William B. Travis has GRIT!

by Logan Giller

William B. Travis was born August 1, 1809 in South Carolina and died at the age of 26 on March 6, 1836. His nickname was "Buck".  He moved to Alabama where he was a teacher, started a newspaper The Claiborne Herald, and became a lawyer. He married Rosanna Cato in 1828 and had a son, Charles Edward in 1829 and a daughter Susan in 1831. They divorced on January 9, 1836 shortly before he went to fight at the Alamo.

In 1831, he moved to Texas which was then an outlying state in the Republic of Mexico. He had heard that he could buy land from Stephen F. Austin.  Travis fought in the Texas Revolution at the Siege of Bexar and the Battle of the Alamo. He was a Lieutenant Colonel at the Alamo from February 3, 1836 until his death, one month later on March 6; this was after a 13 day siege from Mexico led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

William Barrett Travis had GRIT because he took command of the Alamo when James Bowie was sick. He was the first person to die and he died firing a cannon to protect the North wall. He had the GRIT to write the following letter to fellow Texans and Americans.

"Fellow citizens and compatriots; I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aide, with a dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country. VICTORY or DEATH."    - William Barrett Travis

The letter Victory or Death did not bring aide to the garrison at the Alamo. But, it encouraged the Texas Army to defeat the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto, where we won Texas independence. It is also one of the reasons that William B. Travis has a place as a hero of the Texas Revolution.

You don't have to go to Granger to have GRIT !