in vain. DID YOU KNOW...? ... that the name "Texas" comes from the Hasinai Indian word 'tejas' which means friends or allies? ... that as a territory, country and state, Texas is the only state to have been governed under six different flags? They are: Spain, 1519-1685; 1690-1821; France, 1685-1690; Mexico, 1821-1836; Republic of Texas, 1836-1845; The Confederacy, 1861-1865; The United States, 1845-1861; 1895-present. ... that the Mexican General, Santa Anna, was so terrified of water that he could barely bring himself to cross a river? ... that in the 1890's, longhorn cattle outnumbered the people in Texas, 9 to 1? ... that Texas has more counties (254) than any other state? ... that the total area of Texas (266,807 square miles) is large enough to cover all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined? Forty-one of Texas' counties are each larger than the state of Rhode Island. RECOMMENDED SITE ** The Alamo <http://www.thealamo.org> ~ an indepth look at the Alamo, her defenders, and the battle. Of special note are two pages: "Alamo Myths and Misconceptions" <http://www.thealamo.org/alamo_myths_and_misconceptions.htm> ~ one you don't want to miss! "Frequently Asked Questions <http://www.thealamo.org/faqs.html> ~ which answers so many questions you almost learn the whole story right here! It's always good to learn about the events that occurred during our ancestor's lives. Those same events usually molded around our relatives, causing them to do things we might otherwise question. After all, it's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'

    07/20/2002 09:00:56