EL PASO, Texas - The Battle of the Alamo began 177 years ago on Feb. 23, 1836. To commemorate, a famous letter of desperation and courage was brought back to the site of the historic siege in San Antonio on Friday.
On Feb. 24, a day after the battle between rebel Texas forces and Mexican Gen. Santa Anna began. William Barret Travis knew the odds were against him. He decided to write a letter in which he refused to surrender, vowing victory or death.
This letter is source of pride for many Texans and it was brought back to the very place it was born.
For history buff's like Morehead Middle School Teacher Mike Higgins, this is pretty cool.
The one-page letter was smuggled out of the Alamo by courier, but Friday, it was taken from Austin and escorted back in by police.
Morehead middle's teacher of the year Mike Higgins said he can't wait to make one of Texas's most dramatic moments come alive for his seventh grade class.
"Just the letter itself is a great example of self-sacrifice," Higgins said. "Travis might have been a number of things but he didn't lack for courage and he proved it."
In Travis' letter to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world, he writes Santa Anna's forces were bombarding him and 180 of his men to continual canon fire. And although Sam Houston told James Bowie and the men to retreat, they chose to give their lives to cause they believed to be bigger then themselves.
"so it's a symbol of not only his courage but their courage as well," Higgins said.
Higgins starts teaching about the Alamo on Monday. He said he plans on having the students decipher the letter, it's intent and emotion.
"It kind of gives you a place of knowing the sacrifices people have made so that you can live how your currently living," Higgins said. "I think for me, that's why its important."
The letter, which will be in a special cabinet surrounded by round-the clock-armed guards, will be on display for two weeks, starting this weekend in San Antonio.