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Old 02-27-2019, 06:58 AM   #1
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Default The Alamo - Day 5 - February, 27, 1836

Day Five – Saturday February 27, 1836

The fifth day of the siege was again cold with temperatures ranging in the 30s.

Having exhausted their own supplies, the Mexicans pillaged BŽjar of foodstuffs and perishables. When they in turn depleted these, they sent troops to nearby ranchos to forage livestock and corn.

In a decisive move, the Mexicans cut off the eastern acequia's water supply at its source: the San Antonio River. Not only did this end the minor skirmishes that had taken place from the beginning of the siege; it essentially eliminated the defender's major source of water. In the mean time, the Texians finished digging a new water well inside the walls.

The Matamoros battalion began work on trenches to the South of the Alamo compound. These entrenchments did not pass Santa Anna's inspection and so he ordered his men to dig new entrenchments closer to the Alamo under the direct supervision of General Amador.

Throughout the day, the Texians maintained constant fire on the Mexican work party. According to General Filisola, the Texians were seen working frantically on their own ditch inside the parapet of the cattle pen. This effort later proved fruitless and was harmful to the Alamo's defense by undermining the walls, essentially removing any walkway the defenders might have had exposing them to Mexican fire.

General Gaona received Santa Anna's letter of the 25th requesting him to send three battalions as quickly as possible. Gaona immediately complied, yet failed to forward any heavy siege guns because Santa Anna neglected to include this request in his dispatch.

From Gonzales to the Alamo - 32 Men
As news of the Alamo's plight spread, Texans gathered at Gonzales preparing to go to their aid. The nearest garrison of any strength was 90 miles away at Goliad, commanded by Colonel James Fannin. The men gathering at Gonzales waited impatiently for days for Fannin to march and join them in going to Travis' succor. Fannin finally set out on February 26 with 320 men, four cannons, and several wagons filled with much needed supplies. However, only a mile out they returned to Goliad. Why Fannin failed to move is unknown. He blamed his officers, and they his indecision.
Some 32 men from those in Gonzales, tired of waiting for Fannin to act, rode to the Alamo; where after a brief skirmish with a Mexican cavalry patrol, they arrived at the Alamo on the night of the 27th. They were greeted with joy by the beleaguered garrison.

Further South in San Patricio
Shortly after the defeat of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos at San Antonio there was a clamor among newly arrived volunteers from the United States to mount a campaign to strike a crippling blow on the Mexican army in their homeland. This tied in with crosscurrents of a revolt against Antonio López de Santa Anna in Mexico. Liberal forces at the Consultation, who were aligned with Mexican liberals, somehow managed to send Stephen F. Austin to the United States as a commissioner and deprive Gen. Sam Houston of power by appointing Col. James W. Fannin, Jr., as the General Council's agent, with similar powers given to Houston. Simplified, the problem facing the new Texas government was one of supply.

Houston proposed to concentrate forces at port El Cópano in order to be able to control supplies to Texas and also to withhold them from any Mexican army. The picture was further clouded by Dr. James Grant and Col. Francis W. Johnson, who set up an independent Matamoros expedition under their private control, with the approval of the Council. After raiding supply warehouses in San Antonio, Grant moved to Goliad and took horses and other supplies from Philip Dimmitt's command.

Houston spoke to assembled troops in Refugio and convinced some of the men under Johnson and Grant that the Matamoros expedition was folly. Johnson and Grant took the remaining men, estimated at from sixty to 100 by historians, to San Patricio. Grant learned that Capt. Nicolás Rodríguez was in the area with a few men. He surprised them and took the prisoners and their horses to San Patricio, where in a few days the prisoners escaped.

In order to get more horses the Texans went all the way to the Santa Rosa Ranch (near the site of present-day Raymondville). Johnson took the horses and returned to San Patricio while Grant sought additional horses. Upon his return Johnson sent horses to the ranch of Julián de la Garza about four miles south of San Patricio. The men divided up, with Captain Pearson and eight men camping on the public square and the rest in three different houses.

Gen. José de Urrea, through a network of spies, had kept track of the Johnson-Grant forces and had left Matamoros with about 400 men. Upon learning that Johnson was camped at San Patricio, he put his men through a forced march during a bitterly cold, wet night and arrived at San Patricio at 3:00 A.M. on February 27. His first action was to send thirty men under Capt. Rafael Pretala to the ranch where the horses had been taken. In the attack four men were killed and eight taken prisoner.

In San Patricio Urrea reported sixteen killed and twenty-four taken prisoner. Johnson and four men quartered with him managed to escape and made their way back to Goliad. Legend tells the story that Urrea sent word ahead to loyalists to leave a light burning in their homes and they would not be molested. It so happened that Johnson was working late-with a light. Of the thirty-four Texans at San Patricio eight were killed, thirteen taken prisoner, and six escaped. At least seven of them were Mexicans. Possibly two other Texans, whose names have not been uncovered, were also killed.

Urrea reported that "the town and the rest of the inhabitants did not suffer the least damage." McGloin reported that those killed were "interred next day by the Rev. T. J. Malloy in the church yard of the same place." Legend also tells that the dead were buried in the Old Cemetery on the Hill.

On March 2 Urrea's men ambushed Grant's men near a creek crossing at Agua Dulce; all except six were killed or captured. Grant was killed. Urrea remained camped somewhere in the vicinity of San Patricio until March 12, when he took some of the cattle, arms, and ammunition that Grant and Johnson had gathered.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:41 AM   #2
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Great Post TMag!!

God Bless Texas
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:35 PM   #3
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Loving it. Keep it coming.

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Old 02-27-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting. I've been to San Antonio about 6 times and every time I'm there I still do tour of Alamo.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:04 AM   #5
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Awesome. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:07 AM   #6
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:47 AM   #7
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preciate this. keep it coming. thanks
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