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 William Barret Travis

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William Barret Travis

  • Birth 9 Aug 1809 Saluda, Saluda County, South Carolina, USA
  • Death 6 Mar 1836 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
  • Burial San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
  • Memorial ID 2311

US Military Officer. Commander at the Alamo. Born in Saluda County, South Carolina, his family later moved to Conecuh County, Alabama where he received much of his education. He later enrolled in a school in nearby Claiborne, where he eventually worked as an assistant teacher. Travis then became an attorney in Claiborne and 1829 began publication of a newspaper, the "Claiborne Herald". He became a Mason, joining the Alabama Lodge No.3 - Free and Accepted Masons, and later joined the Alabama militia as adjutant of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, Eighth Brigade, Fourth Division. Because of a failed marriage, he fled Alabama in early 1831 to start over in Texas. In May 1831, upon his arrival in Mexican Texas, a part of Northern Mexico at the time, he purchased land from Stephen F. Austin and started a law practice in Anahuac. He played a role in the growing friction between American settlers and the Mexican government and was one of the leaders of the "War Party," a group of militants opposed to Mexican rule. He became a pivotal figure in the Anahuac Disturbances, which helped to precipitate the war. After the start of the Texas Revolution in October, 1835, Travis took a small part in the Seige of Bexar in November. On December 19, 1835, he was commissioned lieutenant colonel in the Legion of Cavalry and was chief recruiting officer for the Texas Army. He had a hard time finding willing colonists to enlist. Acting governor, Henry Smith ordered Travis to raise a company to reinforce the Texas Army at The Alamo Mission in San Antonio. He arrived on February 3 with eighteen men, and on February 12 became the official commander of the Alamo garrison. He shared his command with Jim Bowie, who was in charge of the volunteers while Travis was in charge of the regulars. The Mexican army, under dictator/General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, began its attack on the mission on February 23, 1836. On March 6, 1836, following a thirteen-day siege, Travis, Bowie, David Crockett and James Bonham were killed in a predawn attack along with about 188 to 250 other defenders during the Battle of the Alamo. The Mexicans overran the fort, surrounded it, used ladders to climb over the walls and broke down the fort's defenses. Legend has it that within a few hours of the final gunshots being fired, Santa Anna ordered a company of dragoons to gather wood and burn all the bodies of the defenders. By five o'clock that evening, the bodies of Travis, Crockett, Bowie and Bonham were burned along with the other defenders. Travis was only twenty-six years of age at the time of his death.

Bio by: H M G





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2311
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Barret Travis (9 Aug 1809–6 Mar 1836), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2311, citing San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .