William Travis – Texas Hero Who Died at the Alamo


William B. Travis

William B. Travis

William Barret Travis was a lawyer and soldier who is remembered as the Texas commander at the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina on August 9, 1890, William’s family later moved to Alabama. After finishing his education, Travis worked as a school teacher and a lawyer. Travis fled a wife and family in 1831, setting up a law office in Anahuac, Texas. Strongly disliking Mexican rule, he became one of the leaders of what became known as the “war party” and on June 29, 1835, he raised a company of 25 volunteers and captured Captain Antonio Tenorio, the commander of Mexican forces in Anahuac.

After the outbreak of the Texas Revolution, Travis joined the Texas Army and soon afterward Samuel Houston appointed him as lieutenant colonel of cavalry. Soon after, the Texans surrounded San Antonio de Bexar on December 7, 1835, and the volunteers attacked the town. On January 21, 1836, Travis was ordered to go to the Alamo with volunteers to reinforce the 120-150 men already there.

On February 3rd, he arrived with 20-30 reinforcements and within a short time, he immediately became the commander of the regular soldiers, while James Bowie commanded the volunteers. When General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and 7,000 Mexican troops arrived in San Antonio, the Texans took refuge in the fortified grounds of the Alamo. Bowie was struck down with typhoid and Travis eventually took over sole command of the fortress.

Battle of the Alamo

Battle of the Alamo

Santa Anna ordered the shelling of the Alamo but the Texans refused to surrender. On March 6th, the Mexican army stormed the fortress and during the battle, 189 Texans, including Travis, Bowie, and Davy Crockett, were killed, but not without a valiant fight. It is estimated that 1,500 Mexicans died during the battle.


By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Remember the Alamo – The Battle

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

San Antonio Photo Gallery

The Texas Revolution

5 thoughts on “William Travis – Texas Hero Who Died at the Alamo”

  1. 7000 Mexicans? Ive read many times it was more like 3000 and almost 1000 were killed and there were more like 300 texans including around 75 mexicans who fought with the Texans-I just Read that when Houston beat Santa Ana he had 800 troops and Santa Ana had split his troops into 3 groups and Santa Ana had at most 750 troops himself-Houston caught him by surprise and the battle lasted barely 20 minutes–That said most of the History books only give white europeans credt for accomplishments and war victories in the 19th century—Texas belonged to Mexico–We simply took it from them–Mexico to this day has never really had a stable government with as many as 20 revolutitions since 1800-They are messed up even today–the Cartels basically run most of the country—today is 6/20/2018 and in the last year as many as 120 polititions have been killed by the Cartels in Mexico—Maybe its better most of those states——California-Texas-New Mexico-Arizona were taken from them–Maybe?

    1. But if they did have those states, America wouldnt be what we have today-and neither would you…..think about that……you probably wouldnt have existed…..

    2. You are right. When the “battle” took place when the Mexican troop was resting which is why Houston successfully captured Santa Anna and “won” the battle of San Jacinto. The only reason why Santa Anna had came to the Alamo was because Texans were refusing their laws. The Mexicans came to protect what was rightfully theirs. Santa Anna was pretty much forced to sign the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for his freedom. I’m hispanic but only ever knew the european version as you put it. Until I took a Mexican-American class in college where we were explained this version. I know this response comes two years later but I just wanted to say you are right.

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