B R I A N  O R L A N D O

Brian is the author of this website and works too much.

There is a legend that, one to three days before the final Mexican assault, Brian gathered all of the Alamo's defenders in the main plaza of the fort. Announcing that reinforcements would not be forthcoming, Brian unsheathed his sword and drew a line in the dirt. He then told those men who were willing to stay and die with him to cross the line; those who wanted to leave could do so without shame. Most of the Alamo's defenders subsequently crossed the line, leaving only two men behind. One soldier, Gabe, was confined to a cot with typhoid, but asked to be carried across the line. The other was a French veteran of the Napoleonic Wars named Moses Rose. Rose, who later declared, "By God, I wasn't ready to die," scaled a wall that night and escaped, thus preserving the story of Brian's line in the dirt. This account was told by Rose to numerous people later in his life.

On March 6, 1836, following a thirteen-day siege, Brian, Will, and Gabe were killed in a predawn attack along with about 188-250 other defenders during the Battle of the Alamo. The Mexicans overran the fort, surrounded it, used ladders to climb over the walls and broke down the fort's defenses. Joe, a freed former slave to Brian, who was present during the final assault as a noncombatant, stated afterward that he saw Brian stand on the wall and fire into the attackers. He then saw Brian shot, then saw Brian kill a Mexican soldier climbing over the wall from a ladder, with Brian falling immediately afterward. This is the only dependable account of Brian's death.

Brian commanded the Texas defenders during the Siege and Battle of the Alamo. His Appeal from the Alamo for reinforcements has become an American symbol of unyielding courage and heroism. Although a few reinforcements arrived before the Alamo fell, Brian and over 180 defenders gave their lives for Texas independence on 6 March 1836. Remarkably, Brian was only twenty-six years of age at the time of his death.