March is Women’s History Month, yet the women who made the difficult decision to reject safe passage and remain inside the Alamo walls throughout the 1836 siege and battle are often overlooked. They would endure the same hardships and dangers as the garrison’s male defenders displaying the same commitment, courage, and sacrifice as the men.
The most celebrated among those that chose to stay is Susannah [Susanna] Dickinson, the wife of Alamo defender Captain Almeron Dickinson, an artillery officer who on the morning of the final assault manned the cannon inside the church. She is best remembered for her eyewitness account in the aftermath of the Alamo’s fall.
The following excerpt is taken from my book, Chapter Six: By the Grace of God –
Sue, you’ve got to go. Angelina’s whole life is ahead of her. We can’t risk that. Anything might happen to her, or you when the final attack comes.
I’m not leaving you!
I know you love me, Sue, but my fate is sealed. Yours is not. Why risk injury or death for either of you? Go while you can.
What kind of wife would I be if left now? We’ve faced everything together up to this moment. Our deaths are no different. I’m not leaving.
Sue, you’re not deserting me. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers come what may, but I need to know that you’ll be OK. There is no guarantee if you stay.
Almeron, there are no guarantees no matter what I do, and I’ve made up my mind. I’m not leaving!
Lord you are one hardheaded woman, but I love you for it. Promise me, at least, that you’ll stay hidden within the sacristy when the time comes. That’s the safest place for you. We’ll defend the church, but the side rooms should shelter you until the fighting in the main hall is over. By then, my hope is that the Mexicans will realize there are no other combatants in those rooms.
The women and children would take shelter in the sacristy. Those that survived were later interrogated and, when it was determined that they had no information of value to Santa Anna, were given a blanket, two dollars, and released. Susannah Dickinson also received transport to Gonzalez, Texas to spread the word about the Mexican victory along with Santa Anna’s warning that those continuing to defy his rule would meet with a similar end.
My book is currently available in paperback and eBook formats. The hardcover edition is due to be released soon.