Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 9: Independence on the Brazos

Very heartened when the Gonzalez boys rode in last night. Wish there were more but surely Fannin is only a day or so out. Good to hear news from the outside of family and friends. Most of the men were known by someone so there was plenty of talk. We sorted and moved around a bit so everyone had a post along the wall. George Kimball has a glass and from the top of the Long Barracks we can watch into town and see the Mexicans coming and going. Seems like another bunch comes up the road every day. You can pick out the privates and the sergeants. The officers stay a little apart and have blue jackets and black boots. Cavalry are all rough cobs, lean and dark in the face. There will be plenty for the battle when the rest of the army gets here. Crockett came up for a look, whistled and said he saw Col. Bowies favorite barmaid with a soldato on the square.

Hard cold last night and still. You could see the horse and beef breath in the cattle pen. Mex artillery fires all day and night but folks are starting to sleep through it. We are so short of men that we are living along the walls.

Two boys came up the riverbank at dusk and gave us a start. Just boys off on a lark to see the fort. Friends of a couple of the local families. They didn't have any real news but said it was crowded in town and the soldiers were eating all the food and taking all the big houses.

Bowie came out of the chapel and walked the plaza with Travis and Crockett this afternoon. He was wrapped in a blanket with the witch Candaleria trailing along. He's pale as a ghost. She watches him like a cat but he never looks at her. His boy Joe carried a chair for him to sit every now and then. Davy uses his hands a lot when he talks and I noticed he was listening, mostly. Bonham came out a bit later with his boy and carried some powder to the west corner battery. He stopped to look at a couple of Mexican cannonballs that had come in from La Villita. Plenty of them outside the North Wall from that bunch up there.

Taking a beating. Just an old adobe. Hardly fit to pen goats.

One of the Kellogg boys from Gonzalez, Johnnie, is now in our little hole. Nineteen and just married. Says his wife will come get him if he is gone a week. He's got a good enough rifle and a Bible his missus gave him. We have a little collection of Mexican muskets we keep loaded under the wall so he saw them and we are showing him were we sit and where to watch. He had a nice little knife but Teague gave him a big long-pointed bowie he had extra. Johnnie could shave with it but he doesn't have much to shave. Teague has sharpened every edge in the fort. He even talked blades with Bowie for a bit.

We are all family men so Johnnie Kellogg is in a good spot. He'll see that wife again in a couple of weeks, God willing.

  Mexican units on the road are sent word to force march into San Antonio. Every day another unit arrives in town with more men and equipment.

  Patrols search Juan Seguin's ranch again for supplies and find corn.  

  A second soldier from San Luis, a cazadore, (hunter/scout) named Trinidad Delgado drowns in the river.  

  Santa Anna takes time off his honeymoon with the princess of La Villita to investigate the approaches for attacking troops.  He finds a previously unknown trail through the brush on the East side of the mission that pickets and couriers have been using and posts Jimenez soldatos on it.  He prepares to move his battery closer to the crumbling North wall.

  Fannin made one start for the Alamo on February 28th.  Carts broke down and he retreated.  At the moment he's decided to stay put to counter a Mexican thrust into the Goliad area.

  On Washington-on-the-Brazos the Texas Declaration of Independence is signed by Houston and the other delagates.  The Alamo defenders will never hear this news.  From the top of the Long Barracks they fly the New Orleans Greys flag and a Mexican tri-color with "1824", signifying the Mexican 1824 Constitution that Santa Anna has rescinded.

  It's Wednesday, March 2, 1836.
  Day two of a truce is in effect.  Both sides are strengthening positions.  

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