On Tuesday, Feb. 27 the newly re-commissioned Sons of the Republic of Texas–Chapter 29 laid a wreath at the foot of the Immortal 32 Monument at Gonzales Memorial Museum, commemorating the departure of 32 Gonzales heroes who went to the Alamo at the request of Col. William Travis and perished there with another 157 defenders.
After the wreath was laid Chapter President David Bird read the letter from General Travis calling the men to duty, known as the “Victory or Death” letter:
Commandancy of The Alamo
Bejar, Feb. 24th. 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—
Fellow Citizens & compatriots—
“I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man — The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, 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.”
William Barrett Travis.
Lt. Col. comdt.
“P. S. The Lord is on our side — When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn — We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.”
After leaving Gonzales the Immortal 32 traveled 70 miles, to San Antonio. They arrived there on March 1, 1836 and fought their way past Mexican forces, into The Alamo, to lay down their lives for Texas Independence, which was declared the following day.
The Immortal 32 are: Isaac G. Baker, John Cain, George Washington Cottle, David P. Cummings, Jacob Darst, John Davis, Squire Daymon (Damon), William Dearduff, Charles Despallier, William Fishbaugh, John Flanders, Dolphin Ward Floyd, Galba Fuqua, John E. Garvin, John E. Gaston, James George, Thomas J. Jackson, John, Benjamin Kellogg II, Andrew Kent, George C. Kimble, William Phillip King, Jonathan L. Lindley, Albert Martin, Jesse McCoy , Thomas R. Miller, Isaac Millsaps , George Neggan, Marcus L. Sewell , William Summers , George W. Tumlinson, Robert White and Claiborne Wright.