This painting was produced as the backdrop for opening credits to the 1960 movie The Alamo starring John Wayne, Richard Widmark, and Laurence Harvey. The painting was given to Texas A&M by John Wayne on behalf of Frederick T. Graham and members of Squadron 14, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, Class of 1963.
In a letter by William B. Travis appealing for help during the Alamo siege, he said, "The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion." He went on to say "Otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender nor retreat."