William B. Travis was born on August 1, 1809, in South Carolina where he lived with his family on their plantation. In 1831, Travis left for Texas. He left everything behind — his wife, son, and his law practice. He joined the group of men moving westward to begin a new life with the promise of free land. Travis became a leader of the War Party working for immediate aggression against Mexico and was imprisoned for taking part in the Anahuac disturbances of 1832. Travis later joined James Bowie, James Bonham, and Davy Crockett at the Alamo. The Mexicans reached San Antonio on February 23, 1836 and the siege began. On February 24, Jim Bowie became ill with typhoid-pneumonia, and Travis was left in full command. The long siege dragged on for many months, with a great loss of life, and the Mexican forces eventually prepared to storm the old mission. The popular story of the Alamo tells that Colonel Travis assembled his men for his last speech. It is said that he took his position at the center in front of the line of men, and choosing his words carefully, he prepared for the worst. Travis is rumored to have then drawn his sword and traced with it a long line in the sand. He then said, “I now want every man who is determined to stay here and die with me to move across this line.” On the morning of March 6, the next day, the Mexican bugler sounded the deguello: the signal that meant that no mercy would be shown. The fighting was very fierce and bloody. Travis was the first to fall — he was shot in the head and fell with his rifle in his hands.