Texas History Writing Assignment for school. It was very neat to write about history in first person.
Journal of Lewis Young
March 6, 1836
I sit on the dusty ground, waiting for the Mexican soldiers to bring me to the site where I will be executed. Before me, there is a wide stretch of land, and across the field are the shattered ramparts of the fort I defended hours ago. Now its walls are shattered and crumbling, and the ground is crowded with many corpses; both Texan and Mexican. Just a few hours ago, a vicious battle commenced. Every scene is still vivid in my mind; my falling comrades, the advancing Mexicans, and the corpses which still are strewn about the ground, guns at their sides and blood staining their ragged clothes. I write in my book,, my journal, this moment, before my impending death comes. I shall now convey all the descriptions of the previous battle, which marked our Texan courage forevermore as a memorable deed—for our independence.
For a couple of weeks, we Texans have been besieged by the forceful Mexican army, headed by Santa Anna, self-made dictator of Mexico (a.k.a Napoleon of the West.) Last December the Texans gained full control of the fort after driving out Mexican troops. Until now, we have strongly held it, and have faced each siege by Santa Anna courageously. In the days prior to our defeat today, discouragement had set in, deterring any hopes of a successful victory. Colonel Travis, a friend of mine who perished this day when the Mexicans attacked, made it clear to us that no reinforcements would arrive, and we all would most assuredly die under the hands of Santa Anna’s ruthless army. But, he reminded us that our fight is for independence even as his eyes flashed bravely, fully aware of the consequences of not surrendering. Travis declared that we would give Santa Anna’s troops a great loss of men, so that victory would be almost worse than defeat. Jim Bowie, another friend of mine, and Davy Crockett, a tall friendly man, always ready with a joke, were also ready to fight, and this encouraged me to face the Mexicans army, massive as it was.
Early this morning, I was stationed on guard as sentry on the barricade of the Alamo. After nights of no sleep, I was quite ready to fall into a steady slumber. As I leaned against the wall, with musket in hand, I could vaguely perceive movement on the ground near the parapets of our fort. At first I thought nothing of it, and continued to doze, although little did I know that we were on the brim of an attack. Then I noticed more movement in the shadows of the dawn. So I went and found one of my comrades, my superior officer, who was sitting before the blazing fire in the yard, dozing. I told him of my suspicions, but he merely waved it away with a lazy gesture. I insisted all the more, and finally, out of irritation, he followed me to where I was posted. Squinting out into the spectral shadows, he too saw the faint images of scurrying men. Suddenly there came a loud cry from the darkness—“Viva Mexico! Viva Santa Anna!” Then columns of Mexican soldiers advanced forward. In the early morning air, a Mexican trumpet blared, sounding the song of “Duegello”, promising that, if we survived the attack, we would be executed afterward; no mercy. Their silhouettes seemed to flash by; while in their hands were ladders and bayonets, and a number of other weapons. My commanding officer and I grabbed for our guns, and we began to shoot upon the Mexicans, although knowing that this would not ward off the streams of enemy soldiers which were creeping forward. Behind me, I could hear in the fort, the other men in a flurry of panic, scrambling up the barricades to get a better aim at the Mexicans who were attempting to climb up our wall, on all sides; both north, south, west and east. I and several others fired at the Mexican soldiers who were trying to climb their ladders in an effort to climb over our stockade. One of my comrades pushed the ladder away from the wall, sending the Mexican soldiers on it to the ground in a crash.
The Mexicans tried twice with this attack plan, but we held strong, until the third time, when behind the first stream of soldiers was a backup column. Soon the Mexicans were flooding into our fort. Bayonets flashed right and left. Cannons shook the ground and many of my comrades fell, some toppling over the wall after being struck by a musket ball. Colonel Travis fell, after being shot in the head. I watched as he stumbled to the ground, after flying off of his high post on the Alamo’s parapet. I admire Travis’ alertness, even after he had been wounded. He managed to successfully shoot down a Mexican—his last action before I perceived his lifeless body sitting there, amidst the vicious fighting.
Finally the Mexicans, an overwhelming force, killed almost every one of our men in the fort. After the fighting ceased, the Mexicans took those who were still living to a pen where prisoners are supposedly kept. As I walked to the pen outside the Alamo walls, I looked around, at the blood stained ground, and at the corpses which are great in numbers; both Mexican and Texan. Jim Bowie is lying on the ground, dead as well. It makes me shudder when I think of the ruthless killing which only took place this day. Now it is all still, as I sit here on the dusty ground. I have been shot in the arm, right now the blood is spurting out of the wound, and I have been trying to cease the flow by wrapping a strip of my shirt around it. The Mexicans did little to aid those who were injured, since we will be executed by orders of Santa Anna. I sit here, against a tree, watching as my fellow soldier is led to the middle of the field, where a myriad of Mexicans wait—guns at the ready, and bayonets shimmering in the morning sunlight. Santa Anna is mounted atop a fine horse. As I watch, the soldiers point their bayonets at my friend, and shoot. He staggers, and then falls, blood immediately drenching his sullied clothes. I watch in horror… it is sickening, to think that that Santa Anna gives no mercy to the prisoners. Many of the Mexican soldiers maim the dead Texans. It is a cruel and dishonoring thing to do. I am sure now that my own body, after my soul has gone, will be marred by this ruthless people. Now the soldiers are coming for me. Goodbye… I know that I have fought well, alongside my fellow soldiers; we have fought for independence and freedom, and I know that I am a free man, even though now, my body will be at the hands of death. Freedom for Texas—Remember the Alamo…………..