Micajah Autry 1From The Handbook of Texas Online.had made his choice. Once he’d entered the Alamo his fate had pretty much been sealed. Outnumbered and outgunned, he and the band of rebels that occupied the mission were waiting for the inevitable attack they knew would come.
He had volunteered for militia duty during the War of 1812 and, following the war, had practiced law in Jackson, Tenn. While on a business trip to New York City and Philadelphia he heard about land opportunities in the new territory of Texas. Determined to make an even better life for his wife and children he set off in 1835 aboard a steamboat from Nashville.
Once there he joined up with the rebels fighting the forces of Antonio López de Santa Anna. On January 13, 1836 while in Nacogdoches he enlisted in the Volunteer Auxiliary Corps of Texas under the command of Capt. William B. Harrison. He and others, including Davy Crockett, set out for Washington-on-the-Brazos. He arrived in San Antonio de Bexar (soon to be San Antonio) with his company on February 9 and joined the Alamo garrison under the command of Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis.
But one thing made Autry stand out; he was an expert marksman. Because of his skill with a long rifle he was chosen by his company to attempt to eliminate Santa Anna, who often walked out in the open across the grounds near the Mexican battle lines. Whether out of arrogance or cluelessness he didn’t seem to understand that a sniper might try to take a shot at him.
During one such walk by the Mexican dictator, Autry raised his long rifle and took aim as his compatriots looked on, and fired. In that moment, the history of Texas and Mexico might have been changed, but either because of nervous tension or the great distance to the target, Autry’s bullet went wild and Santa Anna scrambled for cover. After a siege lasting 13 days, Autry fell with his comrades at the stockade near the chapel, overwhelmed by the Mexican troops.