James Butler Bonham

Probably the most warmly regarded of the Alamo defenders, James Butler Bonham's life before he came to Texas had already been colored by his dedication to defending the rights and honor of himself and others. He became committed to the Texan cause by October 1835, and the following month he helped to organize the Mobile Greys.

Bonham arrived in Texas in November. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Texan cavalry on December 20. Unattached to a specific unit, Bonham came to San Antonio January 19, 1836. He soon became active in the garrison's political life, running unsuccessfully for delegate to the 1836 convention.

On February 16, 1836, Col. William B. Travis sent Bonham to seek aid for the army at San Antonio. He returned to the besieged city on March 3, making his way through enemy lines, and bringing news from Robert M. Williamson that relief efforts were underway. He died defending the Alamo March 6, 1836, possibly manning one of the cannons in the interior of the Alamo chapel.

Thumbnail - Bonham letter to Houston
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James Butler Bonham, Letter to Sam Houston.

Page last modified: March 23, 2016