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Travis' "Victory Or Death" Letter Returning To The Alamo

The Alamo

For the first time since it was written 177 years ago, Col. William Travis’ famous "Victory or Death" letter is headed back to the Alamo in San Antonio.

The letter will be on display for two weeks beginning Saturday, which is the anniversary of Santa Anna’s assault on the garrison which began Februrary 23, 1836.

Couriers carried numerous letters from Travis out of the Alamo asking for troop reinforcements, but Alamo Historian Richard Bruce Winders says this one is especially famous for its strong patriotic passages: 

“I shall never surrender or retreat,” and “ I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country - Victory or Death.

“Here you have person who is writing and saying it is so important I be there, it is so important you be here, that I will give my life because I believe in this cause,” said Winders, “and I believe that is a very powerful statement. 

Help did not reach the Alamo in time and Travis was killed along with about 180 others.

Winders says Travis’ letter will be exhibited in a special climate controlled case and there will be heavy security.

There is more information and the full text of the letter at  The Travis Letter Returns.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.