as regards the slaughter of the Alamo, Castrion was opposed
to putting the men to death. One night, past midnight, when
Santa Anna and Castrion were planning an assault, Santa Anna
declared that none should survive. It was then inevitable that
the fort could hold out but little longer, and Castrion was
persuading the commander to spare the lives of the men. Santa
Anna was holding in his hand the leg of a chicken which he was
eating, and holding it up, he said: "What are the lives
of soldiers more than of so many chickens? I tell you, the Alamo
must fall, and my orders must be obeyed at all hazards. If our
soldiers are driven back, the next line in their rear must force
those before them forward, and compel them to scale the walls,
cost what it may." I was then acting as Santa Anna's secretary,
and ranked as Colonel. My name is Urissa [sic].
eating, Santa Anna directed me to write out his orders, to the
effect that all the companies should be brought out early, declaring
that he would take his breakfast in the fort the next morning.
His orders were dispatched and I retired. I soon after heard
the opening fire. By day-break our soldiers had made a breach,
and I understood the garrison had all been killed. At about
eight o'clock I went into the fort, and saw Santa Anna walking
to and fro. As I bowed, he said to me, pointing to the dead:
"These are the chickens. Much blood has been shed; but
the battle is over: it was but a small affair."
I was surveying the dreadful scene before us, I observed Castrion
coming out of one of the quarters, leading a venerable-looking
old man by the hand; he was tall, his face was red, and he stooped
forward as he walked. The President stopped abruptly, when Castrion,
leaving his prisoner, advanced some four or five paces towards
us, and with his graceful bow, said: "My General, I have
spared the life of this venerable old man, and taken him prisoner."
Raising his head, Santa Anna replied. "What right have
you to disobey my orders? I want no prisoners," and waving
his hand to a file of soldiers, he said, "Soldiers, shoot
that man,'' and almost instantly he fell, pierced with a volley
of balls. Castrion turned aside with tears in his eyes, and
my heart was too full to speak. So there was not a man left.
Even a cat that was soon after seen running through the fort,
was shot, as the soldiers exclaimed: "It is not a cat,
but an American." [In response to the question of "What
was that old man's name?" asked by Nicholas Labadie, Urriza
replied] I believe they called him Coket.