Amos Pollard of Surry

COURTESY OF HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CHESHIRE COUNTY

Dr. Amos Pollard of Surry was among the 180 men killed by Mexican soldiers at the Alamo in 1836.

In 1836, the state of Texas won its independence from Mexico. The Alamo is one of the most remembered battles during this struggle for independence. Of the 180 men who fought and died at the Alamo, one of the defenders was a man from Surry.

Amos Pollard was born in Ashburnham, Mass., in 1803. The Pollard family moved to Surry when Amos was five years old. His father ran a tavern in Surry, and Amos grew up in the town.

After completing his education in Surry public schools, Amos Pollard went to New York for medical training. After completing his education, Dr. Pollard traveled to the South and visited Texas in 1834. Leaving a wife and child in New York in 1834, Pollard became active in the Texas independence movement, devoting his time to that cause.

By January of 1836, Dr. Pollard was chief surgeon of the force at the Alamo. On Feb. 13, he wrote to Texas Gov. Henry Smith telling him that “my department is nearly destitute of medicine and in the event of a siege I can be very little use to the sick under such circumstances … we are threatened with a large invading army … Let us show them how republicans can and will fight.” Ten days later the Alamo was besieged, and 11 days after that, on March 6, it fell to the enemy. All of the 180 men defending the fort, including Pollard, were killed, but the Texan army went on to win independence.

Today, almost 200 years later, a portrait of Dr. Amos Pollard hangs in the Alamo Museum to honor the sacrifice of the young man who spent his childhood years in Surry.

Alan F. Rumrill is executive director of the Historical Society of Cheshire County, which has been collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the region since 1927. It’s on Main Street. To learn more about its public programs and collections, visit hsccnh.org.