I remember the first time I set foot in the Alamo about 21 years ago. The place seemed almost too small for the import of what had taken place there. It certainly seems too peaceful. Yet the words and deeds of these men of great mettle will reverberate like ripples on the surface of a pond for the remainder of the days of our civilization. Today I consider this, and I hope you will, too.
William Travis was Lt. Col. of the Texian forces and commander of the Republic of Texas forces, and was 26 when he died at the Alamo.
There is a legend that, one to three days before the final Mexican assault, Travis gathered all of the Alamo's defenders in the main plaza of the fort. Announcing that reinforcements would not be forthcoming, Travis unsheathed his sword and drew a line in the dirt. He then told those men who were willing to stay and die with him to cross the line; those who wanted to leave could do so without shame. Most of the Alamo's defenders subsequently crossed the line, leaving only two men behind. One soldier, Bowie, was confined to a cot with typhoid, but asked to be carried across the line. The other was a French veteran of the Napoleonic Wars named Moses Rose. Rose, who later declared, "By God, I wasn't ready to die," scaled a wall that night and escaped, thus preserving the story of Travis's line in the sand. This account was told by Rose to numerous people later in his life.