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William B. Travis
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Military Personnel
    (August 1, 1809-March 6, 1836)
    Born in Saluda County, South Carolina
    Lieutenant Colonel in the Army of Texas
    Commander during the Battle of the Alamo (March 6, 1836)
    Only one drawing was made of him while he was alive, and there is debate over how accurate it is.
    He owned two slaves.
    He headed to Texas to escape debts he had racked up in Alabama during unsuccessful careers as a lawyer and a newspaper publisher.
    As an officer, he was described as ‘impulsive, occasionally insubordinate.’
    When he arrived at the Alamo, the American volunteers who comprised a majority of the defenders refused to serve under him, leading to a split command in which he headed the regular Texan Army troops and Jim Bowie commanded the volunteers.
    The split command became moot early during the siege of the Alamo, when Bowie became ill and collapsed.
    His letter asking for reinforcements addressed to ‘To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World’ has been called ‘one of the masterpieces of American patriotism.’
    He was one of the first Texan soldiers killed in the Battle of the Alamo, taking a bullet while leaning over a parapet to fire his gun at Mexican soldiers massed at the base of one of the Alamo walls.

Credit: C. Fishel


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