SAN ANTONIO -

After being on display for the past 13 days at the Alamo, the Travis Letter is headed back to Austin. 

An estimated 23,000 visitors waited in long lines to see the famous faded letter in the darkened Alamo Church.

Visitor Karen Marshall was moved by the patriotic plea for help from Lt. Col. William B. Travis, a young Alamo commander.

"It was written by a 26-year-old who knew he was going to die and leading the bravest people," said Marshall, a San Antonio history buff.

The Texas Land Commissioner's Office said the letter produced a financial windfall for the iconic former mission. 

The Alamo Gift Shop had a record sales of nearly $300,000 during the two week period as visitors bought various Travis Letter memorabilia.

"People hold the Travis Letter close to their heart and are very moved by its message that freedom isn't free. Sometimes, when defending liberty, our only choices are victory or death," said Mark Loeffler, from the Texas General Land Office.

Other visitors just didn't want to miss seeing the Texas treasure in person, since it's unknown when it will be back on display.

"I heard that it's going back in the vault and will not be seen, so this was our last chance to do it," said San Antonio resident Susan Sideman.

The letter has an estimated worth at $1.2 million.