List of Texian survivors of the Battle of the Alamo

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Juan Seguin left the Alamo as a courier.

When the Battle of the Alamo ended at approximately 6:30 a.m. on March 6, 1836, fewer than fifty of the almost 250 Texians who had occupied the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas were alive.[1] The conflict, a part of the Texas Revolution, was the first step in Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna's attempt to retake the province of Texas after an insurgent army of Texian settlers and adventurers from the United States had driven out all Mexican troops the previous year.[2] As part of his preparations for marching on Texas, in late December 1835 Santa Anna had convinced the Mexican Congress to pass a resolution that all "foreigners landing on the coast of the Republic or invading its territory by land, armed, and with the intent of attacking our country, will be deemed pirates" and subject to immediate execution.[3] Santa Anna led an army to San Antonio de Bexar, arriving on February 23, 1836 and immediately initiating a siege of the Alamo, which housed Texian Army troops.[4] As the Mexican Army had approached San Antonio, several of the Alamo defenders brought their families into the Alamo to keep them safe.[5][6] During the twelve days of the siege, Alamo co-commander William Barret Travis sent multiple couriers to the acting Texas government, the remaining Texas army under James Fannin, and various Texas communities, asking for reinforcements, provisions, and ammunition.[7] The siege culminated in an early-morning assault by Mexican troops which left almost all of the defenders dead.[3][8] Some reports claimed that several Texians surrendered but were quickly executed on Santa Anna's orders.[8] Of the Texians who fought during the battle, only two survived: Travis's slave, Joe, was assumed by the Mexican soldiers to be a noncombatant,[9] and Brigido Guerrero, who had deserted from the Mexican Army several months before, convinced the Mexican soldiers that he had been taken prisoner by the Texians.[10] Alamo co-commander James Bowie's freedman, Sam, was also spared, although it is not known if he participated in the fighting.[9]

During the battle, most of the women and children had gathered in the sacristy of the church.[11] As Mexican soldiers entered the room, a boy, thought to be the son of defender Anthony Wolf, stood up to rearrange a blanket around his shoulders. Mistaking him for a Texian soldier, the Mexican soldiers bayoneted him.[12] In the confusion, at least one of the women was lightly wounded.[9] Bowie's family, including Gertrudis Navarro, Juana Navarro Alsbury and her son, were hiding in one of the rooms along the west wall. Navarro opened the door to their room to signal that they meant no harm.[13] A Mexican officer soon arrived and led the women to a spot along one of the walls where they would be relatively safe.[14] All of the women and children were eventually placed under the protection of an officer and escorted out of the Alamo and imprisoned in the home of the Musquiz family.[12]

On March 7, Santa Anna interviewed each of the survivors individually.[15][16] He was impressed with Susanna Dickinson, the young widow of Alamo artillery captain Almaron Dickinson, and offered to adopt her infant daughter Angelina and have the child educated in Mexico City. Susanna Dickinson refused the offer, which was not extended to Juana Navarro Alsbury for her son who was of similar age.[15]

Santa Anna ordered that the Tejano civilian survivors be allowed to return to their homes in San Antonio. Dickinson and Joe were allowed to travel towards the Anglo settlements, escorted by Ben, a former slave from the United States who served as Mexican Colonel Juan Almonte's cook.[15] Each woman was given $2 and a blanket and was allowed to go free and spread the news of the destruction that awaited those who opposed the Mexican government. Before releasing Joe, Santa Anna ordered that the surviving members of the Mexican Army parade in a grand review,[17] in the hopes that Joe and Dickinson would deliver a warning to the remainder of the Texian forces that his army was unbeatable.[15]

When the small party of survivors arrived in Gonzales on March 13 they found Sam Houston, the commander of all Texian forces, waiting there with about 400 men.[18][19] After Dickinson and Joe related the details of the battle and the strength of Santa Anna's army, Houston advised all civilians to evacuate[18] and then ordered the army to retreat.[20] This was the beginning of the Runaway Scrape, in which much of the population of Texas, including the acting government, rushed to the east to escape the advancing Mexican Army.[21]

List of survivors[edit]

Name Status in the Alamo Birth–Death Notes
James L. Allen Soldier January 2, 1815 – April 25, 1901 Allen left the Alamo on March 5. He was the last courier to leave.[22]
Juana Navarro Alsbury Civilian noncombatant December 1808 – July 25, 1888 Alsbury entered the Alamo for protection at the invitation of her cousin-in-law James Bowie, after her husband, Horace Alsbury, was sent on a scouting mission for the Texian Army.[23][24][25]
John Walker Baylor, Jr. Soldier December 1813 – September 3, 1836 According to his family, Baylor left the Alamo as a courier, probably February 25. He died of complications from wounds suffered at the Battle of San Jacinto.[26][27]
Bettie Civilian noncombatant unknown Bettie was a black cook for the garrison. When Mexican troops entered the kitchens, Charlie grabbed a young Mexican officer and threatened to kill him unless the soldiers spared his life and Bettie's.[28] Thomas Ricks Lindley speculated that Bettie was a servant in the Veramendi home, where James Bowie, Juana Navarro Alsbury and Gertrudis Navarro lived.[5]
Robert Brown Soldier b. possibly 1818 Brown left as a courier after February 25.[27][29]
María de Jesús Castro
also known as María de Jesús Esparza
Civilian noncombatant January 11, 1826 – 1899 Castro was the stepdaughter of defender Gregorio Esparza.[25][30]
Charlie Slave unknown When Mexican troops entered the kitchens, Charlie grabbed a young Mexican officer and threatened to kill him unless the soldiers spared his life and Bettie's.[28]
Antonio Cruz y Arocha Soldier unknown On February 25, Cruz accompanied Juan Seguin to gather reinforcements.[31][32]
Alexandro De La Garza Soldier unknown He left as a courier.[33]
Francis L. Desauque Soldier d. March 27, 1836 Desaque left Bexar to obtain provisions for the garrison about February 22. He died in the Goliad Massacre.[34]
Angelina Dickinson Civilian noncombatant 1834–1869 Dickinson was the daughter of defender Almaron Dickinson and his wife Susanna. After the battle, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna offered to adopt her, but Susanna Dickinson refused to give up her child.[15][35]
Susanna Dickinson Civilian noncombatant 1814 – October 7, 1883 Dickinson was the wife of defender Almaron Dickinson. After the battle, Santa Anna sent Dickinson and William Barret Travis's slave Joe to Gonzales to warn the Texian colonists of the dangers of opposing Santa Anna.[15][25][35]
Philip Dimmitt Captain of a company of soldiers 1801 – July 8, 1841 Dimmitt left the Alamo on February 23 to gather reinforcements. He was captured by a Mexican raiding party in 1841 and committed suicide after being threatened with execution.[32][36]
Ana Salazar Esparza Civilian noncombatant d. December 12, 1847 Esparza was the wife of defender Gregorio Esparza, and the mother of Maria de Jesus Castro and Enrique, Francisco, and Manuel Esparza. After the battle she and her children were allowed to return to their home in San Antonio.[15][37]
Enrique Esparza Civilian noncombatant September 1828 – December 20, 1917 Esparza was the son of defender Gregorio Esparza and Ana Salazar Esparza.[37]
Francisco Esparza Civilian noncombatant 1833 – July 1887 Esparza was the son of defender Gregorio Esparza and Ana Salazar Esparza.[38]
Manuel Esparza Civilian noncombatant October 19, 1830 – 1886 Esparza was the son of defender Gregorio Esparza and Ana Salazar Esparza.[39]
Petra Gonzales Civilian noncombatant unknown Gonzales may have been an elderly relative of Ana Salazar Esparza.[40]
Brigido Guerrero Soldier b. about 1810 Guerrero had deserted the Mexican Army to join the Texians in December 1835. When he realized the Texians could not prevail at the Battle of the Alamo, he locked himself in a cell and convinced the Mexican Army that he was a prisoner of the Texians.[10][32][41]
Benjamin Franklin Highsmith Soldier September 11, 1817 – October 20, 1905 Left as a courier, probably just before the siege began. Although he attempted to return to the garrison on March 5, he was chased away by Mexican soldiers.[32][42]
Joe Slave of William B. Travis b. 1813 or 1815 When the battle commenced, Joe fought alongside Travis. After Travis's death, Joe hid in the chapel. Mexican soldiers assumed him to be a noncombatant.[32][43][44]
Byrd Lockhart Soldier 1782–1839 On February 23, Lockhart and Andrew Jackson Sowell were scouting for provisions when the Mexican Army arrived. Fearing that they would be unable to re-enter the Alamo, they went to Gonzales.[45][46]
Concepcion Losoya Civilian noncombatant unknown Losoya was either the sister or mother of Juana Melton, wife of Alamo quartermaster Eliel Melton, and possibly the mother of defender Toribio Losoya.[25][28][5]
Juan Losoya Civilian noncombatant unknown Losoya was the son of Concepcion Losoya.[28]
Samuel Maverick Soldier and delegate July 23, 1803 – September 2, 1870 Elected a delegate from the Alamo garrison on Feb. 1 to the March independence convention, left the Alamo garrison on Mar. 2.[47]
Juana Melton Civilian noncombatant unknown Melton was the wife of Alamo quartermaster Eliel Melton, and either the sister or daughter of Concepcion Losoya.[28][5]
Gertrudis Navarro Civilian noncombatant November 26, 1816 – April 1895 Navarro was the sister of Juana Navarro Alsbury. She entered the Alamo for protection at the invitation of her cousin-in-law James Bowie.[24][48]
Benjamin F. Nobles Soldier unknown Nobles left the Alamo with Dimitt on February 23.[49]
William Sanders Oury Soldier August 13, 1817 – March 31, 1887 Oury left the Alamo as a courier on February 29.[50]
William Hester Patton Captain of a company of soldiers b. 1808 Patton left the Alamo, likely as a courier.[51]
Alijo Perez Jr. Civilian noncombatant March 23, 1835 – October 21, 1918 Perez entered the Alamo with his mother, Juana Navarro Alsbury.[24][52] Perez was the last living survivor of the Alamo.[53]
Louis "Moses" Rose Soldier May 11, 1785 – 1850 Thirty-five years after the Alamo fell, a reporter penned an account of Rose's story. The article maintained that when Travis realized the Mexican Army would likely prevail, he drew a line in the sand and asked those willing to die for the cause to cross the line; Rose was the only man who did not cross.[54] After its publication, several other eyewitnesses confirmed the account,[55][56] but as Rose was deceased the story can only be authenticated by the word of the reporter, who admitted to embellishing other articles.[56] Rose's escape likely took place between March 3 and March 6.[57]
Victoriana de Salina and three children Civilian noncombatant unknown Three daughters accompanied her into the Alamo. Their names and ages are unknown.[28]
Sam Slave of James Bowie unknown Sam was spared because he was a slave.[41] Historian Walter Lord believed that Sam did not exist and that contemporaries actually meant Ben, a former slave who served as Mexican Colonel Juan Almonte's cook and later guided Susanna Dickinson from San Antonio.[58] Thomas Ricks Lindley speculated that Sam was actually a servant at the Veramendi home, where James Bowie, Juana Navarro Alsbury, and Gertrudis Navarro lived.[5]
Trinidad Saucedo Civilian noncombatant b. 1809 Saucedo may have accompanied Juana Navarro Alsbury into the Alamo. She left during a three-day armistice.[59]
Juan Seguin Captain of a cavalry company October 27, 1806 – August 27, 1890 Seguin left on February 25 to recruit reinforcements. After encountering a Mexican patrol he pretended to be an officer in the Mexican Army. When he neared the soldiers he spurred his horse and used his knowledge of the terrain to escape.[59][60]
John William Smith Scout March 4, 1792 – January 12, 1845 Smith first left the Alamo on February 23 with one of Travis's first pleas for help.[61] On March 1 he guided the 32 reinforcements from Gonzales into the Alamo,[62] and left again on March 3 with another message from Travis. He was returning to San Antonio with 25 reinforcements when the Alamo fell.[63][64]
Launcelot Smither Soldier 1800 – September 11, 1842 Left on February 23, possibly as an official courier. He was later killed by members of Mexican General Adrian Woll's force.[65]
Andrew Jackson Sowell Soldier June 17, 1815 – January 4, 1883 On February 23, Sowell and Boyd Lockhart were scouting for provisions when the Mexican Army arrived. Fearing that they would be unable to re-enter the Alamo, they went to Gonzales.[66][67]
John Sutherland Soldier May 11, 1792 – April 11, 1867 Historians disagree on whether Sutherland was ever present at the Alamo. If he was, he left as a courier on February 23.[64][68]
Henry Warnell Soldier 1812 – June 1836 Historians disagree on whether Warnell was at the Alamo. The historians who place Warnell in the Alamo believe Warnell either escaped during the battle on March 6 or that he left as a courier. Warnell died in Port Lavaca, Texas of wounds incurred either during the final battle or during his escape as a courier.[28][69]
Pacheco, Jose Sebastian de Jesus[70] "Luciano"[71]} Soldier June 11, 1819[72] – Aug.25,1898 "Luciano" was recognized for his service as a veteran of the Texas Revolution on Feb.27,1875 in his Republic pension claim.[73] An affidavit was signed by Juan Seguin on Feb.6,1875 affirming that Luciano was indeed a member of Seguin's company and had entered the Alamo with Seguin himself and col. Jim Bowie. Luciano was sent by Capt. Seguin and Col. William Travis to fetch a trunk from the rancho of Seguin and upon returning he was unable to reenter the Alamo due to Mexican patrols. [74] Luciano was one of the final three surviving veterans of the Alamo when he died in Graytown, Texas on Aug.25,1898. [75]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 166.
  2. ^ Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 26.
  3. ^ a b Scott, After the Alamo, p. 71.
  4. ^ Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 303.
  5. ^ a b c d e Lindley (2003), p. 94.
  6. ^ Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 95.
  7. ^ Edmondson, The Alamo Story, pp. 302, 312, 345.
  8. ^ a b Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 373.
  9. ^ a b c Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, p. 123.
  10. ^ a b Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 55–56.
  11. ^ Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 371.
  12. ^ a b Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 372.
  13. ^ Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 54.
  14. ^ Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 165.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 55.
  16. ^ Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 376.
  17. ^ Edmondson The Alamo Story, p. 377.
  18. ^ a b Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 67.
  19. ^ Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, p. 139.
  20. ^ Lord, The Alamo, p. 182.
  21. ^ Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 68.
  22. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 1.
  23. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 5–6.
  24. ^ a b c Hopewell, James Bowie: Texas Fighting Man, p. 119.
  25. ^ a b c d Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 91.
  26. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 12.
  27. ^ a b Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 88.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 407.
  29. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 20–21.
  30. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 47.
  31. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p 29.
  32. ^ a b c d e Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 89.
  33. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 33.
  34. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 34.
  35. ^ a b Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, p. 127.
  36. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp.44–45.
  37. ^ a b Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 43.
  38. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 44.
  39. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 46.
  40. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 54.
  41. ^ a b Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, p. 126.
  42. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 60.
  43. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 64–65.
  44. ^ Edmondson, The Alamo Story, p. 369.
  45. ^ Lindley (2003), p. 90.
  46. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 72–73.
  47. ^ Paula Mitchell Marks, "MAVERICK, SAMUEL AUGUSTUS," Handbook of Texas Online [1], accessed March 23, 2012. Published by the TSHA
  48. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 83.
  49. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 85.
  50. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 87.
  51. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 89.
  52. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 90.
  53. ^ Groneman, Bill, Alamo Noncombatants, Handbook of Texas, retrieved April 7, 2009 
  54. ^ Hopewell, James Bowie: Texas Fighting Man, p. 126.
  55. ^ Groneman, Eyewitness to the Alamo, pp. 122, 150, 184.
  56. ^ a b Chariton, Exploring Alamo Legends, p. 195.
  57. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 94.
  58. ^ Lord, A Time to Stand, p. 208.
  59. ^ a b Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 97.
  60. ^ Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, pp. 85–86.
  61. ^ Nofi, The Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, p. 78.
  62. ^ Myers, The Alamo, p. 202.
  63. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 101–102.
  64. ^ a b Todish et al., The Alamo Sourcebook, p. 90.
  65. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 104–105.
  66. ^ Lindley (2003), p. 87.
  67. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 105.
  68. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, pp. 107–108.
  69. ^ Groneman, Alamo Defenders, p. 119.
  70. ^ Entry no.537. June 11, 1819. Baptized as Jose Sebastian de Jesus Pacheco. The son of Don Albino Pacheco and Doña Encarnacion Pulido. The Baptismals of San Fernando church by John Ogden Leal, Begins with 1731 and ends with 1855. Records of this parish church are among the Archives of the Archdiocese of San Antonio in the San Fernando Cathedral. Also, issued in 2 vols.
  71. ^ Jose Sebastian was known as "Luciano" shortly after birth. aka.Luciano Granado, Residents of Texas, 1782-1836, vol.1. published by University of Texas Institute of Texan cultures 1984, pg.158, 196, 276, the 1820, 1826 and 1830 census of Bexar ISBN 0911317333, 9780911317336.
  72. ^ Entry no.537. June 11, 1819. Baptized as Jose Sebastian de Jesus Pacheco. The son of Don Albino Pacheco and Doña Encarnacion Pulido. "The Baptismals of San Fernando church" 1731-1855, by John Ogden Leal. Issued in 2 vols.
  73. ^ Texas State Archives and Library Commission, Republic Claims, Reel #262, 165-178
  74. ^ Texas State Archives and Library Commission, Republic Claims reel #262, 167-168
  75. ^ The Records of Our Lady of Guadalupe church burial register, Graytown, Texas.

References[edit]