Digital History>eXplorations>The Alamo>Accounts Following the Battle>Manuel Loranca

Manuel Loranca (Mexican Sergeant), June 23, 1878

About nine in the morning, the President Santa Anna arrived and joined with his escort and staff, the column which was now in the vicinity of San Antonio. We marched upon the place and were received by the fort with one or two cannon shots; those in the Alamo raising a red flag.

Santa Anna then ordered a parley to be sounded, which was answered by the chiefs of the Alamo, and the

President commissioned the Mexican Colonel Batres to confer with Bowie and Travis, both Colonels of the Texan forces holding the Alamo. This was on the 26th of February, 1836.

The President Santa Anna proposed to Travis and Bowie that they should surrender at discretion, with no other guarantee than that their lives should be spared. The said Texan chiefs answered and proposed to surrender the fort on being allowed to march out with their arms and go join their government (as they had permitted the Mexican forces under Generals Cos and Filisola when they capitulated to the Texans at the Mission de la Espada and were allowed to march out with their arms, munitions of war, provisions, etc., and join the Mexican army then in the field against Texas), and if this was not willingly conceded to them, they would willingly take all the chances of war.

The bombardment was effectually commenced on the 27th of the same month. During this time the Mexican forces were joined by several bodies of infantry, making about four thousand men.

On the 4th of March the President Santa Anna called a council of war to consider the mode of assault of the Alamo, and they decided to make the assault on the 6th, at daybreak, in the following manner: On the north, Col. Don Juan Baptisto Morales with the Battalion "Firmas," of San Luis Potosi; on the west, Col. Don Mariano Salas, with the Battalion of Aldama; on the south, Col. Jose Vincente Minon, with the Battalion of Infantry; on the east, a squadron of Lancers, flanked by a ditch, to cut off the retreat at the time of the assault. These Lancers were commanded by Gen. Don Joaquin Ramires y Sesma.

The assault took place at 3:30 a.m. on the 6th, and was so sudden that the fort had only time to discharge four of the eighteen cannon which it had.

The Fort Alamo had only one entrance, which was on the south; and the approach was made winding to impede the entrance of the cavalry. The Mexican infantry, with ladders, were lying down at musket-shot distance, awaiting the signal of assault, which was to be given from a fort about a cannon-shot to the east of the Alamo, where the President Santa Anna was with the music of the regiment of Dolores and his staff to direct the movements. In the act of assault a confusion occurred, occasioned by darkness, in which the Mexican troops opened fire on each other. A culverin, or 16 pound howitzer, fired from the fort, swept off a whole company of the Battalion Aldama, which made the attack on the point toward San Antonio.

After that we all entered the Alamo, and the first thing we saw on entering a room at the right was the corpses of Bowie and Travis. Then we passed to the corridor which served the Texans as quarters, and here found all refugees which were left. President Santa Anna immediately ordered that they should be shot, which was accordingly done, excepting only a negro and a woman having a little boy about a year old. She was said to be Travis' cook.

Sixty-two Texans who sallied from the east side of the fort, were received by the Lancers and all killed. Only one of these made resistance; a very active man, armed with a double barrel gun and a single-barrel pistol, with which he killed a corporal of the Lancers named Eugenio. These were all killed by the lance, except one, who ensconced himself under a bush and it was necessary to shoot him.

There in front of the fosse were gathered the bodies of all those who died by the lance, and those killed in the fort, making a total to two-hundred and eighty-three persons, including a Mexican found among them, who, it appears, had come from La Bahia (Goliad) with dispatches; and here they were ordered to be burned, there being no room in the campo santo or burying ground, it being all taken up with the bodies of upwards of four hundred Mexicans, who were killed in the assault.

 

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