Digital History>eXplorations>The Alamo>Preparations for the Battle>Juan Amador

Juan Valentine Amador (a member of Santa Anna's staff), March 5, 1836, 2 P.M.

Being necessary to act decisively upon the enemy defending The Alamo, the Most Excellent General-In-Chief has ordered that tomorrow at four o'clock the attacking columns, placed at short distance from the first trenches, undertake the assault to begin with a signal given by the General by means of the sounding of a bugle from the North battery.

General D. Martin Perfecto de Cos will command the First Column. If he cannot, I will. The Permanent Battalion, Aldama, with the exception of the Grenadier Company and the three first Active Companies of San Luis, will form the First Column.

The Second Column will be commanded by Colonel D. Francisco Duque. If he cannot, by General D. Manuel Fernandez Castrillon. The Active Battalion, Toluca, and the three Active Rifle Companies, San Luis, with the exception of the Grenadier Company, will form this Second Column.

Colonel D. Jose Maria Romero will command the Third. If he cannot, Colonel D. Mariano de Salas. The Rifle Companies from the Permanent Battalions, Matamoros and Jimenez, and the Active Battalion, San Luis.

The points from which these columns will mount their attacks will be designated by the General-In-Chief at the opportune time, and then the Column Commanders will receive their orders.

The reserves will be formed by the Sapper Battalion and the first Grenadier Companies from the Permanent Battalions, Matamoros, Jimenez and Aldama, plus the Active Battalions, Toluca and San Luis. The reserve force will be commanded by the General-In-Chief at the moment of attack; but the gathering of this force will be carried out by Colonel D. Augustin Amat, under whose orders the reserves will remain from this afternoon until they are placed in positions to be designated.

The first Column will carry ten scaling ladders, two crowbars and two axes; the same number by the second; six ladders by the third, and two by the fourth.

The men carrying the ladders will sling their rifles on their backs until the ladders are properly placed.

The Companies of Grenadiers and Scouts will carry ammunition at six rounds [packages of cartridges] per man and at four the riflemen, and two flints in reserve. These men will not wear cloaks, carry blankets, or anything else which will inhibit them to maneuver quickly. During the day all shako chin-straps will be correctly worn-these the Commanders will watch closely. The troops will wear shoes or sandals. The attacking troops will turn in after the night's prayers as they will form their columns at midnight.

The untrained recruits will remain in their camps. All armaments will be in good shape-especially the bayonets.

As soon as the moon rises, the riflemen of the Active Battalion, San Luis, will move back to their quarters to get their equipment ready; this will be done by leaving their stations in the line.

The Cavalry, under the command of General D. Joaquin Ramirez y Sesma, will occupy the Alameda and will saddle up at Three o'clock in the morning. Their duty will be to guard the camp and keep anyone from deserting.

Take this into consideration: Against foreigners opposing us, the Honor of our Nation and Army is at stake. His Supreme Excellency, the General-In-Chief, expects each man to fulfill his duties and to exert himself to give his country a day of glory and satisfaction. He well knows how to reward those brave men who form The Army of Operations.

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